New Rane DJ Gear Teased With Dedicated Stems Buttons

Last updated 3 August, 2023

Rane has teased a new DJ controller or possibly even a standalone system, showing dedicated Stems buttons to trigger instant acapellas and instrumentals. Is this the Rane One MkII?

The photo was posted onto Rane’s social media yesterday, and shows what looks like the bottom right-hand section of the left-hand deck part of a controller/standalone all-in-one.

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Prefer to see this in action? In this video, a recording of a live show from the Digital DJ Tips YouTube channel, I explain our theories about the new Rane DJ gear, and speculate with our community on the subject.

There are two buttons marked “acapella” and “instrumental” on a section marked “stems”. To the left of these controls are loop controls, and above them are key adjust/sync/reset controls. Directly above that are pitch bend controls.

The tight join between the part of the device containing these controls and what looks like the bottom left-hand part of the mixer section, and the paintwork overlapping the machined groove, mean we can say with certainty that this is a photo of a single item (rather than a deck butted up against a mixer).

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It is likely that Rane has moved the pitch faders to the top and positioned them horizontally, because the Pitch Bend buttons on the teaser photo are where you’d expect the pitch fader to come down to (such as on the original Rane One), and we can be sure that Rane won’t have opted for shorter pitch faders in this design.

(Of course, if this unit has 10″ platters, that might not be the case, and we simply can’t tell that from this teaser photo, although 10″ platters would make a single box unit very heavy, and seems unlikely.)

Some observers have speculated that the crossfader decal on the mixer section in the teaser photo is low down, suggesting the performance pads for this device will be on the mixer section. This would be an “industry standard” change, and it seems likely to us that this is the case.

May this device even have four channels? We don’t subscribe to this idea, as four-channel scratch mixers aren’t really a thing, so why would such a function be built into an all-in-one scratch controller/system? But hey, we have been wrong before.

A juicier question is: Is this a Serato controller, an all-in-one Engine DJ standalone (or both), or even something else entirely? Let’s explore those possibilities in more depth:

Theory 1: It is a Serato controller

Rane One MkII
This mockup, shared by hiphopvaporman via Imgur, shows on the left deck what we could be looking at in the photo. However, in our opinion, if this is indeed a Rane One MkII, we think it will have had a much bigger redesign than this.

If this is a Serato unit, we can state right away that Rane has simplified the hardware buttons’ control of Stems, distilling the feature’s four stems (drums, bass, melody and vocals) down to instrumentals and acapellas. This would make sense in a controller designed for routines, as the full feature would also be available on the performance pads anyway; and having the most popular two “stems” on dedicated buttons would make them easier to use.

The Rane One controller was a well-received device upon launch, being the first single-unit Serato controller with motorised jogwheels from the company, but the Rane One has since been joined by the Pioneer DJ DDJ-REV7, which adopted a more “standard” scratch mixer layout, as well as decks that mimic the “turntables turned to 90 degrees” set-up preferred by scratch DJs when using separate turntables and mixers. The REV7 also added displays inside its motorised jogs, a cool feature.

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In short, it has been “over to you, Rane” since the DDJ-REV7 was launched, and so what we’re looking at here could indeed be the Rane One MkII. It would certainly make sense for Rane to “answer” Pioneer DJ in this way.

Theory 2: It is an Engine DJ standalone unit

Ever since the Rane One and Pioneer DJ DDJ-REV7 were launched, there has been a constant stream of DJs saying how much they’d love an all-in-one standalone scratch DJ system with motorised platters. We hear it all the time in our Global DJ Network Community.

Rane has the tech to do that, as its parent company, inMusic, also developed the Engine DJ standalone software platform that powers all current Denon DJ hardware such as the Denon DJ Prime 4, and the Numark Mixstream Pro.

It would be a powerful statement by inMusic to launch a motorised jog all-in-one Rane standalone unit, with a standard scratch controller mixer (and deck?) layout, and an acapella/instrumental stems feature. Even if it isn’t an all-in-one Engine DJ console, and it’s just a Rane One MkII, having hardware stems separation on board would be a headline feature, because it would mean you could play records etc in “standalone mixer” mode and grab instant acapellas/instrumentals, no computer needed.

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One thing supporting this theory is that Rane teased this photo at the same time as Serato launched its software Stems feature – could it be a kind of “spoiler”? Another thing supporting this theory is that those stems controls in the photo are only for acapellas and instrumentals – maybe we’re not looking at a “stripped down” version of Serato stems, but the entirety of the world’s first standalone stems control. And yet another thing supporting the theory is that Rane chose not to mention or photograph the logo of Serato in the tease.

The Denon DJ Prime 4 is both a Serato DJ controller and an Engine DJ standalone DJ system – could this new release be similar, but with motorised platters and a scratch layout?

However, in Rane’s tease, the company did say “we’re excited by Serato Stems, too” (our italics), which would point to this NOT being a standalone device – unless Rane is being cheeky, or (and this really would rock) what we’re looking at here is both an all-in-one Engine standalone AND a Serato controller. After all, the flagship Denon device, the Prime 4, is both of those things.

Theory 3: It is a Serato standalone DJ unit

And finally, finally… what if this is the first ever Serato standalone unit, no laptop required?! I’ll just leave that one hanging there…

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UPDATE: This is another pic released after the first one featured here, that seems to point towards an all-singing, all-dancing Serato controller (that’s Stems control you’re looking at on those OLED screens) – could we be looking at a “Rane Two”?

As ever, for now this is all just speculation – and you do know all we know, except maybe one little thing: We know Rane is very excited about this release – very excited. Rest assured that here at Digital DJ Tips we’ll be keeping an eye on this and will let you know when we hear anything more…

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