Headphones Problem on DDJ-1000? Here’s What to Do


Headphones Problem on DDJ-1000? Here's What to Do!
When I just bought the DDJ-1000 and got it set up with Rekordbox, everything seemed great, but I could not seem to get audio out of the headphones at all.

First, they didn’t work at all, and then I couldn’t listen to individual channels through my headphones when mixing.

Today, you could say I mastered the DDJ-1000. Through all those issues (that are not really issues), you learn a lot.

In this article I’ll go through headphones problems you could experience with DDJ-1000 and solve them for you, so you don’t have to pull your hair out as I did.

Constantly Hearing Master Through Headphones

This appears to be a common issue for DJs new to the DDJ-1000 or Rekordbox in general.

No matter what your headphone cue volume is fixed at – the master track bleeds into the headphones.

Even though:

  • Your Cue/Master knob is set on Cue
  • The Cue button for the master is off

… you still hear Master in your headphones.

This also happened to me. At first, I thought it was a driver issue. I was on my Windows PC, and when I went to my Mac, the same thing was happening.

The master always played out of my headphones, and all the cubes were off. Also, the headphone knob was turned all the way down to master to cut audio, but I heard no cues either.

The solution is to have the “booth output” set to blank in the audio settings. Now you’ll only hear the song that’s cued up, making it much more natural to mix.

The master will constantly play unless you have the master/cue all the way counterclockwise.

What if this doesn’t work?

Sometimes if you set Booth as the Master in Rekordbox settings, it can happen that you always hear Master Out on the Headphones, but Booth will not play any CUE signal.

The items in the drop-downs themselves are the USB output channels of the mixer. The items in fixed bold text are the Rekordbox software-generated source signals.

Your end goal is to send the cue signal to the booth output.

They’re sending the software-generated booth signal to the headphone cue channel in the mixer.

You want to see the words “DDJ-1000: Booth” in the drop-down for the “Headphones Out” section.

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But that option doesn’t exist, sadly – if you look at the signal flow chart for the DDJ-1000 on p31 of the guidebook, there is no dedicated USB feed for the booth output. It is intrinsically bound to the Master Output in the mixer hardware.

This is how booth monitoring has always run – it’s primarily a way of getting the master output, cleanly, in the Booth, at a volume level of your choice.

You need either a passive splitter or do it “actively” – utilize a little external mixer to take the headphone output, route it to your speakers, and connect your headphones into the external mixer headphone socket for further monitoring if you want it.

Headphone Cue Sound Coming Out of Only One Side

So you’ve just turned on your DDJ-1000 to find out that the headphone cue is only coming out of one ear on the headphones. Is it a problem with Rekordbox or the controller? Which one?

A lot of folks had this problem before.

Preliminary checks:

  • Try other headphones. Are you sure that one side of the headphones isn’t broken? (Try your headphones in another device to be positive it’s not that the headphones/their cable are not broken)
  • Make sure that your cord is plugged in all the way (it could be it’s not seated in the jack properly)
  • Make sure that the problem isn’t the connection in the jack itself

If the preliminary checks are successful, try an adapter and use the 1/4 inch TRS (larger 1/4 jack output) to see if the difficulty remains.

If you can rule out that it’s not the headphones or their cable (i.e., both ears work plugged into your phone), it might be a broken connection/wiring on the DDJ 1000 itself.

No Sound from Individual Channels

With DDJ-1000, sometimes it happens that you can’t listen to individual channels through headphones when mixing.

The track does play through both speakers and headphones, but you can’t get one tune to play through speakers and another through the headphones.

The issue usually occurs when you press the Cue button under Booth Monitor then select a channel Cue to listen to one track through your headphones while another song plays through the speakers.

Cue will usually work for the master, but not individual channels.

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Some people are having the same issue with using the Line audio input for OBS. They select ASIO, it works, but then they can’t get audio in OBS.

And if they switch to “Pioneer Line,” OBS gets the audio, but the cue doesn’t work.

These are the steps you need to follow to solve this:

  • Download VB Cable for free online
  • Set settings to DDJ Asio and then choose master cable input (vb-audio virtual cable) below “Master Output – DDJ Asio:”
  • Enter OBS and choose audio input capture
  • Select CABLE Output (vb-audio virtual cable)

That should resolve all the issues with the individual channels you have.

No Sound At All Coming Out of Headphones

Preliminary checks:

  • Check EQ levels on the song you have cued up. If they’re all low, you won’t hear anything.
  • Make sure you cued up the right song
  • Check to see if you have the cue above the beat FX section on DDJ-1000. I found that to be my problem when I had an identical issue.
  • Is your gain turned to the full left? If so, turn it up because then the signal is a negative infinite volume
  • Check if the upper knob in the headphone segment isn’t turned fully to the right. Do you get a signal at all?

If you’re running a Rekordbox, you’ll want to make sure the settings are right in it.

Go to file-preferences, then select output from built-in speakers. Set Booth to the headphones. Use your DDJ-1000 as the audio device and connect your headphones to it. Play with the Cue Mix knob.

Hearing Both Master and Cue in Headphones

You want only to hear Cue, but you’re also hearing Master with it.

You must be wondering if this is a setting with Rekordbox, or did you set something up wrong on the decks?

On the left side of the controller is a knob called Cue/Master blend. Just turn that to Cue only.

It’s counterintuitive, but there’s also a Cue button under the booth monitor knob underneath the master LED.

That’s the Master Cue, even though it seems like it’s for the booth monitor. You want to press it to hear the Master at all times.

Also, make sure you’re using DDJ-1000 ASIO for sound, not DDJ-1000 Line. The cue doesn’t work on Line for some reason.

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Not Hearing the Master in Headphones at All

It can happen that you don’t hear the mast even though the mixing knob/dial is set in the middle between cue and master.

Make sure the cue button under your master channel is tuned on. Also, ensure that your headphone volume knob isn’t at zero as well.

If you’ve clicked that button on and dialed the volume knob all the way to the right, you should be hearing the master channel.

If you want to hear master on your headphones, you need to have the master cue button on first, no matter where you set the knob

Set headphones mixing level to twelve o’clock, have cue selected on Deck 2 (assuming Deck 1 is playing), and ensure that the Cue below booth monitor is also selected.

Weird Off-Beat Audio on Headphones

For a decent number of DDJ-1000 users, their headphone pace is somewhat slower than the master and the beat grid in Rekordbox.

Most young DJs wouldn’t get that, but this can bother you when you’ve been mixing for a longer time.

Sometimes you’ll mix it nicely from headphones to booth monitor in the room, but it will be off on the beat grid and off when you bring the new track in.

If you hit the sync, it will be in the beat grid, and when you fade it in, it will be off in the headphones.

If this happens to you, first make sure you’ve uninstalled and reinstalled audio drivers, Rekordbox, as well as re-updated the firmware on the DDJ-1000.

Also, make sure speakers and headphones are connected to the DDJ-1000 and not to a separate soundcard.

Then, if you still have a problem, try changing the buffer size to 1024. Anything lower, and the headphone and master will be out of sync, and you would get a strange echo effect by having the channel cue and the master cue on simultaneously.

If this doesn’t work, change up the routing in the settings panel by sending channels 3/4 to master and channels 1/2 to headphones and check if they stay out of sync in the same way or if they change.

Tray Fiddy

Tray has come to terms with the fact he will probably never be a famous DJ.... but that hasn't stopped him from mixing and researching audio equipment. Tray has over 12 years of experience DJing at home and events.

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