Home Forums DJing Software Waveforms don't line up with Beat/Bar markers…

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    DJ Nostalgia

    I would estimate that the waveforms on 80%+ of the tracks in my Serato DJ (SDJ) library – whether from iTunes or not – when I load them into SDJ to play, don’t line up with the beat/bar markers in SDJ. (currently using v. 1.9.6)
    This applies to both downloaded digital music and ‘ripped’ CDs.

    Is there a way to correct this, preferably NOT 1 track at a time. (currently I have 10,000+ tracks!)


    Trying to understand the exact problem here. Essentially you are saying that the beatgrid is off?

    DJ Nostalgia

    Hi DJ Vintage –

    Yeah – I think that’s what I mean…! If there is a way for me to add a screenshot from SDJ to this Post, let me know how – a picture says a thousand words!


    Sure. You can’t upload pics directly. But you can post a link to any online picture. I use a site called Tinypic.com, where you can upload your pic and then use the URL to post here. Hope that helps.

    DJ Nostalgia

    Thanks DJ Vintage –

    I’ll give it a try…

    DJ Wee Man

    I’ve also had this issue in the past, any help would be greatly appreciated! I’m not sure if it’s the software itself or the tracks, because I’ve had some tracks read fine and others – usually disco – be a bit all over the place.

    DJ Nostalgia

    Hi DJ Wee Man –

    The only tracks which seem to be ‘beatgridded’ properly – at least most of the time! – are tracks with a very definite, regular kick drum from the first beat…

    As suggested by DJ Vintage, I’m going to try linking to a ‘screenshot’ of a beatgrid from SDJ to illustrate the issue…

    DJ Nostalgia

    As recommended, here’s an image from SDJ which illustrates the issue of about 80% of my tracks –


    DJ Wee Man

    DJ Nostalgia,

    Definitely seen that issue before myself. Tried to do some looking around for answers elsewhere and it seems this has been an ongoing problem that Serato still haven’t fixed. Seen some saying that Traktor is better, but I’ve also had issues there. However, I think like I said previously, a lot of it depends on the type of music you’re playing. Original vinyl rips or recordings of disco just aren’t very good for the software. I hope for your sake you don’t have to go through all your tracks, but it might be a case that you have to!


    Ok guys. This is pretty common. If you play anything “electronic”, i.e. with drums generated by computers and such, it will get it right, most of the time.

    Anything with a human drummer is a problem for software. Some software is better at it than other. Traktor for example is useless at it and no options to correct this. Serato is among the better ones. That means it will try to get close and it offers you the option to set more grid markers at places where it starts to move too much.

    You can either fix this in other software (many folks do this in Ableton Live) or do it manually in Serato. Personally I am worried only about the first 32 beats or so, depending on the intro and the last 32 beats. As long as that is stable in beatgridding, it’s easier to mix in/out of.

    Often it is just a matter of moving the first beat marker to the first downbeat. It will fluctuate during the track. As said, this is because no human drummer can be as tight as a computer.

    Hope that helps some.

    DJ Nostalgia

    Thanks, DJ Vintage –

    As my mentor is always telling me, “use your ears, not your eyes” (to beatmatch/mix)…

    Being a bit OCD, it’s frustrating when you have a tool that is supposed to help, but doesn’t!!!

    James Staats

    Yea noticed this on a lot of my tracks as well. I am still trying to learn how to manual beat grid. I can get the first markers down but then it always seems to go off again.


    Yep, still an valuable tool, manual beat matching. I’d say depending on your genres played, you’d get an average of 70-80% that the software gets right. Another 10-15% that you can get right with beat-gridding tools and the rest is undoable or just not worth the effort. For those it helps if you can manually do your stuff. Also true when you are in a club environment. Good chance there is no sync option at all.


    The key to manual beatgridding in Serato is not starting totally new if you can.
    So if the software detects something you will have the lines, just not in correct places.
    Hit the “Edit” button and move the first beatmarker to first beat. If the rest does not line up the tempo is incorrect so stretch or narrow the beatgrid with the +/- buttons until second and third beat line up.
    90% of the time you are done unless you have really old disco or really manually high Snoop Dog songs (love Snoop Dog but some HipHop is just impossible to beatgrid).

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