What is Serato?
Serato Audio Research is a company from New Zealand, formed in 1998, that specializes in audio production. They have a ton of software and interface products and it can be confusing keeping it all straight. They are mainly known for 2 product lines: “Serato Scratch Live” and “Serato Itch”.
1. Serato Scratch Live
Serato Scratch Live
Introduced in 2004, Scratch Live is a vinyl emulation software which allows for the playback and mixing of digital music (MP3s) using control records so that it still has that hands-on DJ turntable feel without using actual crates of vinyl records.
Music website whitelabel.net was introduced in 2006 to distribute special MP3 files with a mono copy of the song, a special high quality Scratch Live version, BPM and visual tracks embedded into the files.
The hardware is produced exclusively by the Rane Corporation. See the bottom of post for minimum computer requirements.
1A. Rane Interfaces for Serato Scratch Live:
These interfaces allow you to use your choice of mixer.
Inputs for 4 turntables or CD decks, 2 high-speed USB 2.0 ports, Aux input, Aux output, 48 kHz and 96 kHz sample rate switch, 10 in and 10 out USB sound card, galvanic isolation.
Inputs for 3 turntables or CD decks, studio-grade phono preamps, Aux input and output, 48 kHz 24-bit audio processing, USB 2.0 drivers, independent line/phono-level selection for each input, galvanic isolation.
Inputs for 2 turntables or CD decks, studio-grade phono preamps, 2 software-switchable analog thru connections, 48 kHz 24-bit audio processing, USB 2.0 drivers, galvanic isolation.
1B. Rane Mixers for Serato Scratch Live:
Mixers with Serato Scratch installed.
2 USB 2.0 ports supporting 22 32-bit audio channels at 48 kHz. Support for connections to 2 computers. Control of over 30 Scratch Live functions. 4 switchable stereo inputs with support for up to 4 Virtual Decks. 4 Stereo Aux inputs. 3-band EQ and high-pass low-pass filter. Two microphone inputs with level, pan and EQ controls. Unique FlexFX bus with 6 internal effects plus USB and analog support for computer effects.
USB ports supporting 6 stereo record and 4 stereo playback channels. 32-bit audio processing at 48 kHz, Control of over 40 Scratch Live functions. Mic/Line input on jack with gain trim, 2-band EQ, Flex FX assign and On/Over controls. Internal effects engine. External analog insert for analog effects processor and USB insert for software effects. USB Aux input for SP-6 sample playback with HP/LPFilter, Headphone cue and Flex FX assign.
USB 2.0 port supporting 6 stereo record and 4 stereo playback channels. 32-bit audio processing at 48 kHz. Mic/Line input on jack with gain trim, 2-band EQ, Flex FX assign. External analog insert for analog effects processor and USB insert for software effects. USB Aux input for SP-6 sample playback with headphone cue and Flex FX assign.
Inputs for a combination of digital and analog sources. Plug-and-Play interface with Scratch Live so no Rane SL is needed. Control surface to navigate through library, load tracks, trigger cues and loops and control effects from the mixer panel. Simple mix record function allows you to record DJ mixes with one mouse click. On-board hardware effects to enhance mixing with studio-quality sound. Input gain, left/right pan controls, 3-band EQ with kill switch. Mic input with level and EQ controls. Headphone outputs. RCA, TRS, XLR outputs with level controls.
1C. Control Vinyl:
Control vinyl and CDs contain the Serato “Noisemap Control Tone” which allows Scratch Live to track the motion of the record. Unparalleled sensitivity and responsiveness.
Comes in Black, Clear, Red, Blue and Purple at most retailers.
Dozens more colors and styles available at the Serato website.
1D. Serato Approved USB Controllers for Scratch Live:
- Denon DN-HC1000s
- Denon DN-HC4500
- Pioneer CDJ-2000
- Pioneer CDJ-900
- Pioneer CDJ-850
- Pioneer CDJ-400
- Pioneer CDJ-350
- Pioneer MEP-7000
- Novation Dicer
- Vestax VFX-1
2. Serato Itch
Introduced in 2008, Serato Itch is a similar system to Scratch Live but it’s tied to hardware controllers and has a more simple interface. Itch DJ systems operate without turntables or CD players. Using Itch software, you DJ from your computer with accurate control from a wide range of products. Simply connect an Itch controller to your laptop and sound system and you’re ready to roll.
2A. Itch Controllers with Internal Mixing
All-in-one mixers with audio input and output connections.
Allen & Heath Xone: DX
Powerful 4-channel audio controller. 20-channel USB 2.0 sound card. 24 bit/96 kHz audio. Phono input for external decks. RCA and XLR Mix outputs. Built-in hardware MIDI interface.
Control surface features 2 banks of 8 trigger pads. Professional cross-fader and per-channel fader FX. 2 in and 4 out audio interface with headphone output. Slicer mode lets you chop up beats and create new grooves. Mix/Aux input for mic and external audio device through effects and master outputs. USB connection.
Direct-drive 7″ turntable platters with real vinyl for hands-on control. Mic and line inputs. System and cue outs. Tough all-metal construction. Mix with 33 or 45 RPM speed. Support for the Numark NSFX controller (shown in 2C).
4-channel DJ controller with built-in mixer and 4 decks of control. Touch activated platters. 24-bit audio interface. XLR outputs, 2 mic inputs, 2 phono inputs, 4 line-level inputs.
Plug-and-Play USB mixer with 2-channel deck control. XLR input and output. Built-in soundcard.
Extremely portable controller. Built-in audio interface and mixer controls. 24-bit audio interface. LED level indicators. Adjustable jog wheel torque. 4-inputs and 4-outputs and headphone connection.
2B. Itch Components for Outboard Audio Mixing
Allows DJs to use their choice of outboard mixer to mix and control audio levels.
Denon DJ DN HC-5000
Rack mounted USB MIDI controller with built-in sound card. 24-bit processing and USB audio. Hardware offers audio outputs for each deck to connect to mixers. 2 responsive jog wheels.
Link fuction allows DJ to connect 1 or 2 V7s with their mixer and computer for seamless performance. Direct drive turntable platter with high or low torque. Complete Serato DJ FX controls.
2C. Itch DJ FX Controllers
Manipulate a range of Serato DJ FX with a hands-on controller.
Designed to mate perfectly with the Numark NS7 (up in section 2A) delivering hands-on control of all DJ FX built into Itch software. No software drivers are necessary. Just plug-and-play with an Itch controller.
Designed to compliment the Vestax VCI-300 (shown in 2A). Has a powerful range of effects in Serato Itch. Will also work with other Itch controllers.
Minimum Computer Requirements to Run Scratch Live:
- Intel 1.8 GHz Core Duo or higher
- 2 GB RAM
- 1024 x 768 screen resolution
- OSX 10.5 or better
- Available USB 2.0 port
- Intel 2.0 GHz Core Duo or better
- 2 GB RAM
- 1024 x 768 screen resolution
- Windows XP SP 3 or higher
- Windows Vista SP2 or higher
- Windows 7
- Available USB 2.0 port
Minimum Computer Requirements to Run Itch Live:
For Serato Itch, each component has their own minimum requirements. You can check out each component separately to see the requirements for each one.