Serato has shown its ITCH 2.0 DJ controller software off to Digital DJ Tips for the first time, here at the Musikmesse show in Germany. And we can report that it bring many of the features of Serato Scratch into the platform for the first time, considerably beefing up its abilities in a number of areas including file handling, appearance, sample decks and syncing.
Serato may have felt a bit of pressure to pull something out of the bag, and maybe it’s no surprise that this comes hot on the heels of Traktor Pro 2, which with its new coloured waveforms now has more appeal to Serato ITCH users than ever before.
However, in taking many of the features of Serato Scratch Live and porting them over to ITCH, Serato has continued to define its own niche of usability over everything else, while catching up on the features front with some of the competition.
To start with, there are a number of new views, including the Scratch Live-style vertical view, a browser/library view, and a new column view where decks are “stacked” – info on the left, waveforms on the right. Good for four-deck use.
The software has a new yellow/blue on black colour scheme, but also has a daylight view, where the black background is switched to white for easier use in daylight or sunlight.
The SP6 sample player comes across from Scratch, and while you can’t record directly as with Traktor 2 into it, you can define a loop in a playing track and instantly “double” it onto a sample deck. You can alter the volumes but not EQs of individual samples. There are six sample polyphonic, banked into four banks, for a total of 24.
Library functionality was always good in Serato, and now there are new views adding cover art – you can knock out the text and basically browse by cover like the similar view in iTunes. Smart crates have arrived too, that behave exactly like iTunes smart playlists, with live updating if you wish.
You can also drag and drop whole crates onto USB drives etc, so easily transfer a Serato set from one computer to another – great for preparing a set on your home PC, then dragging it to a USB drive for use at a gig later. This feature is simple and impressive.
Finally for the headline features, there’s a clever four-beat-in-the bar colour codes sync system, where you can instantly see if a track is slipping out of sync. This new system dispenses with the idea of “master clock” for BPM sync, and looks simple to use than the master BPM concept.
And while this release doesn’t add video, it’s hard to imagine that having seen the new look, feel and feature set that that particular feature will be too far away. I imagine most of the work has been done for it from what I glanced at.
The software will be available end of June/July.
More about Serato ITCH
Serato ITCH 2.0 was first announced way back in August 2009, and many ITCH owners have long vocalised that they feel the company has been overlooking them in favour of iterations of its popular Serato Scratch digital vinyl software. This ought to go a long way towards redressing the balance for those users.
Serato ITCH is a “closed” platform; while being a free download, the software only functions with dedicated ITCH hardware, such as the Vestax VCI-300, the Pioneer DDJ-S1, the Numark V7 and the forthcoming Numark NS6.
Are you an ITCH user who’s been waiting patiently for this release? Does it look like it will be all that you hoped for? Or are there still things missing that you feel should have been included after so long a wait? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.