Serato DJ 1.3 Supports Twitch & VCI-300, Gets FX Boost

Serato DJ 1.3.0

Fuel up with the new FX plugins including "Back Pack", that are one of the new additions to Serato DJ in its 1.3.0 release.

Serato has just announced the latest version of Serato DJ - 1.3.0 - which brings the software to the Novation Twitch and the Vestax VCI-300/VFX-1. Serato DJ 1.3.0 also gets two FX Expansion Packs - one of them free, the other costing US$19 via an in-app purchase or Serato's online store.

"Each new FX Expansion Pack comes loaded with several base FX for use in Single FX Mode, plus, a large number of base FX variations for use in Multi FX Mode," says Serato. There's a promo video demoing them.

Serato DJ 1.3.0 lets you choose your favourite effects, customising those that appear in the FX drop-down menus in the software, so you can hone your set-up to only display the effects you want. The standard effects are now called "Base Pack", with "Wolf Pack" provided as a free expansion containing Epic Verb, Bit Crush, Tremolo, Repeater, Braker and Rollout Echo, and "Back Pack" - the paid-for option - delivering Tape Echo, Looper, Time Stretch, Spiral Echo and Envelope Filter options with several variations among these.

In addition to the FX improvements, Slip Mode is now available for "supported Serato DJ controllers", but can also be mapped to any external controller if yours won't work out of the box with this feature. For the uninitiated, Slip Mode (called "Flux" in Traktor) lets you can manipulate the audio as normal (eg scratching, looping, triggering cue points etc), however, once you stop, the playback position is returned to where it would be if you had not manipulated the audio.

Finally, Serato has name-checked the Numark V7, Numark Mixdeck Quad and Vestax VCI-100 Mk2 as controllers that will get Serato DJ compatibility "in a gradual rollout this northern fall".

• Serato DJ can be downloaded from here, and the full release notes are here.

Are you a Twitch user who's been waiting for this moment? What do you think of the addition of new FX - and the fact you have to buy some of them? And are you now looking forward to getting Slip mode up and running in your set-up? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

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  1. Serato DJ for Twitch...finally!

  2. Germán C says:

    Finally, a month ago I just critisize the poor effects for Serato DJ (I've got a DDJ-SX) and now they give me this birthday gift... yeah!!! I'm anxious to put my hands on that.

  3. A Twitch owner, but not too excited about Serato DJ. Had issues with Itch crashing since Itch 2.0 and been using Traktor 100% ever since.

    Loved Itch with the VCI-300, stable and ideal for back then, but moved on since.

    Will likely play around with Serato DJ, but not expecting too much.

    And paying for effects?!?!?!??!?!? Hellll no

  4. Is there an updated manual for the twitch? The buttons are all over the show now..

    • Jam-Master Jake says:

      You're noticing that as well? My Twitch doesn't work ANYTHING like it did in Itch...there are buttons that seemingly do "nothing," and other weird things like my Cue/Play buttons blinking, etc. There must be some HUGE changes to the mapping on this thing. I'm not overly impressed with it right now.

      • Personally, I went ahead and read the manual first since it was pretty obvious from the feature set that there would be a new mapping.

        One of the first things they talk about in the manual is how different the mapping is, lol.

        Once I read it and understood the changes, tbh I was well impressed. The manual looping is fantastic, access to the SP6 way better. All in all, I'm very happy with it so far.

      • For some reason I cant reply to jprime but I would love to know which manual he is talking about.

        I've downloaded the Novation Twitch Qucik Start. No mention of SP6 in that and nothing specific to Twitch in the full manual either.

        Appreciate a link to the manual mate.

        My 1st thoughts where that change of some mapping was envitable. The biggest issue is the BPM adjustment. Its so so innacurate. Some turns of the knob do nothing and some change the BPM. I'm guessing the ones that appear to be doing nothing are changing it on the next level of decimal place which the GUI doesn't display whereas Itch does.

        I have no issues paying a measly 19 for a FX pack too

        Have not had much time to play on it but will be giving it a serious nudge soon I hope and will get to grips with it more.

  5. is this upgrade for the VCI-300 MKII as well?

  6. Michael L says:

    Finally some love for the VCI-300 -- great to see it happen. And when paired with an iPad running Serato Remote for FX & samples, my 300 just got a new lease on life.

    Itch 2.2.2 has been stable on my MacBook Pro, but for some reason the Record function didn't work. Hoping I can now record my mixes with Serato DJ...

  7. Matt Clarke says:

    With Serato charging for one of these FX packs, it's certainly going to divide people's opinions! I suppose it'll all be a question of perspective. I'd imagine for the original Serato DJ users who got the software with the DDJ SX aren't going to mind so much as most are pretty pleased with the software/ hardware bundle. The people who have had to firstly wait until a relevant upgrade is available for their various device, then secondly pay for the upgrade to their existing units I would imagine aren't going to be so pleased (which is understandable) especially if you've only just decided to upgrade.

    • Matt Clarke says:

      It also brings into question whether you think Serato are being shrewd in business or greedy as a company? As a keen gamer too, I'm used to seeing upgrade/ expansion bundles being released 6 months after the purchase of a product. It seems to be a way that a lot of industries are going these days. After all these companies need to survive somehow. If the funds from these upgrades go back into enhancing the product (to which I'm of the opinion Serato will do) then nobody will mind. Plus these FX bundles, one is free the other is $19, is this in itself may be a good marketing ploy to temp you too? Only time will tell I guess 😉

  8. Serato are listening to their customers.
    Braker effect from Itch has had everyone crying since the release of SDJ. Slip mode for all controllers - finally. Improved fx are most welcome too. Most people wanted VST support, some of which you'd also have to pay for (depending on the quality). At least like this, when you pay for it, you can hold Serato responsible for the quality & stability - overall it's a worthwhile purchase. They are starting to release updates far more frequently now too, it looks like Serato are finally starting to get back to where they were a year ago. Things will only improve from here on!

  9. ACowCalledMoo says:

    Just bought the new effects pack... TOTALLY worth $19

  10. I'm a bit puzzled by Slip Mode. Is it basically a renamed version of Loop Roll?

  11. I'll be getting my VCI-300mk II out of the box to play around with the upgrade!!! I'm so excited :)

  12. King Of Snake says:

    yeah! finally for my twitch!

    will start some RTFM now..

  13. SO if you an old user of VCI 300, switching from ITCH (which is free to install and free to upgrade) to Serato DJ, you have to pay now ??? Zzz...
    I mean i dont mind paying for the extra feature like the FX and stuff...

  14. Im still trying to decide between traktor and serato dj. Tough choice.

    • Most "Serato DJ/Itch controllers" will work with Traktor Pro (kinda' by design), so this kinda' bends the field toward buying Serato controllers for people on the fence about which controller to get (you can use both Traktor Pro and Serato DJ when you buy a Serato Controller, but not the other way around if you buy a Traktor Controller... with few exceptions).

      There are some areas which you might want to pay attention to when you buy a controller however, namely scratching (but if you're really interested in this, you should probably pick up the DVS version of the software and some turntables) and some advanced features like blinking lights, and (in rare occasions) how the hardware is mapped for the controller.

      Advanced mode (in most controllers) gives a little more depth and better (faster and more precise) control over the software but this only seems to matter with hyper-quick changes. The one area that you should really be careful about when considering buying a controller is scratching (if you're into that). Currently, (Native Instruments) Kontrol series (plus a few other) controllers work in HID mode with Traktor (useful for scratching) and "Itch/Serato DJ" branded controllers work in HID mode for Serato DJ.

      Specifically speaking, I know the Novation Twitch works differently in Serato Itch/DJ than it does with Traktor Pro (there's even a layover so you don't get confused). In Serato DJ, the Twitch is a 2 deck controller with a mic input, slicer mode, and the up-faders double as effect controls, whereas in Traktor, the Twitch is a 2+2 (read as 4 deck controller, via a toggle button) and (by default) there is no mic input.

      Remember: If your controller isn't supported by Serato DJ, the program simply won't work with your controller (unless you plug in something that IS supported by Serato/Rane).

      • Did I mention I absolutely L-O-V-E my Novation Twitch? I've tried a lot of other controllers and went giddy as "a school girl playing with puppies dressed up in costumes" when I got mine. I guess there's something about the touch strips that make it seem like I'm actually touching the music stream. Then there's also the fact that it's inexpensive, very technically capable and I can use Serato DJ (free upgrade... thank you Serato) *AND* Traktor Pro with it. Several of my friends with Kontrol S2s get controller envy when they see what my controller can do and then they ask "How much was that?" Realizing that my controller cost about as much as theirs.

        Counterpoints (to be fair): There are no push-kills (on the EQ) and the output isn't as loud as other controllers... but that problem is easily remedied by turning up the volume on the mixing board.

  15. So I did the update and now every time I turn on my DDJ SX it crashes, anybody else having this issue?

  16. I've done a detailed walkthrough video demonstrating all the effects in the new expansion backs. Obviously the Wolf Pack is a no-brainer (it's free) but hopefully the video will help some users decide if the paid-for Back Pack is worth the investment to them.

  17. I have upgraded but i have not paid for more fx's as i feel its a little cheeky. I had to pay for a second licence as I have the NS7 which is a free upgrade, then got the mix track pro 2 as a back up mixer, and had to pay for a licence (sucked).

    Apart from the money grabbing side of Serato, i do rate it. The new fx that came free are great. I just need to work out how to activate slip mode on both my controllers, then i can play with that....

    I am also looking forward to the Numark NS7 mk 2, which is included in this update, so hopefully it will not be long before i get one of those!!!

  18. I didn't purchase the Back Pack yet, but I'm sure I will in the coming weeks. The tape echo sounds great!

    This pay to play model is a little disheartening in a whole due to the upfront money put into buying the Serato DJ, or in my case getting it with my DJ-SSX for the reason of saving money. The success of this charge for fx model, and I'm sure it will do well, will be a further catalyst that we should expect to see moreover in the fx dj software market, as we have in the sales of remix deck/sample packs.

    You just have to ask, what else can be customized and marketed at this point? I would be interested in buying different eqs and master channel style addons that could give my mixer channels signature sounds from classic mixers or added warmth/light compression that could help gel mixes together. Possibly a spectrum analyzer in place of an unused 3rd or 4th deck would be interesting. Other than those, I couldn't think of any other addons that could potentially have mass appeal.

  19. Paid for: proprietary hardware interface
    Paid for: Serato DJ license
    Won't pay MORE for: FX (wtf?)

    Still like Serato DJ a lot, but I sold my hardware and got an S4. I was hoping the update would persuade me to get something that goes "both ways" but this isn't it.

    Serato requests: Open up your hardware allowances. Open up your mapping to primary and secondary devices. Don't charge for effects.

  20. Is Serato finally catching up to Traktor?

  21. the new Serato DJ 1.3 is nice but can create crashes due to its file size. unfortunately Serato is still 32 bit software, which limits how its makes use of your RAM memory significantly. When the program starts up, it loads into memory all of your crates, songs, effects and anything else that the program needs to run. If your crates and song count are too high, it will lead to the system crashing because it runs out of memory while loading your tracks. Sometimes the program will run fine when the controller is not connected because the offline player does not load up effects and the memory consumption is less. If you experience this but then the program crashes when you plug in the controller, it could be that your music library is too large. Try removing larger files or crates from the serato library to see that fixes the crashing issue. Unfortunately the more features they add to the program without first addressing the RAM issue, the sooner the program will crash. So be selective with the effects that you add and keep your library size down to a minimum.

  22. I downloaded Serato DJ for Twitch this weekend.
    I'm getting to know the nuances of both.
    I read the Twitch quick guide to learn the changes.
    The biggest changes seem to be what the buttons in the master FX do so I made temporary labels to remind me how to control the new functions.
    The shift button seems to do a lot more than it used to.
    The touchstip changes some of the parameters of the performance pads differently than before.
    Clicking on the Hot Cues button twice now allows you to start 24 samples (using A-B-C-D) in SP-6 sampler!
    I think that the Track Gain adjust will help me to get my song all at the same level (auto gain never seems to work well enough for me.)
    I must say I am happy with most of the changes as I didn't use my Twitch very much until now.
    As far purchasing the extra FX, I loaded all the free ones and will live them for now. I'll watch the FX video made by MOJAXX on this website. (Thanks nice job!) a few more times and then make a decision. I can't see rushing into it. They aren't on sale or anything.
    All in all pretty happy.

  23. Just got Twitch with Serato DJ. Extremely happy, but still have two issues:

    * Fader is not on soft takeover when used to control effects. Therefore, if you turn the effect off with the fader down, you will (temporarily) mute your track as soon as you move it.

    I believe Itch had soft takeover, so hopefully this will be fixed in software.

    * The controller only gives you visual cues on the on/off status of the FX unit which it is set to be controlling at the time, so an effect can be on without you seeing it at a glance. To check for it you need to either switch the controller temporarily over to the other unit or check your computer screen.

    This is a sacrifice made in order to maintain the (unnecessary) ability to apply both FX units, which can host up to 3 effects each, to either deck, giving you up to 6 simultaneous effects on a single deck. In addition, two controls for fx-length are wasted in my view: a "tap" button (not really necessary) and a "beat" rotary knob (a function already controlled by the knob above the channel fader, so duplicated functionality).

    Personally I would MUCH rather have it mapped thus: the FX area controls just 3 effects; the 3 knobs are used for depth, and the two buttons below each of them turn the respective effect on and off for deck A and B, giving you an instant visual cue for all engaged effects on each deck - Note that this would still leave you the fader effects for each deck.

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