Faderstart on CDJ, CMX and DJM  How to get it working

Submitted by Lead  Flag on 14-02-2004 @ 21:00
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All Pioneer ProDJ CD players (CDJ and CMX) are equipped with Faderstart that can be connected to any DJM-Mixer. The connection is made using a 3,5mm (mini jack) connector that is included with every player. To use the Faderstart a Cue-Piont is required. On the mixer you can activate/deactivate the Faderstart and you can even decide to use the Faderstart on the Crossfader if you would like to!

How can I use it ?
When you set a Cue-Piont on the CDJ, the player jumps in CUE mode and is actually paused at the Cue-Piont. As long as the fader of this channel is closed, the player will stay in this position. When you open the fader just a millimeter the Faderstart automatically starts the CDJ. When the Fader is pulled back again (down) the CDJ will go back to the Cue-Piont and wait until you open the fader again, or press the Play button. Because all CDJ and CMX products have a Direct Start you can use it as fast as you want and the CDJ will always follow your move, switching from Play to Cue just as fast as you can move the fader.

Using the Faderstart is a personal thing, not everybody likes to use it but in some occasions it can be very useful. When you're a Scratch or Hip hop DJ you can use the Faderstart on a beat an making the beat by hamstering the crossfader.

You don't have a Pioneer Mixer ?
Conventional mixers use a switch that opens and closes when the faders is moved up and down. Pioneer uses their own way (protocol) to handle the Faderstart so the Pioneer CD player expect to get a signal that is conform this protocol. When you don't have a Pioneer mixer you can still use the Faderstart option, but you'll need to be a little bit handy to do so. You have to make a connection to convert the conventional signal to the Pioneer protocol.

The Pioneer 'Protocol'

PLAY/START The player will start to play when the tip of the connector gets a ground-pulse.
CUE/PAUSE The player returns to Cue position when the sleeve gets a ground-pulse.

If you're scared of soldering & wires...

Please don't read any further because you can do more damage than good.

To make a Faderstart that uses a switch compatible with the Pioneer Faderstart you'll need to make a connection between the switch and a 3.5mm connector that goes into the CDJ. I've tried to make the situation as simple as can be in the image below. The large connector that is displayed is NOT the actual connector that you should use. The is done purely so you can see to which part of the connector the wires have to be mounted. On the picture you see a 6.5 mm connector while the actual one you should use is only 3.5mm but the got messy on the picture.

Scematic Diagram of Faderstart Connectivity

The A Marker (main connection on the switch) goes to a ground connection inside the mixer, this can usually be found somewhere near the connection terminals at the rear of the mixer. You can use the same ground as this connection terminal uses for the signal sockets.

The Tip and Sleeve from the connector are connected to the other 2 contacts of the switch. Use a multi meter to check if you solder them to the right contact.

The way you lead the wires out of the mixer can be any of the many possibilities like :

  • Use a long wire, at the end goes the 3.5mm connector. Lead the wire into the mixer using some kind of safety to prevent the wire from being torn out of the mixer when force is applied to it.
  • Make a connection terminal on the outside of your mixer. This can practically be any type of connector as long as you can make connection to at least 2 wires. From this terminal you make a cable that ends with a 3.5mm connector. Usually the connection type is that same as Pioneer uses in their equipment.

What if I have a Denon CD Player ?
There is only a slight difference in the used protocol when comparing Denon and Pioneer CD player with eachother. Both brands have there requirements in order for the Faderstart to get working. In every case : Make sure that you activate the faderstart n your mixer !

Use any small 3.5mm connector/cable.

Pioneer CD players need a regular Cue Piont to get the Fader Start working. Denon is about the same, accept that Denon needs a Hot Cue (A1 or A2 button) to get the Faderstart working from that point. So just make sure that a Hot Cue is set and when connected to a Denon or a Pioneer DJM mixer the CD player will follow your commands.


If you still can't get it to work after reading this, post your problem on our forums !

What do you think about Faderstart on CDJ, CMX and DJM ??

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This content is © 2004-2020 The DJResource...

There are 5 Comments

  Flag tekno1 wrote on 25-03-2005 @ 20:39
Well, back to the drawing board. After all weekend and several days of configuring cables, changing cables, and making cables... it appears that natively Denon and Pioneer are not FRIENDS at all. They do not play well together! So, I am thinking that what Lead has said is right, Den & Pio use the SAME concept, but I think they might use different polarity! So I am going to make two new cables, Denon specs on one side and Pio specs on the other! Will keep you updated!

[ADMIN edit: as you can read above, this should work fine]
1 member likes this  
  Flag midwestDJ wrote on 09-08-2005 @ 19:11
Have you tried this with the Numark CDX?
  Flag Lead wrote on 13-06-2006 @ 23:12
See added info about Denon... they are compatible....
  Flag Luxx wrote on 09-07-2007 @ 19:21
i got CDJ800's and Reloop mixer but faderstart works just fine :D
  Flag Lead wrote on 03-01-2020 @ 19:01

One thing nobody knows is that the information in this particular DJ Topic was the reason why DJResource, or the forerunner of it, was ever started. You can take a look at the About DJResource page to see some screenshots of how everything has grown over all these years.

Back in 2001 I was just working at Pioneer and got a lot of questions back then of which the answer was the topic above. I wanted to put that on the Pioneer website so next time I got a call or mail I could send people over to the information so they can check it at their own leasure and get back to me afterwards if they had any more questions.

But Pioneer back then didn't allow me to put that on the official website as there was no place for it. I told them I would then put it on my own website (which i didn't even had) instead..... I heard laughter and a few weeks later the very early beginning of what later would grow to DJResource was made.

The rest of the story is mentioned in the About DJResource page, so read that for all details

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