As the digital DJ landscape continues to expand, we are seeing more and more unique takes on DJ controllers. The Rane Twelve is a novel approach to a Serato Controller, giving you all the tools of digital DJ'ing with the look and feel of Vinyl. So who is the Rane Twelve aimed at? and what do you get when you buy one of these "turntables"?
The Build Quality
Many loyal Rane fans were a little concerned when the brand was bought by InMusic, who also own Denon and Numark to name a few. The general fear was that the new brand would not produce products of the same quality as the Rane of old. Moving manufacturing to Asia also didn't help with fears. However rest assured the Rane Twelve feels and looks like a classic Rane mixer. The Rane Twelve is built like a tank with its all metal construction. Weighing in at around 9kg, it feels like it will take a good few knocks.
In terms of dimensions, it isn't really too far off a SL1200 turntable. when you pick up a Rane Twelve, you feel like you're getting a full fledged turn table. What you have to remember is this is just a controller and nothing else. It has no audio interface and only works with a Serato enabled mixer. Do not confuse the Twelves for a DVS system.
One thing you can be confident about is the spinning platter on the Rane Twelves. InMusic have nailed the spinning platter since the Numark NS7 and this is no exception. The platter is super responsive recording 3600 ticks per rotation meaning it can pick up even the slightest of touches. The platter sits on top of a high torque motor which is adjustable. On top of the platter you get a slip mat and then an Acrylic Vinyl, all held into place with a quick release spindle adapter.
Orginially Rane released the Twelves with a black Vinyl however have since moved onto the Acrylic whiteControl Vinyl which seems to get great reviews overall. This is a matter of taste though and the benefit of the Twelves is you can use any existing vinyl if you so choose to. Just drill a couple of wholes for the spindle mount and you're good to go.
The Rane Twelve at first glance looks like a turntable however you soon notice the lack of tone arm. If you are used to a Technics turntable or even CDJ's, the layout may be slightly alien. Instead of the pitch fader on the left or right, its placed horizontally across the top right of the unit. It may be different but its no less convenient than the traditional layout. Under the pitch fader you will find the pitch range select buttons, allowing you to adjust the range parameter for your pitch fader between 8%, 16% and 50%.
On the top left you will find a multi function touch strip. You can search through a track quickly but also can be put it into hot cue mode. When in hot cue mode, you get access to 8 hot cues. Although its not as friendly as MPC style pads, its nice the Rane found a way to include hot cues on the unit.
Finally on the bottom you'll see the normal Start/Stop button but also a motor on and off knob. This neat trick with this is that it lets you do traditional wind-down effects.
The Rane Twelve gives you all the benefits of digital DJ'ing with the look and feel Vinyl. This being said, i'm not sure who Rane is targeting. Traditional Vinyl DJ's also like having the option to throw some vinyl on, even if they are slowly moving towards digital. The Twelves however do not let you link up traditional turntables as they don't have an audio interface built in.
Secondly if you move to digital because you want to carry less equipment, the Twelve doesn't necessarily solve that either. One Rane Twelve is about the same size and weight as a traditional turntable without being able to actually play any vinyl. If space isn't an issue, the Twelves feel great to play on, are super accurate and great to scratch on. The key benefit is that because there's no needle, there's no feedback, grounding issues, vibrations or skipping. So you can play away with no fear that the bass from your speakers is going to knock your needle.
You can get the Rane Twelve, along with the Seventy Two mixer, to order online or come in to our Birmingham show room to have a demo!