Roland DJ 808 is the brand's first ever DJ controller. A model for Serato DJ, the 808 enjoys a four channel DJ controller layout along with a drum machine, vocal processor and a step sequencer. Indeed, it is fair to say that the 808 is more than a controller, it is a musical instrument in its own right.
For a quick overview of the 808’s stellar features, you will find a Roland TR-S drum machine that showcases a selection of the world’s most iconic drum sounds which can even control Serato DJ’s Serato Sampler. Thanks to the VT voice transformer, you can pitch your voice to mirror the key of your Serato DJ tracks.
What’s more, two AIRA link ports allow you to connect synths and other compatible hardware to the controller via a simple USB cable to produce a live remix. As you would expect, the model’s sound quality is sublime while its construction is sturdy and reliable. Let’s take a closer look.
Fantastic Drum Sounds and Sequencing
Roland TR drum machines have long been an iconic part of the dance world. The 808 pays homage to this rich heritage by incorporating a built-in TR drum machine with a host of iconic sounds.
This machine is combined with a 16-step sequencer that is perfectly aligned with Serato DJ. As a result, you can easily create and customise your beats off the cuff.
Let’s take a closer look at the integrated TR drum machine. It is defined by the sounds it lovingly reproduces from the earlier TR-808, 909, 707 and 606 drum machines.
You can take advantage of the creative potential of the Bass Drum, Snare Drum, Clap and Hi-Hats, that often the rhythmic heart of dance music. This means that you also enjoy the sizzle of these classic sounds thanks to the model’s use of Roland’s celebrated Analog Circuit Behaviour which recreates the circuitry of drum machines from yesteryear.
Alongside the drum machine in-built sounds, the TR-S sequencer also triggers the all-new eight-slot Serato Sampler as offered by Serato DJ. This feature allows you to mix and match drum sounds to your preference and build drum parts as your imagination dictates.
Software and Hardware
The marriage between Roland hardware and Serato DJ software in one single instrument is, quite simply, a match made in heaven. This combination means you can enjoy the high-calibre engineering and iconic sounds of Roland along with the sheer power of Serato software.
This level of quality and expertise means that a whole new array of creative possibilities is now open for your exploration.
High-Quality Voice Transformer
The 808 offers a mic input with an XLR combo jack, alongside a brilliant vocal processor, the VT Voice Transformer, that works to significantly alter your voice. Significant voice effects are easy thanks to the dedicated knobs for Pitch, EQ and Formant.
Added to this, the capability for ducking will intuitively adjust the volume when singing or speaking into the mic. These features allow you to make full creative use of your voice to further enhance the quality of your creations.
Reliable and Dependable
The DJ-808 is no exception to Roland’s illustrious reputation for creating robust instruments that will reliably withstand the rigours of DJ life.
Its construction and layout ensure an intuitively creative experience thanks to the silky smooth faders and knobs alongside the adjustable curves, removable crossfader touch-sensitive buttons for an array of features such as hot cues and slicers.
As first DJ controllers go, Roland has well and truly excelled themselves. The 808 is beautifully crafted and impressively well-integrated. The inclusion of a drum machine with Roland’s array of iconic sounds takes this DJ controller out of the realm of the ordinary.