Serato has just updated its music production software Serato Studio to version 1.4 and it includes a major new feature to help DJs make their own custom DJ edits and remixes, namely audio tracks, which allow DJs to quickly edit whole songs instead of just small samples and loops.
While there were some workarounds in previous versions of Serato Studio to make DJ edits like quick re-drums, which we covered in this tutorial, the new audio tracks make this more seamless. Instead of having to open and learn a DAW (digital audio workstation) like Ableton Live to create a custom DJ edit or remix, a DJ can use Serato Studio and get the whole lot done in a fraction of the time.
Two choices on opening
Now when you open Serato Studio you are greeted with a new screen that asks if you’d like to create a beat or make a DJ edit, and it will change the initial layout of Serato Studio based around which option you select. If you are new to Serato Studio you will also see a “first use tour” which will help you become more familiar with features of Serato Studio and how to use them when creating a beat or making a DJ edit.
For DJs who are just starting out with production, Serato Studio’s DJ-focused workflow makes the transition from DJ software to production software easy to understand. Loading a song to edit or remix in Serato Studio functions much like loading a track to a deck in Serato DJ Pro. Once you’ve picked the song you’d like to work on you just drag it to an audio track and Serato Studio will either create a beatgrid and put a cue point on the first downbeat automatically, or you have the option to load your beatgrid and cue point data from Serato DJ Pro.
Using Serato Studio to make short edits
One of my favourite types of custom DJ edit is the “short edit”, which condenses a song down to its best parts. These are really easy to make in Serato Studio 1.4. I usually start these kinds of edits in Serato DJ Pro to figure out which parts are best and set cue points around them, then test out the idea by playing it in the DJ software. Then I take that song and load it into Serato Studio.
Once in Serato Studio, I drop the song into an audio track and load the beat grid and cue points from Serato DJ Pro. From there all that is left to do is click and drag cue points from the sections of the song I want to use, then drop them in song view at the bottom of Serato Studio in the order I’ve come up with. After giving the edit one final listen to make sure everything is good, I just hit export and my new custom edit is ready to use. I’m sure you’ll find this process just as easy as I do.
Using Serato Studio’s slicer
Alternatively, if you aren’t a Serato DJ Pro user you can use Serato Studio’s slicer functions to help set cue points in the song automatically using the BPM and beatgrid information once Serato Studio has analysed the song.
This new version of Serato Studio includes a new slicer mode called Endless Slicer which can be useful when making custom edits. Instead of taking a song and slicing into sections with start and end points, Endless Slicer will slice the song into sections but the song will continue to play to the end of the song from each of the slice points much like how cue points work in your DJ software. This makes the workflow more like the method I just described when starting your DJ edit idea in Serato DJ Pro.
How to give it a try
Serato Studio has a 14-day trial. If you already have used your Serato Studio trial, good news, all trials have been reset and you’ll be able to test out these new features for free. Serato got some criticism for making Serato Studio a subscription-based software rather than making it available to buy like Serato DJ Pro, so with the release of version 1.4 Serato is looking to correct that by giving the option to purchase Serato Studio outright for US$199.
Are you a Serato Studio user? Does this new set of features excite you? Share your thoughts about the software below.