Serato DJ — Upgrades Round 1 and Opinion


serato dj 1.1 upgrade

Serato are going through changes. After a momentous impact on the DJ scene with Scratch Live, they carried on to address the burgeoning controller with their ITCH offering, and hand in hand with selected hardware partners went on to create some amazing controllers. And it was the entry level users that then got the attention of Serato via their Serato DJ Intro software. But the Serato range has become confused, with 2 distinct  but very similar products running in parallel, who’s only distinction has been the ability to use control vinyl. But with Serato DJ, this is hopefully being rationalised – Serato DJ is out, and happily running on Pioneer’s DDJ-SX. But it’s everyone else (well almost) that were promised a slice of the Serato DJ upgrade pie. And first up are the DJ Intro owners, or at least a handful of them anyway.

Read on for the first round of upgrades:

SERATO DJ 1.1 FOR NUMARK MIXTRACK PRO, PIONEER DDJ-ERGO AND DENON DJ MC2000.

December 4th 2012

UPGRADE TO SERATO DJ AND ELEVATE THE CAPABILITIES OF YOUR CONTROLLER

Serato is proud to announce the launch of Serato DJ 1.1, our newest DJ software for professional DJs at the top of their game. This software delivers our best feature set for all-in-one controllers and is the much-anticipated upgrade option for Numark Mixtrack Pro, Pioneer DDJ-ERGO and Denon DJ MC2000 customers.

Serato DJ delivers all the features and performance to meet the demands of DJs at the top of their game and sets the new standard for controller DJs.

The portability of all-in-one controllers, coupled with the advanced feature set of the new Serato DJ software, provides the much-anticipated upgrade option for current Serato DJ Intro customers. Serato DJ’s new features and capabilities give DJs the scope to broaden their skills and impress their audience!

Sam Gribben, CEO of Serato, says: “The release of Serato DJ is the culmination of years of development and testing by our world-class development team of software innovators, in consultation with the movers and shakers of the digital DJ and music industries. We’re excited to see what our customers can do with the new features and look forward to continuing to be a part of the ever-evolving DJ movement, whether the user is a seasoned professional or just starting out. Serato DJ brings us a step closer to a unified customer experience across our entire product range.”

Serato DJ 1.1 can be downloaded direct from serato.com and now supports the Numark Mixtrack Pro, Pioneer DDJ-ERGO and the Denon DJ MC2000 with a one-off paid upgrade. Support for other Serato DJ Intro controllers will be available this northern winter.

Upgrades for ITCH controllers will rollout gradually this coming spring.

Numark Mixtrack Pro, Pioneer DDJ-ERGO and Denon DJ MC2000 users can upgrade to Serato DJ for $199USD – and for a limited time this includes a license for the powerful Serato Video plug-in.

This will be followed by Serato DJ support for other controllers such as the: Numark N4, Numark MixDeck, Numark MixDeck Express, Numark MixDeck Quad, Vestax VCI-400, Vestax Typhoon, Vestax VCI-100 Mk2, Reloop TM 4 and the Reloop TM 2, in a gradual rollout.

Head to serato.com/dj/upgrade to purchase an upgrade to Serato DJ for your Numark Mixtrack Pro, Pioneer DDJ-ERGO or Denon DJ MC2000. For Serato DJ Intro customers with other controllers and Serato ITCH customers, you can also choose to sign up to be notified when the release is available you at serato.com/dj/stay-informed.

Serato DJ 1.1: New Features

Serato DJ launches with the following new features with more to follow throughout northern winter.

  • Great New FX Powered by iZotope Load your choice of high quality FX including: Delay, Echo, Ping Pong Delay, Reverb, Phaser, Flanger, Distortion, High Pass Filter (HPF), Low Pass Filter (LPF), Combo HP/LP Filter.
  • MIDI Mapping Take full advantage of Serato DJ’s features. MIDI mapping opens up the software to be mapped with a secondary MIDI controller.
  • FREE Serato Video Comes free with the powerful plug-in, Serato Video for a limited period.
  • Recording Make mixtapes and save your night’s work to listen to later. Record your mix at the click of a button.
  • Four Deck Mixing Mix with four decks on supported four deck controllers.
  • Brand New User Interface A greatly improved software layout that looks amazing and is simple to use. The new interface also offers two and four deck view modes for four deck controllers.
  • More Cue Points Set and trigger up to 8 Cue Points in Serato DJ to quickly jump to different sections in your track. As well as these new features, Serato DJ Intro customers can expect to get all the same professional-level tools we offer, including:
  • Looping Manual Loops, Auto Loops and Loop Rolls are all available to creatively repeat and loop parts of your tracks in the mix.
  • Sync and Auto Tempo Matching Lock tracks together for seamless grooves. Less time beat matching, more time to get creative.
  • Crates and Smart Crates Make library management a breeze with Serato Crates and Smart Crates. Build playlists, save your sets and organize your music.
  • SP-6 Sample Player  Trigger all your favorite stings, samples and loops over your tracks. 4 Banks of 6 sample slots which can be synced to the playing decks.
  • Colored Waveforms See the music with Serato’s ground breaking colored track waveforms.
  • Plug-and-Play Connectivity Less time making it work, more time at the party.
  • Interoperable with your current Scratch Live, ITCH, DJ Intro and iTunes Music Library.
  • Support for whitelabel.net files

UPDATE

It seems that there are some Pioneer DDJ-SX updates after all.

Pioneer DDJ-SX Updates

  • Stutter Play – Shift + Play on the DDJ-SX now activates stutter play.
  • Reloop/Exit button on the DDJ-SX (Shift+Out) now either reloops when the loop is inactive, or exits the loop when the loop is in progress.
  • FX parameter buttons now light when controlling an on/off parameter.

Bug Fixes

  • DDJ-SX decks are now displayed as 1, 2, 3 or 4, not L or R, in the History panel.
  • Fixed tap tempo not working on a deck with no track loaded.
  • Fixed crash on exit after analyzing files.
  • Master Gain trim control now has a +/-12dB range.
  • Reloop button on the GUI now retriggers the loop for every hit of that button.

Opinion

Why these controllers first? Because it’s important revenue for Serato. The sheer volume of Mixtrack Pros alone in the market means that the income stream from this highly capable controller is likely to be high, and if you’re canny with your cash, you’ll jump now and get the Serato Video plugin for free too, ensuring solid market share  in this growing market.

As a Serato DJ Intro user, do you need the full Serato DJ? I would say that not every user will benefit greatly from dropping $199 (or £124/€152). Despite what some might think, DJ Intro is a few steps above entry level, but it’s important to remember that the feature set is cast in stone – I believe that other than bug fixes, DJ Intro will stay in its current form, because that is more than enough for beginners to learn on and frankly more than  most DJs need to play most parties.

But the upgrade is significant for VCI-400 and Terminal Mix 2 and 4 owners. Many still wonder why such capable hardware was sold with software that barely scraped the surface. At least now the full power of Serato DJ can be unleashed on hardware that I feel was built for it.

Another option is to pump that cash into upgrading your controller. You could snag an ITCH controller quite cheap at the moment and just wait for the free upgrade, or perhaps see what NAMM brings in January. That said, I don’t think it’s bringing much in the way of new stuff as far as Serato DJ goes that’ll be for sale right away.

The Fallen Soldiers

Something I do need to touch on briefly, if only because I know it’ll get raised in the comments if I don’t,  is how some ITCH controllers have been deliberately omitted from the upgrade list. The Denon DN-HC5000 is one, but the biggest controversy surrounds Allen & Heath‘s Xone:DX. I’m a big fan of the DX, but for whatever reason, you lot weren’t. I put his down to the lack of scratchable jog wheels (which I actually liked NOT having), but for some out there, the lack of upgrade path from ITCH to Serato DJ for these is unforgivable (petition here).

Now I do understand why this is a problem, especially for those who might have snagged in particular the DX for less than half price. But here’s the thing – both controllers are discontinued, and as such are no longer making any money for Denon or Allen & Heath. They were sold as ITCH controllers and will continue to be supported as such. But seeing as Serato DJ is a different product, Denon, A&H and Serato have fulfilled their end of the deal. Serato have stated that what some paint as the bug ridden v2.2.2 will be that last developed version and will only get maintenance updates. Sadly, there are always casualties in any technology race. Your hardware still does what it did before, and the DX can be made to sing in Traktor anyway. It’s sad that you’re left out of the Serato DJ loop, but that’s the way it is and you have to plan your route forward. You’re not the first and won’t be the last, especially where technology is involved.

The Future

So it’s DJ Intro units getting the love first, with a rollout program across ITCH units rather confusingly described on this page. Q1 and 2 tags would have been fitting and globally acceptable Serato. I’m on with all kinds of reviews right now, including the Pioneer DDJ-SX review as we speak. So my opinion of Serato DJ will be known soon enough. But it’s this quite from Sam Gribben that speaks volumes:

“Serato DJ brings us a step closer to a unified customer experience across our entire product range.”

This is I think what we’ve all been waiting for. And once this semi-vague statement pans out, the hard work that has been going on behind closed doors while taking a sustained beating on forums from end users will become clear. My gut has said for years and continues to say that the “unified customer experience” will see Serato DJ be the core, with Video and Scratch Live being plugins. Right now, we’re seeing Serato putting their house in order ready for the unification to happen.

  • DJ Segatto

    Yeah I see the point of rolling out the Mixtrack Pro first, as it is probably the most widely available controller out there. But I just don’t see people forking out 200 dollars for an upgraded software for a controller that can be bought for 150US. Expecially when u can go with traktor for about 1/3 of that price…

    • http://djworx.com/ Mark Settle

      These are the sums that companies have to do. Do you put it out for what is a steep price in the market place and hope that loyalty brings business? Or knock the upgrade out for $50 and bank upon it being so cheap that it’s a no brainer decision that fills their bank account in minutes?

      It’s brave to charge $199 in a market where all of Traktor’s glory can be had for less than half that price. Much of it comes down to if Traktor’s mapping of the jog wheels is any good or not. It’s not always a fun experience.

    • http://www.mobiledjforums.com/ GroovinDJ

      It does seem a bit odd, doesn’t it? :-)
      But then I suppose there are DJs out there that’ll find it hard to resist the Serato name & rep, and would rather have the “street cred” of using Serato software than be seen anywhere near VDJ because “it’s a toy” – despite them owning a cheap plastic controller!

  • leo

    I own a Novation Twitch and the release of serato dj is due to “spring”. Almost 3-4 months of developement (?) for differents controllers seems like a bit too long …

    • http://djworx.com/ Mark Settle

      They’re busy people with a wide product range and a heap of hardware partners all wanting their attention. You’ll just have to be patient and wait for your completely free upgrade.

      • scooterADAM

        well can’t help but feel like its a slap in the face waiting for my vci380 at the end of the pile… business move yea yea yea…. sucks being left on an itch version that can’t record your mixes, thats moot thought, won’t even install on my windows lappy.

        traktor for now and as someone else mentioned we shall see how sdj looks after using the competition for a few months until the great ‘spring’ controller enabling

        regardless of my miffedness at serato, it is still interesting to see what happens and I would jump ship either way if:

        *Traktor added hi res jog wheel support to something with better wheels than the clicky s2/s4 like the vci400/reloop 4thingy and flexible/elastic beat grids

        *Serato DJ enabled the bridge or decent midi clock (or midi time code) sync, midi out and a few more izotype effects

        what about enabling the vci400/380/ddjsx for timecode? never gonna happen coz of the rane partnersh?

        • Monster

          thats why im waiting til late 2013 early 2014 when the Rane-troller shows up timecode ready.

          • http://djworx.com/ Mark Settle

            You have evidence of this? Or is it just wishful thinking backed up with forum chatter?

            • Monster

              I have no evidence other than the logical conjecture that it’s coming.
              It makes too much sense. Who wouldn’t buy it? seriously.

  • The_KLH

    Just a quick comment about the posted release schedule on Serato’s site. Since New Zealand’s summers and winters are opposite of ours (in the northern hemisphere), are they REALLY saying that most of the SDJi controllers will get support in time for summer???

    • http://djworx.com/ Mark Settle

      Serato’s schedules are a notoriously moving target. I suspect that the paid upgrades will be on time, but after that… well we can only keep our fingers crossed.

      • The_KLH

        Agreed. I was just poking fun… I actually hand it to Serato’s dev team. They post on their forum and are quite nice. I’ve not seen the same visibility from M-Audio (when Torq was being developed) and Native Instruments. Serato is an impressive company.

  • tired

    That “sustained beating” on the forums that you mention is totally justified.

    Serato’s business model and development schedule have needed to change for quite a while. They are moving to unify the product lines now, but they are doing it the same old way.

    Look at the Pioneer SX users–they paid almost $1K to beta test Serato DJ, and found bugs along with a LONG list of Itch/Scratch Live UI details and features that had been left out of the new release. Do they get a maintenance release or update for all the money & hassle? No. Serato just moves on to sell the same buggy software (minus key features) at a sky-high price to a bunch of people with hobbyist controllers.

    • tired

      And the “important revenue” excuse doesn’t wash because they’re sticking with this outdated business model so they’ve cut off other options. The Serato DJ rollout has been an iffy mess so far.

    • Memuself

      Agreed on the shady business moves from Serato but with all respect, they are not leaving the SX users in the dark. Matter of fact, SDJ 1.1 has bug fixes for those units!

  • jprime

    Great read thanks :) When that X2 Traktor mixer came out I did take a close look at the competition, but after another (bug ridden) test run – I decided to stick with the tried, tested and true serato. It’s simply never failed me. Ever.
    I’m also banking on a controller / DVS merge. Really looking forward to what serato has for us down the road.

  • ace

    Thanks for pointing out the reason behind the paid upgrades being released first. That really got me grinding my teeth!! The last release of itch is totally unreliable (for me anyway), so leaving us to make our own plan for six or so months while they rake in some more cash is absolute BS!! What kind of company does that???

  • http://djworx.com/ Mark Settle

    Really disappointed that nobody commented on the xone alone image. I thought it was funny anyway.

    • jprime

      I think Macaulay Culkin was discontinued ;)

  • http://djworx.com/ Mark Settle

    I just updated the story – it seems that there are DDJ-SX specific changes after all.

  • http://www.poweronplay.com J.J. Gonzales

    Look at the two discontinued products that will not be supported in Serato DJ. Denon DN-HC5000 and A&H Xone:DX (sold 5000+ units and A&H updated the firmware this year). Both companies are owned by D&M Holdings. It sounds to me like a communication issue and not a discontinued product. How is that the discontinued Pioneer DDJ-S1, Vestax VCI-300 and Numark NS7 still get support. (Contrarily to popular belief, they are not being made. Name one DJ company currently ordering these older controllers.) They are getting the new software because these companies have current and future products. Plus, they don’t have a problem being honest with there hardware sales in order to pay Serato. However, Denon’s new MC2000 has Serato DJ Intro Support.

    Personally, I’ve never understood the Xone:DX. I thought it was perfect for those DJ’s who wanted a bunch of buttons on a high-end controller with no need to scratch, juggle and track like a record. But just like all those DJ’s requesting POT mixers, only a select few will actually buy them. The Xone:DX got me exited. Not for the hardware, but for the software ITCH. It was the controller that brought us EFFECTS AND 4 DECKS in Itch.

    I understand Serato wanting to get paid. But this leaves a bad taste for the Serato branding. You go to Serato forum and they tell you to look elsewhere like Traktor. You go with Serato because of the free updates for life. Now, after a few years your controller might not be supported on the new Mac operating system. Ridiculous! Itch is broken at 2.2.2. There are several outstanding bugs and the database is mediocre at best.

    Instead of charging $199 to DJ Intro controllers, they should charge $99 to all Itch controllers that have been discontinued. Even if 500 out of the 5000+ DX users wanted an upgrade, thats $50,000 to Serato DJ for a technician to MIDI map the controller for native support. That would take what… one week (longer to beta test).

    • http://djworx.com/ Mark Settle

      The Numark NS7 is alive and kicking and apparently selling well. I suspect that the DDJ-S1 and VCI-300 are still supported because there may well be some left in the retail chain.

      • http://www.poweronplay.com J.J. Gonzales

        I would love a 9-12″ Direct Drive Serato DJ controller. I’m wondering: where is Denon? I just hope the NS7 successor has better buttons than the NS6 plastic. The 8 Trigger Pads should be put above the 2 line upfaders. If you look at the Rane 62, it would fit. The 62 has the EQ, Level, Pan, Matrix and Filter on two rows instead of 1. Time for another fake controller to photoshop.

    • http://www.facebook.com/sizero Si Brown

      A&H is now Audio Technica not D&M Holdings

      • http://djworx.com/ Mark Settle

        Just to clarify that – A&H is distributed in the UK by Audio Technica, but is still owned by D&M Holdings.

        • http://www.facebook.com/sizero Si Brown

          well spotted mark

  • Jerome

    Oh noo Mark! The image is cool! I browsed down the page to reach the contents, without paying attention to the article (sorry), then the image came (I loved it!), and forced me to read the Xone part of the article.

    Yes, there is a lack of support for Xone users and it’s regreatable. Sorry for Xone lovers…

  • djfreestyle

    That upgrade also includes free video plugin so not a bad deal for 199

  • DJ Brother “O”

    I forked out $200 for my Mixtrack Pro and the difference is amazing!!

  • Jack

    The biggest Achilles Heel I see for Serato DJ is that they STILL don’t have a solution for DJs to use outboard mixers. The Numark V7 was the only one, and it’s discontinued. But that’s really not what I’m talking about either because the V7 is much too big and bulky to drop in a gear pack and try to find real estate in a booth to fit it in. What I’m talking about is something equivalent to what Native Instruments offers their Traktor users in the way of X1/F1 type devices. Very compact, highly portable solutions for DJs to travel with and use with high-end, outboard mixers found in the majority of today’s venues and parties. No rewiring of venue’s equipment or relying on timecode, simply plug into mixer’s open channels and go to work on the main mixer, which is usually already in a prime booth location – not off to the side where you’d have to set up a full-blown all-in-one controller (assuming there’s space which there typically isn’t). C’mon Serato, get your head out of the sand and finally address this professional market segment.

    • Sam

      What about the Stanton SCS.4DJ ? it’s an entry-level kind of unit, few people are talking about it but it seems to me to be the best concept available at unbeatable price (deck+big screen+library+mixer+rec+…), getting rid of expensive laptops and software. I hope Stanton (or Any-Good-Brand) will continue in that direction and release a pro/club-level model: bigger jog, quicker track availability, optional/detachable mixer and stronger build. As for the location of such units, they could as well be used over the King’s head (SL1200) thanks to http://www.thronestands.com/?page_id=49&lang=en

      • Jack

        Not following you here. What do either of the products you mentioned have anything to do with wanting/needing controllers for running Serato DJ with outboard mixers?

        • Sam

          Nothing indeed, but they resolve some issues.

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