The Reloop Ready – The perfect travel companion?
Releasing two very similar entry-level controllers may seem an odd business choice. However, that’s exactly what Reloop has done with Buddy and Ready. We’ve already reviewed the Buddy here at Crossfader, and although we loved the hardware, the integration with Algoriddim Djay software left us feeling confused and underwhelmed. The Ready though is designed for Serato, a software renowned for its superb integration and ease of use.
So, will the Ready be the controller we hoped the Buddy would? In this review and guide, we find out!
Sharing the same connections as the Buddy, the Ready connects to both computers and iOS devices. Compatible with Serato DJ Lite, Algorddim Djay and Virtual DJ, the Ready is a very versatile controller. Users can also pay to upgrade to Serato DJ Pro. More on that later!
The USB-B connection provides the sole connection to computers, whereas iPad users will need to use this port for power whilst connecting their tablet to the dedicated USB-A port. The line-level RCA speaker connections and 1/8th inch TRS audio connections are found on the other side of the controller, along with the dedicated controls. These are a bit small and cramped, but being on the side allows the Ready to easily sit on top of a laptop.
Made from plastic, the Reloop Ready is a very lightweight unit. Purposely designed to sit perfectly on a 13″ laptop, the Ready is one of the smallest entry-level controllers we’ve reviewed. The plastic moulding on the chassis isn’t the neatest we have ever witnessed. However, the Ready feels like an excellent unit with no obvious weak points.
The crossfader and up faders don’t feel the most premium of units, with a somewhat hollow plastic feel to their action. That said, we can’t complain about the long throw up faders, which allow for smooth mixes and blends.
Designed in conjunction with DJ Angello, the Ready features actual performance pads rather than the usual buttons found on entry-level controllers. These large pads also feature RGB lighting, again a rare feature in this market. Sadly, as with all USB powered controllers, these pads are very dim. Thankfully, what they lack in brightness, they make up for in feel and size.
As mentioned, the Ready packs a punch when it comes to the performance pads onboard. When used with Serato DJ Lite, these pads perform the basic functions on the top four pads, leaving the second row with menial fast forward and reverse functions. Having pads of this quality feels like a slight waste with Serato DJ Lite, thankfully Serato DJ Pro rights these wrongs.
With access to cutting edge performance modes such as Pitch Play and Scratch Bank, this entry-level controller can perform the same routines as top-end battle mixers. Complete with parameter buttons for full control, it’s incredible to think that the Ready has more performance features than the £1800 Pioneer DJ XDJ-XZ!
In typical Serato fashion, each deck can activate up to three individual effects. A rotary encoder enables access to autoloops, which is a very clever use of space.
The Reloop Ready is a unique controller in so many ways. Its small form factor and price point will immediately make most assume this is a beginner controller. And indeed, coming with Serato DJ Lite, it’s easy to see why. However, the compromised layout, small jog wheels and focus on locked performance features make it a tough sell for beginners, with far more affordable controllers doing a better job at satisfying their needs.
We like to think of the Ready as the ultimate travel companion for the pro DJ. Perfect for travelling and preparing sets on the go, this little controller can access all the features a pro set up can. Far superior to the Numark DJ2GO Touch or the Hercules Starlight, the Ready makes for the ultimate backup controller, fitting easily into any backpack. For professional DJ’s needing a secondary controller, there’s no doubt the Reloop Ready is a great solution!
Price as tested: £$349/£249/€279