Roland and Serato unveil new hybrid drum machine DJ controllers

The DJ-505 and DJ-202 feature a built-in drum machine.

Roland and Serato have added two new DJ controllers to their AIRA DJ line, both of which contain a drum machine for making beats on the fly.

The DJ-505 and DJ-202 follow last year’s DJ-808, a $1,300 controller with the sounds of Roland’s classic 808 and 909 drum machines and a built-in sequencer. The new models appear to much more affordable, with UK stores opening pre-orders at £589 ($764) and £249 ($323).

The main difference between the DJ-808 and DJ-505 is that the new model has only two channels, though you can still plug in turntables or CDJs. The DJ-202, meanwhile, is just a Serato DJ controller, and doesn’t have any capability for plugging in external gear.

While the DJ-202 is missing the 808-style 16-step sequencer seen on the more expensive models, it does still have an onboard sequencer that controls Serato DJ Intro’s sampler.

There’s no release date for the controllers yet, but Roland has confirmed that the sounds of the TR-606 and TR-707 drum machines will be added in a future user-installable firmware update.

New DJ controllers aren’t the only thing coming from Roland in the coming months. Last week, the company announced remakes of its much-loved TR-808 drum machine and SH-101 synth, together with a new sampler, the SP-404A.

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