The new Roland DJ-808 for Serato DJ has just been announced ahead of this week’s BPM|PRO 2016 DJ show. It’s a four-channel controller that comes with an integrated 16-step drum sequencer loaded with sounds from iconic Roland drum machines: the 606, 707, 808, and 909. It lets you program drum patterns while you DJ, and can also be used to trigger the updated Serato DJ eight slot sampler. Other controls include two jogwheels with green centre LED rings, 16 performance pads, and crossfader / channel curve switches, and input selection switches. It also has phono/line inputs, and is compatible with Serato DVS.
The Roland DJ-808 also comes with the Roland VT Voice Transformer, which has a slew of effects that can change the quality and pitch of a vocal, ideal for live performers and DJ/producers who want to sing or gig with a vocalist. You can also hook up synthesisers from the Roland Aira line to the DJ-808 via the Aira USB link sockets, allowing you to make the DJ-808 the heart of your DJ/producer live set-up.
This is the first offering coming out of the new partnership between Japanese giant Roland and Serato, and it looks intriguing – fusing electronic music production / live performance gear and a DJ controller seems like a clever idea. Taking multiple pieces of hardware with you and setting them all up can take some time and eat up valuable DJ booth space, so having what you need to perform in one piece of gear is convenient.
DJ/producers and live performers would seem to benefit the most from this controller, and having the Roland VT Voice Transformer onboard will make integrating effected vocals simple. Will we start to see DJ/producer/vocalists in the near future? Only time will tell…
• Price and availability of the Roland DJ-808 are forthcoming. Check the Roland website for more details.
Does this controller entice you? Do you think the Roland and Serato partnership is a good one? Share your thoughts below.