Serato Blog

30 November, 2017

Recording your sets with Serato DJ

One of the benefits of using Serato DJ software and owning a Serato DJ license is that it gives you the ability to record on many different pieces of hardware. It’s super simple to do and is a great way to listen to your sets, share them with friends or record your precious vinyl collection into your digital music library.

In this article we’re going to cover the ways to record on these different hardware pieces and the best practices to get your mixes sounding right.

Most of the time it's as simple as pressing...

Different hardware:
 

Most devices that you use with Serato DJ will let you record the “Master Mix” with the exception of the Rane SL2 and Denon DS-1*. All other mixers and interfaces do allow you to record your master mix.

*The reason these two devices can’t record a “Master Mix” is because they simply don’t have the inputs available and don’t sum the audio together (the audio is summed the mixer you plug into).

How To Record:

First, open your REC panel at the top of Serato DJ - 

Then in the drop down menu, make sure you are choosing the Mix option to record all the audio coming from your mixer, controller or interface. *If using the SL3, SL4 you’ll want to nominate the AUX option and route the output of the mixer into this input on the box using spare RCA cables.

Once you’re ready to record, check to make sure your levels are coming in at a good level on the VU meter (allow for some headroom so you don’t distort. It’s easier to turn something up, than to remove distortion)

Green = good

Yellow = best

Red = bad

Rec Location

You can choose where you’d like the recording to be saved to in REC Location. I suggest the desktop or dropbox destination rather than the default _Serato_ > Recorded location because it allows quick access to the raw recording.

*You can also set the location to an external drive too if you are short on internal drive space.

Saving your recording
 

When you are finished your recording MAKE SURE YOU SAVE YOUR RECORDING. If you forget to do this it will be temporarily saved in the USER>Music>_Serato_>Recorded Temp folder but, will be erased as soon as you press REC again.

Mastering your mix

Once you are happy with the recording, you may want to use a 3rd party DAW like Ableton or Garageband to edit your mix and apply a master limiter or compressor to even out the volume. This will help make your mix levels smooth overall and help tighten up the sound.

There are lots of good plugins in the DAWs that will allow you to do this. (You can also get some pretty great mastering plugins like iZotope Ozone). It’s also a great opportunity to add any drops or transition effects you might like to spice up your mix (if you didn’t already make use of the Sampler in Serato DJ).

Recording Vinyl
 

In addition to recording mixes, use the recording function as a quick way to import vinyl records or other audio into the computer. You just need to record the phono input (most turntables) or Line input (if your turntable has an in built pre amp) on a channel or the “Main mix". You can record a bunch of records all at once and edit them down to individual tracks at a later point too.

Recording Video

If you use Serato Video, and have a controller or mixer that is fully mapped to Serato Video you can also record video too! Recording video is very CPU intensive and is best used following this guide here.

In short, it’s best to record to a different drive than the one that the Video files are coming from. For example If your video files are stored on your internal drive, use the Rec Location to record to an External drive or vice versa if your files are stored on your external Drive.

Creating your own Visuals

I like to use the Media Crate and create my own visuals for remixes or songs I’ve made to use in VJ sets or to upload to Youtube or Vimeo. There are many creative ways to utilize the REC feature. I hope this helps and inspires you to take advantage of one of the many benefits of using Serato DJ.

Comments (23)

sector92 9:34 PM - 4 December, 2017
It should also be noted that Serato will only record in 3 hour blocks, for some mysterious reason. Most of my gigs 4+ hours and often, at the end of the night, I will forget to save the second audio file that was created after I exceeded the 3 hour threshold. It would be nice if Serato could remove that 3 hour limit and continuing recording to 1 files until I close Serato.
DJ BD 10:16 PM - 4 December, 2017
+1
Quote:
It should also be noted that Serato will only record in 3 hour blocks, for some mysterious reason. Most of my gigs 4+ hours and often, at the end of the night, I will forget to save the second audio file that was created after I exceeded the 3 hour threshold. It would be nice if Serato could remove that 3 hour limit and continuing recording to 1 files until I close Serato.
FunkFerret 10:29 PM - 4 December, 2017
Will we ever be able to record separate channels individually again, similar to what was available in the bridge?
cyrustheVirus 10:43 PM - 4 December, 2017
I don't know if this is still an ongoing issue or if it is done on purpose but if you are using songs on Pulse, the recording feature is disabled.
TimHenri 12:29 AM - 5 December, 2017
Hey!
at this moment Serato DJ will not let you record with the "mix" option with Pioneer DJM-900 nexus in HID mode, it works only with the Pioneer DJM-900NXS2, why is that? The mix option don't even appear, just cannel 1-4. Is this a bug?
Jordan L 1:08 AM - 5 December, 2017
Quote:
Will we ever be able to record separate channels individually again, similar to what was available in the bridge?


No multi-track recording as you're suggesting is planned, but I agree that'd be super dope.
Jordan L 1:09 AM - 5 December, 2017
Quote:
I don't know if this is still an ongoing issue or if it is done on purpose but if you are using songs on Pulse, the recording feature is disabled.


That is part of the licensing agreement with Pulselocker. Also, Pulselocker will no longer be supported full stop.
Jordan L 1:10 AM - 5 December, 2017
Quote:
Hey!
at this moment Serato DJ will not let you record with the "mix" option with Pioneer DJM-900 nexus in HID mode, it works only with the Pioneer DJM-900NXS2, why is that? The mix option don't even appear, just cannel 1-4. Is this a bug?


Hey,

Check this out :) support.serato.com

Cheers
TimHenri 2:32 AM - 5 December, 2017
Quote:
Quote:
Hey!
at this moment Serato DJ will not let you record with the "mix" option with Pioneer DJM-900 nexus in HID mode, it works only with the Pioneer DJM-900NXS2, why is that? The mix option don't even appear, just cannel 1-4. Is this a bug?


Hey,

Check this out :) support.serato.com

Cheers


Thanks a million, it works like a charm!
All the best! /Tim
4ndrw 11:45 AM - 5 December, 2017
"will be erased as soon as you press REC again." This is so frustrating!
I've lost sets from this so many times :'(

Packed down too quickly and haven't named and hit save and then played another set on another stage at the same event.... the first (in this case a main stage) set gets overwritten.

I had serato crash during an important gig recently, wasn't a big deal, opened it again and picked up where I left off. however, hitting record for the second half overwrote the first half. I didn't have time to open up the default recording location, find the temp recording, rename it or move it to another file location and then continue the set.

I'd rather the files just go the recording folder and by default have a time/date stamp in the file name.
4ndrw 11:46 AM - 5 December, 2017
Surely I'm not the only one who's had this happen?

I'm pretty sure Traktor just time and date stamps the recordings (could be wrong, it's been years since I've played around with it)
4ndrw 11:53 AM - 5 December, 2017
Another thing I've found with recordings, is that the quality seems much lower than the original tracks.

I've started using Ozone on it to bring up the level without clipping etc.
And that's improved things a bit for me.

There definitely isn't clipping in the original file, but I find that if I'm doing an edit afterwards in Ableton and need to bring in a portion of the original song, the original always sounds better (even after I account for difference in volume).

eg. it's common for me to forget to hit record till part way into the first song, so I'll stitch in the beginning of it later.

When I do this, the raw song sounds so much better!
(with or without added mastering and with the perceived volumes adjusted so they match)

Can you think of anything I'm doing wrong?
(ie. is there hidden audio settings I should be playing with?)

I'm confident in my gain staging, I'm not clipping anywhere inside Serato (which would be the most common way to degrade audio quality) but I'm not keeping it in the really low green area and then trying to boost it a ridiculous amount.

I can record some A/B files if that helps?

Is this a common experience?

Is the mix being lower quality just a thing that's considered "good enough" and not something I should stress over?

Or is this just a weird bug with my setup?
beatdoctor1 4:07 AM - 6 December, 2017
A long read here, so thx in advance!

My 3-part question for recording VJ sets...
1) Can MixE be used to record the sets vs. having to have Serato Video?
2) If it can, is there a way to record sets as an audio file in order to save space and work load on the MacBP?
3) If MixE is not compatible for recording and I purchase Serato Video, would recording the sets just as an audio file mix be an option (same as I was asking about MixE)? (I'd want to record my video program once in a while but would mostly like to have audio files of my live mixed sets).

I have many preferences and reasons (maybe excuses to some) for not switching from Scratch Live to Serato DJ. BUT, RECORDING my sets would be one great (and slightly long overdue) reason I'd have to make the move. I've been programming an average of 3 nights per week (4 to 6 hour sets) for 17 years straight. Sure, I've made a few dozen mixes with my gear at home, but I've only ever recorded about a ten of my "Live club programs" and that's kind of a big downer considering how many hundreds of nights with sick-a*s-packed dance floors.

Having to haul my older gear to the clubs since 10/ 2015 is mainly why I'm still a Scratch Live user... (along with a reluctance to invite update failure-bugs and/or other issues for my MBP). *pre-emptive knock on wood...I've had Scratch Live crash three times out of my last 350-ish sets from 10/ 2015 thru 11/ 2017.
(2011 "17 MBP 2.2 GHz i7 1TB 4GBram/ Yosemite 10.10.3 / iTunes 12.1.2. / Mix E 3.0.2 / 2xCDJ-900's / 2xStanton STR8-150's / Rane MP24z / Denon DN-X800/ SL3).

_stay solid & happy holidays🎧
Rockalot 7:08 PM - 11 December, 2017
+1
Quote:
It should also be noted that Serato will only record in 3 hour blocks, for some mysterious reason. Most of my gigs 4+ hours and often, at the end of the night, I will forget to save the second audio file that was created after I exceeded the 3 hour threshold. It would be nice if Serato could remove that 3 hour limit and continuing recording to 1 files until I close Serato.
Rockalot 7:11 PM - 11 December, 2017
Maybe a dumb question but does recording effect PC performance in any way?
I haven't recorded live sets for fear of using too much computer resources.
I do have lots of RAM and drive space.
david07 9:41 PM - 12 December, 2017
knob to maximum rec and does not saturate, use sl3
Rockalot 12:05 AM - 13 December, 2017
can't do that, I don't have a sl3

Quote:
knob to maximum rec and does not saturate, use sl3
david07 12:15 AM - 13 December, 2017
I only adjust the gain of the mixer and ready
ZAY LONDON 2:49 AM - 13 December, 2017
Are we ever gonna see serato take the VDJ section of the app to a next level? They havent done no updates in this part for awhile so find myself in conflict about going to try another software regular.
DJ OTA 12:13 AM - 24 December, 2017
I use a pioneer ddj-sz and can't seem to change the level of gain on my mix when recording. Any help guys?!

Cheers
david07 4:53 PM - 24 December, 2017
Quote:
I use a pioneer ddj-sz and can't seem to change the level of gain on my mix when recording. Any help guys?!

Cheers

so that you can change the volume of the recording while you mix, that adjusts the gain of the controller or the mixer and you do not play anymore, you have to do different checks and go testing and see that it does not saturate the signal, no.tie
a.berre_ny 12:31 PM - 3 February, 2018
Quote:
Quote:
Will we ever be able to record separate channels individually again, similar to what was available in the bridge?


No multi-track recording as you're suggesting is planned, but I agree that'd be super dope.



multi-track recording would be an awesome feature to have.
Andrewwwwwww 3:51 PM - 21 May, 2018
WTF SERATO! CANT MAKE A MIX GREATER THAN 2 HOURS WITH HIGH QUALITY? PATHETIC! FOR WHAT PURPOSE?

Tags


Related posts


DJ Riz On Hot 97

2 Nov, 2017

Recording your sets with Serato DJ