Art of Deejaying, WK 10 – Advanced Features in Serato DJ

Welcome to SKAH DJ Blog! We will be looking at a few advanced features in Serato DJ. We will take a look at Flip, Loop Roll, Slicer and SP-6 Sampler.

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Flip

Flip is a cool creative feature in Serato DJ that allows you to recreate or transform a track into your own personalized remix or clean edit using quantized cue points and loops within the track without recreating a new audio file. That is, the remix information is saved in the ID3 tag of the audio file saving valuable disk space. With Flip you can jump between cue points and loops using this to extend the intro, chorus, outro or any other part of the song while keep the track in time and properly aligned. Creating a good Flip is hinged on analyzing the track, properly aligned beat-grids, activating Quantize and Loop Snap.

You can record your Flip live (that is, during a DJ set) or in the offline mode. Serato refers to Flips as non-destructive edits and you can save up to 6 different Flips per track without changing the original source file. This is truly phenomenal, as the disk space that would have been required to save 6 new remixes of a track has thus been saved. After recording your Flip, you can choose to set the Flip to loop or normal playback. Loop snap is used to align the end of your custom edit on beat so your Flips are always stay in time. Flip controls are also mappable via MIDI to your choice hardware. Flip is an expansion pack in Serato DJ and can be obtained for $29 in Serato’s Online Store. See below Flip demonstration videos.

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Loop Roll

Loop Roll is another cool feature in Serato DJ that allows you to perform an Auto Loop. The Loop Roll is activated by pressing and holding down the Loop Roll control on the keyboard or hardware and when the control is released, the play-head or playback position returns to the position it would have been if the Loop Roll was not activated (similar to the censor function).

The size of the Loop Roll or the Loop Roll lengths can be adjusted within the range of 1/32 to 32 bars. The short Loop Rolls can be used to create quick stutter-type effects on vocals or beats. The main difference between Loop Roll and the regular Auto Loop is that the roll button is momentary (i.e. The loop is engaged when the button is pressed down, and disengaged when the button is released.)

Here are keyboard shortcuts for activating the Loop Roll

  • Control + Alt + (1- 5) for the left deck (or the active left deck when using 4 decks).
  • Control + Alt + (6-0) for the right deck (or the active left deck when using 4 decks).

The above commands are similar to the Auto Loop controls. However, the difference is the ‘Control’ key included for Loop Roll. Alternatively, you can use the Loop Roll hardware controls on your Serato DJ controller. The Loop Roll is a free feature in Serato DJ (it is not an expansion pack and it does not require any additional payment). See below Loop Roll demonstration video (used for mostly for transitions in this video).

Slicer

The Slicer is an advanced feature of Serato DJ used to slice up a section of your track into 8 slices on the fly. These slices are then controlled using the 8 performance pads on your controller. Like the Loop Roll, the size of the slice can be adjusted with the parameters knob on your hardware from 1/32 to 1/2 beat. The Slicer is a simple and powerful tool. Here are a few tips from Serato HQ on using the Slicer as a performance tool.

  • Instant double your track and then use the Slicer and EQ to add extra rhythmic elements and add excitement between different sections in your track. Great to use just before a breakdown or hook section to build some vibez.
  • You can use the Slicer on acapellas to create your own edits to lay over tracks on the fly. This works best with accurate Beatgrids on your acapellas.
  • Throw the pitch slider down to -16%, set the slice size to either 1 beat or 1/2, and use the Slicer to repeat sections. For dance music, set your pitch range to +/- 50% then throw the pitch slider down to slice up your track for a half-time breakdown or to mix into your next track at the new tempo.
  • Great for looping breaks and making crazy jungle edits.

The Slicer is a free feature in Serato DJ (it is not an expansion pack and it does not require any additional payment). Please see below Slicer demonstration videos.

The classic SP-6 Sample Player (now with 2 extra slots for Serato DJ 1.9.3 and above)

The SP-6 Sample Player allows you to play up to eight sources of audio across four banks, giving a possibility of 32 samples on the fly, which is in addition to the tracks playing on the Virtual Decks. Any audio file in your Serato DJ library can be loaded to any one of the eight slots across the four banks, allowing playback of short samples, audio loops, sound effects or full-length tracks. Indeed, the most interesting use of the SP-6 Sampler is finger drumming. Load your favourite beat samples and create your own sound using finger drumming techniques spiced with some nice vocal samples or acapellas.

The SP-6 Sample Player is only available when a supported hardware is plugged in. It is not available in the offline player mode. To enable or disable the SP-6 expansion pack, go to the Serato DJ Setup –> Expansion Packs screen –> Check or un-check the SP-6 Sample Player option.

You can load a track or sample into the SP-6 Sampler by dragging and dropping the desired file from your library into one of the sample slots. To eject a track, click the eject button to the right of the title display. You can also load tracks to the SP-6 Sample Player with the keyboard shortcuts: Control + Alt + Z, X, C, V, B, N, M, and ‘,’ for sample slots 1 to 8 respectively. Select and drag eight tracks from your library onto the first sample player slot to simultaneously load eight tracks across all eight slots. The SP-6 Sample Player is a free feature in Serato DJ ( it does not require any additional payment).

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Keep practicing and stay tuned for the next article. Yours truly, signing out.

@djkcydal

Credits – Serato DJ, DJ Eskei 83

 

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