The Rane One Motorized Serato DJ Pro Controller Review & Guide
It’s hard to believe that after years of the close partnership between the two companies, Rane has never released a DJ controller for use with Serato. Today, all the changes with the release of the One. A flagship DJ controller that is unlike anything that has come before it. In this review and guide, we take a closer look at this groundbreaking product.
- 7.2-inch Motorized Platters with Quick Release Acrylic Disks
- Ultra-light MAG FOUR Crossfader
- Instant Access Software FX with 2 Metal FX Paddles
- Independent Multi-Mode Performance Pads Including Serato Scratch Bank
- Turntable Style Plunger Start/Stop
- Independent Mixer Mode including DVS
The Rane One is a heavy controller that feels as solid and well built as any Rane product that has come before. The 674mm x 345mm chassis sits on four turntable style feet which raises the One to sit at an impressive 120mm high. The controller’s height is necessary for cooling the internal motors and helps create other advantages. Not only does the Rane One look visually more impressive than most low profile controllers, but the gap created is perfect for slotting laptop stands under without consequence. Finally, the added height will ensure the controller doesn’t sit in any liquid should a drink be spilt inside the booth.
Rane has a long history of creating DJ products aimed at turntablists, and the One is no different. With a traditional battle mixer at its heart, the Rane One combines the best of both controllers and turntable setups into a portable dream package.
The Rane one includes many traditional controller features such as eight performance pads at the bottom each deck, dedicated loop controls (unlike the similarly priced DDJ-1000SRT) and even a cue button for restarting a mix. Add to this the more turntable style features such as a moving platter with slip mat and control disc, plunger style stop/start buttons and paddle effect triggers and the Rane One is genuinely the best of both worlds.
Rane One Build Quality
The One unsurprisingly shares a vast majority of its parts and design with the companies other flagship turntablist products such as the Seventy range of mixers and Twelve HID controllers. This means the One features aluminium effects paddles, plunger start/stop buttons and even metal source switches.
Weighing in at 10kg, the One is a heavy controller. That is to be expected with the amount of metal used in the switchgear and platters. Although the Rane One is heavier than most other DJ controllers, its weight brings a reassuring feel. In fact, the whole controller has an exceptional feeling of quality and purpose to it. From the on/off switch to the buttery smooth MagFour crossfader, the Rane One undoubtedly feels a premium product with superb build quality.
The Moving Platters
Without doubt, the most significant talking point of the Rane One is the dual 7.2″ motorised platters. Constructed with die-cast aluminum with direct drive motors, the quick release control discs offer a true vinyl feeling. DJs can customise the Rane One’s feel by changing the slip mats, replacing the control disc (this will require drilling 3x6mm holes in a new vinyl) or switching between the two torque settings. The low torque setting replicates the motor strength of a traditional Technics SL-1200, whereas the high torque setting increases the power to those of modern-day turntables.
First seen in the Numark NS7, InMusic (Rane’s parent company) has developed the moving head technology over many years. Robust, accurate and incredibly impressive, you can find the platters inside Numark’s NS7 controllers, Denon Prime M models and the superb Rane Twelves. Following the discontinuation of Numark’s NS7iii controller, the Rane One is now the only DJ controller to come with moving platters, making it truly the only ONE for those wanting the feeling of vinyl.
Performance Pad Modes
The eight RGB performance pads found under each deck are MPC style pads from sister company Akaii. These soft rubber pads feature independent pad modes and feel superb under a finger. Responsive with no button or click at the bottom of the travel. The pads can control various Serato performance modes including Hot Cue, Saved Loop, Roll, Sampler and Slicer.
Under each pad mode is a secondary feature, these include Pitch n Time (expansion pack sold separately), User Pad Mode (for custom MIDI mapping), Saved Loop, Scratch Bank and Slicer Loop. It’s fantastic to see the brand new Scratch Bank feature implemented. It will no doubt be a key feature for many DJ’s routines in the future.
If we were to find any fault in the Rane One’s performance pads, it’s the mode selection buttons’ material. Being made from the same shape and material as the pads can lead to accidental hits when working fast on the controller. A harder, clicky button used on the rest of the controller may have been a better selection here. Rest assured though, this is a very minor issue to pick fault at.
Rane One Connectivity
Sitting at the heart of the Rane One, the internal two-channel mixer is very impressive. Boasting high-quality Cirrus Logic audio chips throughout, the One is even capable of mixing external sources with a pair of switchable Line/Phono inputs. These can be used to control Serato using DVS or as a simple two-channel mixer. Outputs include the master on unbalanced RCA and balanced XLR connections. The Booth connection features a pair of balanced XLR ports.
The Rane One also features two microphone inputs using combo XLR/TRS connections. Both mic inputs are controlled on the front panel with independent level and two-band EQ control. An additional AUX line-level RCA input is found on the back, ideal for connecting an iPod or phone. It is worth noting that using this will disable MIC 2 as they share the same volume and EQ controls. The on/off switches are sadly very small plastic slide switches that sit close to the Rane One’s chassis. We would recommend investing in a microphone with its own switch as these will undoubtedly be challenging to use in a dark environment.
Finally, we have to mention the headphone output on the Rane One. Having both the larger 1/4inch and smaller 1/8th inch headphone jack may not be a unique feature these days, but the inclusion of Split Cue certainly is! It’s great to see Rane bring back split cue which has been sadly missing from many controllers for a while.
The Rane One Mixer
Thankfully, the source selection at the top of both channels doesn’t use small plastic slide switches. Instead opting for premium metal toggles. These toggles switch between Laptop A, External Input and Laptop B. The two USB connections allow two DJ’s to perform back to back seamlessly.
The Rane One’s two channels feature a three-band EQ which permanently operates in an Isolator mode, killing all frequencies when turned down. The two channels also feature a high/low pass combo filter under the EQ section. The Rane One does lack any inbuilt effects, however, it does feature a dedicated section to control all six banks of Serato effects.
The DJ can change the beat value, depth and even activate more than one effect at once. The two aluminium paddles taken straight from the flagship Seventy Two mixer then toggle the effect on. Either momentarily when pulled towards the DJ or permanently when pushed away.
Finally, the mixer features the MAG FOUR crossfader as found in the latest flagship battle mixers. This crossfader is buttery smooth and features an amazingly tight cut in distance. Sadly, the tension isn’t externally adjustable as it is in the flagship mixers, but it can be adjusted after removing the faceplate. The cut in distance can be tuned to preference directly from the Serato settings. The two up faders are unbranded units but feel smooth. The Rane One’s front panel allows the DJ to adjust curve and reverse the direction of both the up faders and crossfader separately.
When Rane first told us to expect a delivery, they didn’t disclose any details about the new product. Instead, they told us to expect the unexpected. In reply, we described our dream Rane product, in the hope that this mysterious package would at least tick some of our wishes. After all, even if it didn’t, at least Rane knew what we really wanted the company to create…
The Rane One has ticked every single one of those boxes.
Sure, we’ve seen motorised platters on Serato DJ Pro controllers before, such as the Numark NS7iii. But where as the NS7iii lacked focus, trying to cater to all markets with its four-channel club-style mixer, turntable style moving platters and more screens than the Starship Enterprise.
With the feel of real vinyl, the battle mixer style effects and the pads and portability of a controller. The Rane One is a near perfect controller that perfectly addresses its target market and gives them exactly what is needed. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s a masterstroke from InMusic that now provides a product at every level for DJ’s wanting to scratch, battle and perform routines.
We’re evidently big fans of the Rane One, and we think most DJ’s who aspire to mix battle style routines will flock to this controller. Sitting at the top end of the controller market, this isn’t a cheap controller. However, compared to the price of a battle mixer and a pair of turntables, the One resembles remarkable value for money. The fact we’ve had to pick fault at small microphone switches and pad mode buttons is a credit to how good the One really is!