RANE Twelve MKII Review: Motorized Vinyl-Like Turntable

Rane Twelve MK2 start/stop button

Rane stands among the global elite in crafting cutting-edge and compelling DJ technology. Throughout its history, the brand has unveiled an extensive array of equipment, encompassing everything from motorized DJ controllers to sophisticated mixers. A noteworthy introduction was the original Rane Twelve, which debuted in 2018.

At a cursory look, this Serato DJ Pro controller might have seemed like a typical turntable-style DJ controller. However, delving deeper into its features revealed a depth of functionality and innovation. This nuanced perspective is essential in our RANE DJ Twelve MKII review, where we explore the evolution and enhancements of this iconic DJ tool.

RANE Twelve MKII

TRAKTOR KONTROL S3 Overview
  • Motor: Quartz direct-drive

  • Dimensions: 14.5” x 16.2” x 5.3” (368 x 413 x 90 mm)

  • Weight: 20.5 lbs. (9.3 kg)

From ‎$899

RANE DJ Twelve MKII Pros and Cons

The RANE DJ Twelve MKII is a significant innovation in DJ turntables, offering a blend of traditional feel with modern digital functionality. As with any high-end DJ equipment, it has advantages and drawbacks. Understanding these can help DJs, whether seasoned or novice, make an informed decision about incorporating this unit into their setup.

Pros

  • High-Quality Motor and Platter: The RANE DJ Twelve MKII boasts a powerful motor and a 12-inch vinyl platter, providing DJs with an authentic vinyl feel and high precision in scratching and mixing.
  • Robust Build Quality: Constructed with durability in mind, it promises longevity even under rigorous use, making it a reliable choice for professional DJs.
  • Advanced Feature Set: This model includes a range of modern features like hot cue buttons, multiple RPM speeds (33⅓, 45, and 78 RPM), and precision pitch control, enhancing creative flexibility.
  • Seamless Software Integration: It offers excellent compatibility with popular DJ software, facilitating easy integration into digital setups.
  • DVS Compatibility: The unit is optimized for Serato DJ Pro, providing a seamless experience for those using digital vinyl systems.
  • No Needle Skipping: Since it’s a controller, there’s no risk of needle skipping, which is ideal for DJs performing in environments with lots of movement or vibration.

Cons

  • Lack of Onboard Audio Interface: Unlike some competitors, it lacks an onboard audio interface, requiring a separate purchase for audio output capabilities.
  • Learning Curve: For DJs accustomed to traditional turntables or primary controllers, there may be a learning curve in adapting to its advanced features and digital integration.
  • Specific Use Case: It caters primarily to scratch DJs and those who prefer a turntable-style controller, which might not appeal to all DJing styles.
Rane Twelve MK2 layout

Unboxing RANE Twelve MK2

The Rane Twelve MK2 stands out as a testament to durability and innovation, crafted from solid steel, ensuring security and longevity. The machine boasts a robust build, ensuring it withstands the rigors of intense DJing sessions. 

Its dual cue mode adds a layer of versatility, allowing for seamless transitions and creative mixing. The deck selector broadens the scope of performance, while the OLED screen provides crisp, clear feedback essential for live performances. The 12-inch acrylic control turntable, paired with a traditional control vinyl platter, offers a classic feel with a modern twist. The Rane Twelve MK2’s design accommodates both battle and club-style setups, offering versatility for different DJing styles and environments.

Motorized DJ performance is at the heart of this unit, enhanced by a precision slider for exacting control. The pitch range control allows nuanced adjustments, vital for perfect beat matching. Complete navigation control ensures ease of use during high-pressure gigs. Additionally, the 5.0 kfcm high-torque motor delivers the power needed for responsive, tactile feedback. Lastly, its RCA output guarantees compatibility with a wide range of audio systems, making the Rane Twelve MK2 a versatile choice for any DJ’s arsenal.

Power Consumption60 W
Speeds33 1/3, 45 RPM
Connectors1x USB Type-B port, 1x Stereo RCA output, 1x IEC power cable input
PlatterAluminum die-cast, 4.9 lbs. / 2.2 g
Rane Twelve MK2 configirations

The Core Features of the Rane Twelve MK2

Exploring the Rane Twelve MK2’s core features highlights its status as a top choice for DJs, prioritizing precision and dependability. This controller blends the classic experience of traditional DJing with modern digital advancements. It provides a comprehensive set of functionalities that elevate performance, offering unmatched control and adaptability, which professional DJs highly value.

The Platter

The Rane Twelve MK2’s vinyl platter stands out as a captivating feature, offering a fusion of classic feel and modern control. Mirroring the experience of a traditional vinyl platter, it provides DJs with exceptional smoothness and precision in their manipulations. Enhanced with a quick-release function, this component elevates the ease of use to new heights.

Incorporating elements such as hot cue and track search capabilities into the vinyl experience bridges the gap between analog charm and digital efficiency. This integration allows DJs to navigate their music library effortlessly, utilizing features like instant doubles, which are not possible on conventional turntables. One of the most notable aspects is the zero-latency performance of the 12-inch motorized platter. This ensures that DJs experience the utmost accuracy in every mix, making the Rane Twelve MK2 a remarkable tool in the arsenal of modern DJing.

Rane Twelve MK2 platter

The Screen

The Rane Twelve MK2 features a compact LED screen below the hot cue strip at the device’s upper section. While this screen is not overly sophisticated, it significantly enhances the user experience by simplifying the transition between various control modes. This addition underscores the device’s commitment to combining functionality with user-friendly design, catering to the dynamic needs of modern DJs.

Additionally, the display on the Rane Twelve MK2 shows the software configuration, highlighting its versatile connectivity options. This device offers three distinct communication modes with DJ software: through USB, MIDI, or a hybrid USB/DVS setup. This flexibility ensures seamless integration with various DJing environments and preferences.

Rane Twelve MK2 screen

Modes for DJs

The needle search mode on the controller enables DJs to navigate through a track effortlessly with just a swipe of a finger. As you move through the song, the LED feedback visually tracks your progress. In cue mode, DJs gain immediate access to eight hot cues, streamlining the process of setting and deleting cue points. Simply pressing an empty slot saves a cue point, and combining the cue mode button with the desired cue point deletes it. Additionally, the controller’s deck buttons allow assignment to any of the four available software decks, enhancing its versatility in managing multiple tracks. 

Rane Twelve MK2 cue mode

Controls for Navigation and Software

The Rane Twelve MK2 enhances deck control for DJs with several intuitive navigation features. These are particularly effective in HID mode, where a new scroll and load dial facilitates quicker routine management. Positioned conveniently below these navigation tools are the instant doubles buttons.

DJs accustomed to vinyl will find the interface of the Rane Twelve MK2 strikingly familiar and intuitive. The design facilitates rapid track searching and cue point identification, enhancing overall efficiency.

The controller also supports USB and DVS controls, offering compatibility with Traktor, Serato DJ Pro, and Virtual DJ, thus providing DJs with extensive software flexibility. Initially, while Virtual DJ control was feasible with the Twelve, direct programming into the software sometimes led to latency, sticker drift, and resolution issues, challenges that have since been addressed in this model.

How Much Is Twelve MK2?

The Rane Twelve MK2 was initially priced at $899, reflecting its status as a high-end DJ controller. However, it’s important to note that the actual cost can vary depending on the retailer. Different sellers may offer unique deals or discounts, potentially influencing the final price you pay. When considering a purchase, it’s advisable to explore various retailers and keep an eye out for special promotions that could make this premium DJ tool more accessible.

The Verdict

The Rane Twelve MK2 emerges as an exceptional tool in the DJ world, masterfully merging the genuine feel of vinyl with the sophistication of digital advancements. Its sturdy construction, accurate control, and flawless integration with software position it as a preferred option among professionals desiring dependable and adaptable performance tools. Although its size and weight could be inconvenient for DJs on the move or those working in confined spaces, these factors are relatively insignificant compared to their substantial benefits. As a significant asset to DJs prioritizing quality and performance, the Rane Twelve MK2 cements its status as a leading contender in DJ controllers.

Author

  • Monica Blunder

    Hello, I’m Monica Blunder. As a fervent author and a DJ enthusiast, I’ve spent years immersed in the world of DJs and their music. My job here at EverybodyIsADJ.com is to keep you informed about the latest trends, tips, and news from the DJ community.

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