Is Serato About To Unify Its Software?


Serato's two software offerings - Serato Scratch Live 2.4.4 (left) and Serato DJ 1.1.2 (right), are looking increasingly similar nowadays...

So Serato has released Serato Scratch Live (SSL) 2.4.4, a maintenance upgrade to fix some bugs and glitches. Serato Scratch Live is for digital vinyl users of course, as opposed to Serato DJ which is for controller users, but what caught my attention is that in the publicity material, Serato is showing the software with the waveforms horizontally, not vertically.

Why is this significant? Because SSL was always by default presented with two vertical waveforms on the screen. But now, Serato is pushing the horizontal look for SSL, while at the same time Serato DJ is a big step towards the look and feel of SSL over its predecessor, Serato ITCH (like SSL, Serato DJ has counters in the "decks", coloured cues on screen in the same place, a similar waveform view....). It all begs the question: When are the two softwares going to merge?

I don't think anyone's in any doubt that they are (Serato hinted as much in the original Serato DJ press release), but it definitely looks to me like the company is smoothing the way for this to happen now. So if the software becomes one, what will that mean for hardware and the exclusivity relationship between Rane and Serato when it comes to digital vinyl?

Will we see other manufacturers allowed to offer digital vinyl control of Serato software, or licensed to build scratch-compatible audio interfaces into their gear? I have no inside info on this, and so we'll just have to wait and see... but whenever it comes, it's my view that such a move will only strengthen Serato's offering in the market - something the company has to do, of course, in the face of the ever-more unified (but different) message coming from its big rival, Traktor.

Is 2013 going to be all about consolidation?

With the flood of new controllers definitely slowing down, and manufacturers looking again at their product lines seemingly with the aim of simplifying them, consolidation seems to be the name of the game in 2013 - both within and between brands.

My view is that if this makes it easier for those who buy and use the gear to choose, it can only be a good thing. Because one of the paradoxes of digital DJing is that while it has put immense power into the hands of more potential DJs than ever before, it's harder than ever to know where to start nowadays - something that I know from our mailbox is a huge pain point for many beginners.

• Watch this space from more consolidation news from the industry as and when we get it... :)

Do you agree that Serato is planning on merging its two software titles into one? Have you noticed the DJ industry slowing down and rationalising behind certain products this year? What do you think the next 12 months will bring for the big digital brands? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

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  1. mynameisbrent says:

    As someone who loves the tactility of using vinyl but also the awesome features of digital controllers, I would love to see a merge of the two softwares. Can you imagine the cool things you could do with something like a 1200's and DDJ-SX setup with having to use external hardware and trying to switch back and forth between SSL and Serato DJ?
    Even with that in mind though, I'm really hoping Serato does something in mobile arena. Hopefully, a consolidation of softwares is a step in that direction.

  2. I really don't like the Serato DJ-software. There are few features which are not made as good as they could've.

    Waveriding just doesn't work with 4 decks, if you don't want to push the sync-button all the time. With 2 decks you have the beat indicators working fine, with 4 decks they're gone. Why?

    The BPM-counter sucks, because it shows only one decimal. It actually makes a difference.

    Roll feature sucks. If I want to loop a beat over other tune, and then use roll-effect with it, Serato DJ makes the effect with it's own loop function -- so if I press 2 bar roll, Serato DJ will lose the original loop I had on the beat. Not that good feature.

    I'm very close to moving all my shit to Traktor because of these little things.

    At least the DDJ-SX is _awesome_ controller.

  3. djlytsout says:

    Wait a minute!! On trakor I can use my vinyl and seamlessly start to use my ks4, and serato can't do that? Why is serato considered better than traktor?

    • It's been my experience that serato has offered a much higher level of stability than traktor.
      I am aware that others will have the exact opposite experience - but I can only speak for the numerous cases I've seen.

    • The reason I'm on still with SSL and not Traktor is that Serato has most the functionality I need without feeling to computer/programme heavy. ie. It feels more like dj'ing than dealing with a programme.
      I will say its lacking some major things such as bpm refinable search and midi out but all in all I still love it

      • BPM Refinable search on Serato is called a smart crate.... you set up the crate and tell it to look within the range you want to search. The same for many other elements of the mp3 tags. Title, artist,date added etc are all available as "conditionals". Midi out - no but yes - you can record your midi messages in other software such as ableton with the bridge and you can use your ttm57 mixer and up to just control midi in other software such as ableton.
        I JUST bought an ns6 and installed serato dj on Thursday night (still use a ttm57 and technics 1200s but wanted a "easy/light" option) and took it into the field on saturday. NO PROBLEMS WHATSOEVER!! Some of you should address the issue of a substandard computer system or one that barely makes the grade as well as improper usage of other resources such as wifi and bluetooth and LANs while you are performing.... 10/10 when i see a dj having issues with dropouts they have other things running or they use the wifi or bluetooth or both, straining your computer unnecessarily. ALSO no hate but learn how to dj with your ears and not the screen you owe it to yourself to be able to dj under any circumstances... waves or not. Pushing buttons and getting a fast sync is cool but if people are watching you then it becomes "oh djing is easy all i have to do is push buttons and move that thing across." Respect all djs but some of you guys forget that we are being viewed as well as listened to!

    • James Kendall says:

      elastic beatgrids is the reason i use it. i found it very difficult to mix with traktor with non-electronic music and i play a mix of modern tracks and those from the early 80s.

  4. I hope you're right. Then if the software is bought by the public we can start seeing pioneers mixers in the club that you can plug and play (without a serato box) which would be nice (then next logical step some midi functionality with software.)
    SSL has been a little slow with real feature updates over the last year so hopefully that's another sign of a merge about to happen.

  5. Chuck "DJ Vintage" van Eekelen says:

    I hope that with the flood of new stuff slowing down, we will start to see some standardisation (sp?). It really is too much that if you use software x, play out in clubs that use equipment P (requiring RekordBox prepared tracks) or that use equipment D (with Engine prepared tracks), you have to prepare your collection in three different ways. And even though this would be ok if it were a one time thing, track collections, cue points, loops and all these parameters are a dynamic thing and connected to the tracks. So every change has to be replicate on at least three different platforms. Found a nice loop during a gig and stored it in Traktor? You have to go and manually duplicate it in Engine and Rekordbox, provided you remember the next day what things you changed.

    You have just invested a rather significant amount of dollars to buy mixed in key and gotten used to using the wheel and Traktor comes with their proprietary system (that quite frankly has me, non-musician, totally confused).

    I personally think things like bpm, beatgrid info, cue and loop points and the likes should be standards that can be added to mp3 metadata and then used in whatever DJ software you want. Let's say at some point in time I want to change to another platform (because new software has features that better suit my workflow or a particular controller uses different software than i currently use), I would have to start from scratch yet again.

    It is like having to get a new drivers license everytime you decide to buy a new car from another manufacturer. Or having to buy another nav system for it.

    These things should not be proprietary, manufacturers should focus on delivering features that distinguish them from the competition, rather than hijacking their users by kidnapping stuff like bpm count, musical key or cue point location.

    I pray for the day that I can have one collection, that I can maintain with the tool of my liking, that I can take with me wherever I go and use with all the information that I painstakingly added to it.

    I am not asking Pioneer to allow me to read Engine files from within Rekordbox or the other way around, or Traktor to allow me to use the VDJ database. What I do look for is the industry coming up with a way to utilise a standardized way to store all these DJ specific parameters within our musical files so they become platform independent. Allowing DJs to work on several different platforms as the need arises.

    Not sure how far off topic this is, but the article triggered the response.

    Wonder if I am alone in this train of thought.


  6. King of Snake says:

    i am with you Chuck!

    i am running different software (rekordbox, serato, numark library) and mixers/controllers as well and it's so uncool to update multiple libraries...

    i found that mix vibe cross dj works quite well, importing different libraries, but that's more a work around as you stated...

    on Serato, somehow i prefer the split, keeps things (software) simple and specialised
    call me old school...

  7. Does anyone else not like the effects on SeratoDJ? I think they are absolutely terrible compared to Traktors and Pioneers

  8. Jam-Master Jake says:

    I'm ALL for the merging of Serato's various different software products into ONE unified application...a la Traktor Pro. That way, Serato can merge their software development teams into one large unit and start to REALLY push the envelope regarding new functionality and innovation on the level that Native Instruments has been as of late. I love Serato...I hope they continue to stay in the game and free themselves of the traps they've become ensnared in (numerous software apps, licensing agreements with Rane, etc.).

    Bring on the Unification, 2013!!!

  9. scooterADAM says:

    Serato have some development problems and IMO have bitten off more than they can chew. Mapping SDJ to controllers such as the typhoon and mixdeck has higher development priority than fixing important bugs such as:

    Itch and SDJ crashes on startup with large music collections.
    The only workaround is to downsize your library.
    The only solution suggested is for SDJ to be ported to 64 bit to be able to utilize more than 1.5g of RAM and not die while starting up.

    I used to like Itch but now that it only crashes on me where Traktor (also 32bit) runs fine I simply can't abide man...

    In general it takes -forever- for Serato to release stuff:
    Midi out?
    VCI380 in SDJ?

    Combining SSL and SDJ? nice idea but I wouldn't hold your breath... maybe in two years time

  10. sheldon chin shue says:

    merging ssl and serato dj would be a great thing because it allows serato to concentrate on one product when developing new features into the software and it simplifies things. in its basic core, the two already looks the same and both does the same thing. why not not merge and try to be a better dj program than traktor. traktor is killing serato with innovation. serato needs to tap in into the traktor market.

  11. DJ_ForcedHand says:

    Effectively, SSL and Serato DJ are using the same code... With a few tweaks. The libraries are the same and so are the MIDI controls. If SSL is going to be the new standard, the Bridge should be in play again without being tied to a RANE controller.

    This brings me to why this merge might just happen. We know that Serato and Rane have been good for each other, but an exclusivity contract has quelled both company's profotability. Rane probably wants to work with Native Instruments to increase their unit sales and Serato probably wants to convert their software model to something that reflects the Traktor model. Would both companies benefit from relaxing the exclusivity clause in their contract? Probably. Now that Ableton Live 9 is released, Serato is probably thinking that their software users will have the advantage of all the things Native Instruments has gained ground on for the last year. Who wins in the end? The user.

  12. Hi, Huge question, I use serato DJ and itch as it was my old software, I think making them unified would be ok as long as you have the option to separate formats. Meaning there are reasons people buy one rather then the other ect. Here is my question, It is more of a rumor I hear, any word that spotify is working with serato/virtual dj ect, to be used with live DJ sets? this would mean no more hard drives and type on your request or use playlists made prior. As far as I know it is a rumor.


  13. Serato has stated in previous advertisesments that Serato DJ would be available for the Numark Mixdeck and Mixdeck Quad for Winter 2013. Spring 2013 suposedly starts in just two days and unless I have missed a very recent update notice, I am wondering with all that is transpiring here with Serato, will this happen? Still waiting ... patiently!

    Keeping delivery promises keeps existing customers/users of your software committed to your company. Let's go Serato.

  14. Serato are going backwards. If they merge it all, they'll probably screw up the last stable item in their arsenal - SLL. All I can say is MIXVIBES!! These guys know what they're doing, and do it properly.

  15. JuniorPops says:

    To be honest I love Serato, weather SSL,Itch or Serato DJ however I think that Serato stay to long to implement stuff and they don't listen to their user base.
    For example look how long Itch Users were promised the Bridge,Itch is no more and still no Bridge.
    I recently switch to Traktor and love it,especially the Remix Decks.With the Remix Decks there is no need for the Bridge.Also I like the move that NI making to incorporate their software so that they would talk with each other. They started it with Maschine and Traktor, I am quite sure it would happen for Komplete users also.This function may be a plug in in the Remix Decks.When this do happen all the other dj software companies would got to play catch up to NI.

  16. Sorry to say this. IMHO, serato Does not support my level of plays. The functions suits more to a beginner DJs who finds beatmatching and moving the cd / turntable's spin speed seriously fun.. I bought an SL 2 for just 2 weeks and sold it to another poor fella. Sometimes I felt like I'm cheating his money LoL..

    I don't really have time to adjust the track speed when transitioning to another deck due to the scratches and FX I'm using just to make the transition perfect.. I need the sync function to make the beat speed in exact speed without havin to alter the spin speed.

    Just another IMHO, if you are seriously serious about DJing and wanna make a great impessions to the crowds with your transition skills, traktor is the software to support it..

    Sorry if I offend any Fellow DJs, but this is just my humble opinion..

  17. this is one reason i always used vdj pro..... all in one, dont have to worry about importing "crates" etc... and then to wait for updates consolidation

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