Roland DJ-808 running on Serato
A few weeks back, maybe a couple of months ago, Roland and Serato made an announcement saying that they were on a collaboration that would totally welcome people into a “a new era of DJ-ing”. They said that they woould be unveiling their collaborative product on the 9th of September (geddit? 909?) and they were good to their word. The Roland DJ-808 was released yesterday and when I saw it, my jaw just dropped.
The DJ-808 is the first state-of-the-art DJ controller to include built-in drum sequencing with Roland’s iconic TR drum sound. Also on board is a 4-channel mixer, vocal processing, ultra high-performance platters with dual-deck control, 2 AIRA link USB ports and the deepest Serato DJ integration available, anywhere.
That is what they said in their website here. Can you imagine a drum-machine in a controller? Well, the very fact that they kept saying the date was 0909, and that their most famous drum-machine was the TR-808, it kinda made me guess that there would be a drum machine, of sorts, on their new product. But bloody hell. I did not know that it also came with a 16-step sequencer!! Can you imagine the new sounds that you can conjure with this controller?
Not only does the DJ-808 have a high quality mic input with an XLR combo jack, it also has a dedicated vocal processor, the VT, that can dramatically transform your voice. Knobs for EQ, Pitch, Reverb and Formant make vocal effects easy, and the ducking capability will automatically adjust the volume when speaking or singing into the mic. The VT’s Auto Pitch function will use Pitch ‘n Time DJ on the incoming signal to match your vocal key to your Serato DJ track.
Wow. Now that is something interesting. Imagine a Vocoder, of sorts, built into this thing. I mean come one…we never even saw vocoders in general mixers of the past. You always had to buy a separate unit and hook it up. But here it is. This baby has one built-in!
There are so many things I like about this controller and frankly, I am thrilled if it reaches our shores. Apparently it costs about US$1400. That be a bit steep but given the goodies built into this controller, you have to understand the premium price being asked for it. Plus it is made by Roland, and like their products, I am sure it is going to last, and sound good too