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ImTheDJ

DJ CRANK
As you know by now I can't keep DJ Equipment longer than 6 months. I have been interested in Serato for the longest and I should have got it way back before I got rid of my CDJ 800s. I was born and raised on Turntables and I still have my Tech 1210's but I would mainly still use my Serato with my CDJ 1000s for gigs and Vinyl for home use. I would like to know the good bad the ugly. What are your likes and dislikes? What makes it easier to use than Vinyl as uppose to CDs? Is there a lag? What is the difference between using the CDJs or Vinyl? What is the setup time, do you have to do calibrating? I am debating whether I want to make this purchase or not. I have my money to the side actually waiting on a XBOX 360 Bundle... Serato users check in Preciate it.
 

DjSisko617

New member
yeah me too i wanna look into the serato setup but i need to buy a laptop first

hey ImTheDj ive seen my boy use it with an external hardrive and it really is effecient man

ive seen the serato at work and it has this lil wave thingie in the middle of it dat lets you beatmatch so perfect its creepy lol

but i think its worth it definately and also it bpm's ur whole library and u can click on the categories and it sorts them for you its a very very good program from wat i seen my boy do...

im gonna get it

BUT YEAH XBOX 360 lol is coming out sooooooo...
 

Dj BlackLabel

Midwest 2 the bone
Check it Crank, here's my take on this.

LIKES:
Well, the good (IMO) is you have all ur music at your fingertips. You don't have to carry crates, or cd books, if you dont want to. I have an external hardrive with a lot of music stored on. Another positive is organization (which to us military cats is a BIG must!) The organizing of this is very, very simplistic. You can arrange your music by "crates". Actually, what these are, are folders for music storage & easy access. They can be labeled anything that you want, & they are accesible by the control records, or cds. I have my folders labeled by the genre of music in this order...

Dirty South Shit
House
Steppers
R&B
Old School R&B
Old School HipHop
Reggae (small seclection)

I put each genre of music in it's specifed folder (crate). Also, they can be arranged by bpm in the folders (crates) in which I used Mixmeister BPM Analyzer to calculate them automatically. Obviously, u can imagine that it's not 100% on the money, but definetly helpful.

The 2 control vinyl records are my favorite b/c dog, it feels & handles no different. If u miss/enjoy that feel & control of vinyl, then you'll enjoy this. Remember, this setup also comes with 2 control cds also. So since you still use the cdjs, you can use your Serato with the control cds that come with the program. You don't have to use tts, you have the option. Some may say it defeats the purpose, but it doesnt b/c some people don't wanna carry a bunch of cds, so they use Serato with their cd setup for the same reason as a vinyl dj would to obsolete the carrying of records. I look at it as "preserving the precious vinyl collection." You won't warp your records, or risk losing them, or whateva if they're at home. (Carry some just in case of emergencies though) Another plus, I would say, is convience. I remember reading where some of you cats complain about keeping up with the music on cds & all the burning doubles. Not with this baby! You need a double? Slap the same track (file) on the other turntable (on the screen)-BAM...YOU GOT DOUBLES! No mess, no fuss, no confusing, nor burning a bunch of discs. NOTE: I would say, always carry spare vinyl, or spare cds..remember dog, it's a computer, the shit can go bad in a heartbeat! Crash, powerdown, so keep some side artillery!

Accesiblity is great! You can access the music in the crates from the control vinyl/cds. There is a spot @ the end of the vinyl that scrolls thru the crate files so you can select & drop each track... AND it scrolls so u can switch crates. So, if u playin one song in one crate, when cueing up the next song on the other side, you can put the needle to the scroll spot on the vinyl, flip to a whole different crate, & hit the files in there...I love it man. When u in a zone, droppin them joints on they ass, that feature comes in handy b/c your hands DONT LEAVE THE TABLES! EXCELLENTO!!!

DISLIKES:
Yes, mine has a lag SOMETIMES, but I honestly think that's because my craptop isnt fast enough. I have seen cats use this shit flawlessly, no shutdown, no freezing. Mine has a slight delay @ times, but I contribute that mostly to the lack of speed on my craptop!!! The setup time for me was minimal. I would say 10-15 mins tops, you only have 1 cd to install, & that is very, very short. Yes, you SHOULD calibrate before each setup. That is a small detail b/c it doesnt take that long to do. To me, it's worth the short, short time to calibrate.

One thing that is kinda suspect, but DON'T GET ME WRONG, its a beautiful, beautiful feature, is the waveform display. For guys who learned the old way, this can be a BIG handicap. The wave form display is an onscreen wave pattern which displays the pattern of the beat. Man, it's sweet! If you know how to read it, you can match up the beats like nuthin. On the flipside of this, it can get you caught up. You know how a deer looks into the light of an approaching car? That's what can possibly happen with this feature. You stare at it. When we were learning to spin on vinyl, you had to train your ears, well this feature kinda "handicaps" you from paying attention to what you hear, but forcing you to read what you hear. Now, some guys may like this feature, & it is a sweet, sweet ass feature, but IN MY OPINION it can slightly deter you from 100% listening to pitch a record, but instead, you LOOK at the wave pattern to catch it up to beat. Now, I'm sure all of us who were dj'ing before Serato came out have pretty much trained our ears, but THIS IS ONLY MY OPINION, it helps, & can hurt. Nonetheless, I would'nt take the feature off.

Well Crank, I thinks it's sweet. I don't do events like you anymore, but I have done some close family shit, some shit for my patnas, & its tite! You'll like it. I'm sure some of the other cats on here can help out with some stuff I may have missed...hope it helps famo!!
 
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NTREEG

New member
Likes:
SEARCH!!! That is best feature ever. I don't have to scroll through lists of music. If I know a song off of the top of my head that i immediately want to mix, i just hit CTRL+F and start typing a few letters from the song's title and serato pulls it up. Super fast!

Shortcut keys are dope. I can have a vocal version of song one on turntable 1, and an instrumental of song 2 on turntable 2. While I've got these tracks loaded (and maybe already blending during the chorus), I can highlight the vocal or acappela of another track. When I've finished mixing out of track 1, I can hit Shift+Left Arrow and my highlighted track is immediately loaded on turntable 1. I can swap out tracks in 1 second. It used to take me 10 seconds to yank off a vinyl record, replace it with a new record, then cue up the start of the track. This opens up a whole new world of megamixing and fast transitions.

I encode 75% of my tracks myself from vinyl records that I buy. The beauty is that I never have to buy doubles of records anymore (unless I want them to use in a battle). If I've got a track loaded on turntable 1 and i want a double of it on turntable 2, I just highlight it and hit Shift+Right Arrow and I've got instant doubles.

Time markers! You can tell how many minutes and seconds you have left on a track. You can also tell exactly where you are in the track so if you want to pull up a double of that track and match them up in the exact same spot to run a flange effect, it's easier to find that spot - just match up the time markers.

Extended intros - i make 32 beat intros for every new track I buy. I don't have to wait for it to come out on a compilation record because I can make it myself. If I want a dirty, extended version of a track, I don't have to complain that lethal weapons only use clean versions. 32 beat intros makes my mixing sound so much smoother.

Dislikes:
When I first got Serato is operated flawlessly for a month, then i started getting audio dropouts for 3 weekends in a row. I had to figure out what was going on. I read a few remedies online and i tried them all at once. So I don't know what was causing the problem in the first place, but now that I use the exact same process every time, I never have audio dropouts anymore. Here's what I did: I used to have my external hard drive connected to one USB port and Serato connected to another. I bought a PCMCIA Firewire card for my notebook and instead of connecting the external drive to USB, I now connect it to Firewire. Serato is the only USB device connected to my computer now. The power management feature of some notebooks can cause Serato to stutter. I went into Windows and disable ACPI. I think that was the main cause of my dropouts. Just to be safe, when i start up my notebook I kill all unnecessary processes. I remove my wireless card, shutdown my firewall, stop any virus scanning, and kill unfamiliar processes in my task manager. I do that everytime i start up (doesn't take that long) and I've had no problems since.

Shielding: I don't think the Serato box is shielded that well. If I lay it in a bad spot (say next to a power strip) I'll sometimes pick up hum.

Set up: It takes me about 5 minutes to connect all the RCA cables to my mixer when I get to the club. I could do it faster if i pushed myself, but 5 mins is about the norm for me.

Pass thru: Serato does not ship with a power adaptor. You can not hear anything from your mixer unless Serato is connected to the PC and you've got power to the box via USB (i.e. your computer has to be on whether you're using mp3s or not). The pass-thru feature (playing backup records) is useless if you have to reboot your computer unless you purchase a power adaptor for your Serato. Then you can use the pass-thru as a backup and reboot your computer without any interuptions.

Music prep: Converting your vinyl collection takes a loooooong frigging time. I averaged a rate of encoding 3 or 4 tracks a day, every day for the first few weeks I had Serato. I now turned about 2 or 3 of my crew members onto Serato and we share our MP3 collections to cut down on encoding duties. We all have the same orignal records anyways.

Extra features: No timestretch on the current version of Serato. May be added in the future as an upgrade.
 

MoonDawg

www.djmoondawg.com
I co-sign on both Blacklabel n Ntreeg.....I use CD's mainly and it is easy to use. Only bad thing I can say about it in the Serato version 1.4 is that for CD decks the key lock cannot be used. So ineffect you spin cd's like you would vinyl as far as using the pitch controls and having the key change on you. They are however going to fix this in the 1.5 software release which is still undetermined. Great BUY for any DJ!! IMO
 

djtec

IMPACTSOUNDS.COM
whats the best price for a serato scratch?

123dj.com has it for $500 free shipping

anyone have a better price?
 

Tha_Man

DJ.VO Artist.Moderator
I agree with everything that has been said..

Blacklabel and Ntreeg hit the nail..

I paid $499 for mine, shipped.. From Americanmusicalsupply.com

I use a 2.8GHZ P4
512 MB of Ram

--
Brian
 

Ern

Clean Sleeves
I know of one guy running serato on a 700Mhz notebook with 256 MB of ram.......I finally saved my cash and got a notebook...by the end of january I plan on having serato...and hopefully by the end of summer 2006, some TT's
 

ImTheDJ

DJ CRANK
Preciate all the feed back and insight, I am sitting here now, I ust brought 8 cds to work to type up the labels on these hardpaper so I can put them in my cd book....sux, I have a Dell 5160 computer 3.4ghz laptop. its pretty fast no lag, I would dump everything of it and only use the serato on it. Then buy another computer to search the internet and all that other stuff. I will wait and see, I think I am gonna get my xbox 360 for now, and then when I get back to the states in march, If I find a steady gig I will pick up Serato. Besides the info I got here I went to the Rane site and Forums and got a lot of info as well. But stop the info from flowing, Im sure there something else great that this program does.
 

Ern

Clean Sleeves
Don't feel bad..I just spent the last 2 days, indexing, sorting, labeling and editing the last 200 songs I got before going to CD, halfway through the burning process one of my CD burners die, meaning it went from 3 min turning out double CD's to 10 min turning out doubles ( I have dual DVD burners...allows me to burn 2 discs at the same time ) then having to resort my CD book, definatly no fun....

my notebook is only a 1.4 Ghz celeron (im on a budget), i'm already taking it to the stripclub (no mixing or scratching needed) and its proven itself as a performer already...but it will get the job done with serato, as thats all it will run, minus light internet surfing..I let my main PC do all the dirty work... its a home built 2.1 Ghz Athlon XP 2800+, suuper fast...with 200GB of HD space...with tons of upgradability - can handle up to 12 IDE hard drives + 2 Serial ATA drives, 3GB memory...athlon 64 processor compatible and thats just the icing on the cake!
 
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djtec

IMPACTSOUNDS.COM
all i can say is WOW!

I just got my Serato Scratch Live and it blew my mind where I thought it couldnt!

My group is the owner of both final scratch 2.0 and serato scratch.
AND SERATO IS BETTER!!!!!! BY A LARGE MARGIN I THINK!

So let me give you some highlights on why Serato is better than Final Scratch.
1. Serato amp is smaller than Final Scratch 2.0
2. Serato uses USB 2.0 rather than firewire. Although I know firewire is suppose to be faster, I saw better response from the Serato
3. Biggest Surprise, Serato does not need a AC Adapter!! Thats awesome!!!
Takes the power from the usb 2.0, big plus for that, less wires
4. Instantly out of the box i had no connection problems whatsoever. Where as Final Scratch 2.0 we had many times where we had to reset the program to collaborate the needles.
5. Serato records have a real vinyl feel to them, like a promo that just came out of the box. As for the Final scratch was heavy and hard to scatch sometimes. I havent tried the thinner record you can buy for Final Scratch.
6. Sound quality is about the same
7. Serato HAS WAY BETTER support than Final Scratch. When to both sites to research, couldnt even find a Final Scratch support board. Serato has a community that helps each other with problems and updates. Heard a new version of Seratos software is coming out where you can record and various other new thigns. SOUNDS GREAT!
8. Serato has vertical waveforms i thought at first was gay and confusing! I was totally a horizontal guy when I used Final Scratch first, but having the vertical waveforms right next to each other was AMAZING!, you can beatmatch using the waveforms without even using headphones! THATS SICK!
9. Seratos record does not end, havent really tested it though. The record is built so that it loops over and over and over near the end of the record. Belive this option can save people who play 30 minute mp3s and the record wont end.
10. Didnt even feel a lag at all. I know Final Scratch has a lag when you scratch. I did not detect that at all with Serato
11. Serato is cheaper! I got mine for $479, the final scratch we got for almost 550 to 650.

Save some money and get Serato Scatch u wont regret it! CANT BEAT THAT RANE BRAND EITHER! Hope I helped someone here. CHeck all the forums, Serato is better!

AND NO I DO NOT WORK FOR THEM!!!!! =)
 

Dj Dolo

Now Known As DJ Do $tackz
I got SSL this past weekend and I love it (even though ma lazy @$$ ain't used it that much.) It really was a matter of accessing all of my music. I only have like 40 records and 28000 songs in my cpu. I knew I was going to upgrade (SSL or cd tables) soon so I just waited. I haven't had any problems yet, besides these wack tone arms on my Gemini's allowing the needle to skip very easily.

To all thinking about getting SSL, GET IT, YOU WON'T REGRET IT! :D
 

DJ STILL N

New member
How often do u guys calibrate during a 4 hour set? Once in the start? or throughout the night?
I Spin with a mackie 18" sub directly in front of me. I use the ttx's out (Techs at home) and avent had many problems (Skip/feedback etc) - Any issues with large sound around?
 

DJ enCore

New member
question for SSL users. Why is it that you can only cue up once with the second edition records, but you can't scratch, back cue or anything else with them. But the First edition records enable you to scratch, back-cue, juggle and all that good stuff. Anybody know why this is???

OH yeah, I love being able to throw my own mixes in during my 4 hour sets. SSL is LIVE indeed.
 

Sam-I-Am

5th Empire
Shouldn't be any problems scratchin' with SE records

DJ enCore said:
question for SSL users. Why is it that you can only cue up once with the second edition records, but you can't scratch, back cue or anything else with them. But the First edition records enable you to scratch, back-cue, juggle and all that good stuff. Anybody know why this is???
QUOTE]

I've only used the SE records, but don't have any problems scratching, back cue, etc. Not sure what's wrong there. Make sure you're using one of the record modes, not the computer mode, and you should be good-to-go.
 

P-KNoW

ORIGINAL HEATSEEKA DJz
Get Serato Kid... you wont be dissappointed.... This is the the golden grale... no; the lost arc to true (vinyl aged) djs.
First of all I believe that if your a Hip-hop DJ using cds... thats cool, but your not in a league with Vinyl spinners...

Get mad ... oh well... come to Kansas and whoop me. or catch me in your area. or call me on that in another thread...

anyways the Rane SSL (serato scratch live) is the bridge that allows true djs as myself to capitalize on just about every last dj technological advancement, that until recently only was available with cds... Now, no longer can wack dudes make technological excuses as to why they don't spin on TTs.

I like everthing about my Rane SSL. Especially how all these poser, button pusher djs who cant even beat match...( flippng jokes) look at me now when i set-up my TTs, mixer, and "LAPTOP?".

its very rewarding
especially since i almost let all the tech geeks convince me that without cdjs i was limited compared to djs on cds... They have lighter music librarys... they can loop with one finger... They can play all the hits ( some hits are rare if not non-exhistant on vinyl.)... etc.

anyway. Rane SSL was more than an equallizer... The only problems I heard of or had with the Rane SSL were related to CPU capability, poor quality MP3s, or improper connections... No crashes that i know of personally.. my music lagged at a party once, but it was my fault for not making sure my MP3 was good quality. I also have had poor sound quality, but i just needed a new needle. basically its as sound as the hardware you use with it...:D
 

nautical

New member
reading through this... SSL doesn't come w/ a power adaptor? And if you don't have that plugged in and you need to reboot, you can't use normal vinyl during this time? (correct me if i'm wrong).

eitherway, i'm looking to purchase it w/in 1 month... gotta unload my fs1 first.
 

DJ Zaiber

New member
Hmmmm...I've read a lot about this program, espacially here. But is it meant only for scartching DJs? 'Cause it sounds pretty interesting and espcecially de vertical waveform but I don't think I'd spend $500 just for mixing on my PC.
 
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