Back in… last year sometime, the next wave of Serato DJ’s roadmap made a blip on the internets. I have been sarcastically ripping Serato for the longest time about how at current speed, Serato DJ 2 would be available probably after I retired. But no, for after a period of private (ish) beta, the new versions have been announced, and Serato DJ becomes Serato DJ Pro, and Serato DJ Intro is now Serato DJ Lite.
Serato releases bold feature upgrades and stability improvements in free update
The release brings a highly-anticipated two-deck offline player, unlimited library support and a refreshed interface. It also introduces new names for each product – Serato DJ is now Serato DJ Pro. Serato DJ Intro is now Serato DJ Lite.
Alongside the major upgrade, Serato today debuted brand new website in line with its “Power of Music” ethos. Users now have handy access to new product information, artist features and interactive graphics.
What’s new in Serato DJ Pro
For the first time, Serato adds a laptop-only DJ solution with the all-new Practice Mode feature. In contrast to Serato DJ’s one-deck offline mode, Serato DJ Pro now offers two virtual decks, a crossfader, BPM controls, and full access to your library and crates without the need for hardware.
“Practice Mode is the ideal prepping tool,” said Nick Maclaren, Head of Strategy at Serato. “DJs can practice blends, set cue points or beat grids, and fine tune their sets without the hassle of plugging in gear.”
“It’s also great for mixing when you’re on a plane, or on the road. Or, if the worst happens, as a backup replacement for hardware.”
Users won’t need a license to try Practice Mode as it is a free, offline feature in Serato DJ Pro.
Bigger libraries and rock-solid reliability with 64-bit support
Serato has now added 64-bit support, allowing Serato DJ Pro to access your entire computer’s memory.
“This means loading larger libraries, using less CPU, and in turn reducing latency and boosting overall stability and performance,” said Maclaren. “It’s a huge improvement to the foundation of our software.”
Crisp new interface with high-resolution support
Serato DJ Pro now includes high-DPI support so it’s optimized for high-definition displays, and is scalable on larger screens. Other highlights include a new 2×4 cue point layout to mirror what you would usually see on a controller or mixer with pads, as well as increased line spacing in the music library and a colour refresh to the interface.
Free trials reset
Serato DJ Lite
“Essentially Serato DJ Lite is a stripped back version of Serato DJ Pro. Lite also shares much of the same code base as Pro, so they look and feel really similar. This makes it easy for beginners when they want to make the jump to Serato DJ Pro,” concludes Maclaren.
Download Serato DJ Pro
Download Serato DJ Lite
Practice mode allows you to mix two tracks together with no hardware connected – ideal for testing out your blends wherever you are.
Bigger libraries and rock-solid reliability with 64-bit support
64-bit support means Serato DJ Pro and Lite now performs better than ever with virtually no limit on library size.
Performance Pad view mode
Serato DJ Pro includes a new Performance Pad cue layout option in the setup screen. Display your cue points in a new but very familiar layout.
Optimised for high resolution screens
Serato DJ Pro and Lite are optimised for high definition Retina, 4K and UHD displays.
Improved help and support
Serato DJ Pro and Lite includes a new and improved help and support section that you can easily access in-app.
Read the full list of bug fixes, changes and additions in the Serato DJ Pro 2.0 release notes
For those needing a little more information, here’s the above mentioned release notes:
- Added 64-bit support for Mac and Windows
- Updated look with new colours and scalable interface
- Added Practice Mode – test your mix without hardware connected
- Added ‘Hi-Res Screen Display’ option – Display in high resolution on Retina, 4K and HD monitors
- Added new ‘Help’ menu including Support Knowledge Base search
- Added ‘Performance Pad Cue Layout’ option
- Added headphone PFL ‘Auto Cue’ option (for supported controllers only)
- Added play/pause keyboard shortcuts for Practice Mode – [Space] for left deck, [Enter] for right deck
- Added support for ‘iTunes Library.xml’ – If no iTunes Music Library.xml is found it will look for a iTunes Library.xml instead
- Changed audio decoding from video files (previously Quicktime) to the native OS decoder
- Added Mix + Mic + TR recording options for the Roland DJ-202
- Set Temp Cue logic updated
- Fixed Favourite FX list not saving between sessions
- Fixed Ctrl+Z not working correctly in Offline player
- Fixed ‘Error Communicating with device’ message showing when DDJ SR2 is connected
- Fixed Windows DPI scaling restricting application from opening due to minimum screen resolution
- Fixed Analysis Settings popup not allowing tooltip to be open at the same time
- Fixed an issue where the Roland DJ-808 could not connect to Serato DJ on macOS High Sierra
- Fixed a potential hang when connecting Rane SL4 with no drivers installed
- Fixed ‘Error Communicating with device’ error message showing when connecting Pioneer DJ DDJ-SR2
- Fixed Roland TR-S not correctly aligning with the beatgrid
- Fixed Temp Cue not drawing at correct position when the beatgrid is at a negative value
- Fixed Temp Cue remaining after track is ejected
- Fixed Temp cue jumping to start of active loop
- Fixed cursor flickering while dragging from Deck/Sample slot (MacOS)
- Fixed Play From Start not being respected when Sticker Lock is enabled
- Fixed album art box being too long in horizontal and vertical view
- Fixed an issue where the album art would stay visible
- Fixed track starting from playhead position of last loaded track when no song load options are set
- Fixed an issue being unable to jump to a letter when inside a crate
- Fixed an issue turning MIDI output lighting ON when mapping Sync
- Fixed a possible dropout switching between Fav FX banks before FX are turned on
- Fixed MIDI Output lighting not toggling for Sampler midi mappable controls
- Fixed MIDI Mapped Video upfader not working unless upfader link is enabled
- Fixed Sampler panel height not returning correctly when closed
- Fixed bloated iTunes XML causing a crash
- Fixed a potential crash when resizing application window continuously
- Fixed a potential crash on exit
- Updated the auto backup message on exit screen
- Updated various tooltips and translations
- Updated application icons
I think it would be fair to say that the only real new feature in the new release is the practice mode. This give you just enough features to mix a couple of tracks together and sync them, with no hardware needed. This does mean that you’re limited to computer audio, and can’t configure audio interfaces. It is exactly what it says it is.
A muted drop
I’m sure some one you will be left with a slightly deflated feeling. You’d probably built up some huge expectations about what a v2 release would bring, but for me the drop does match Serato’s build here.
I’m going to repeat a point I keep making, and use this release as a clear example of what’s happening in the scene right now. For most people, DJing is playing tracks back to back with some additional frippery thrown in for good measure. The needs of the masses are simple, and were nailed a very long time ago. New features are thus more niche, and less appealing to the majority, leaving nothing to really do with the core software except make it better, because it’s hard to make it do more.
And better is what Serato DJ Pro is. It’s been brought up to date in line with modern computer standards, plus has some new features that people will definitely like. It feels more like a collection of point release features saved up for a full version update. But if initial comments are anything to go by, there’s still a list of features that users have been asking for, so Serato still has some work to do if they’re to keep head from looking elsewhere.
A Good Update
When all is said and done, Serato DJ Pro might not bring a lot of excitement to the table, but it’s definitely better for a more measured approach. Throwing a heap of revolutionary features into the pot is fraught with danger, and pandering to those who want more for the sake of it has the potential to break things royally, which in turn pisses off everyone.
More will come, and most likely in the form of new expansion packs. What we need is for Serato to continue the work on making their stuff better, and to add features that users have been asking for.