Wrapping up Serato’s most significant announcement, let’s have a look at Rane’s offering for the all new Serato DJ. The Rane Sixty Four is to all intents and purposes a Rane Sixty Eight but reworked to integrate fully with Serato DJ. And although it may seem to be the same at first glance, there are notable differences, which we’ll get to later.
Before that, have a butcher’s* at the Rane words:
Rane Sixty-Four mixer powered by Serato DJ’s DVS
Mukilteo, WA, USA & Auckland, New Zealand
Rane and Serato continue their ten-year partnership with Rane’s professionally-crafted, art-expanding instruments integrated with Serato’s world-famous digital vinyl emulation software.
Rane is pleased to introduce the Rane Sixty-Four mixer for Serato DJ software. This bundled combination is uniquely qualified to meet the mixing needs of a wide variety of DJ genre. It is equally accommodating whether you’re mixing analog, DVS, digital or a combination of these. The Sixty-Four is the ultimate plug-and-play mixer, allowing you to take remixing and music production to a new level.
- Tight integration with Serato DJ software provides intuitive control of Serato DJ features like Libraries, Sync, Slip, Jump-to-loop and Samples, all without taking your eyes off the mixer or packing extra controllers.
- Quickly and easily add and remove audio channels from the FlexFx loop to gain access to six built-in effects, post-fader Serato DJ iZotope effects and an external effects processor, in any combination!
- With two computers connected, simply switch a mixer source selector to instantly assign audio and MIDI to the desired USB port. Each port features a 22-channel soundcard, providing the resource you need for music production, remixing and routing Serato DJ iZotope effects to your post-fader mix.
Keep up with what this all means to the Art of DJing at Rane’s DJ Blog –dj.rane.com/blog
Ships late October, 2013.
See us at stand B47 at BPM, September 14, 15, & 16, 2013, in Birmingham UK
* It has been commented that non-native English speakers love my writing because I throw some curveballs and make them reach for the dictionary and thesaurus. For those people, this particular moment is called Cockney rhyming slang. Check this for a translation. And consider this your English lesson for today.
Now, this PR doesn’t really say a lot right now other than “hey we’ve got a new mixer”. So I fired off an email to our friends at Rane asking what the specific differences are. Back came this list:
- From a feature standpoint, the Sixty-Four loses the SPDIF inputs that the Sixty-Eight has.
- Digital I/O for session in and out.
- Indicators on each of the control strips to show which decks are assigned to that strip.
- The USB assignment is now handled on the mixer instead of in software so that it is much more intuitive for hand-off/DJ Change over (like the Sixty-Two)
- Now able to send separate midi messages to each USB port
- Uses ASIO/Core Audio drivers which are multi-client (can have multiple midi devices connected). Also supports midi stop/start messages and midi beat clock. Midi follows USB assignment.
- Improved Hardware effects
So it’s a matter of a few lessons being learned from the Sixty Eight, as well as making the Sixty Four more flexible and focussed on Serato DJ rather than Scratch Live. And given that the Sixty Eight is Scratch Live based, I would imagine that the Sixty Four is really seen as a replacement for the Sixty Eight, which will get updated in due course for Serato DJ of course, but it’s sold as a Scratch Live mixer, and being discontinued will almost certainly signal the end of the Sixty Eight.
The Obvious Pioneer DJM-900SRT Comparison
Being announced at the same time as the Rane Sixty Four, the Pioneer DJM-900SRT has been launched as a Serato DJ mixer. But for me, there is one significant difference — the Rane Sixty Four is a fully integrated Serato DJ controller and mixer, whereas the DJM-900SRT is simply a 4 channel mixer capable of running Serato DJ without an audio interface. It’s an important differentiation, and one that will guide a lot of people’s buying decision beyond the obvious features. This is almost certainly the key driver behind the introduction of the Pioneer DDJ-SP1.
Putting a Sixty Four into club over a Pioneer mixer is always going to be a tough proposition though. Pioneer’s dominance is such that anything but a DJM in a booth is likely to be greeted with trepidation. That said, the Rane Sixty Four does have one very compelling feature that is key in the digital age — dual USB ports. With the 900SRT, there will still be a gap of sorts that has to be filled with regular music while one DJ unplugs and the other plugs in. With the Sixty Four however, it’s a considerably simpler affair. It really depends on if swapping over really is considered to be a royal pain without dual USB ports.
From a price perspective, the DJM-900SRT comes in at $2299/£1799 whereas the Rane Sixty Four hits the $2199/£2199 level. The disparity in pricing is quite understandable — Rane mixers are made in the USA, so the tag on their home turf is going to be more competitive than product imported into the US. In Europe however, they do have to deal with shipping and regional import duties, which is reflected in the 1:1 dollar/pound pricing. So regionally, Rane will have the upper hand price-wise on Pioneer, but outside of the states, it’s a very different picture.
Aside from obvious feature considerations, there are other factors that may well come into play. While Pioneer is a trusted, respected, and industry standard brand, Rane is a highly aspirational product that is eternally entwined in the DNA of Serato as a business. Without the decade-long partnership, there would be no Serato DJ for all manufacturers to tap into, which means that Rane have a unique in-depth knowledge of Serato, their customers, and their needs. I’d say many of those customers need a Rane controller, but I digress.
For this reason, Rane is likely to garner a lot of loyalty. I also feel that region will play a part in this too, with the US probably seeing the Sixty Four doing proportionally better in the states because of the traditionally strong market share of Scratch Live. And factor in the previously mentioned price points, Rane are likely to do better in their back yard than anywhere else.
The Rane Sixty Four can rightly be pitched as the ultimate Serato DJ mixer right now (not too hard in a market of 2). It’s way more geared towards Serato DJ, and offers some killer features including dual USB, which some people consider essential. But is that enough? Is Pioneer’s grip on the 4 channel market so tight that Rane will struggle to make inroads? Time will tell, and boy are these bloody interesting times we’ve just woken up to.