Denon DJ MCX8000 - Optimizing Performance and Improving Latency

The MCX8000 is a powerful standalone media player and Serato DJ controller. But in order to get the most out of this workhorse, it's important to consider the necessary settings and optimization steps to get your system ready for the boost in performance. This article walks through some common troubleshooting and optimization steps for your MCX8000, including PC/Mac optimization tips to make sure that everything is running smoothly.

denondj mcx8000 main

 

Contents

 

 

USB Drive, File and Database Management

If you're experiencing trouble with loading files from a USB drive, loading a connected USB drive, latency with waveforms, or other similar problems with Engine and a standalone MCX8000, it may be a good idea to take a look at your USB drive, files and database structure:

  • Formatting USB Drive: Make sure you're not using unsuitable media like an old USB 1.0 drive. If data has been deleted from a hard drive, this does not always mean the space on the drive is clear. Often times, the drive will simply mark the space as open and content will not be removed until it is overwritten with new data, even though the content no longer appears on the drive. 

    Over time, this can lead to the file system developing performance issues and reacting slowly. To keep drive performance at a maximum, a good USB 2.0 drive should be reformatted periodically to FAT32 to ensure that all cleared and deleted data has been wiped from the drive entirely.
     
  • File Formats: Please make sure the tracks you are loading into the USB drive meets the requirements and are analyzed correctly in the Engine software.
     
    • WAV: 44.1kHz, 16bit/24bit Stereo
    • AIFF: 44.1kHz, 16bit/24bit Stereo
    • MP3: CBR/VBR 44.1kHz, Stereo 32kbps – 320 kbps
    • AAC: CBR/VBR 44.1kHz, Stereo 64kbps – 320 kbps
       
  • Engine Database: Make sure you have prepared your library using the latest version of Engine from www.denondj.com/engine, and that you've indexed all of your files. Our team created a great video and article that will walk you through preparing and accessing your music in Engine, import your Serato crates and analyze them in the Engine software and import your Serato crate onto a thumb drive for Engine use.
     

 


MCX8000 Settings and Utility

The MCX8000 has various settings to help enhance the performance of the unit and help customize the response to the user, but it's easy to get carried away or assign settings incorrectly. Refreshing these or adjusting the settings appropriately can help improve the response:

MIDI Trans Interval: In the rare instance that your connected computer cannot correctly receive real-time MIDI messages from MCX8000 (while using Serato DJ), this setting determines a specific interval at which MCX8000 will send its MIDI messages. The available range is 3–10msec. We recommend leaving this at the default setting of 4ms, but adjusting it up or down may help with response time when using Serato:

  1. Press and hold the VIEW button until you're in the UTILITY menu.
  2. Scroll down until you see MIDI Trans Interval.
  3. Push in the SELECT/LOAD knob and change the value.

    Turning the setting down can help improve the responsiveness of Serato if the system is capable of handling the extra speed, but this would require faster processing. Turning this setting up could help relieve system performance and make for a more stable user experience. 

 

Touch Sensitivity Left/Right: If the platters are not responding at all or are responding before you even touch them, you may want to adjust the sensitivity settings in the Utilities menu

  1. Press and hold the VIEW button until you're in the UTILITY menu.
  2. Scroll down until you see Touch Sensitivity Left/Right.
  3. Push in the SELECT/LOAD knob and change the value.

    Turning this setting up will the make the platters more responsive, and turning them down will make the platters less responsive

 

Screen Brightness: Turning the screen brightness down can help the MCX8000 perform more efficiently, similar to how adjusting the screen brightness on a laptop or phone can help reserve battery power. Even turning down screen brightness by 10% can have a meaningful impact on performance. 

  1. Press and hold the VIEW button until you're in the UTILITY menu.
  2. Use the Select/Load knob to select Screen Brightness. Press down on the knob to select.
  3. Use the Select/Load knob to adjust the screen brightness. 

    We recommend setting this somewhere below 100% if you plan on pushing the MCX8000 to its full extent.

 

Factory Reset: A factory reset may help if you are experiencing trouble with distortion, latency, waveforms, latency or platter sensitivity, especially if some of the global and utility settings have been adjusted. A factory reset will reset all settings to default and can clarify if an issue is being caused by a setting on the MCX8000. To reset the unit:

  1. Press and hold the VIEW button until you're in the UTILITY menu.
  2. Scroll down until you see MAINTENANCE SETTINGS.
  3. Under FACTORY DEFAULT, push in the SELECT/LOAD knob.
  4. Turn the SELECT/LOAD knob until you see OK displayed.
  5. Push in the SELECT/LOAD knob to revert your settings back to Factory Default.
  6. Push in the VIEW button one time to exit these settings.

 

Firmware Update: If the device firmware is below MCU 2064, please update the firmware to the latest version.  To check the firmware version:

  1. Press and hold the VIEW button until you're in the UTILITY menu.
  2. Scroll down until you see MCU Version.
  3. In the MCU column, you will see the firmware version.

    For the latest firmware version, please refer to the link provided below.

    www.denondj.com/mcx8000 

 


Serato Optimization and Audio Buffer Size

Serato has a lot of extra effects, features, and settings that could result in audio latency and other common symptoms if not set properly. Here are a few that are worth noting:

Smart Sync: Time and pitch stretching audio in real-time can be processor intensive. If you have Smart Sync enabled, it may be utilizing more system resources than your computer can handle. Turning this off or switching to Simple Sync may help. To turn this feature off, hold down SHIFT and press SYNC twice, this will stop the SYNC.

For more information regarding this feature, please refer to their Sync in Serato DJ article and  Serato DJ Smart Sync Tutorial Video for more info on using Sync.

 

USB Buffer Size (Latency): Try lowering the USB Buffer Size (Latency) in Serato on your computer. This will result in a tighter hardware-software response. We always recommend having the USB buffer size set to 5ms to begin with. To perform this.

  1. Click SETUP when Serato is opened
  2. Go to the AUDIO tab
  3. Select your preferred buffer size and click APPLY.

    Please be aware that turning your buffer size down will require faster processing and more system resources. If set too low, over time (such as 5 minutes to an hour) this may result in audio distortion and other odd behavior from the software. If you are experiencing audio latency at 5ms, you may want to see our Computer Optimization Tips below before turning this setting any lower. Make sure to fully test your setup and settings for a few hours at a time to ensure this will be appropriate for a performance. 

 

 

Computer Optimization Tips

To prepare your computer for performance it's always best to start by turning off additional graphical effects, screen savers, Bluetooth, WIFI, etc. but here are a few more tips that may help:

Windows

System Sleep: It is recommended to adjust the power options so that your computer does not enter sleep mode, put the hard disks to sleep, or suspend USB devices. These features can cause playback and record issues as well as issues with your MCX8000. Change Screen and Sleep settings in Current Power Plan in your Windows Settings:

  1. Open Settings, and click on the System icon. 
  2. Click on Power & Sleep on the left side, and set the Screen and Sleep settings to Never on battery and while plugged in.
  3. When finished, you can close Settings if you like.

Disk Cleanup: Running Disk Cleanup every so often will help find and remove unnecessary files on your hard disk to free up disk space and help your computer run faster. To delete temporary files:

  1. Search for Disk Cleanup from the Taskbar and select it from the list of results.
  2. Under Files To Delete, select the file types to get rid of. To get a description of the file type, select it.
  3. Select OK.

Cleanup System Files: If you need to free up more space, you can also delete system files.

  1. In Disk Cleanup, select Clean Up System Files.
  2. Select the file types to get rid of. To get a description of the file type, select it.
  3. Select OK.

 

Mac

Energy Saver Options: This optimization will free up system resources as well as prevent the computer from going to sleep or standby mode which can cause audio dropouts with DAW software and hardware.

  1. Open System Preferences.
  2. Click Energy Saver.
  3. Do one of the following (available option depends on your computer model)
    1. If present, set the Computer sleep slider to Never. Otherwise, check the box that says "prevent computer from sleeping automatically when the display is off".
    2. Un-check the box for put hard disks to sleep when possible.
       

Create a New MIDI Configuration: Creating a new Midi Configuration on your Mac can help if you're getting limited or no MIDI response from your MCX8000 and can help improve response time. Check out the guide below for a complete walkthrough:

 

 

Additional Optimization Tips And Articles

The list of options to clean up and maximize system performance can be extensive, and while we've gathered a lot of the important steps here in this article, there are a lot more resources out there that can help. Below you will find more articles and videos from Denon DJ and Serato focused on improving your experience with Serato DJ, Engine and the MCX8000:

MCX8000

Serato/Computer

 

 

Technical Support

Whether you are a customer or dealer, if you already own a Denon DJ product, or if you just have pre-sales questions, the Denon DJ technical support team is available to help! Visit the link below to connect with any of the following support options: online community support, phone support, email support.