Rane has just announced its new Twelve Serato DJ battle controller at DJ Expo 2017. The Twelve is set up in “battle-style” (meaning it is turned “90 degrees” with the pitch control at the back), has a full-size 12″ motorised platter, and one unit is capable of controlling four decks. It has a touchstrip for quick-searching through tracks and eight hot cue controls onboard. The Twelve has been launched alongside the Seventy-Two battle mixer as part of Rane’s “Battle Ready” Serato DJ-compatible system.
Let’s take a closer look…
Rane Twelve Features
Full-size 12” motorised platter
The Rane Twelve comes with a full-size 12″ motorised platter which can be played at 33⅓ and 45RPM. The platter has been designed for “extreme precision” and has an adjustable high torque motor. There is also the option to customise the platter with slipmats of your choice. It has a real slipmat, and real vinyl.
Touchstrip for search and hot cue access
In the spot where on a traditional turntable you would find the tonearm, the Twelve has a multi-function touchstrip. This allows you to quickly search through tracks and also to set or trigger up to eight hot cues.
Four deck control buttons
The Twelve has the capability of controlling four individual track decks in Serato DJ. During live performance, you can quickly switch between decks using the buttons placed on the face of the controller.
Precision pitch slider with selectable range
The controller has a dual resolution dented pitch slider for added precision, alongside selection buttons for 8, 16 and 50%± pitch range. This makes mixing tracks with vastly different BPM ranges much easier and is also useful for tone play.
On / off switch
The power switch is a familiar affair. Rane has included a traditional rotary Motor Off switch on the top panel which allows for wind down effects. The switch is sunken, reducing the chance of accidentally turning the controller off during vigorous routines.
There are no controls on the front of the Twelve but at the back is a button for adjusting the torque, the power cable input and USB cable slot. Via USB, the Twelve works as a Midi interface that can be connected to either the Rane Seventy-Two battle mixer or your computer to use as an official Serato accessory.
Rane says the Twelve is built to last with a full-metal outer case, and it’s certainly likely that this will be the case assuming the build quality os on a par with previous Rane gear. More interesting is the battle-style turntable layout: Some might have preferred the controller to come with a traditional layout or at least the choice, but the way that the rear connections are positioned means that if you want everything to fit together neat and tidily, you are forced to use the battle layout.
Rane’s parent company, inMusic, has form with this kind of device (the Numark V7 standalone deck from a few years back), so it obviously believes this is the way forward, at least for scratch DJs. And it may well be: You get the true feel of a turntable without the risk of the tonearm skipping during a routine. No more nightmares about decks set up on wooden floors or gusts of wind at outdoor events. You can also forget worrying about wow and flutter, replacing needles, record wear and issues caused by dust. Extra space is also freed up for the touchstrip and deck selection buttons.
However, on the other hand, the Twelve can’t be used as a standalone deck (it doesn’t have a built-in sound card) and it can’t be used to play traditional vinyl records. With the price of the controller in mind, it could be hard to persuade people to move away from their current traditional or DVS set-up. By the same token, those looking to get into turntablism might decide to skip the Twelve for a set of traditional turntables and DVS control.
Nonetheless, this is an exciting development for Rane and turntablists alike. We look forward to getting hold of the units and putting them through their paces as soon as we can.
Check out the photo gallery below.
• The Rane Twelve will be available for US$799 from 4th quarter 2017. Check the Rane website for more details.
What are your thoughts on this new DJ controller? Would you swap your traditional turntables for a pair? What do you make of the mainstream resurgence of scratch DJing and turntablism as of late? Let us know in the comments below…