Using Serato + Traktor DJ Gear With Rekordbox DJ
Trying out a new DJ software is never easy. There are many reasons to avoid it – but with Pioneer DJ’s newcomer, Rekordbox DJ, it’s not as difficult as you might expect. Almost any Serato DJ or Traktor Pro gear can be used with the software, without paying extra or hacking.
Why Rekordbox DJ?
The last couple years have been frustrating for several types of DJs:
- Serato DJs using older legacy audio devices that no longer work with modern OS updates
- Traktor DJs who have watched the feature sets on Serato and Rekordbox expand while NI focused their attention on Stems (ex: Serato FX packs, Rekordbox release effects)
- DVS DJs who want to use a piece of gear that isn’t “certified” for use with their software.
for example: Kontrol Z2 with Serato DJ, without an extra Serato soundcard
Pioneer’s Rekordbox DJ enables a familiar workflow for Serato and Traktor veterans, without the need for new hardware. Rekordbox DJ also solves the issue of incompatibility with the latest operating systems which has plagued many users, particularly on the Serato side.
It has a ton of effects, and has received rapid-fire updates every few months. Pioneer is clearly putting a ton of money into the quick development of the software – remember how it launched only 8 months ago?
What Traktor + Serato Gear Works With Rekordbox?
One of the biggest obstacles in changing DJ software is the concern that you’ll have to spend money buying new gear. But the price structure of Rekordbox DJ (paying up front or buying a subscription) allows Pioneer DJ to justify not restricting what devices you can use with the software. This means that you should be able to use Rekordbox with just about any soundcard that your computer recognizes. See it in action with a Kontrol Z2 and Maschine in the video above.
@DJTechTools I don’t think Rekordbox filters by USB device name. You have to pay for the software so they don’t care what you use.
— Damien Sirkis (@DamienSirkis) July 9, 2016
This goes beyond just MIDI mapping controllers that weren’t designed for Rekordbox use. As Damien points out above, it’s particularly important for audio devices, especially when used with DVS. These often have to be certified for use Serato / Traktor – but that’s not the case with Rekordbox.
Here’s the hardware we’ve tested and confirmed as working with Pioneer DJ’s DVS pack so far (we’ll expand on this list in the next few hours – if you can check any hardware, let us know the results in the comments):
- Rane SL 2/3/4
- Traktor Kontrol Z2
- Traktor Audio 6/8/10
- Serato control vinyl
- Pioneer DJ gear (obviously) including any DDJ-unit with inputs, DJMs with built-in sound cards, Rekordbox timecode, etc. Full list here.
It’s worth noting that just because these devices work with Rekordbox DJ now doesn’t mean they will in the future – or that there’s any support for them if anything goes wrong:
“DJ equipment other than those above are not supported for rekordbox dvs function even if it works on it.” – Pioneer DJ’s support page
MIDI Mappings and Other Features
A lot of Traktor and Serato users will also wonder about MIDI mappings. While Rekordbox doesn’t yet have advanced MIDI mapping that uses modifiers and layered logic like Traktor, it does have most basic controls easily mappable. It’s fairly intuitive – watch how one YouTube user, DJ DP, quickly maps a Kontrol X1:
Looking for Rekordbox MIDI maps? There aren’t too many MIDI mappings available for Rekordbox DJ yet – but a growing number can be found on DJTT’s own maps.DJTechtools.com
How To Setup Traktor + Serato Audio Interfaces
Not only does other hardware work, but Serato timecode vinyl and CDs do as well. Setting up audio interfaces to work with Rekordbox DJ is pretty straightforward:
- Open Rekordbox’s preferences to the audio tab and select the audio interface you have plugged in
- Make sure the mixer mode is set to external
- Select the correct inputs and outputs on the soundcard. For example “input 1” on the audio interface will actually be both input 1 and input 2 in the software (two mono inputs).
- For DVS users, open the DVS Tab and check the control signal.
- Play back audio on each channel to ensure everything is routed correctly
If you need help setting up your sound card, watch my quick video below explaining it in detail:
Still A Challenge: Metadata
There’s of course one big challenge that’s worth noting for anyone thinking of switching to Rekordbox: your metadata. Right now there’s no way to get your Serato crates / cues / loops / etc from one software to another.
Rekordbuddy 2 will solve this for every software – but it’s still in a beta state. Once it is finalized, we’re excited to see DJs able to freely move from software to software on a whim. After all, it should be the features and performance that cause you to use one piece of software over another – not some restrictions around hardware or your music library.
Learn more about Rekordbox DJ on the official site here – it comes with a 30 day trial that allows you to use it in full. Of course, the software is new and not as “mature” as Serato or Traktor, but it’s still well worth looking into.