You’ve probably been asked this at least once: “Traktor or Serato?” In establishing itself as one of the preeminent DJing software brands, Serato launched the Serato DJ Suite earlier in 2015. Essentially, every must-have product for your setup gets bundled together for a significantly lower cost.
As the backbone, you get Serato DJ, which is pretty self-explanatory at this point. Basically, as a simple rundown, the software provides plug-and-play functionality that effortlessly integrates with a wide range of hardware, including controllers and mixers. There’s no point in including everything here, as Serato regularly updates this list.
As the Suite’s foundation, Serato DJ allows you to create and trigger up to eight cues and loops, comes with Basic effects, includes the SP6 sampler, and offers Beat Jump, a feature letting you move forward or go backward at a specific beat size. You’ll recognize the rest of the standard features in some form: Slip Mode, the Sync button, EQ colored wave forms, and MIDI output lighting, which lets you map additional features and illuminates the hardware with LEDs.
As well, the Virtual Decks provide the essentials about your track, in between those full-color waveforms. With this software, you get a choice of two- and four-deck displays.
Beyond this aspect, you used to have to buy every other Serato component separately. So, for the next bundle, Serato Video proves to be a much-needed asset, especially to the video DJ.
Basically, Serato Video lets you include videos into your sets and control them as easily as you do audio. What you see here, if you haven’t used it already, is relatively familiar. With this software, you get a large number of visual effects and transitions to manipulate the video, including two banks for video and audio and the option of adding your own graphics and text. Master Video FX lets you crossfade between two video effects, while iZoTope-based FX let you give your audio tracks some video representation.
Along with these two programs are multiple Expansion packs. The first is the DVS Expansion Pack, which, in very simple terms, lets you build your setup beyond the laptop and controller or mixer. Through this software, you’ll have the chance to include any supported turntables or CDJs and then use them with the corresponding NoiseMap™ Control Tone records or CDs.
DJ FX Expansion Packs, too, are somewhat explanatory. On a very general level, you get the standard five effects packs – four, really, considering Serato DJ already includes the Basic effects – that let you enhance your sets. You get:
- Jet Pack – More old-school acid house rave sounds.
- Back Pack – The dub group, with analog and old school-sounding options.
- Chip Pack – The techy stuff, with 8-bit and audio-bending effects.
- Wolf Pack – Serato’s classic sounds.
- Base Pack – The standard Serato effects, such as Delay, Reverb, Flanger, and Distortion.
All are divided into Multi-FX Mode effects, in which three effects per FX unit can be used with one parameter, and Single FX Mode, with one FX per unit and a choice of multiple parameters.
For more stuff to add to your tracks, there’s the Flip Expansion Pack. This feature’s all about cue points and edits. With it, you’ll have the option to record and play back cue points; make clean edits to the intro, outro, or breakdown; create your own beats; and add auto-skipping. The software lets you create and save up to six different flips per track, and comes with offline usage and hardware shortcut options.
Last but not least, the Suite comes with Pitch ‘N Time DJ. Now an industry standard, this software helps with stretching and pitch-shifting loops and bars without distorting the sound or lessening the audio quality. Better yet, you can speed up or slow down as you cut and scratch.
What you get here isn’t particularly innovative. Yet, as Serato is pretty standard for even up-and-coming DJs to use, you might as well get the whole thing, with all features, at a deal. Generally, everything here would cost over $400; with the DJ Suite, you end up saving $185.
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