Rane Twelve MK2 Review

Rane returns with the Twelve, is this the ultimate DVS set up?

It was back in 2018 when we first laid eyes upon the Rane Twelve. A Serato controller that upon first glance, could be mistaken easily for a super OEM turntable. However, this was much more than just another turntable. 

The Rane Twelve although featuring a full 12 inch with moving platter, slipmat and vinyl, wasn’t capable of playing vinyl at all. The unit instead uses the technology first seen in the Numark NS7II to take movements made on the copycat vinyl and digitally control Serato. This controller gave Serato users all the feel of turntables without the drawbacks of skipping needles or scratched control vinyl.

Although quite a niche product, the Twelve was practically the perfect solution for Serato users who seek the vinyl feel while playing a digital collection. So, what’s new with the MK2 and how have Rane improved upon the original design?

What is the difference between the Rane Twelve and Rane Twelve MK2?

The new 2020 MK2 model of the Rane Twelve is visually quite similar to the older unit. The units share the same superb build quality throughout with a full metal chassis. Up top, the strip search that allows fast scrubbing or triggering hot cues remains. A personal favourite feature of ours, the recessed motor power switch has been kept to allow wind down effect.  

Rane-Twelve-Mk1-vs-Mk2

The original Rane Twelve and the new Mk2 model

New Start/Stop Button

The MK2 edition of the Twelve now features a plunger style button to start or stop the platter. Replacing the older hard plastic button with a plunger is very reminiscent of the Technics SL1200 turntables. A small change but one all turntable users will appreciate. 

DVS Output

The Rane Twelve is no longer just a simple Serato HID controller that connects via USB. The MK2 is now compatible with more software and connects in numerous ways. New to the MK2, two RCA ports output perfect control signal for use with DVS. This DVS signal can output Serato Noise Map, Virtual DJ or Traktor Scratch. 

With 36000 ticks per rotation, the Rane Twelve is super accurate in USB mode. Both Serato and Virtual DJ can be connected just with a USB cable. Traktor sadly will only work with a DVS input. 

Rane Twelve Top Down

With some DJ’s preferring the response of their software in DVS mode, the Rane Twelve MK2 offers ultimate flexibility. The hybrid mode enables Serato and Virtual DJ users to use performance features such as hot cues, needle search and browse via the USB connection while using DVS to control their playing tracks.

Although not officially supported, we did find Rekordbox plays exceptionally well with the Serato DVS output in our testing. Although the USB connection doesn’t work with Rekordbox, the DVS functionality does mean the Mk2 is an exceptionally versatile controller. 

OLED Screen

The new DVS and HID control options are selected and controlled via a new OLED screen which sits under the hot cue touch strip. This neat little screen allows users to switch between the various control modes. When not selecting modes, the display shows the active decks BPM value if connected via USB. A neat touch indeed.

Twelve OLED Screen

Navigation Controls

Alongside displaying the BPM of the playing the deck, the Rane Twelve MK2 also helps keep DJ’s away from their laptops by providing new navigation controls. Again only available when in use in HID mode, the new scroll and load dial plus back button help speed up a DJ routine. Finally, a dedicated instant doubles button sits below the new navigation controls. A feature battle DJ’s will adore. 

rane 12

Position Indicators

One of the smallest changes to the new MK2 but very valuable to all scratch DJ’s, Rane has now included two white marks on the Rane Twelves chassis. One at 12 o’clock and the other at 2 o’clock, these small white indicators are used by scratch DJ’s to line up needle position when scratching. The quick-release control “vinyl” disc also featuring the line to allow DJ’s to line up and perform accurately.  

Recessed Cable Ports

Early Rane Twelve models, unfortunately, placed the IEC power connection and USB port on the rear of the chassis. This stopped users turning the unit 90 degrees and using a “club” style layout. On top of this, DJ’s who transport their units inside flight cases also suffered clearance issues. The MK2 and most later model MK1 Rane Twelves now feature all their connections on the bottom of the unit allowing the user to place the Twelve in any position they wish.

Recessed Ports

Conclusion

The MK2 Rane Twelve brings with it small but important changes over the original model. An evolution rather than a revolution, owners of the original model won’t be flocking to the shops on mass. However, the updates have done enough to keep the Rane Twelve the controller of choice for Scratch and Battle DJ’s the world around. Expanding the controller to support Traktor and Virtual DJ officially only adds to the MK2’s appeal, even if most users will most likely be on Serato already.

The addition of DVS to the Twelve is inspired for those converting the older turntable purists and also helps the Twelves rival Phase and their digital DVS solution. For clubs looking to install these units permanently, the ability to use the DVS control signal with all significant platforms is fantastic and a huge selling point. 

There is something special about the feel of vinyl, and these controllers bring all the magic to digital DJ’ing perfectly. The Rane Twelve MK2 is a niche product for a particular market and serves its audience flawlessly. They aren’t the cheapest players on the market, but for those wanting the best control, these are the units to own.

Published: 6th August 2020

Rane Twelve Mk2
★★★★★
$899 / €849.99 / £729.99

Leave a comment