Synth Site: Roland: DJ-70mkII: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.4 out of 5
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crustypaul a professional user from UK writes:
One of the best samplers ever made, the sound quality pisses all over my E-mu E-Synth BUT WHY ONLY TWO OUTPUTS! Roland you cretins, you would have had another legend on your hands if you'd just given it 8 outputs, even another two would have been nice.

Sampling is the easiest i've ever come across, editing is quick and simple (if you happen to speak Roland, otherwise yer fucked!), filters are alright but have that wierd 'digital Roland' quality about them. This is obviously designed as a machine for live use as its got RPS, you can sync a loop to a BPM from an external clock and it will automatically pitch up when you raise the BPM and, (heres the good bit) you get two separate memory banks so you can load a new tune into bank B while playing a tune from bank A. Oh Yes!

The scratch wheel is good fun but very difficult to master. Is it just my machine or does the sample start position of the sample start to slip around the wheel to a different position if you try to scratch a certain part too fast?

Loading from floppy takes forever so get some SCSI storage. Apparently you need OS 1.06 or higher to use a mass storage device but mine only has OS v1.00 and will format and use a 1GB Jaz disk at around 650MB. Seems odd but i'm not going to complain.

Roland support is a joke. Don't even bother, they won't even answer questions via e-mail.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Apr-14-2004 at 12:39
Analog Kid a professional user from usa writes:
The DJ-70mkII represents the last true incarnation of the famous S- sampler line. It is also the only model to be placed in a viable performance instrument. Although 32mb of ram seems unusable to our spoiled 21st century notions, just remember that even today 32mb's is the size of most XV's internal rom... it may be 64mb when converted linearally but it's still a 32mb rom. The keyboard is a great looking unit, if small form factors apeal to you. Some might be taken aback by the scratch wheel... Too bad they didnt just add a few rows of sliders and knobs instead. However the 8 pads are very useful, and can be combined with RPS.

Unfortunately there is no viable way to load akai or any other format. Let's hope the guys at CDXtact and Chicken Systems get their shit together and give us a solution for S-7xx compatibles. i had a few problems loading Roland samples too with errant loop points. I have no idea what's up with that, and some would find having to edit sounds off a sample cd unaceptable.

Support is pretty pathetic for Roland samplers these days, so you'll pretty much be on your own if you pick it up. Roland does have a half way decent pdf online, but the best manual is to somehow track down the original DJ-70... the included manual for the mkII is a joke... more like appendices.

Still, working with a dedicated sampler is almost always better than a rompler and i love the way it's so easy to push the keys to send high velocity values. This little synth has a lot of personality. The filter may not be the swiss army kind people favor today, but it certainly has a richer sound than some samplers I can think of.

Well, The DJ-70mkII will never replace Kontakt, but then again, Kontakt will never replace the Dj-70mkII... It's just too cute ;)

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Apr-02-2003 at 14:35
moxy-man a hobbyist user from USA writes:
To answer all the posts from other users. The DJ-70 and DJ-70 MKII use all the sound library patches from the S-700 series.

Also, if you can get a simple sound FX Cd, just plug it into the sample jack and sample a sound. It will be spread across the keyboard and you're good to go.

Also, if you have Kazaa or WINMX or something of the like, often times people offer free samples for your keyboard. Burn it as an audio Cd and Sample the sounds via the 1/4 in jack in the back of the machine.

As I understand it, MP3.com offers professional studio samples for free.

Lastly, borrow someone elses keyboard or synth and plug it into the 1/4 in jack and sample their sounds. Presto, you've got a Kurzweil or any other machine sound coming out of your DJ-70 MKII.

Hope this helps!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Feb-13-2003 at 09:13
moxy-man a hobbyist user from USA writes:
I just got my DJ-70 MKII last night. It allows you to take the 2 mb of standard memory all the way up to 32 megs. I did it in just a couple of minutes with a phillips screwdriver.

Read the manual for about 5 minutes and was able to figure out all the basic functions and how to make a basic sample and assign it to certain keys or the user pads.

The interface is quite easy to figure out without a manual (actually I almost suggest chucking the manual).

I have yet to figure out how to dump info to my zip drive, but I'm sure it's a piece of cake.

Cool Features: Sampling is retarded easy! Plug in any external 1/4 inch jack and sample directly to the machine by pressing a button or having a threshold set in the machine so that it automatically records when sound comes in. Each sample is recorded and then spread across the 36 key keyboard and when a key is played the sound you recorded is played at that key's particular note. ( You could play a burp song if you recorded a burp) Also, though people complain that the keyboard is too small, you can simple push the octave up/down key to have your sound moved up another set of keys or down. You really do have access to an entire keyboard! Samples can be recorded up to 6 minutes in length (though I haven't actually done this yet) when you upgrade the memory to 32 mb with standard SIMMs. Unlike lots of keyboards/samplers/synths, when you remove the back pannel to get to the guts of the machine, everything is layed out simple without millions of cords and computer bits dangling everywhere (unlike my old four track recorder that looks like a bowl of spaghetti when opened up). Like I said, I upgraded the memory in probably 5-10 minutes of fiddling about. You can save and import the patchs you make using a 100mb zip drive. I understand that people have not been able to get a Zip 250 to work with the Dj-70 MKII but I haven't tried my Zip 250 yet.

The scratch wheel is assigned a sound and of course you can scratch that sound with the wheel. Pretty basic and a neat toy.

The pitch bender stick does what it's supposed to do.

The only downside is the manual. The manual is horrible, terrible, and poorly written. Best try to figure out the machine by fiddling about or talking to someone who has it mastered.

All in all I'm extrememly pleased with my purchase and recommend this machine over any of the samplers that I have used before. Very instrument oriented instead of being just a rectangular recording device.

Get one if you can, it's a hell of a machine!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Feb-13-2003 at 09:06
Kyle a hobbyist user from Chicago writes:
Awesome sampler. Have this thing running with an ES-1 and your set for any sampling situation. Better than the SP-808/Ex in my opinion (keys are a HUGE plus). And a big screen. This one will always be a classic sampler

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Aug-13-2001 at 10:31
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