Serato DJ 1.2 Manual

Serato DJ 1.2 Manual

Tracks without Beatgrids need to be Analyzed before a Beatgrid is created.


TIP For new tracks that haven’t been analyzed you can alternatively load a track to a virtual deck and Serato DJ will add a Beatgrid. The ‘Set Beatgrid’ option will need to have been selected in the Offline Player.

NOTE Analyzing tracks may take some time. It is recommended you do this prior to a gig. A track’s Beatgrid is madeup of several parts:

All Bar Markers have a number next to them, which references the bar number, starting at 1 (the Downbeat Marker). Each bar is then divided into 4 beats, with 3 small white markers to indicate beat divisions within each bar.

Downbeat Marker

The Downbeat Marker is a red line and is placed on the first transient of the track (this could be a kick drum, or first bass note at the beginning of the track). The Downbeat Marker will have a 1 above it to indicate it is Bar 1.

If the BPM is accurate, then the Beatgrid will be set perfectly and you will not need an further adjustment.

If the Beatgrid markers don’t fall on the track’s beats, then you will need to Edit the Beatgrid.


Bar Markers

Once the Downbeat Marker is created, the Beatgrid will then be created using the BPM value of the track to lay out a series of Bar Markers throughout the track on each bar start.

Each Bar Marker has a Bar number displayed next to the line, these indicate the start fo the track’s bar number (ie. the first beat is the start of bar number 1). If the BPM value is correct, then the Beat Markers will fall on each of the track’s beats.

NOTE Any bar before the first Downbeat will be shown as negative Bar numbers.

Beat Markers

Between each Bar Marker is a series of small Beat Markers, showing the individual beats in each of the track’s bar.

NOTE For some music such as house music, this may fall on each kick drum. For other music, such as hip hop or funk, these Beat Markers may not fall on top of a physical drum hit.

Beat Warp Markers

If there is a tempo change in a track, you can manually set a new red Beat Warp Marker.

Setting Manual Beat Warp Markers will warp the Beatgrid from this marker. This allows the Beatgrid to follow the track’s change in tempo.

Tracks with Beat Warp Markers are able to be be perfectly Synced to tracks with no tempo changes without the beats dropping out of time.

You can set as many Beat Warp Markers as you need. A track may change tempo multiple times, or the tempo may fluctuate if the track is from a live recording or ripped from vinyl.

NOTE Changes in tempo over time are common with live recorded music (such as rock, funk, reggae, etc.) Changes in tempo are very rare with most electronically created music (such as house, drum & bass, pop, etc)

Editing Beatgrids

If the Beatgrid markers aren’t falling on top of the track’s beats, you will need to edit the Beatgrid.

You can do this by loading the track to the deck, either in offline player, or while connected to your Serato DJ Controller, then clicking on "Edit Grid" which appears next to the time elapsed/remaining information for your track.

If you click on Edit Grid, the Beatgrid Editor will appear and a blue bar will appear above the waveform of the track. If you are connected to your Serato DJ controller the Beatgrid will appear instead of the Virtual Deck.

The Beatgrid Editor contains all the tools you will need to create a Beatgrid, or correct an incorrect Beatgrid.

TIP To check if the Beatgrid has been calculated correctly you can skip forwards into the track to see if the markers fall on the beats or not (after a breakdown is a good place). It is also a good idea to go to the track’s outro section and see if the markers are still falling on the beats.

TIP Press escape at any time to exit the Beatgrid Editor without saving any changes.

Incorrect Downbeat Marker


If the Downbeat Marker is set incorrectly or you want the first beat to be in a different position (ie. if the track has a long intro), then you will need to create a new Downbeat Marker.

  1. Open the Grid Editor by clicking Grid Edit or using the keyboard shortcut, alt + spacebar.
  2. Clear the beatgrid by clicking on the CLEAR button to delete the marker closest to the playhead. (or shift + delete to clear the entire Beatgrid.)
  3. Move the playhead above the desired location for the Downbeat.
  4. Click on SET to to set the Downbeat Marker or use the "x" key on your keyboard. The Downbeat Marker will snap to the closest transient.
  5. Click SAVE or press Return to exit the Grid Editor and save the change.



Adjust Incorrect Beatgrid


The Beatgrid may not always be correctly estimated and the markers may not line up exactly with the track’s beats.

Adjusting the Beatgrid will expand or contract the Beatgrid from your last Downbeat or Bar Marker.
If the Beatgrid Bar Markers start falling off the beats over time, then you will need to adjust the Beatgrid.

  1. Open the Grid Editor by clicking Grid Edit or using the keyboard shortcut, alt + spacebar.
  2. Scan into the track to see the Beatgrid going out of time.
  3. To expand or contract the Beatgrid, use the small and large Grid Adjust buttons, or press the left or right arrow on your keyboard.
  4. Click SAVE or press Return to exit the Grid Editor and save the change.



Slip Incorrect Beatgrid

If your Beatgrid matches the tracks’ tempo, but the track’s Downbeat Beat Marker is incorrect or the groove or feel is sounding slightly out, you may need to slip the Beagrid. This will mode (slip) the entire Beatgrid along as it is.

If the entire Beatgrid is out (ie. both the Downbeat and Beat Warp Markers), you can Slip the entire Beatgrid which will move all markers the same amount.

  1. Open the Grid Editor by clicking Grid Edit or using the keyboard shortcut, alt + spacebar.
  2. Use the small and large Grid Slip buttons to move the Beatgrid, or press control + the left or right arrow on your keyboard.
  3. Click SAVE or press Return to exit the Grid Editor and save the change.


Grid Edit Shortcuts

To edit a Beatgrid you will need to open the Beatgrid Editor.


NOTE You may find it easier to make adjustments to the Beatgrid with the track not playing. Use the following functions with your computer keyboard or mouse:

Action Keyboard Mouse
Open Beatgrid Editor alt + spacebar
Exit Beatgrid Editor Esc
Save Beatgrid Changes Enter
Set Beat Warp Marker x alt + double click
Clear Beat Marker Delete
Clear all Beatgrid Shift + Delete
Adjust (Contract/Stretch) Beatgrid Arrow Keys alt + click & drag a white bar marker
Large Adjust (Contract/ Stretch) Beatgrid Shift + Arrow Keys
Slip Beatgrid Control + Arrow Keys alt + click & drag the red downbeat marker
Large Slip Beatgrid Shift + Control + Arrow Keys

TIP When in Horizontal Display Mode use the left and right arrow key commands, when in vertical display mode, use the up and down arrow keys.

TIP After deleting all Grid Markers you may want to drag the file back onto the Analyze Files button to re-analyze the file and create a new Beatgrid, or press X to manually set the Downbeat Marker, creating a new Beatgrid.

Table of Contents
Getting Started
Importing Music
Preparing Your Files
Main Screen Overview
Navigating and Managing Your Library
Cue points
Downbeat Marker
Bar Markers
Beat Markers
Beat Warp Markers
Editing Beatgrids
Incorrect Downbeat Marker
Adjust Incorrect Beatgrid
Slip Incorrect Beatgrid
Grid Edit Shortcuts
Simple Sync
Smart Sync (Using Beatgrids)
SP-6 Sample Player
MIDI Control
DJ Preferences
Library + Display