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DJ Scott Mad Flip

DJ Scott Mad Flip
February 29, 2012

Rane Sixty-Two Review

The king has arrived.  The unveiling of the Rane 62 was one of the most heralded announcements at this year’s Winter NAMM show in Anaheim.  Their booth was one of the most popular with many enthusiasts, all-star DJs, and industry people alike gathered in awe of its majesty.  We got a sneak peak at the show and captured our first look here.  It was apparent that this new mixer was going to be hot especially with Z-Trip having a hand in its development.  When we finally had a chance to see it in action, we knew that Rane had gotten it right.  In my opinion this represents a second renaissance for Rane and Serato Scratch Live users.  Much like it’s older brother the TTM-68 there are many cool additional features that are bridging the gap between turntablists and controllerists, like expanded sampling and loop controls, but now on a smaller 2 channel battle mixer.  Even if Scratch Live DJs weren’t using additional control peripherals to utilize the SP-6 sampler, effects, cues or loops, they now have the ability to do so directly on the Rane 62.

Fans of the Rane and TTM-68 who didn’t have the $2600 handy, and may have also been intimidated by all of the new features will certainly love the $1999 street price of the 62.  Most of you out there have also long been anticipating a smaller version of the TTM-68, and this new hotness certainly fits the bill, but in my opinion it far exceeds my expectations.  The Rane 62 represents a return to creativity and functionality for the battle DJ.  The ability to run two laptops with the 2.0 dual USB inputs allows for seamless transitioning between DJ sets, but most of all it is a return to the golden age of tag team DJ sets on one mixer. Dueling DJs are able to utilize USB A and B simultaneously sharing each side of the mixer with their perspective laptop.  Both DJs have access to cue points as well as sample banks at the flip of a switch.  We can definitely look forward to seeing some killer tag team sets with this feature on the 62.

The best feature of the Rane 62 in my opinion is the on board effects engine.  First off the effects are post-fader so your echo and reverb effects bleed over when you transform on the line and cross faders. The addition of the internal effects and the FlexFX bus places this mixer into the “industry standard” category, simply because it is so universal.  Now non-DVS DJs who require a mixer with effects have them directly on the Rane 62 or can easily route and apply external effects units with tremendous ease.  Night club owners can now rejoice because this finally eliminates the need to have 2 separate mixers in the DJ booth.  Non-laptop and DVS DJs alike can finally break bread and find happiness in the same DJ booth.  FINALLY.

It’s predecessor, the TTM-57SL, had been the mainstay for so long because it was the first mixer with the SL audio card built-in.  Scratch Live users were able to plug directly into the mixer without the need for extra cables and their SL-1 box.  But as Scratch Live expanded its features and capabilities, and the demand for higher quality audio conversion grew stronger, the 57SL was definitely feeling some growing pains.  Now, the Rane 62 definitely goes above and beyond with incredible sound quality, improved signal conversion, advanced features, and impeccable quality.  It is available now in a standard version and also in the Z-Trip edition which is identical but adds smart face plate design from Shepard Fairey, purple and yellow accents, and silky purple cables.

RANE 62 and RANE 62 Z Features:

  • Bundled with Serato Scratch Live along with ASIO and Core Audio Drivers.
    • This includes the latest version of 2.2 to get you current and ready for action.
  • Control Library, Cues, Loops and Samples on two computers with more than 40 software controls.
    • Much easier to do this now on the 62.
  • Each USB port supports six stereo record and four stereo playback channels.
    • This is huge.  This means you can easily record and archive your mix or performances directly to either laptop or other audio devices.
  • 32-bit floating point audio processing sampled at 48 kHz.
    • Why is this cool?  In simple terms 32-bit floating point gives us unlimited headroom and greater gain without distortion.  This is key considering MP3 quality is not always top shelf.
  • PGM controls include:
    • Gain trim, 3-band full-cut EQ, Left/Right Pan, HP/LP Filter with adjustable resonance.
    • FlexFx assign, Headphone Cue assign, Q-peak meter.
    • HP/LP filter is ballin’. Never before seen on a Rane battle mixer.
  • Mic/line input on XLR/TRS jack with gain trim, two-band EQ, FlexFx assign and On/Over controls.
    • Robot effect on my mic?  YES, PLEASE.
  • Internal Effects Engine with Filter, Flanger, Phaser, Echo, Robot and Reverb effects:
  • MIDI beat clock tracking and generation.
    • BPM sync with Scratch Live.
    • TAP engine with time encoder and beat multiplier control.
    • There are no excuses now for any night club to accommodate non-DVS users with the addition of these on board effects.  WIN.  Especially since they can be synced from multiple sources.
  • External analog insert for analog effects processor and USB Insert for software effects.
    • Plays well with effects from others, too.  Pioneer, take note.
  • USB Aux Input for SP-6 sample playback with HP/LP Filter, Headphone Cue and FlexFx assign.
    • Having sample playback and separate effect/filter control on a dedicated volume channel is just plain awesome.  Step up your game, there’s no excuse.
  • Magnetic crossfader and channel faders with reverse and contour controls.
    • The patented Rane magnetic cross and channel faders were introduced in the TTM-56 and 57SL and they are the fastest, most accurate, and longest lasting on the planet.  The Rane 62 also allows for easy calibration whenever you feel they might be a little off.  While the 62 is powered off simply center both line and cross faders, hold and press both PGM 1 and 2 cue buttons, then power it on.  The cues should flash once indicating that your faders are calibrated and you are ready for action.  Brilliant.

FlexFX Bus and Digital Display

One of the most notable additions of the Rane 62 are the sexy internal audio effects and the effects display directly in the center of the mixer.  The on board effects are triggered through the FlexFX Bus.  The FlexFX Bus in the 62 works differently than a typical effects insert loop.  It is very flexible and opens up many new possibilities not possible with simple effect insert designs found in other mixers.  It’s more like an auxiliary bus that can have multiple signals assigned to it.  Signals assigned to the bus may then have internal effects, external analog effects and external USB effects applied in any combination.

The six killer built-in effects are Filter, Flanger, Phaser, Hold Echo, Robot, and Reverb.

The effects display shows the name of the current effect, BPM, MIDI Beat-Clock source, Beat Multiplier and Time.  A bar graph represents the effect time relative to its range.  If no effect is selected, the information for the last effect is displayed.  The mixer can synchronize its internal effects to each of the four sources whether it is tapped manually, from Scratch Live, or MIDI clock from USB A or B.  This is highly important especially for DJs who perform with live electronic music acts since they rely on keeping everything synced during the performance.  This is a game changer.

Full Deck Control

The 62 grew leaps and bounds from the TTM-57 in terms of  controlling your library, cues, loops, and samples.  It now more closely emulates its big brother the TTM-68 in terms of deck control.  On the left and right you will find panel controls for decks 1 and 2 complete with scroll and load button and knob for navigating your crates, manual or auto loop selector buttons and knob to select the loop length, and the notoriously cool loop roll button for the tricky glitch effects.  This is cool in itself to finally have a dedicated section with workable buttons to get your “twerk” on versus the super tiny buttons and a breakable “nub,” like before on the 57. The killer “radness” is that when you plug in two laptops and assign each to separate USBs, it splits the decks between laptops and you can control both on one mixer.  The cue and sample area below the effects display is also split and shared when using in cue mode.  If you want to trigger samples in the SP-6, simply press the SP-6 assign button on Deck 1 or 2 and that deck will have full use of the sample section in sample mode.  Super hot.

Fader Calibration

Unlike optical non-contact faders, Rane’s magnetic fader is impervious to smoke, moisture, temperature, ambient light and aging.  The electrical performance of the new fader is literally unaffected by use.  The Rane 62 also allows for easy calibration whenever you feel they might be a little off.  While the 62 is powered off simply center both line and cross faders, hold and press both PGM 1 and 2 cue buttons, then power it on.  The cues should flash once indicating that your faders are calibrated and you are ready for action.  The cues will flash three times if the calibration was unsuccessful or the faders were not completely centered.  This process probably won’t need to be performed that often, but you can tear it up with confidence knowing you have this feature.

Test Drive with DJ Huda Hudia

Florida breakbeat icon and close personal friend, Huda Hudia, stopped by our studio to get the first Rane 62 in Atlanta right in time for weekly gigs at Istanblue, Tongue and Groove, 5 Paces Inn, and East Andrews.  He was previously using a TTM-57SL, Novation Dicers, and a Native Instruments Kontrol X-1 in his set-up to perform playing both audio and video using Serato Scratch Live and Video SL.  The first thing he noticed was that the 62 eliminated the use of the extra controller peripherals by having control of loops, cues, effects, and browsing directly on the mixer.  He could be more efficient in his work flow and performance by utilizing the functions on the 62, and also having less to transport to the gig.  He added how helpful that is especially when having limited space in the DJ booth at some venues.  The addition of on board effects that are post-fader really made doing specific transition tricks much easier and more dynamic.  He remarked how everything on the mixer just made sense, the control section for both decks, track browsing was so easy and quick, even down to the new ridges on the bigger knobs and rotaries.  I know for a fact that Huda will be using this mixer three to four times a week and will have to submit to the rigors of travel, smoke filled night clubs, and vodka spills, many vodka spills.  The truth is Rane mixers are used by real professionals and the reliability, features, and performance of the product is of the utmost importance.  Rane delivers the goods every time.  Huda was super impressed and is loving his new mixer.  We had the pleasure of capturing his performance one night and getting his testimonial in the studio.  Look for the video coming soon.

Final Thoughts

Let’s just face it though.  I am a full on Traktor Scratch DJ, and I LOVE this mixer.  Everything in the layout just makes sense.  I particularly love having the loop roll button and control knob close to the filter, considering I can use them both in beautiful tandem with the on board effects.  The cue and sample buttons could be a little bigger, but they felt great, responded well to my drumming and juggling and the LEDs are super bright and easy to see in the dark night club.  As with most Rane mixers you can expect maximum reliability and performance under the most extreme conditions.  This combined with the superior quality of the faders, buttons, pads, and rotaries will certainly make the Rane 62 the most sought after mixer of the year.

Comments

  1. LewisLace says:

    This mixer is great. Great support for the crowd that still is staying true to vinyl and turntable use.

    1. I couldn’t agree more. Thanks for the comment!

  2. Huda says:

    Great article Scott! Best one I’ve read on the mixer.

  3. DJ Radikal says:

    Great review and a beast of a mixer … well worth the investment!

  4. John says:

    can someone please please confirm rane 62 works with traktor?

  5. JOhn T says:

    can someone confirm the rane 62 works fine with traktor scratch?

    1. ariff ariff says:

      You can use the 62 as a soundcard in other programs that you already own, like Traktor, Ableton, VirtualDJ, etc. but no DVS support for Traktor. So you can use it with Traktor, but it’s not an official Traktor Mixer.