How I Use Serato DJ - Library Management W/ Jordan

Creating your library structure inside of Serato should be a calculated decision that has had a lot of thought behind it. Before sifting through thousands of tracks you want to be 100% sure your method suits your needs, you don’t want to change your mind half way down the track about wanting to have 80’s power ballads in your “Go To” crate.

As new music releases, you’ll often find your library structure becomes stale. Those dated tracks in your banger crate are no longer getting reactions and you’ve decided that you no longer want to play tropical house. Instead of going through this dilemma every year or two we will walk through a future-proofed system below which won’t require you to ever have to drag songs to a crate again.

Organizing Your Library By Tags

Like any organizational method, this will take time. Each track will need to be individually tagged with as many categories the track falls into. Once your entire library has been tagged you’ll be able to make smart crates that magically fill with tracks meeting the crates criteria.

Setting Up

  • Evaluate each genre you play. For more precise crates think about also listing the tracks release date, region, sub-genre and any other aspect you may find important to sort by.
  • Think of an energy scale to judge your tracks by. A numbered 1 to 5 system may suit your style or maybe a naming convention such as “early, peak, late”.
  • Analyze all of your files. Ensuring each track has a BPM and Key attached to it.

Tagging Tracks

Now you’ve got a list of predefined categories each song should fit into, it’s time to go through your library, tagging each song with the categories it corresponds to. For more depth to your library consider also tagging the track’s release year, this is convenient for creating era based crates.

Add a symbol such as a '#' in front of each tag to exclude tracks that may include these keywords in their title.

Creating Smart Crates

The hard work of tagging your entire library is over. You can now make as many smart crates as you wish that magically populate with files meeting the crates criteria.

Here's a variety crates I made to suit playing across different genres/times of the night/demographics.

This is just an example of one structure you could create. Assess every aspect of what goes into your song selection (BPM, key, energy, release date, what type of person would enjoy the song etc) and make your own smart crates to suit the way you play.

Comments (11)

wei2007 7:22 PM - 24 May, 2017
My name is Jordan and I use the same method...what a coincidence. I would like to add another extra tip, as a hip hop DJ it would be beneficial to add * symbols to your tag to add extra meaning. For me, I use it to label how old the subgenre may be. For example, I have #SOUTH to label NEW southern trap hip hop music but I also have #SOUTH** for Southern music that was produced back in the 2000's. If you use this way, it will be much more flexible for DJs who may need to play only new school hip hop in one club but also needs perform at places that demand more golden age hip hop. This is more efficient for me when I have to search. Let me know if anyone has other tips and tricks on this topic!
DJ Art Pumpin Payne 4:23 PM - 25 May, 2017
Tracking....

I use a Tag to dump all my House in a main Smart Crate/Playlist with the tag [House]

Looks weird but working so far:

Jackin [House]
Soulful [House]
Indie - Disco [House]
[House] Old School
Classic [House]
Techno [House]

DJ 6 created a similar post many years ago using 3 letter codes to be able to search and find stuff faster - good info in both. Hopefully somebody will link to it also.
 6 4:37 AM - 26 May, 2017
Here's the Code System which is what I called it many years ago. It's essentially the same thing and I also use it to create smart crates in Serato or Smart Playlists in iTunes although nowadays I know the codes so well I don't even make any crates at all. Just search by the code or codes and come up with unlimited "virtual crates"


turntablemix.com
Jordan L 10:07 PM - 1 June, 2017
Quote:
My name is Jordan and I use the same method...what a coincidence. I would like to add another extra tip, as a hip hop DJ it would be beneficial to add * symbols to your tag to add extra meaning. For me, I use it to label how old the subgenre may be. For example, I have #SOUTH to label NEW southern trap hip hop music but I also have #SOUTH** for Southern music that was produced back in the 2000's. If you use this way, it will be much more flexible for DJs who may need to play only new school hip hop in one club but also needs perform at places that demand more golden age hip hop. This is more efficient for me when I have to search. Let me know if anyone has other tips and tricks on this topic!


Cool name bro.

Yep, everyone will have different ways of tagging their tracks. I use the year column to seperate my crates further into crates based by era.
Culprit 7:55 AM - 26 July, 2017
Quote:
Here's the Code System which is what I called it many years ago. It's essentially the same thing and I also use it to create smart crates in Serato or Smart Playlists in iTunes although nowadays I know the codes so well I don't even make any crates at all. Just search by the code or codes and come up with unlimited "virtual crates"


turntablemix.com


Dope website and setup 6
mobius909 8:24 AM - 20 January, 2018
Quote:
DJ 6 created a similar post many years ago using 3 letter codes to be able to search and find stuff faster - good info in both. Hopefully somebody will link to it also.


brilliant!
L'Phonik 12:48 AM - 5 September, 2018
Quote:
Here's the Code System which is what I called it many years ago. It's essentially the same thing and I also use it to create smart crates in Serato or Smart Playlists in iTunes although nowadays I know the codes so well I don't even make any crates at all. Just search by the code or codes and come up with unlimited "virtual crates"

Sixxx we all owe you a massive thank you (anybody who tags and manages music like this). You completely changed the way I DJ man!

The method i use is very similar eg:
[HH [90 [EC [CL = (Hip Hop, 90s, East Coast, Classic)
And if its a stand out track i’ll Add **** after the song name + Colour code and tag the track into three energy level categories [1 (dark blue), [2 (aqua), [3 .... 1 being chilled, 2 mid tempo, 3 uptempo
avazant 5:48 AM - 16 September, 2018
Or Serato could add proper tags as Pioneer did in Rekordbox. Implementation-wise, cramming a bunch of text into single fields isn't going to perform well for smart crates. Tags should be proper citizens in the Serato ecosystem.
avazant 5:53 AM - 16 September, 2018
Solution forces you to type out tag names. If you have a typo the track won't be in your search. It also forces you to look back on previous "tags"... There should be a defined/customizable list of tags that can be added. Again, see Rekordbox...
misterstimulation 2:36 AM - 17 October, 2018
Everyone uses a different system. I'm just getting back into this and my library is completely unorganized.

Speaking of organizing stuff in the library, but does anyone know if it's possible to add a blank row in a playlist?

I wanted to create a regular playlist of 3's, three records that mix well together. I was hoping to find a way to have three records, one per row and then a space between them. Like this...

1. Murder She Wrote
2. Taxi
3. Some Drake record (jokes..)
------ space ------
Another record
and another
and so on...
------ space ------

I thought I could create a short audio file with silence, make many copies and add them to my playlists to use as spacers. However, no matter how I arranged these "spacer" audio files in the playlist, after quiting Serato and reopenning it all of my spacer tracks are at the very top of the playlist.

Anyone have any suggestions? I wanted to see if this was helpful and easier to read when creating certain playlists.

:)
DJ Art Pumpin Payne 7:50 PM - 22 October, 2018
Quote:
I wanted to create a regular playlist of 3's, three records that mix well together. I was hoping to find a way to have three records, one per row and then a space between them. Like this...


Wouldn't it be easier to color code the tracks or something?