It looks like Roland is making a wholehearted effort to turn itself into a player in the DJ market with the launch of the DJ-808, a collaboration with Serato.
It appears that the two companies have thrown everything - including the kitchen sink - at this new controller/instrument, as its 4-channel mixing capabilities are only a small part of the story. You also get TR drum sounds and sequencing, vocal processing, dual-deck control, syncing with Roland's AIRA products and tight integration with Serato's DJ software.
The built-in drum machine features bass drum, snare, hi-hat and clap sounds from Roland's TR-808, 909, 707 and 606 drum machines, all generated using Roland's Analog Circuit Behaviour technology. Beats can be made using the 16-step TR-S sequencer, which can also be used to sequence the Serato sampler.
There are built-in sounds, then, but Roland and Serato are also suggesting that the DJ-808 be used at the centre of a larger setup. External instruments can be connected via MIDI or the AIRA Link USB ports, and there's also a "high quality" mic input. To complement this, you get the VT Voice Transformer, which gives you Pitch, Formant, Ducking, Reverb and Serato key matching features.
Other features include velocity-sensitive RGB colour pads, four channel FX, control over Serato DJ FX and platters that promise to perform at super low latency.
Find out more below and on the Serato website. A price and release date are still to be confirmed.
Roland/Serato DJ-808 features
- Roland TR-S drum machine: Built-in Roland TR-S drum machine with 606, 707, 808, 909 kicks, snares, claps and hi-hats.
- TR-S sequencer: 16 step sequencer with 16 patterns for sequencing the TR-S drum machine and Serato sampler.
- VT voice transformer: Built-in VT Voice Transformer with Pitch, Formant, Ducking, Reverb and Serato key matching.
- RGB color pads: Velocity sensitive RGB colour pads for Hot Cues, Loop Rolls, Sampler, Pitch Play, TR-S control and more.
- Channel FX: 4 high quality integrated Channel FX including Dub Echo, Jet, Noise and Filter.
- 4-channel digital mixer: Standalone professional 4-channel digital mixer with selectable inputs for 4x PC, 2x Phono/Line and 2x USB/Line.
- External Instruments: Connect external instruments via MIDI or AIRA Link USB and jam along with Serato DJ.
- High Quality Audio: 24bit/96kHz audio fidelity.
- Serato DJ FX: Dedicated control of Serato DJ FX powered by iZotope for each channel, TR-S drum sequencer and external inputs.
- Ultra-high performance platters: Super low latency platters that come with integrated displays and playback status.
- Serato Pitch 'n Time DJ Included: Serato Pitch 'n Time DJ included for Key Sync, Key Shift, Pitch Play mode and Auto Pitch on the VT.
- Serato DVS Upgrade Ready: Connect turntables or CDJs and control Serato DJ with Serato Control Tone with the purchase of a Serato DVS license.