Roland today announced the DJ-707M, a powerful, compact dual-USB Serato DJ controller that Roland says is aimed at “professional DJs performing at large and small-scale parties, clubs, and events” – the “M” in its name standing for “mobile”.
Deliberately portable and lightweight, the controller nonetheless is packed with features that will make the life of the wedding, corporate or event DJ easier, any of which are not obvious at first glance.
It is a standalone mixer as well as a Serato controller, with seven inputs. It has master, booth and zone outputs, the latter assignable to a different music source to the main output.
The dual microphone inputs in particular show the DJ-707M’s mobile DJ leanings, with independent three-band EQ per mic, programmable ducking, and the ability to route the microphone outputs differently across main, booth and zone.
A particularly powerful and unique feature is “scenes”, which allows the DJ to save up to ten different sets (or “scenes”) of controller settings to suit different venues or use cases. Mixer settings (including overall EQ and compression per output), mic anti-feedback and effects settings, EQ settings and mono/stereo output and dozens more settings can be pre-programmed for easy recall upon arrival at a venue, saving set-up time.
This being a Roland device, there is also a sequencer with pre-set drum patterns for instant re-drums, an on-board sample player for DJ drops, and Midi Out for syncing Serato DJ with external equipment.
Dual USBs mean that a redundant laptop can be permanently attached as a backup, or an iOS device can similarly be plugged in for music playback using the DJ-707M’s 24-bit/48kHz audio interface.
This is a brave and well thought-out controller from Roland.
Nowadays there are few controllers of this size aimed at more serious users (the Denon DJ MC4000 and Traktor Kontrol S4 are the only models that spring to mind), the trend in recent times being towards bigger and heavier devices with more and more knobs and buttons, and bigger, brighter, more feature-packed jogwheels.
The DJ-707M on the other hand is compact, lightweight, has unashamedly small jogwheels and short-throw pitch faders, and – despite actually being heavily feature-packed – is reasonably simple to understand at first glance: The layout is more or less conventional, and there is plenty of room around the crossfader and line faders (which are all under a removable metal panel for servicing) for comfortable DJing.
The depreciation of Serato’s effects (you can control them, but via a neatly shrunk-down control area) and elevation of the microphone channels (full three-band EQ per channel, independent mic effects, completely independent mic/line aux) again point to this being a controller aimed squarely at the working DJ who can see past size, weight and flashy features and who instead wants flexibility and an easier life DJing night after night in varying circumstances.
• The unit is in stores this month, and will cost US$999.
What do you think of this at first glance? Does it seem like the kind of controller the market has been missing to you? Would you buy it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.