Learn How To Use Serato Scratch Live

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Sep 02, 2014 Click the Setup button on the upper right of the Serato DJ interface. Click the Expansion Packs tab. With Serato Video highlighted, tick the “Enable Serato Video” box. This opens up a menu below it. Click the “Demo” button to begin your trial of Serato Video. You’ll see a box pop up that says “Demo Mode”. In order to learn Serato DJ and lay down the mix, you’ll need to make sure your hardware is compatible with the software. While installing and connecting your controller can be a hassle, it’s a skill that any DJ should know. This course builds upon the DJ basics course, but focuses on using Serato DJ specifically. Learn more about Serato Sample. Quickly find, chop, key shift & time-stretch samples. All with the power and quality of Pitch 'n Time.

  1. Learn How To Use Serato Scratch Live Free
  2. Serato Scratch Live Video

Whether you're adding your custom DJ drops, blasting airhorns or setting off the dub siren, the SP-6 Sample Player in Serato DJ is your best friend. One of the older features of Serato DJ software, the SP-6 was first introduced back in April 2009 in Scratch Live 1.9 but has seen a few improvements over the years, and there's many more improvements we're wanting to make in the near future.

Serato Video is a plug-in for Serato DJ, and allows for the ability to display and manipulate video content, in the form of transitions, FX, and video mixing. It's all controlled by your Serato compatible hardware, third-party MIDI controller, or mouse and keyboard. It currently requires a 'Serato DJ Enabled' device. Hapa is a veteran Scratch DJ Academy instructor and in this beginner-friendly class, he’ll show you the basics of DJ’ing using the Serato interface.

There's a few different ways you'd use samples as a DJ:

  • DJ drops / stings - to drop your custom radio sting, advertising, shout outs from Lil Jon etc.
  • Transition FX - risers, sweeps and other FX like explosions are used a lot by DJs when transitioning tracks as you might want to stop and change tempo, or completely change the mood of the set. These can also be userful for DJs that play for rappers when you want to cut the song (cue gunshot samples).
  • Sound FX - Most often than not this is either an airhorn, a dub siren or a variation on that theme. Lion roars work well too :)
  • Loops - If you're playing a lot of minimal techno or similar styles of music where there is room for layering your own sounds on top, you may want to have a collection of loops in your library to add interest. With Sync, you can make sure your loops are on point and will ride on top of the track you're playing. Shakers, hi-hats and even kick loops can be used to subtly add some energy to a track. You can also make loops of tracks in your library and drag these to SP-6 slots, allowing you to sample your own music.
  • Drums / one-hits - For your Araab Musiks, Lex Lugers etc.. The drum sample is used for exactly what you think - finger drumming! Either use one-hits from sample packs, or drums from tracks in your library set on cue points (using the 'start from feature' mentioned below).

You can click the OFF button to the left of the Sync button to turn sync off (or press shift + SYNC on your Serato DJ hardware). When using a controller, one press of the OFF button will fully disengage Sync. However, when using Simple Sync with vinyl or CDJs, the first press will disengage Sync, but will keep the decks in Relative Pitch. Scratch Live is vinyl emulation software that operates exclusively with Rane hardware. Mix and scratch digital music on your computer with Serato Control Vinyl or Control CDs. We've been hard at work making Serato DJ Pro the best DJ software on the planet.

As there are many different ways to use samples while DJing, it's important to be organised and use SP-6 Banks to hold different sets of samples. In Serato DJ, you can have 4 banks of 6 samples each. You can easily switch between banks by using the A,B,C,D buttons.

For example, you may want to have one bank set up with your radio stings, one bank with sounds FX, one with drums and one bank with your transitions.

Finding Samples

This question comes up a lot online in many DJ Facebook groups, forums, Twitter etc. Where do you find samples? Here are a few different options:

  • Your friends / other DJs - Try asking around! Chances are, there's one person in your immediate DJ circles that has an airhorn sample. Doing sample swaps is a good way to share also.
  • Make them yourself - If you already are doing a bit of production or dabble with synthesisers, it's relatively easy to play around and make some cool transition FX. Just search for some basic tutorials online if you're starting out and experiment.
  • Online sample banks / content providers - This is the most obvious source. There are many online providers of sample content (some better than others) and you can get mostly anything relatively easily. Free services may tend to have lower quality content or less choice, while premium services such as Loopmasters will have a huge catalogue of samples, ready for professional use.
  • Your music - You can always go the classic route, and sample your own music. Whether it's a loop, or a series of vocal cuts you've assigned using cue points (and 'play from') settings, it's an easy way to use music in another way in your sets. You can even drop a full track into an SP-6 slot, which will keep playing - freeing up your virtual decks.

The SP-6 Sample Player

Open the SP-6 Sample Player by hitting the SP-6 button located at the top of the screen within Serato DJ. You can load samples to slots by dragging from your library directly to the slot, or from the Virtual Deck.

Performance vs Advanced View

You can switch between a simple performance view of the SP-6 Sample Player, or an advanced view that gives you access to many different settings. Use the advanced view while preparing your banks so that it's set up nicely for quick and easy performance when your at the club.

Use the buttons on the left of the SP-6 to switch between these view modes.

Play Modes

The SP-6 Sample Player slots have a few different play options, which can be set to the right of the sample slot. You can choose from Trigger Mode, Hold Mode and On / Off Mode. Hit the play mode button to cycle through these.

  • Trigger Mode will play the sample entirely through from one touch - you can't stop the sample once it's been triggered but hitting the sample again, will start it playing again. This is useful for things like drums and one-hits where you want to be able to hit multiple times in a row quickly.
  • Hold Mode will play the sample for as long as you hold down on the play button / performance pad.
  • On / Off Mode plays the sample entirely through, until you hit the performance pad / play button again, which will stop the sample and return you to the beginning.
Learn How To Use Serato Scratch Live

Each of these play modes is useful depending on what you're doing. Have a play around and figure out what's best for what you're using it for.

Play From

Use the 'Play From' selector to choose where the track will play from. You can choose to play a track from the start of the file, any one of the Cue Points, or any one of the loop in points.

Learn How To Use Serato Scratch Live Free

When this is set to play from start, or play from a Cue Point, the track will play from this position. If a loop is selected in the Play From Selector the track will play from this position. The loop will repeat if repeat is enabled for the slot.

The number of options will be dependent on the number of Cue Points and Loops already set in your track. i.e. if the track loaded has no Cue Points and Loops set, then only “start” will be available as a “Play From” option.

TIP To set or adjust Cue Point and Loop information for a track, load it to a Virtual Deck, make your adjustments, then load it back into the sample slot.

Audio Output and FX Routing

You can find the audio output settings to the left hand side of the SP-6, and depending on your hardware, you will have options to send the SP-6 output through one channel, multiple channels or the master.

Studio one 4 qwerty keyboard In Studio One you can use your QWERTY keyboard as a MIDI controller to play or record your virtual instruments. The easiest way to do this is simply hit the ‘Caps Lock‘ key, and it will bring up the Qwerty Keyboard control.This window MUST be open to use your computer keyboard for MIDI.

If you're wanting to use FX (reverbs and echo are great!) on your samples, just route the SP-6 to a spare channel on your mixer / controller and then make sure your FX are assigned to these channels.


Serato Scratch Live Video

For more information of the SP-6 Sample Player and a full overview of functionality, please refer to the Serato DJ user guide here.

If you have any questions about using the SP-6 or have any of your own tips you'd like to share, get in touch in the comments below.