DJ technology is moving forward at an incredible pace and is changing everything around us including the way people play music and how DJs bring those tunes to the masses. Serato has been at the forefront of the Digital Vinyl System revolution that has seen many DJs swap their record boxes for laptops whilst still retaining the ethos of the original craft. Ever keen to ensure that their software is keeping up in the arms race against the likes of Traktor, Crossvibes and Algoriddim, they have released a rather cool iPad app which acts as an additional control surface for both versions of the software, and have also upgraded Serato Scratch Live and Serato DJ to boot.
Of course the biggest new innovation that has come from camp Serato is Serato Remote which is sure to be the cause of more and more iPads making their way into DJ boxes. Serato Remote is not a standalone DJing app, but an extension of Serato DJ and Serato Scratch Live which provides both wireless (and ultra low latency) remote control of Serato‘s two main DJing platforms, which means that DJs can now use features on their iPads without needing to touch a laptop. The approach taken to the user interface for this app appears rather simplistic at first glance, with big buttons and an uncluttered user interface, but this is a benefit for easy workflow, and below the surface lurks a deeper, complex array of functions. Simplicity and big buttons are a great thing when using a touch-screen and even more so for DJs who have stubby fingers. The way the Serato Remote app has been designed and built makes a lot of sense as it manages to be both easy to learn and highly functional.
Serato Remote gives control over cue points, loops and samples, loading tracks and some impressive effects that will delight tweakers no end. These latest updates will no doubt bring welcome changes to the lives of Serato DJs with Scratch Live users seeing the most benefits in the way of improvements, new features and the added advantage of being able to expand their box of tricks thanks to the Serato Remote App.
The good news for those who still stick to using their turntables or CD players to control Serato is that this latest update, which brings Scratch Live up to version 2.5, is totally free for existing users. In addition to supporting the new Serato Remote software for the iPad, there are some very tasty new tricks up Serato Scratch Live’s sleeve including direct integration with CDJ2000 Nexus players, doing away with the need for control CDs and being able to see the audio waveforms, album artwork, cue/loop points and other track information on the CDJ2000 Nexus’ screen. DJs have been calling out for this for such a long time.
MIDI integration has also been improved with support for two-way MIDI information to control the LEDs on MIDI controllers, and there are downloadable MIDI maps for the most popular controllers available from Serato’s website. The SP-6 sampler also gets a treat in the form of a fresh selection of samples and regular users of Serato will be most happy to hear there has been a concentrated effort to fix bugs to ensure that this release is the most stable version of Scratch Live to date.
Serato DJ also gets a timely upgrade, thanks to the release of version 1.2.1. This latest version of Serato DJ also has support for the new Serato Remote App, great new effects powered by Izotope including delay, echo, reverb, phaser, distortion and filters to name just a few, and there is new sample content from Loopmasters which is also being made available for Serato DJ. Owners of the Numark N4 and the Vestax Typhoon will be most interested to learn that they can now get their first taste of Serato using their controllers. Other controllers that are now supported by Serato DJ include Numark’s Mixtrack Pro and Mixdeck, Pioneer’s DDJ-ERO and DDJ-WeGo, Vestax’s VCI-400, Denon’s MC2000 as well as Reloop’s TM2 and TM4 controllers.
While this latest version of Serato DJ has some tasty new features it seems to be more focused on bug fixes and bringing support to new devices. It is good to see that Serato are moving with the times and not only keeping their existing DJ software current but also introducing innovative new products like Serato Remote to further push the boundaries of DJing and performance.
Serato Remote is avaliable for £13.99 from iTunes
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