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Serato Scratch Live Review

D_J_Biko 3:30 PM - 23 July, 2004
SERATO SCRATCH LIVE REVIEW 4 U


Rane Serato Pros
1. Every CD, or digital track you have magically becomes wax and guess what, Santa brought doubles of everything.

2. Limitless options for sampling your own music; voice overs.

3. The vertical view of the wave form is an outstanding tool for any DJ to perfect beat matching & scratching.

4. Space saving Square hard ware compared to competitors awkward round hard ware.

5. Relative mode allows conservation of the Serato Vinyl because you can practice the same cut anywhere on the record.

6. Absolute mode allows a visual marker to be used on the Serato Vinyl.

Rane Serato Cons

1. Windows 98 will not work and all dj's aren't computer people.

2. Some delay with certain advanced tricks[this issue maybe be addressed with the updated software download] (processor speed, RAM amount and record speed {tempo} all factor into this)

3. a 4 Channel mixer is necessary if you are a dj who would like to mix quickly between vinyl and Serato Scratch.



Connecting Serato Scratch Live

When using serato scratch you are going to have a few extra RCA cables and power cords running through your setup. The thru and line are marked clearly but careful attention should be used until you are used to breaking and resetting up the unit. The only problem I experienced was that the signal from the control record was being heard in the background when Iflippedd back to vinyl. This is because you need to either have a 4channell mixer or disconnect the Serato scratch RCA's when using real wax. This problem is not unsolvable but the mostpracticall way would be to use a 4 channel mixer. I can tell you that using a video game splitterdoesn'tt work if you are having this problem and are thinking of trying that as a solution. When I had to bring out a 4 channelNu markk I was not pleased at first and thought, this 4 chan mixer is fine for home/studio, but this is not the mixer Ipreferr to take to parties. But I was so happy to have the signal noise out of the back ground and able to mix quickly between Wax and Serato Scratch I quickly decided to worry about that problem later, and forgave Serato Scratch for that issue. Like i said with some creativity and a trip to you local electrical component store you can solve this problem and use the 2 channel mixer you know and love.



Mixing with Rane Serato Scratch Live

Mixing with Serato Scratch is a pleasure. I tested the Scratch live with a couple different setups and on a system with near the Serato minimum requirements mixing can be accomplished with out any problems. Serato scratch requires no sound card; all sound is transfered from the PC through the usb therefore the better quality you digital media (mp3 wav etc.) the better it sounds when played live. Holding mixes for 3 or 4 minutes is easily accomplished because the vertical view of the wave in essence puts you 3 or 4 seconds ahead of your mix at all times. You can see your mix start to stray and start to correct it well in advance. I tested the Serato Scratch on the Stanton 100's and of course they have the key adjust feature. One of the biggest things I wanted to know before I used this system was if the key adjust would work with the Serato Live. Well it does work almost as good as it does with real records. In extreme cases you don't want to use the feature, but that is true for records too. The count down feature gives the time remaining in the track that is currently playing so more accurate mix plan on the fly. Also once the master volume is adjusted for a song it is saved automatically and there is no need to fumble with your faders.



Scratching with Rane Serato Scratch

If you cannot scratch well then you must have this product. If you can already scratch like the flash and jazzy jeff then you must have this product. Scratching on Serato Scratch allows you to be super duper dope when it comes to scratching. Not once with a 1.5MHz processor and 256MB ram PC did final scratch lock delay or malfunction while scratching heavily. The reason that scratching is much better on the Serato Scratch is because the wave form is color coded according to the frequency range. So basically you have blue snares, yellow ccymbalsand so on. If you become ffamiliarwith what colors sound a certain way when scratching you can basically cut a track without having heard it and dang near win a battle doing so.



Is Serato Scratch Live for you?

Yes, Serato Scratch Live by Rane is for you if you are a DJ, mixer, battlor, Digger or Producer. Any style of music translates to Serato Scratch. I demonstrated the unit playing Rap, Old school R&B and some Rock. I Suggest Serato Scratch to anyone who wants to have a massive collection of music consisting of thousands of songs arranged nicely on a 3.5 inch hard drive. If you have ever carried crates or arm fulls of dusty records to a party or club then Serato Scratch Live is for you. If you get Serato Scratch only for the purpose of converting your current wax into a digital format and keeping your wax for the real deal then it's worth it. This is by far a better than any scratch able CD players. Why you ask? Because it's real vinyl, real pitch control, real scratching. With This Product you never have to take your focus away from you set up to dig or search for records. You get more out of yourself as a DJ with Rane Serato Scratch Live. d_j_biko@yahoo.com
lancota 3:41 PM - 23 July, 2004
Quote:

1. Windows 98 will not work and all dj's aren't computer people.


Ummmmm I'm sorry, but if you still are on Windows 98 then you really need to evaluate your setup. Even Microsoft try to STOP supporting 98....ME is the same thing. Basically if you're not on XP, you're causing yourself a lot of headache cause XP's stable as hell. I don't even want to imagine what this program would do on windows 98!!! (example: spin record, crash, reboot, spin record, crash, reboot)

Quote:

3. a 4 Channel mixer is necessary if you are a dj who would like to mix quickly between vinyl and Serato Scratch.


I really haven't ever seen a mixer without at least 4 channels (2 line, 2 phonos on each channel) If you've found one, please point me to it cause it's gotta be dirt cheap (I mean my very first numark DX 2 channel mixer had 2 lines and 2 phones and it only cost 60 bucks!) Then again, I don't spin hip hop or scratch too often so maybe there are bomb A$$ mixers with only 2 channels...
nik39 5:11 PM - 23 July, 2004
Quote:

3. The vertical view of the wave form is an outstanding tool for any DJ to perfect beat matching & scratching.


What does vertical allignment of wave forms have to do with beatmathcing and scratching?

Quote:
4. Space saving Square hard ware compared to competitors awkward round hard ware.


I personally think, they could have had all connectors/plugs on one side, that would have made sense.

Quote:
1. Windows 98 will not work and all dj's aren't computer people.


Not sure, but you need new HW to work SSL smoothly, then this new hardware, is there really support for win98? Besides that, I prefer havin a solid OS w/o crashes, and forget win98 when it comes to stability.

Quote:
2. Some delay with certain advanced tricks[this issue maybe be addressed with the updated software download] (processor speed, RAM amount and record speed {tempo} all factor into this)


You can get the delay down to an unnoticable amount. Only delay which is inherent is the delay of needle dropping as SSL needs to be sure that the new position of the needle is found correctly. This is sometimes used in some scratch techniques, but rarely.

Quote:
3. a 4 Channel mixer is necessary if you are a dj who would like to mix quickly between vinyl and Serato Scratch.


Normal battle mixers are called 2 channel mixers, but they have 4 inputs, 2 phono, 2 line. You only run into problems if you are using SSL with CDs, then you have to make sure you have 4 line-in inputs, or you have to use 2 line->phono converters.

Quote:
The only problem I experienced was that the signal from the control record was being heard in the background when Iflippedd back to vinyl. This is because you need to either have a 4channell mixer or disconnect the Serato scratch RCA's when using real wax.


I havent heard that yet. Maybe your mixer does not have a good channel separtion ratio, but I am not sure about this. I doubt thats an issue if you use a good mixer. This is not a problem of SSL, you will experience this problem with any setup.

Quote:
Mixing with Rane Serato Scratch Live

Mixing with Serato Scratch is a pleasure. I tested the Scratch live with a couple different setups and on a system with near the Serato minimum requirements mixing can be accomplished with out any problems. Serato scratch requires no sound card; all sound is transfered from the PC through the usb therefore the better quality you digital media (mp3 wav etc.) the better it sounds when played live. Holding mixes for 3 or 4 minutes is easily accomplished because the vertical view of the wave in essence puts you 3 or 4 seconds ahead of your mix at all times.


I dont see the advantage of vertical view over horizontal (and vice versa) here. So you have tried to do 3 or for minute mixing w/o using the pitch more than in FS or on normal vinyl? I am excited to hear that mix :-) If you research this forum, you should come across something which is called pitch drift issue, its going to be fixed, but its still a flaw in the current software.

Quote:
I tested the Serato Scratch on the Stanton 100's and of course they have the key adjust feature. One of the biggest things I wanted to know before I used this system was if the key adjust would work with the Serato Live. Well it does work almost as good as it does with real records.


Ehm, ... Did I misunderstood you? You have tried it out, ant it works as good with real records? I read here

www.scratchlive.net

that it does not work?!

Quote:
The reason that scratching is much better on the Serato Scratch is because the wave form is color coded according to the frequency range. So basically you have blue snares, yellow ccymbalsand so on. If you become ffamiliarwith what colors sound a certain way when scratching you can basically cut a track without having heard it and dang near win a battle doing so.


Again, what does scratching have to do with the displayed waveform PLUS colors here? Maybe you can explain that a bit more detailed.

From my POV scratching is better in SSL beacuse it tracks better than FS does.
radish 8:15 PM - 23 July, 2004
It's always good to see the exact same posts in two different forums :)
Steve W 10:32 PM - 23 July, 2004
D_J_Biko, could you tell us a bit about yourself? Just wondering what point of view your review is written from.
SpinThis! 2:32 AM - 24 July, 2004
I still wonder why people run 7+ year old OSes on their GHz machines. Windows 2000 (Windows 5) and XP (5.1) are much much better in terms of reliability.
AJ 10:34 PM - 24 July, 2004
Quote:
I tested the Serato Scratch on the Stanton 100's and of course they have the key adjust feature. One of the biggest things I wanted to know before I used this system was if the key adjust would work with the Serato Live. Well it does work almost as good as it does with real records.

That doesn't seem likely. Knowing how the control signal works and what key adjust would do to it, I'm pretty sure it would sound terrible. To put it in a nutshell, the software follows the shape of the control signal, not the frequency components, so a process like key adjust which destroy the shape in order to adjust the frequencies, destroys the integrity of the control signal.