After the suitable period of teasing and beta testing, Serato has hung its hat on streaming as the next big thing in DJing, and released Serato DJ Pro 2.1. And Serato DJ Lite 1.1. And the Serato Play laptop only expansion pack. And Rane Seventy Two Firmware. And support for the insanely overdue Mixars Primo controller.
Bloody hell — Serato has been busy. Best to let them explain it themselves:
Serato ushers in streaming with SoundCloud & TIDAL, fully-featured laptop-only DJing solution and much more
Serato DJs now have in-app access to millions of songs via SoundCloud and TIDAL.
“SoundCloud and TIDAL streaming is a huge deal for DJs” says Nick Maclaren, Chief Strategy Officer at Serato. “Adding streaming aligns with how most of the world consumes and organises music. It also removes that critical hurdle of finding music files to DJ with, particularly if you’re just starting out,” he says.
In addition to streaming, the release launches Serato Play, a state-of-the-art expansion pack which delivers fully-featured, laptop-only DJing.
Next, the release includes an important firmware update to the RANE SEVENTY-TWO, including post-fader FX, fader start and much more.
Lastly, Mixars PRIMO support has been announced. An excellent two-channel, four-deck controller for Serato DJ Pro.
Serato has reset all trials of DJ Pro for this release, so anyone can go and try out these exciting updates, free for 14 days.
Streaming with SoundCloud
Serato is excited to bring the world’s largest catalogue of edits, remixes, and exclusive content to its DJ software.
“SoundCloud are such an important platform for music discovery and have long been aligned with the DJ community,” says Maclaren. “We’re thrilled to partner with a service that offers such a large and diverse catalogue of songs unavailable anywhere else online.”
Anyone with a SoundCloud Go+ account can stream directly in both Serato DJ Pro and Serato DJ Lite. Anyone without a Go+ account can take a free 30-day Go+ trial.
Streaming with TIDAL
Serato users can now stream directly from TIDAL’s catalogue of 60 million tracks, including the option to stream in high-fidelity audio.
“TIDAL is known for its commitment to great sounding audio, which makes them a perfect fit for the DJ market,” says Maclaren. “Being able to organise playlists from your phone is also a massive advantage as DJs can prepare their playlists on the go,” he adds.
DJs will need a TIDAL subscription to stream and can choose from two membership tiers; Premium users can stream in High Quality (AAC), while Hifi users have the option to choose between High Quality (AAC) and Hifi Quality (FLAC). Anyone without a TIDAL subscription can take a free 30-day trial to test it out.
Having access to an endless song library creates its own set of challenges, so Serato has curated a series of playlists to help you get started with finding music. From warm-up selections to dancefloor bangers, the curated playlists will be updated regularly and available across both platforms. Just follow these TIDAL and SoundCloud links.
Serato has launched its very first fully-featured, laptop-only DJing solution.
The all-new expansion pack builds on Serato’s hardware-less Practice Mode, adding a pitch slider, four-deck capability, EQs, FX and filters, as well a new selection of keyboard shortcuts to make the most of each new feature.
“Serato Play means DJs no longer need hardware to practice mixing or even play a DJ set,” says Maclaren. “For beginners, it removes the upfront expense of investing in hardware while you’re still learning. While more advanced DJs can get our software’s full functionality to practice and prepare for sets while they’re on the road,” he adds.
Serato Play is available as a paid expansion pack to both Pro and Lite users.
Anyone with a Serato DJ Suite license, Suite subscription or Expansion Pack subscription will get Serato Play for free.
RANE SEVENTY-TWO firmware update
Serato is also delivering a range of feature updates to the hugely popular RANE
SEVENTY-TWO mixer. This includes support for post-fader FX, fader start, new on-screen display functions and much more.
“This update delivers a range of exciting performance enhancements, particularly post-fader FX, a feature in high demand from professional DJs” says Maclaren.
Learn more about the firmware update here.
Support for Mixars PRIMO now available
Lastly, Serato’s latest update delivers official support for the new Mixars PRIMO. A premium two-channel, four-deck controller for Serato DJ Pro.
Highlights include a high-quality built-in soundcard, sturdy build quality with brushed aluminum face plate, large aluminum jog wheels, and a USB-powered option.
“The Mixars PRIMO is one of our most advanced two-channel controllers yet, including everything you need for professional use,” says Maclaren. “It’s plug-and-play with Serato DJ Pro, and includes a paid upgrade to DVS for ultimate flexibility.”
Learn more about the Mixars PRIMO here.
Serato DJ Pro 2.1 and Serato DJ Lite 1.1 – Key Features:
- Streaming with SoundCloud – Serato DJs with a SoundCloud Go+ account can discover and stream from a massive catalogue of millions of tracks.
- Streaming with TIDAL – Serato DJs with a TIDAL subscription can stream from 60 million songs, including the option for high fidelity lossless audio files.
- Curated Playlists – Dedicated TIDAL & SoundCloud playlists exclusive to Serato DJs, bringing you new sounds across warm-ups to headline sets.
- Serato Play – A paid expansion pack offering a fully-featured offline option for DJing without hardware connected.
- RANE SEVENTY-TWO firmware update for Serato DJ Pro – Including post-fader FX, fader start, improved pad response time and performance, new on-screen display functions and much more.
- Mixars PRIMO – Official support for this professional two-channel, four-deck controller, that unlocks Serato DJ Pro and has support for Serato DVS (paid upgrade).
Free trials are reset – All free trials will be reset in Serato DJ Pro 2.1
Read the full list of changes and additions in the Serato DJ Pro 2.1 release notes.
Yay — this one is a double-edged sword for sure. One one hand, you’ll have access to a world of official and user-generated content, and you’ll doubtlessly find some absolutions gems. On the other, you’ll… ummm have access to a world of user-generated content, and will have to wade through a heap of dross to find those gems. And I suspect the days of “play this — it’s on my phone” will be joined with “play my demo — it’s on SoundCloud”.
After a few years of teetering on the brink of collapse, SoundCloud seems to be getting back in the game. Partnering with Serato is a good move for them, and from what I can gather the first of many.
Know anyone with a TIDAL account? I don’t — cue deluge of commenters. Nor (unlike SoundCloud) is it something that generates much in the way of chatter. But reading the about age, it’s a serious and professional outlet, in a kind of “by the people for the people”way.
So it’s only natural that Serato would want to partner with them. The perceived audience of TIDAL is very much in line with Serato’s, as is the focus of the catalogue. That said, I did some random digging and found obscure punk tracks from my youth, as well as other less than mainstream rarities.
The one thing that did strike me was the similarity to Spotify. Speaking of which…
WOT — NO SPOTIFY?
A repeating theme in comments upon the news of TIDAL and SoundCloud coming to Serato was along the lines of “why not Spotify?” as if blaming Serato for making the wrong choice.
Here’s the thing — it’s not Serato’s decision. They (or anyone else for that matter) can’t just walk into Spotify HQ and demand the keys to the streaming kingdom. It’s entirely in the decision of Spotify themselves.
It’s not like they need the business — having a user base of 83 million paying customers, the number of new subscribers off the back of DJ software is barely likely to be a blip on the radar. This probably explains why they’ve dipped their toe in the DJ pool with algoriddim and feel no need to dip it further at this point.
But whatever it is that Spotify is looking for, they appear to have found it in algoriddim’s djay. They’ve been long time partners now, a relationship that doesn’t show any signs of getting tired. So if you feel that streaming from Spotify is for you, it doesn’t look like it’ll be making an appearance in any other DJ software any time soon.
To clarify this point:
“Serato Play is available as a paid expansion pack to both Pro and Lite users.
Anyone with a Serato DJ Suite license, Suite subscription or Expansion Pack subscription will get Serato Play for free.”
I’m really divided about this. On one hand, it’s truly great that Serato has provided a way for DJs to finally work on their laptop alone, without controllers — indeed work anywhere that the moment takes them. But outside of playing music, this is the first functionality that should be built into DJ software, and has been since the dawn of the very first applications that came out since.
And now Serato wants to charge many users for it. Not the subscribers, but everyone else. I’m all for paying for new features, but not what I consider to be missing ones. It should just have been rolled into the main application in an update.
Post fader effects — yay. It irks me so when they’re not, so I’m so happy to see that this has been achieved. I hope to see it as a permanent fixture in all Serato devices from now on.
Ooooh it’s getting close now. After a sustained period of will-they-won’t-they, it looks like they finally will, and we’ll be getting a fresh two channel controller, something that the scene has wanted since seeing it ages ago.
While not happy about having to pay for Serato Play functionality that should have been in the software since release, this is a solid round of updates from Serato. For them, jumping into streaming is probably as momentous as adding a sync button, as it takes them further away from their original vinyl first ethos.
But DJing is a scene that evolves every year, and to keep up the players must adapt and adopt. And that’s what Serato is doing here. I’m interested to see where they go next.