You no longer need multiple turntables and crates upon crates worth of vinyl to be a DJ. All you really need is a laptop, mixer and DJ mixing software, such as Serato DJ. This music mixing software has a simple, user-friendly interface, responsive real-time controls and reliable beat-mapping ability.
Serato DJ can handle up to four track decks at once. The decks are easy to read and contain all of the key information you need regarding the uploaded tracks, such as BPM, track progress, pitch information, and time remaining and elapsed. The waveforms on the track deck are color-coded so you can easily identify the frequencies you are seeing. Red waves represent bass, green is mid-range frequencies and blue represents the high-end.
Cue points are easy to set, recognize and manage. You can set up to eight cue points and eight loops that you can jump to at any point during your performance. Loops can be set with one-click auto-defined length loop buttons. You can set loops from 1/32 of a beat all the way to 32 beats. If you are unsatisfied with where your loop starts or stops, you can adjust your start and stop points with the use of the arrow keys.
Serato makes it easier than ever to match beats. Beat matching used to be the main job for an analog DJ. Matching the BPMs and timings of separate records would consume most of a DJ’s time during a performance. With this DJ program, it is extremely simple, giving you the freedom to work on other aspects of your live performance without spending all your time on beat matching. Synchronizing tracks is extremely simple with Serato. If you sync either on your software or on controller on the first deck, it will set the tempo for any other deck you sync to it. After you load a track to the second deck, hit sync, then hit play – both tracks will be in time and in sync on their beat grids.
The track decks are responsive with compatible turntable controllers. If you rely heavily on scratching, Serato DJ offers control with minimal latency. This gives you the workflow and feel of actual vinyl records. Also, this DJ mixing software automatically integrates your iTunes library into your Serato library. Because you don’t have to take up a ton of your performance time trying to beat match, you can focus on other aspects of your live set, such as inserting effects into your mixes.
The Multi FX Mode is a feature of Serato DJ that allows you to insert multiple effects on one or two different track decks. You can insert up to three effects per track deck, or you can assign all six effects to the same track deck, allowing you to use all six effects on one assigned deck. There are a number of different effects you can choose from within the basic package. Some of these effects include delay, echo reverb, low-pass filters and high-pass filters. Expansion packs are available for purchase, as well.
There are several different controllers, interfaces, mixers and accessories that are compatible with Serato DJ. For a full list of what controllers and mixers are compatible with this DJ software, you can visit the Serato website. Serato supports a number of different audio formats, including MP3 and WAV files. If you want to bring the full live production experience to your set, Serato video is the way to do it. Serato video allows you to add visuals to your live performance.
If you are brand new to Serato DJ, the video tutorials are extremely helpful. These videos guide you through everything from how to load tracks onto your decks, to MIDI mapping your controller. If at any time you are unsure what a button on your software interface does, you can click on the information button on the top right (between the MIDI and setup buttons), and this will bring up a text box that tells you what each button does as you hover over it. Activating this information button also helps you with all of the short key commands so you can learn to navigate your software quickly and intuitively. If you have questions beyond the tutorials, you can contact the Serato via telephone or email.
Serato DJ has made it easier than ever to become a DJ. The user-friendly interface, along with iTunes integration and quick beat matching, are just a few things that makes this software desirable.