Terminal Mix 4 With Serato DJ Talkthrough & Video

Terminal Mix 4

Now you can upgrade Terminal Mix 4 (and Terminal Mix 2) to use Serato DJ software and thus utilise all four of those channels, we thought it was time to give it another look.

When Reloop released the Terminal Mix 2 and the Terminal Mix 4, it was yet another sign that Serato was planning what turned out to be Serato DJ software. After all, the Terminal Mix 4, especially, made little sense otherwise, as the supplied Serato software could only use two of its channels! Further to that, there were buttons that didn’t do stuff, and labels for non-functioning items. All of this gave the secret away somewhat.

Now that Serato DJ is with us, and the Terminal Mix 2 and Terminal Mix 4 are enabled to take the upgrade (plus, there’s a bundle on sale that actually includes Serato DJ in the box for the Terminal Mix 4, to save you upgrading the usually supplied Serato DJ Intro software), I thought I’d take a quick look at how the integration has worked, and what’s changed.

Making the switch

The first thing is that you have to upgrade the firmware of your unit in order for Serato DJ to work. Luckily, this is pretty simple stuff, and once done, you buy Serato DJ, activate the licence (licences work per computer), and you’re ready to go.

So what are the improvements? Well, one of my favourites is that using the little buttons near the rotary library encoder you can do additional things to what’s possible in Serato DJ Intro, and the best of these is the ability to jump through views (recording, FX, sampler…) to save you having to do this using the mouse / trackpad and pointer as before. It’s long been a bugbear with Serato DJ Intro and ITCH before it, and it’s good to see it fixed.

4-Deck-View-extended-waveforms

Four decks was pretty much needed for a four deck controller, and that alone is worth the upgrade. (Click to enlarge.)

Audio-wise, the filter sounds better, and the FX – touted as one of Serato DJ’s big improvements – do indeed sound excellent, with a large degree of control. With some effects, there are two knobs and two buttons to switch and control various aspects of the effect as well as the usual wet/dry and on/off. The fourth knob and button per effects engine are – as before – beat multiplier and beat tap. The power of the new effects is somewhat diminished by the fact that you can’t stack them, and that there are only two – although they can be assigned to any channel, and to the master, which is a good point, especially for post-fader echoes and the like. Still, would have been good to see more power and flexibility here.

The sampler, for what there is, works well. Here the problem is not so much lack of features (although Serato DJ’s sampler doesn’t come close to the Remix Decks of Traktor for features, it is well implemented and has most of what most DJs would need), but rather the fact that you can’t control much from the unit itself. Back to the mouse, then, for quite a lot of stuff. Nonetheless, basic sample triggering (first three buttons of four per side) and sample bank switching (the fourth button) is there.

Other improvements? Fader start now works, the loop size now goes down to smaller and larger values, and also Smart Crates work, which they don’t in Serato DJ Intro (Smart Crates are a bit like auto playlists in iTunes). One omission to note, though, is that the intriguing “slicer” button still does nothing.

Conclusion

In short, this software upgrade means the Terminal Mix 4 is now the controller it was always meant to be. It’s solid, reliable, the jogwheel performance particularly is excellent, it sounds amazing, and for focusing on the basics of DJing, this controller / software partnership is a great choice. It falls down in the lack of integration in a few areas (particularly the sampler, although for the first time with Serato DJ you can now add external controllers if you wish to fix this), in the fact that the effect flexibility is limited, and that there are still buttons that do nothing, like the aforementioned Slicer.

Overall, though, it’s a fantastic partnership, and Serato DJ is a worthwhile upgrade for all Terminal Mix owners, but especially Terminal Mix 4 owners, because of course the really big pull is that you can now finally use all four channels of your hardware in software – which is, of course, the reason many people choose this one over the smaller Terminal Mix 2.

It’s my “weapon of choice” right now, and I’m very happy with it.

• More about the Reloop hardware bundles

Video

 

Have you upgraded from Serato DJ Intro to Serato DJ software? How have you found it? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Comments

  1. How does this measure up to the Numark NS6 in your opinion?

  2. You mentioned updating the firmware. I have tried that several times, following the directions exactly at all times and all I get is a timeout error. The Reloop forums aren’t much help as many people there seem to have the same issue. I’m using a very modern computer so that is not an issue and it has the latest updates on everything. Can you tell me how you got your firmware update? Anyone?
    I’d like to get Serato DJ, but not without updating the firmware. For the record I’m using a Macbook Pro 2.6 i7 and using Terminal Mix 4. Both Windows and Macs seem to have the same timeout error when trying to update the firmware.

    • Make sure you use the same usb port always.I was having the same issue and was using the wrong port (practicing with two controllers) switch to the original port and problem solve.

  3. ACowCalledMoo says:

    I bought a TM2 in october and updated to Serato DJ the day it was released.. Its the first controller i’ve used or owned after selling my 1210’s several years ago. I find the software excellent to use.. I love being able to loop and on release it going to the point it would have been at had i not (cant remember what this is called) the filters sound great and the jogwheels are very responsive.. I do wish the bpm was to two decimal places as it was on Serato intro but its no biggy and I do scratch my head at that little scissor button almost every day…

  4. Klaus Mogensen says:

    I was looking for a 4 deck controller.

    I mostly use my Denon MC3000 and Virtual DJ for gigs, and have played with Serato DJ at home on a Mixtrack Pro, and now want to start using 4 decks, probably mostly at home for recorded sets

    I guess I trust you, since your “It’s my weapon of choice right now, and I’m very happy with it.” made me order the TM4 instead of the MC6000 or the NS6

    It should be arriving within a few days. It will be interesting to see if I prefer to run Virtual DJ Pro og Serato DJ with it :)

    Thanks for the review(s)

    Best regards
    Klaus Mogensen

    • Of course you’ll need to upgrade Serato DJ Intro to Serato DJ to use all four channels (unless it’s already included of course; I know there are some bundles out there that do). Either way, think you’re gonna love it!

      • Klaus Mogensen says:

        Well, I bought the Serato DJ software when they had a sale a few weeks ago – I only had intro before, because it came with the Mixtrack Pro a while back. So I should be ready to go in that regard

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