Roland has introduced its first DJ controller, the DJ-808, co-developed with DJ software innovator Serato. They tell us that it features a standalone professional 4-channel mixer, built-in drum sequencing, vocal processing, external instrument connectivity, and the deepest Serato DJ integration available, bringing together the best of software and hardware in a single, roadworthy instrument for production and live performance. Here's more details in Roland's own words...
Beyond typical DJ controllers, the DJ-808 is also an instrument, offering a built-in, customizable Roland TR-S drum machine featuring high-quality, iconic 606, 707, 808 and 909 drum sounds. The 16-step TR-S sequencer offers trigger control over the Serato Sampler within Serato DJ. Also onboard are velocity-sensitive RGB color pads that can be used for HOT CUE, ROLL, TR PAD MODES, SAMPLER and more, and dedicated FX control knobs for unlimited creative options.
The DJ-808's dedicated vocal processor – the VT Voice Transformer – can drastically transform any voice for dramatic effects, as well as pitch the performer's voice to match the key of Serato DJ tracks, via the Auto Pitch function.
In addition to its microphone and DVS-ready turntable inputs, the DJ-808 raises the bar further with two AIRA Link USB ports, enabling DJs to connect compatible Roland synths and electronic gadgets, and to produce a live remix, trigger keyboard arpeggios or play live bass lines, all with a single USB cable. Users can now easily inject new musical elements into their performance or production that will easily sync to their Serato DJ tracks.
The familiar workflow is complemented by smooth, intuitive knobs and faders, adjustable curves, a removable crossfader, and touch-sensitive RGB buttons for HOT CUE, ROLL, SAMPLER, SLICER, PITCH PLAY and TR drum machine triggering. The DJ-808 also offers deep Serato DJ control via built-in DVS support (with the purchase of a Serato DVS license), dedicated loop control buttons, and controls for Serato Flip, HOT CUE, FX and Key Sync.
DJs can cut, scratch and cue with two high-performance platters that offer the lowest latency of any DJ controller. Dual deck mode enables simultaneous control of two decks.
Additional features include:
Serato CEO Young Ly said, "Serato's collaboration with Roland opens the door to an exciting new wave of DJ hardware that brings production, live performance and DJing even closer. The DJ-808 combines Serato DJ with the iconic Roland TR-808, and is the first controller from the new partnership. We're the leaders in DJ software, and partnering with Roland, a company with such a rich heritage and legacy in instruments and music production, is very exciting. We're bringing our collective experiences and knowledge together to create the future."
Roland CEO Jun-ichi Miki said, "Roland is proud to bring its rich history of musical instruments to the field of digital DJing. Serato, a world leader in DJ software, is the perfect partner to share this vision for the future of DJ performance. The fusion of Serato's core audio technology, such as Pitch 'n Time and the classic sounds of Roland's legendary drum machines, have created the first and only instrument for the producer DJ. This is an exciting first step for Roland into a new world – a world that will inspire the next generation of performers."
Pricing and Availability:
$1499 (street price)
Seamless audio and MIDI switchover between computers
Using Chains and automation to switch keyboard setups