Review: Serato DJ Intro Software With Numark Mixtrack Pro

Review Summary:

Mixing with Serato DJ Intro and the Mixtrack Pro is great fun. It strips everything back to basic and presents you with the music and a pretty failsafe way of getting from one record to another. Its notable strengths are extreme ease of setting up, very convincing jogwheel performance, and lovely, tight and useful waveforms (we didn't touch on a couple of the alternative beatmatching displays, but as visual aids they're unsurpassed, and they've trickled down to here from ITCH which means you're getting some higher end features for free). The weakest point (apart from the notable inability to record your set) is the lack of any auto-looping, especially as other controllers with DJ Intro do have that. Also, not having hardware control over any more than one effect per side is a shame.

DJ Intro Software With Numark Mixtrack Pro
Serato Intro works great with the Mixtrack Pro... as long as you are clear about what it won't do.

Serato Intro works great with the Mixtrack Pro... as long as you are clear about what it won't do.

Review: Serato DJ Intro Software With Numark Mixtrack Pro

Intended to get DJs going with all the essentials but stripped of many of the bells and whistles, Serato DJ Intro attempts to provide everything a beginner DJ needs to practise the essential skills, before (the company hopes) committing to buying a Serato DJ upgrade.

Seeing as it's bundled with an increasing number of starter (and pro!) DJ controllers, it's also nowadays likely to be many people's first experience of DJ software. And as the Mixtrack Pro is the most popular starter controller among our readers, what better controller to review Serato Intro with?

A bit of history

Serato was first known for its Serato Scratch Live software, which by popular consent was the first digital vinyl software that really nailed it (and continues to do so). Whereas earlier digital vinyl systems worked, SSL really worked, and won fans in droves for being simple - so simple that it didn't even have sync. This was DJing stripped right back to basics, but with digital. You could always see why old school DJs converted easily to it.

Later on the company released Serato ITCH for DJ controllers, which had a twist in that it only worked with tightly integrated, licensed hardware. This meant that, similar to the Apple philosophy, everything was a closed show; you plugged it in, and got what you were given. If you didn't like something about it, then you couldn't really change it - all the mappings and functions on the controllers did what Serato and the manufacturers agreed they would do, and that was that.

For some this was great, others not so, but Serato had nailed one thing that trips up many digital DJs at the first hurdle - getting the damned thing to work. Even today, the number one email we get is some variation of: "The same thing's coming out of my speakers as my headphones. Help!"

New DJs with a dim understanding of Midi, sound cards, and even how DJing works (ie why they even need separate headphones and speakers outputs) can hardly be expected to sail through audio routing configurations, ASIO drivers and software mappings before they've even dropped their first MP3 on to a virtual turntable.

However, ITCH was and is expensive - it comes bundled with controllers, but the manufacturers pay for the licence per unit, passing that cost on to you. Not good for the casual user wanting to spend just a couple of hundred on something to see if DJing is for them or now. Such users were dealt DJ controllers bundled with Traktor LE and Virtual DJ LE (mainly) - cheap, chopped-down versions of the full strength, paid-for packages, that were just enough to get going.

Serato DJ Intro set-up screen

Serato DJ Intro set-up screen: If you're looking for a flight deck, you're likely to be disappointed...

Trouble again was that all the set-up issues referred to above were still there - and the speakers / headphones emails kept on hitting our inbox. Neither of these packages, despite best efforts, were or are easy to set up on the average budget DJ controller when you really aren't sure what you're doing.

Maybe realising it was missing a trick, Serato finally launched its own cut-down DJ software package, called Serato DJ Intro. (By the way, there is currently no upgrade path to ITCH, Scratch or anything else, but as we discussed yesterday in our Reloop Terminal Mix 4 review, surely it can't be far off.)

Quite quickly, DJ Intro was is bundled with all types of controllers, but most notable practically everything in the Numark range, including far and away the most popular intro (no pun intended) controller, the Numark Mixtrack. It is that which we test Serato DJ Intro with here today.

Setting up and your first mix

You install the software (from the CD in your controller box, or from the Serato website) plug your controller in to your computer, and open the package. Plug some speakers into the back of your controller and some headphones into the front, and it is ready. Same on PC and Mac. No config, no more work. Simple eh?

What you're faced with is a rather gloomy screen with a window across the bottom two-fifths of it (assuming you're on a smallish laptop display like a 1280 x800), and two virtual decks at the top. You get a choice of two views: One that looks like Serato Scratch Live (with vertical waveforms) and one that looks more like ITCH, with two horizontal waveforms (they're huge and colourful, the colours show you frequencies and are useful for predicting the kinds of sounds coming in a few seconds' time).

I'm getting ahead of myself though, We need to get some tracks on the decks first.

Serato DJ Intro Mixtrack Pro

The main screen, showing the sample slots. (Click to enlarge.)

By pressing the "back" button if necessary on the controller you switch to folder view, and then locate a music folder (or just open the iTunes library which is the easiest way to get going). You rotate the big "browse" controller on the Mixtrack (it's very similar on all controllers, by the way) and pick a tune. Pressing "Load A" will put the tune on deck A, which makes the main waveform load, as well as a smaller version of the waveform in the virtual deck. The title, name, length, BPM and other information all appear.

Hitting play/pause plays the tune (the waveform starts scrolling), hitting it again pauses it, hitting "cue" when stopped somewhere sets a cue point, hitting cue when playing returns to any cue point you set like this (or to the start otherwise), and now you can alter the volume of the track using the up/down fader closest to the chosen jogwheel (making sure the crossfader is over to the side of the playing deck too). You can also use bass, mid and treble as tone controls.

By repeating this whole procedure on the other deck, you can load another tune, start it playing and finally, mix it in by moving the crossfader across, ensuring the up/down volume control is also in an "up" position. Hitting sync will, if you're DJing with dance music, more likely than not make the songs sound passable together, at least for a short, smooth blend from one to the other.

It's the basics, and they're done without fuss or surprises. New DJs can pick it up fast enough, and DJs returning to the craft from vinyl or CD days will get it in no time.

Further mixing features

Headphones listening
Here's one area where Serato DJ Intro shines: I repeat, no set-up. It just works - plug your headphones in and they do what they're meant to. You turn the knob marked "cue mix" to the "cue" side, turn the one marked "cue gain" up a bit (it's the headphone volume), plug your headphones in, and hit the button marked "cue" for the deck you want to listen to, and you're done.

Now regardless of whether the volume faders and crossfader are set to play that deck out of the speakers or not, you will be able to hear it in your headphones. Of course, most of us know that this is how DJs prepare the next tune, and get it sounding good in time with the current one before blending it in, but it trips up many beginners, especially when it doesn't work properly! At least with this set-up, it does, and first time. There are no surprises and nothing is more complicated than it has to be.

Cue points
Cue points, for the uninitiated, are where you mark a track at a point you want to return to. The Serato DJ Intro / Mixtrack Pro combination gives you three cue points in addition to the temporary one that you see described above, and these are on the three buttons above the three effects knobs near the top of each side of the controller (which may well be marked "EQ kill" rather than "CUE" depending on when your Mixtrack Pro was made and where you bought it).

To remove a cue you hold down an adjacent button and press the cue you want to delete.

Serato DJ Intro FX

The effects slot. They're limited, but the effects sound good and all the main ones are there.

Effects
Serato Intro comes with a choice of six effects, of which you can have three on each deck at any one time. By touching "DJ-FX" at the left of the screen, you open a simple FX pane, and the three knobs and the "effect" button are used to turn the first of these effects on and off, alter its parameter, and affect the "beat multiplier". The latter control decides how fast the effect cycles as a factor of the rhythm of the tune.

The effects are standard and they sound good: You get two filters (high and low pass), flange, phaser, echo and reverb. compared to Virtual DJ LE, for instance, they are much better. However, to control effects two and three per side, you have to revert to trackpad and screen, as there are no physical controls.

Further audio manipulation
The two small faders far left and right of your mixtrack are pitch faders which alter the speed of the tune. The small "keylock" buttons determine whether or not the pitch is also affected when you slow down or speed up a track, and Serato's algorithm for making this sound OK is pretty good, although as with all such systems, it pays to use your ears to determine if it's starting to sound ropey when you move too far off true.

It's possible to set the jogwheels with most DJ controller to work like CDJs (with a "nudge" function that slows down or speeds up the tune) or like vinyl (ie you grab them and the music follows the direction of your hand). Serato's jogwheel mappings are famously tight, and that's another big advantage of this over some free software: even on the lowly Mixtrack Pro, both the sound and feel of manipulation MP3s is utterly convincing. They're a blast to use.

Looping
Looping is a real weak point of the Mixtrack Pro/ Serato DJ Intro combination, as it's only "manual" - you can loop a section of your track by hitting "in" where you want the loop to start, and "out" where you want it to end. The software is capable of performing "beatmatched" loops where the loop is automatically matched to a factor of the bars and beats, but not with this particular controller.

However, you can fine tune the start and end points of the loop by holding the respective button and moving the jogwheel. Hitting reloop exits or returns you to the start of the loop depending on the state it was in when pressed.

Sync
Old school DJs will be happy beatmatching manually with it, as it's all just-so; however the new digital DJ will be much more likely to be hitting "sync" to match his or her tunes, at least to start with.

The sync on this is "all or nothing" - it attempts to match the tempo and the beats for you - so if it gets it wrong, there's not much you can do except take over manually.

It's pretty good, but one of the perils of digital DJing is relying on sync for every mix, especially when you get no options (for instance, I like "tempo sync" - match the BPMs for me to save me monkeying around doing something I have done manually for 15 years, and I'll take over from there, but that's not possible on this).

Sampling
By hitting the little "samples" tab in the software, you are given access to four simple sample slots. You don't have to use samples; you can drag whole tracks into these slots if you want. By clicking play the sample plays, and holding alt and clicking play stops it.

There's a master volume for all samples, and if the sample you loaded has cue points already set, you can decide which of these cue points you want it to start playing from instead of the beginning if you wish.

Library features
Music library manipulation is one of Serato's strong points across all of its software, and DJ Intro keeps a lot of that. You can alter ID3 tags from right within the software (double click and type away) including when you're DJing from iTunes playlists -- please take note, Traktor - and you also get the ability to create and organise crates in order to plan sets.

Serato DJ Intro library

Serato DJ Intro library showing the prepare window, that allows you to drag tunes into a temporary area while you're DJing for impromptu mini-set sorting.

There is lots missing from the library, though, compared to the other Serato software. Notably, there are no "smart crates", which let you set rules and Serato then auto-sorts your music for you.

When I use Serato ITCH, I have smart crates to divide my music into keys with other clever bits to help me move between keys, for instance, and I also like to divide by BPM and genre in various ways.

However, there are a couple of ways around that: Firstly, you can use iTunes smart playlists and just play from your iTunes library (DJ Intro plays really nicely with iTunes as I mentioned), and secondly - sneakily - you can download and install Serato ITCH. As that software's offline mode works on any computer, you can do all your smart crate cleverness in there, then use DJ Intro for your actually DJing - happily, as all Serato software shares the same libraries and crates, you'll get "read only" access to your smart crates.

Offline mode
Unplug the controller and the software switches to "offline mode", as described above for Serato ITCH. Here you get the chance to work on your library - making up crates and crucially, analysing your tunes.

Analysis is where the software works out waveform and BPM information. If you don't analyse your tunes, the software will do so on a tune-by-tune basis, as you're playing, but this takes longer, so it's best to analyse them all when offline - you just drag them all to an analyse tab, with quite a long time depending on the size of your library, and you're done.

Options
You can set auto gain (worth doing as the Mixtrack Pro has no VU meters and no manual gain), alter latency (only touch this if you're getting audio glitches), and a couple of other settings (microphone volume and quite nicely, crossfader curve) plus some other esoteric things in the settings - but if you'e ever been scared by flight-deck style config menus, you'll be pleased by this. Conversely, if you like having myriad settings to tweak, you'll be severely disappointed!

Conclusion

Mixing with Serato DJ Intro and the Mixtrack Pro is great fun. It strips everything back to basic and presents you with the music and a pretty failsafe way of getting from one record to another.

Its notable strengths are extreme ease of setting up, very convincing jogwheel performance, and lovely, tight and useful waveforms (we didn't touch on a couple of the alternative beatmatching displays, but as visual aids they're unsurpassed, and they've trickled down to here from ITCH which means you're getting some higher end features for free). The weakest point (apart from the notable inability to record your set) is the lack of any auto-looping, especially as other controllers with DJ Intro do have that. Also, not having hardware control over any more than one effect per side is a shame.

Serato DJ Intro waveforms

The famous parallel, coloured waveforms - a major bonus of all Serato software for me.

That brings me on to a more general point. Whereas with Serato ITCH DJ controllers, every knob, button and fader has been meticulously thought about, with DJ Intro, Serato and its partner manufacturers have had to make some compromises, so buttons may be labelled incorrectly on controllers compared to what they actually do, or may not work at all. It's a factor of shoehorning the software into lots of different controllers, unfortunately. While you can always refer to a feature/button legend in the appropriate quickstart guide, this does make things a little more complex than a custom hardware/software combination might offer you, at least at first.

Serato DJ Intro is limited to two decks (no problem with the Mixtrack Pro as it's a two-deck controller), and ultimately is pretty limited compared to higher DJ software - by design. But frankly, for some DJs it could be the only software they ever need. Back "in the day" we used to DJ on two analogue decks and a mixer; here you get sample slots, decent effects, convincing jogwheel performance, tight iTunes integration - and it's free in the box with one of the most popular beginner DJ controllers, the Mixtrack Pro.

Now all Serato has to do is announce an upgrade path for those who want more, and there's no reason why the DJ Intro strategy won't see Serato winning (and more importantly, keeping) a whole new generation of fans from among people who've traditionally got their first taste of DJing elsewhere.

Product Summary

Review Summary:

Mixing with Serato DJ Intro and the Mixtrack Pro is great fun. It strips everything back to basic and presents you with the music and a pretty failsafe way of getting from one record to another. Its notable strengths are extreme ease of setting up, very convincing jogwheel performance, and lovely, tight and useful waveforms (we didn't touch on a couple of the alternative beatmatching displays, but as visual aids they're unsurpassed, and they've trickled down to here from ITCH which means you're getting some higher end features for free). The weakest point (apart from the notable inability to record your set) is the lack of any auto-looping, especially as other controllers with DJ Intro do have that. Also, not having hardware control over any more than one effect per side is a shame.

DJ Intro Software With Numark Mixtrack Pro

Have you got a Mixtrack Pro or other controller that works with Intro? do you like or dislike about it? Are you waiting for Serato to give you an upgrade patch to something else? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Comments

  1. The lack of auto-loops on the Mixtrack Pro is one of my main gripes with Intro, especially as the Mixtrack Pro does actually have buttons to select between auto and manual loops.

    While I can understand that Intro is beginner software Serato really need to make a better effort at their mappings as it just tends to look half-arsed. Not a good way to tempt people away from VDJ or Traktor.

    • No I agree, and it’s not a software thing either, as auto loop and Serato Intro play nicely together on the Terminal Mix 4, for instance…

  2. Kris Latte says:

    Phil: Thanks for the most helpful review. I will have to revisit Serato Intro after learning all this. So there is no “sneaky” workaround way to record when using Intro w/Mixtrack Pro? No jerry-rig? :-)

    • dillinger23 says:

      you probably mean jury rigged… it always a verb never a noun, eg. to jury rig or be jury rigged, never ‘a jury rig’, as for using jerry, this seems to be a corruption of ‘jerry-built’, but this is an old nautical term meaning ‘poorly constructed, bad’, as opposed to ‘work-around solution’ which is jury rigged! Sorry if you think I’m a pedant, I don’t mean to be, but I love language and it’s history. My mixes are slightly more interesting as I keep my mouth shut. ;o)

  3. Pardon me but I don’t intend to be rude. I have read many reviews on DDT and loved them. But this one seems to be more of ‘how to DJ’ rather than a review.

    • Basically because we’re reviewing beginner software, and many beginners will arrive at this article as their first exposure to our site and quite possibly to digital DJing. I take your point though :)

  4. DJ Forced Hand says:

    I think this answered one of my questions about DJ Intro in that you cannot MIDI map controls as per Scratch Live. I really wonder about the people at Serato sometimes, they seem to make some really neat stuff at times, but then they double-close doors. If my controller supports Itch, don’t lock me out of MIDI mapping controls (both for the Itch controller and other controllers I want to add-in), the chip inside the controller tells you that this is an authorized controller.

    Another oddity, it’s been a long time… where is the news about the release regarding “the Bridge for Itch”? I’d really rather see Serato focusing on their partnership with Ableton (which will be more capable than Trakor Pro with the F1, when released) instead of making stripped-down versions of Itch for entry-level DJs, which ties right back into a question the article brings up; “When you’re done with Intro, how do you upgrade to Itch / Scratch Live?”

  5. goodguy says:

    “Back “in the day” we used to DJ on two analogue decks and a mixer”

    This.
    Hence my anticipation of the Terminal Mix 2 (following your excellent 4 review) – give me quality, responsive hardware that lets me mix a couple of tracks (with per-channel filters! swoon) and auto-loop off a basic beat structure and I’m a happy chappy…

  6. DJ MaxSwell says:

    I got the Numark Mixtrack Pro bundled with DJ Intro about a month ago; it is the first controller I have owned after messing around with Virtual DJ Home for about 4 months. Personally this has helped / forced me to become a much better DJ. The very old school ‘2 Decks & Mixer’ setup means the easiest way to start to mix is by using the original techniques – quick drops, some basic beat juggling, and blends. Originally with VDJ, the common 128 bpm house music was about all I could mix, however having the mixtrack (specifically w/ Intro) I have become much more diverse in my ability to mix all types of music from early hip-hop to more traditional dance music.
    While I’m already looking into what I want to get when I step my software / hardware up a level, Serato Intro is great IMO because it gives you the tools to learn to DJ with a controller from a very basic and traditional manner without all the advanced features that can be a distraction or sometimes crutch for beginner DJ’s. It’s easily outgrown and you will quickly begin to notice what features aren’t provided, although this can help you realize what you will want with your next level of software. For a reasonable price I think this is the perfect piece for a beginner – almost no snags to set up, all the basic controls that DJing started out with, with nice and well laid out hardware too.

  7. gbadegesin says:

    Excellent article in my opinion.

    And exactly as Lew said, I am a staunch VDJ fan. The only two things with Serato Intro that has stopped me migrating is the no auto loop functionality and the inability to record. Everything else i can live with.
    And i hope Serato is reading this cos i know alot of folks who have the same gripe.

    I played last week with another DJ. I used VDJ while he used intro. I could tell that it took him slightly longer to beatmatch just beacause of this auto loop missing.
    As Phil mentioned, an upgrade enabling these features might just tempt me….

  8. As a beginner, this sounds like an affordable way to go. I like the fact it is easy to get going. Anything that makes beatmatching easy would help me out. But I think it is a bummer there is no record function. Right now, I am only looking for something basic, but the record feature would have been nice.

  9. Ms_Krista says:

    Just so I’m clear: There is NO way to record using Intro? No work-around? No jerry-rigging solution? Thanks.

  10. Auggie Hill says:

    I received my new Mixtrack Pro last week. I had been checking out the Virtual DJ Home while trying to decide which controller to start with. So, I was very excited to get my new controller bundled with VDJLE. Imagine my surprise when I open the box and in big bold letters I see w/ Serato DJ Intro. I was actually furious at first. I had never even considered Serato. I was faced with the decision to open it and try it or send it back and get another controller bundled with VDJLE. I decided to take a chance. I am so glad I did. I love the software. I’ve never DJ’d with vinyl, but if I had, I’m sure this would be similiar. I love the simplicity of it.
    Mixing tracks is what it’s really all about, right?

  11. Rene Guevara says:

    I am currently using Intro on my N4,out the box cant beat it!Only Question i have is on N4 you dont have option to adjust c/f curve,Crossfader has a dip in middle which is very low in center.Have to use up fader for mixing for smooth sound volume.Numark is aware of problem submitted to Serato.Love Intro still waiting for upgrade would buy right away.

  12. Timmy Pell says:

    Hi Phil,
    Nice work with the reviews, always very informative.
    Just a note about the auto loop facility you mentioned wasn’t possible with the Numark..
    Well, I’ve been a strict Traktor user for some time. Using Traktor Pro, a Vestax VCI-100MK2 and KORG NanoPAD2 for hot cue points and loops.
    I recently saw that Serato had licensed DJ Intro for use with the VCI-100MK2 so I thought I’d download it and give it a go. As you say, for free software it’s really not bad, I can’t get used to the ‘crates’ idea, not after using Traktor. But the Auto loop function does work with my Vestax. You can create loops from 1-8 beats (not a very wide range granted) and you can adjust the loop size on the fly while the loop is active.
    Keep up the good work.
    Timmy Pell

  13. Shaun Jenkins says:

    Hi,
    Thanks for the review good article.
    Ok my thing is that i have been using Intro for some months now and had no issues whatso ever but before that i was djing wih Traktor Le and found far too many bugs, i would do a gig and a couple of hours it would freeze up so had to switch off and redo so i stopped using Le, i tried LE and LE 2 both rubbish i am affraid, Now on serato dj intro and no probs with this software, i have done a few hundred gigs with it and find it a great software, i have been a dj for 31 years and seen alot of techno come through the market.
    Here is a Q. i have all the traktor files software still on my laptop, can i uninstall everything that is for traktor and not effect my serato.
    Many thanks
    Shaun

    Dj Jenko

    Thirsk Sound and Light.

  14. Pretty sure you can take a phono>3.5mm from output 1 on the mixtrack going into you computer’s mic in and use audacity to record

  15. Phil,
    Love all your stuff. Keep up the good work. I have been a DJ since 1976. My original vinyl collection and floating 1200’s have long gone and my hair color is a little on the white side these days but we’re still cookin’ and doing lots of parties and weddings. Never say die!

    I just recently upgraded from a Numark original Mixdeck to the Mixdeck Quad that came with Serato DJ Into software. I was wondering if you will be doing a review on this combination in the near future. Any “hands on” feedback from this package would be appreciated. Thanks. Ron

  16. I got my numark mixtrack pro today, and i’ve installed the software etc, and done all of those things when it comes to getting sound out of the headphones, but still theres no sound :( And im only seeing one deck at the time at the DJ Intro. Any help please?? Im getting upset now :(

  17. Gill Bates says:

    I found one on eBay for a decent price and I’m planning to get it. Can I map it in Traktor and Ableton? It’s very important for me because I’m going to use it in combination with a MIDI keyboard.
    I would be grateful for a quick reply. Thanks.

  18. Paul Harding says:

    OK, I am new to this. But I would say Serato’s look is good and just will take time for people to get used to. I work in IT as a software developer and cluttered screens and gimmicky images are in no way what makes a great application.
    I like Virtual DJ, it’s a great tool but I think more should follow Ableton’s tact with a 30 days trial. At the moment we are expected to outlay the best part of a few hundred quid for to get Virtual DJ working with a controller. My oh my!

  19. Gill Bates says:

    Hi Phil,
    I have a problem with the crossfader on my Numark Mixtrack Pro. When I’m moving it to the right it also affects another controls like the volume faders and the pitch fader on deck B, sometimes it’s controlling the FX parameter on both decks. I thought it’s a matter of mapping with Traktor Pro, but in Serato – it’s the same problem – it’s controlling several functions.
    I tried to make a new mapping in Traktor (as a generic MIDI device) and this is what happens: when i choose “Learn” and move the crossfader just a little bit from the center – it’s accepted as “Ch01.CC.010″. If i move it to the right – “Ch01.CC.031″, then Ch01.CC.028″, then “Ch01.CC.014+Ch01.CC.02″, the very right of the crossfader appears as “Ch01.CC.031″. If i move it to the very left – it’s “Ch01.CC.028″. If I delete the X-fader assignment, the X-fader in Traktor remains still, but the volume on both decks and the FX are still moving.

    Is there a way I could fix this problem by myself? There are no Numark service centers in my country and I cannot afford the cost of shipping back the item.
    I wrote about this issue on Numark community site, but I didn’t get any answer and, since I’m new on digitaldjtips.com’s Forum, I cannot create a topic on this matter.

  20. Creighton says:

    Hello, ive been using VDJ with a Mixtrack Pro for almost a year now. I recently joined the Serato Intro craze and downloaded it. Now however, DJ Intro stops working after about 40mins to an hour, ALL THE TIME!! I never had that problem with VDJ. Please help.

  21. Started in the early eighties with recording mixes by cutting & pasting music tapes, wanted to be like Liebrand…
    Recently, as a refreshment, I Took Phil’s dj-courses, and also the wedding-dj courses on this website as well.
    What I am trying to say is, if you want to deejay , you should rely on the basics of djing.
    Nowadays, we are seduced by software that may take all djing over…
    Yet, the most important for a dj remains its gear, and nowadays especially with the software.
    It is so much important to use dj software that doesn’t crash, or where you might hear drops during your gig. So, that is the reason why I use a “simple basic” program like Dj Intro. The less the software weights on your computer, the less chance you may expire that your computer may sweat to keep up with the combination controller/software.
    I agree, it is a comfortable thing knowing that the software will mix the numbers for you, setting everything automatic…( like most airplane pilots swith to automatic pilot while earning a huge wage being a “pilot”… You know what I mean, no offence to pilots)
    Just being happy to use Serato Intro that might be indeed very basic, but is solid like a rock. If you know the basics, than you may have enough on this. The only exception may be those who only play clubmusic….

  22. I am using dj serato intro with the numark mixtrack pro, and when I look in the menu, where there should be crates, music, itunes, and other folders, all I see is one folder that is labled ALL. And in there is all of my itunes music. But the problem is that I cant play any of my music that is on itunes. It gives me the error message: (unsupported file format) where the track info should be on the upper corners. Songs that are not on itunes, but in a folder on my desktop, will play.

    How do i fix this?

    Thanks in advance!

  23. Hi Phil

    Thanks a lot for a very informative piece.
    I have only just recently begun some dj work in a friends bar, having had an ambition to pursue it for quite a while.
    Until this week, ive been making CDs in a set list for each gig (with enough back up discs, just in case). In the bar, there is a pioneer set of controllers (2 decks) and a gemini mixer.
    Having only had 2 short stints of practise, i found it easy to navigate and learn. 2 busy Fridays of work has allowed me to become more comfortable with all the basics of cueing, mixing etc.
    Over the last few weeks, I have been indecisive as to which direction i might go – i could continue to make lots of CDs, and take those with me on a given night, but somehow this feels like its both wasteful, and not conducive to being spontaneous at all.
    I must say, this site has been something of a revelation in terms of making decisions about what to buy or use – software, mixers, controllers etc. As you mention above, it is something of a mindfield trying to work out exactly what will work best for the needs of a individual. And as for things like split cables, soundcards, cueing properly using headphones using the various different options can almost be enough to make me stick rigidly to CD making!
    However, that being said, the above option seems to me, to be one of the most amenable and user friendly options.
    The simple fact that i might be able to cue using my headphones on this numark, while navigating through my itunes playlists would be very helpful for my needs.
    Im tempted to buy the numark today if i can, so thanks for your assistance in helping me make a decision!

  24. Fausto Apolinar says:

    Is it normal while in CUE to listen to both tracks on the headphones in the CUE MIX knob? Thank you in advance!

    • It’s an option, and is especially good if there isn’t a speaker very near to you (ie a monitor speaker). It’s not essential, though – you can have that knob fully at “cue” and have one ear in your headphones, one ear listening to your speaker.

      • Fausto Apolinar says:

        Thank you for answering but I didn’t make myself clear =/ I am a beginner DJ and I always thought that while in cue you listen to JUST the cue track, not both tracks. Hence my original question.

  25. I have the Mixtrack Pro, Why doesnt any one just upgrade to the Serato dj pro version if they want more features?? How is Serato Dj pro with the Mixtrack Pro? isnt it better then the intro version??

    • Tim, it is better. I upgraded & it allows you to record & the latency seems better. When I first got my controller, I didn’t like Serato Intro. It seemed too loose so I got VDJ pro. I liked it because I was able to adjust sensitivity of the jog wheels. Then an online DJ friend suggested Serato Pro & showed himself using it. I decided to try it & it’s all I use now.

  26. Hi Phil. I need your help urgently. I use Serato Dj intro (not the full version). Am I right in thinking that there is no option to set Dj preferences in the setup menu? I need my track to stop instantly when I hit pause during playback instead of dragging to stop. This is ruining my cue point settings because I can’t get it to stop exactly where I want. FRUSTRATING!!!!

  27. Thanks for the confirmation. Such a shame though. In that case I think it makes sense to leave the default setting at instant brake rather than delayed brake.

  28. Dear Philip,

    First of all, congratulations for the work you do with the site. I read it almost every day and I find lots of useful info.

    Second of all, I have a urgent question for you.

    Till last Saturday, I owned a Novation Twich together with a laptop (and Serato Itch) and used it for lots of pretty successful gigs. Unfortunately, my dumb side of the brain took over last Saturday and I lost the console and a pair of HD 25 cans in a cab on the way home from a gig. (I know, I’m stupid, but we need to move on).

    In the next month, me and my other 2 DJ mates have planned 2 pretty important gigs. I’m pretty sure we won’t have the time and the resources to learn on such a short notice how to decently DJ with CDJs (although that’s the master plan for the future) and I want to go for a temporary solution.

    I searched and, being on a very tight budget, I decided to go for a Mixtrack PRO ( second hand here in Romania you can buy it for ~150$)

    Can you please advice if this is the best solution? If so, do you know if my installed Serato ITCH program (from the TWITCH purchase) will work with the new console?

    Thanks in advance and i’m looking forward for your response.

    Ion

    • Whoops! Yes, Mixtrack Pro is a great “temporary choice” – cheap, easy to use. Not sure about ITCH though. When Serato DJ is available for Twitch, you’d be able to “upgrade”, and as far as I know a licence is account-specific, not hardware specific, so yes – maybe. I’d ask Serato about that one though.

      • Thanks Phil for the fast response.

        The plan with Itch was to use the same visual interface, 2/3 cue points per song, beat match and EQ. Nothing more. in the end, the playlist is still the most important.

        Are the rumors regarding the not that good output sound quality true? If yes, is it possible to adjust them by
        routing the output trough a mixer and then the Speakers?

        Thank you.

  29. I am ver frustrated with numark and serato. I am running a mixtrack pro on serato on a mac and have experienced so many problems. First, the controller would stop working randomly in the middle of the mix. the tracks would play, but the controller becomes useless. Then, the crossfader stopped working. Now, I can’t mix for more than a minute or two with out the tracks skipping and changing bpm, then the whole software starts glitching up and distorting the sound to the point where it sounds nothing remotely close to music. On top of that, I have lost a couple nobs off this controller. I say one star. Do not buy this product it is well worth the money to buy a controller and software that actually works.

  30. I’m just getting into DJ-ing and I’m glad I came across this thorough review. Well done and thanks for the help!

  31. please tell me if I can play music videos on serato dj intro
    thank you

  32. I have a MixTrack Pro and it came with Traktor and Serato.

    I was messing around with some CDJs and a mixer that was running Trakor in a bar not long ago and was trying to beat match by using the jog wheels.

    When I try to do this on the Mixtrack Pro, I move the jog wheel and it alters the BPM (I think?) but then when I take my hand off it goes back to the original setting.

    What’s going on? As you can probably tell, I don’t really have any idea what I’m doing.

  33. i’m disappointed with serato/numark. when i bought it i though it is best for dj but not I;m using mixtrack pro 2, you must pay for everything on it. my problem is getting things on line using my card not this days there are lot of fraud happening.

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