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
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.