Numark has announced the introduction of its new Scratch mixer, a 24-bit two-channel mixer that redefines what you can do with an affordable 2-channel scratch mixer. The Numark Scratch offers a versatile array of features with powerful simplicity unheard of in this category of affordable mixer: Six direct access software FX buttons deliver quick access […]
Roland Corporation and BPM Supreme have announced a partnership that will include Serato x Roland TR-SYNC ‘READY’ tracks within BPM Supreme’s vast music library. Labeled ‘TR-READY’ tracks, each of these MP3 files is grid-verified by BPM Supreme’s in-house team of audio editors and quality assurance experts. “Bringing TR-READY tracks to BPM Supreme is a great […]
Plugin Boutique has launched the Sample+ Jazz & Soul Bundle, an exclusive value pack that bundles the Serato Sample sampler and three sample packs from Loopmasters. Sample is the new industry-leading sampling software from Serato. Featuring their world famous Pitch ‘n’ Time algorithm, Sample allows producers and beatmakers to instantly and effortlessly create, stretch and […]
Plugin Boutique has announced a flash sale on Serato Sample, a powerful and intuitive new sampler plugin for producers that allows you to quickly find, chop, key shift and time-stretch samples. Serato Sample is a powerful and intuitive music production plug-in, designed for sampling and rearranging audio, for use with supported DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) […]
Roland has announced updates to its iconic TR-8, TR-8S, TR-08, and TR-09 drum machines, making them Serato DJ OSA-ready. This new functionality, named TR-SYNC, is now available as part of the latest Serato DJ Pro 2.1.1 update and allows DJs to effortlessly match the BPM of the TR drum machines with tracks playing on Serato […]
Plugin Boutique has launched a sale on Serato’s Pitch ‘n Time, offering a 30% discount on the Pro and LE versions of the time stretching and pitch shifting software plugin for a limited time only. Pitch ‘n Time Pro is a high quality time-stretching and pitch-shifting AudioSuite software plug-in for the Pro Tools platform. It […]
The hybrid DJ set keeps getting fresh nudges. Now, Roland and Serato have added easy, automatic sync over USB for the TR-8, TR-8S, and the Boutique Series TR-08 and TR-09 drum machines.
And… oh, actually, this is such a no-brainer, I could almost just finish the story with that. (And that’s actually kind of cool.) But let’s offer a little more detail.
How does it work? Plus in a compatible drum machine via USB, and your drum machine follows Serato’s BPM.
How is that different from existing solutions? Well, it saves you the added step of configuring MIDI clock, at the very least. We’ll be able to test this shortly to check it in action, but it also presumably irons out other performance issues that can crop up with MIDI.
Oh, plus, if you didn’t understand any word I just said – this update is totally for you. You plug it in and it works. And rankly, that’s how it ought to be.
How do you get the update? Looks like all Serato DJ Pro owners with Roland hardware will be squared away. This is officially called the “Serato x Roland TR-SYNC update” but it appears you basically get plug and play support in the latest version of Serato DJ Pro.
Why would you want to do this? Well, even short of doing a full-on hybrid set, it can be fun to layer sum drum parts or (on the TR-8S) samples and so on. You could also then go on to sync still more gear from the TR. Oh, and the Boutique TR-08 and TR-09 are advantageously tiny. Even the most cramped DJ booth could easily fit one.
Bottom line – it’s nice to see some challenge to Pioneer’s own link protocol with their CDJ. Why shouldn’t you plug in drum machines and have them groove along? That’s why they’re drum machines.
I think it’ll make perfect sense, but for some reason, Roland marketing have gone a little crazy and decided to explain this not to non-technical DJs, but to actual space aliens. And for some reason all the sync in the product photography is 120 bpm, which bothers me. So here we go:
What is a drum machine? It is … a machine … with drums in it.
What’s so special about Roland drum machines? No idea. I swear I can stop using them any time I want. I don’t really even like music. Watch, I’m about to do something more productive with my life right this second. The official Roland explanation, though:
The legendary TR-808 and 909 are the most influential drum machines of all time and have become part of the DNA of everything. They’ve literally just reprogrammed our genetic code and destroyed our minds and now all music genres and all carbon-based life on Earth have been assimilated, leading up presumably to some kind of invasion – once everyone has become a DJ.
Isn’t making your own beats complicated? No, it’s not, but that won’t stop you from becoming newly obsessed with how the beat is never right and the longer you listen to it, the more your grasp of all reality will melt away leaving you only with this loop. See DNA issue, above.
How do I include my own beats in my DJ set? This is a question that has truly no accurate answer, but if you call yourself a DJ, you’re already part of a global phenomenon started by a surprisingly small handful of people of color (very poorly attributed, as per usual) who just decided to show off and also not to have gaps between tracks and then got really deep into using phonographs incorrectly, so… uh, experiment, if you like, until you find something you like?
I’ve done it again. Long article. Also, not only is this not sponsored product, I now probably have to buy some apology rounds of drinks for whoever did write the original ad copy. Sorry.
There, instead of configuring MIDI, you now have more time to read my blathering.
Like the relaunched Technics 1200, the new Reloop decks sport digitally controlled motors. But Reloop have gone somewhere very different from Technics: platters that can be controlled at a full range of pitches, and even play scales. And the RP-8000 MK2 is a MIDI controller, too, for Serato and other software.
Oh yeah, and one other thing – Reloop as always is more affordable – a pair of RP-8000 MK2s costs the same as one SL-1200 MK7. (One deck is EUR600 / USD700 / GBP525).
And there’s a trend beyond these decks. Mechanical engineers rejoice – the age of the motor is here.
238668 Reloop RP-8000 MK2
We’re seeing digitally controlled motors for haptic feedback, as on the new Native Instruments S4 DJ controllers. And we’re seeing digital control on motors providing greater reliability, more precision, and broader ranges of speed on conventional turntables.
So digitally controlled motors were what Technics was boasting earlier this week with their SL-1200 MK7, which they say borrows from Blu-Ray drive technology (Technics is a Panasonic brand).
Reloop have gone one step further on the RP-8000 MK2. “Platter Play” rotates the turntable platter at different speeds to produce different pitches – rapidly. You can use the colored pads on the turntable, or connect an external MIDI keyboard.
That gives the pads a new life, as something integral to the turntable instead of just a set of triggers for software. (I’m checking with Reloop to find out if the performance pads require Serato to work, but either way, they do actually impact the platter rotation – it’s a physical result.)
238668 Reloop RP-8000 MK2
Serato and Reloop have built a close relationship with turntablists; this lets them build the vinyl deck into a more versatile instrument. It’s still an analog/mechanical device, but with a greater range of playing options thanks to digital tech under the hook. Call it digital-kinetic-mechanical.
Also digital: the pitch fader Reloop. (Reloop call it “high-resolution.”) Set it to +- 8% (hello Technics-style pitch), or +/- 16% for a wider range (hello, Romanian techno, -16%), or an insane +/- 50%. That’s the actual platter speed we’re talking here. (Makes sense – platters on CDs and Blu-Ray spin far, far faster.)
With quartz lock on, the same mechanism will simply play your records more accurately at a steady pitch (0%).
The pitch fader and motor mechanism are both available on the RP-7000 MK2, for more traditional turntable operation The performance pad melodic control is on the 8000, the one intended for Serato users.
I expect some people want their controller and their deck separate – playing vinyl means bringing actual vinyl records, and playing digital means using a controller and computer, or for many people, just a USB stick and CDJs.
If you want that, you can grab the RP-7000 MK2 for just 500 bucks a deck, minus the controller features.
On the RP-8000 MK2, you get a deck that adds digital features you’ve seen on controllers and CDJs directly on the deck. As on the original RP-8000, Reloop are the first to offer Serato integration. And it’s implemented as MIDI, so you can work with third-party software as well. The market is obviously DVS users.
The original RP offered Cue, Loop, Sample and Slicer modes with triggers on the left-hand side. Plus you get a digital readout above the pitch fader.
On the MK2, the numeric display gives you even more feedback: pitch, BPM, deck assignment, scales and notes, elapsed/remaining time of current track, plus firmware settings.
New playback and platter control options on the Reloop RP-8000 MK2.
The pads have new performance modes, too: Cue, Sampler, Saved Loops, Pitch Play, Loop, Loop Roll, Slicer, and two user-assignable modes (for whatever functions you want).
Reloop have also upgraded the tone arm base for greater reliability and more adjustments.
And those performance modes look great – 22 scales and 34 notes, plus up to 9 user-defined scales.
For more integration, Reloop are also offering the Reloop Elite, a DVS-focused mixer with a bunch of I/O, displays that integrate with the software, and more RGB-colored performance triggers and other shortcuts.
One of these things is not like the others: the new kit still requires a laptop to run Serato.
If I had any complaint, it’s this: when will Serato do their own standalone embedded hardware in place of the computer? I know many DJs are glad to bring a computer – and Reloop claims the controls on the deck eliminate the need for a standalone controller (plus they have that new mixer with still more Serato integration). But it seems still a bummer to have to buy and maintain a PC or Mac laptop as part of the deal. And if you’re laying out a couple grand on hardware, wouldn’t you be willing to buy an embedded solution that let you work without a computer? (Especially since Serato is an integrated environment, and would run on embedded machines. Why not stick an ARM board in there to run those displays and just read your music off USB?)
As for Reloop, they’re totally killing it with affordable turntables. If you just want some vinyl playback and basic DJing for your home or studio, in December they also unveiled the RP-2000 USB MK2. USB interface (for digitization or DVS control), direct drive control (so you can scratch on it), under 300 bucks.
Plugin Boutique has launched an exclusive sale on the Serato Sample sampler plugin, offering a 50% discount for a limited time only. Sample features time-stretching powered by Pitch ‘n Time and flawless key detection and shifting. A powerful and intuitive new sampler plugin for producers that allows you to quickly find, chop, key shift and […]
Rane DJ has announced the immediate availability of the public beta version of its new 1.3 firmware for the Seventy-Two mixer. The new firmware is being released in conjunction with Serato’s new Beta DJ Pro 2.1 and DJ Lite 1.1. Running both Beta versions delivers several new key features and improvements, including the highly sought-after […]