FX are the herbs and spices of the DJ world. Some people love them, some people overuse them, some people don't understand them and some people get scared... Here's an in-depth tutorial on the Serato DJ FX, powered by iZotope.
An effect is a form of audio processing, applied to a sound in order to make it sound different. The DJ FX in Serato DJ are all developed in partnership with iZotope, who are recognised as being one of the best audio technology developers in the world. The DJ FX available in Serato DJ range from simple to complex and can be used on their own, chained together or adjusted in order to get the desired outcome.
Serato DJ FX Panel
When you have Serato DJ open and you expand the DJ FX panel you will have access to 2 FX units with two different FX modes. Each FX unit will behave in the same way and can be assigned to any number of available decks or the master channel depending on your hardware, this gives you the ability to choose which FX unit effects each deck or you can apply the same FX to multiple decks at once.
You will also have the option to change the beats multiplier, this adjusts the effect time. Serato DJ automatically uses the tracks BPM from the deck you assign the FX unit to, which makes the Beats timing accurate.
NOTE: This relies on the tracks BPM being accurate for best results. If you have no BPM reading or you want the effect to react to a different BPM you can manually tap in your own BPM using the tap tempo function.
Multi FX Mode
By default each FX unit will be set up in Multi FX mode when you first open the FX panel. Multi FX mode lets you have up to 3 different FX loaded at the same time. Each effect slot can be loaded by selecting the effect that you want to use from the drop down menu.
Once an effect is loaded you will have an on/off button, as well as a depth knob available that you can use to adjust the amount of effect that is applied to the audio. The depth knob may behave differently depending on the effect that is loaded.
For example some FX will start at 0% while others will start at 50%. Play around with each effect to get an idea of how each one works. You can control the FX using your controller, your mouse or you can MIDI map the FX functions to a separate MIDI controller.
When you load multiple FX into one unit they will form an FX chain. The audio will travel through this chain starting from the left hand side of the unit and moving to the right.
For example, if you have high pass filter in the first slot and an echo in the second slot the audio will be processed by the high pass filter before it is echoed, meaning you will hear a high passed echo. If the effect in the first slot is off it will be bypassed in the FX chain.
You can create very powerful and versatile sounds using multiple FX chained together. Experiment with it and try out different combinations.
Single FX Mode
The second mode available is Single FX mode, which at first seems more basic than multi FX, as you can only use one effect at a time in each unit. However, you now have the ability to change multiple parameters of each effect rather than just the depth and an on off toggle.
For instance if you load up the “Echo” effect you can now toggle it on/off, adjust the depth, toggle reverse, adjust feedback amount, toggle loop and adjust high pass filter cutoff. Each effect will have different parameters that you can adjust.
As we continue to develop Serato DJ we have included more FX that can be used. These FX are bundled into expansion packs. Some of these packs are free and others are paid upgrades. These can all be obtained from serato.com or in the Serato DJ application itself via the ‘my serato’ tab. As your FX library increases you may find that there are some you use more than others.
Under the setup screen you can organise a favourites list of the FX you use the most so you do not have to scroll through FX you don’t need when choosing them within the FX panel.
Audio Linked Video FX
One last interesting feature of the Serato DJ FX is the audio linked FX feature when used with Serato Video. When you are mixing videos and you engage an audio effect it will trigger a corresponding video effect. You can toggle this Audio Linked FX option on and off from the setup screen under expansion packs, Serato Video, Effects. Try different audio FX combos with this feature activated for some crazy interactions.
That sums up the functionality and activation process of Serato FX. If you have any further questions don’t hesitate to get in touch with our support team.