FYI: Dropout Warnings vs Limiter Warnings in Serato DJ

Something that comes up regularly on Serato DJ Workshop tours, on the Serato Forum and elsewhere online, is confusion from DJs about the USB dropout indicator and limiter warning lights in Serato DJ. These two warning lights look similar and are located close to each other but mean totally different things.

Read more about what these actually mean and put your mind at ease.

USB Dropout Warning

This indicator light, shows when your system is reaching a high CPU level and you're in danger of audio dropouts. If this is happening, you'll see a small light show up next to the CPU meter in the upper right hand corner of the setup screen.

This light as is is currently calibrated, is quite conservative - meaning that it's likely to show up just as an initial warning, even if you're quite far from having any noticeable audio dropouts. You should take the warning seriously, but if you're having no issues you can hear and your CPU is still quite low - it's probably just being a bit over-sensitive as a pre-warning (this is where testing your setup at home is important to gauge the performance of your computer).

If you are getting this light showing up, and it's accompanied by audio dropouts, there's a few things you can do:

  • Try raising your USB buffer a notch or two. This can be found in the Serato DJ setup screen, under "DJ Preferences".
  • Make sure to quit any other running applications in the background that could be taking up system resources.
  • Switch off Wifi and Bluetooth.
  • If your computer is on the edge of our system requirements, you may need to decrease your maximum screen updates (found in the Serato DJ setup screen).

If these don't resolve this issue, you may need to contact the Serato Support Team so we can look into your system and see what's wrong / help you optimise :)

Limiter Warning

The internal limiter in Serato DJ, only applies when using hardware that uses the internal Serato DJ mixing (not DVS devices).

The limiter in Serato DJ is there to ensure that you don't clip the master and experience nasty digital distortion. As you increase your channel gains and hardware master, you'll start getting close to the limiter threshold in Serato DJ. When this engages, it'll compress the audio so that it's not peaking.

If you see this light (located next to the Master Output meter and the MIDI button at the top of the screen), it means you're probably compressing your output and you should look at lowering your channel / master volume on your hardware so you're no longer "in the red".

Remember that these two warnings are different, and don't necessarily mean everything will explode :) If you have any other questions, fire away below!

If you require technical support, please contact the Serato Support Team.