Bored with Serato? Well don’t be.

For those who can’t wait to try out some new stuff in Serato Scratch Live, the 2.0 release (which is now in public beta) may seem like it’s taking forever. Fortunately, there are a lot of semi-hidden functions in SSL  1.9 that will keep you entertained in the mean time. They include MIDI-controlled instant loop roll, Transfer stutter, AM mode, and of course the classic Pong trick.

Loop Roll

Loop roll is an often over-looked feature that can be described as a beat-repeat trick. You temporarily loop a part of the song, and when the loop is released, the playhead jumps back to its normal position as if a loop had never been set. In order for this to work, the BPM must be set in the BPM column.

Loop Roll Key Commands

To try this out right away, use keyboard commands to access the loop roll feature by holding ctrl + alt + 1-5 for the left deck and alt + 6-0 for the right.  There are 16 looping increments available but you can only access the 5 that are currently shown in the loop window. Simply use arrows in the auto looping group to change which increments you have access to.

Loop Roll MIDI Control

If you want a little more control and a hands-on experience, you can map these functions out on any MIDI controller with a little hidden MIDI trick. A row of 4-8 buttons is perfect because you can directly access any of the loop roll values (not just those shown in the screen) and glitch out a song in Serato.

  • Step 1. Make sure your MIDI controller is hooked up to your computer before you start SSL.
  • Step 2. Click the MIDI tap on the right side of the screen.
  • Step 3. Hold down CTRL + ALT and click each loop value that you want to assign.
  • Step 4. Now press the MIDI button you want to assign to that unique loop roll value.
  • We recommend using 1,  1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, and 1/32 plus a reverse for good measure.

“Transfer” Stutter Loop

This is a loop that automatically divides itself in half after every cycle down to the smallest size. When used sparingly, this effect makes the dance floor go crazy. In order to make this function a little easier:

  • Press the Setup tab.
  • Then press the Playback tab.
  • Uncheck “Playback Keys use Shift”.
  • Now simply Press alt + t to effect the left deck and alt + g for the right.

DJ AM Mode

Don’t you hate when you’re DJing and someone is trying to trainspot your tracks over your shoulder for their own personal gain!? Well, this mode is for you. By pressing either BPM tap button and then typing “am” it simply blacks out your track titles on any and all decks.  You can reverse this by typing “am” again, or if you click either deck, it will display the title briefly before disappearing into the night.

Pong Mode

This is an oldy but a goody, as well as something to do to burn some minutes. In order to play Pong, first make sure both decks have tracks loaded up on them. Then by pressing control + shift at the same time followed by clicking the setup tab, you should be able to entertain yourself like your parents used to.

Hopefully some of these suggestions will tide you over till 2.0’s release date!

HIdden TricksSerato 1.9TipsTutorial
Comments (62)
Add Comment
  • crash

    been a serato guy since its debut… but I’m always open for new things… my buddy brought over his Traktor controller(not sure the model) and is outer, i played around on it, he showed me some things, before i knew it i was having the time of my life!!! I’m pro vinyl, always have been always will be… but the creativity allowed with traktor is insane!!! i can beat juggle four techs all will stay in beat, tempo, and groove… but, once my buddy turned the sync button on and all i had to worry about was being nutty, my mix was absolutely insane! dropping samples, remixing, looping, builds, breaks, ABSOLUTELY INSANE!!!! with that said, if i was making a production for people to listen too in the car, then traktor would be the way to go, but for me, serato takes me back to the 90’s and i just personally have more fun… but, don’t get me twisted, i been on ebay eyeballing traktor and controllers for my studio!!!!!!!!

  • jimbolecat

    NOT TO BE RUDE PISHPOSH BUT YOUR FULL OF DOGGY .. been djing for 12 years (8 professionally) i work in a holiday resort 7 nights a week 4 hours a night. so i’ve tested both software quite a extensively..

    in the club i work we have both sl3 and traktor 2 traktor eats serato alive! ..

    if you want to fall asleep in the middle of a set! use serato! it’s so 2 dimensional i want to put my fist through the screen, serato made it’s name because it was stable and you could run it on 1 gig of ram, the reason if was so stable was because it had no effects or anything else that take up a lot of processer power.. when laptops were really crap and all other software was crashing all the time, it only had to stand against stanton final scratch which was absolutely awful!! ..
    nowadays it’s a different ballgame and if serato was a new company released today it wouldn’t even get a mention ..

    if you want to develop yourself as a genuinely creative artist then go for the traktor 2, it’s combinations are mind boggling! it’s just so much more! .. and if you don’t want to use the sync button then just don’t press it!

  • DJ_Step-1

    Go for the TRAKTOR and please do forget about Serato if they haven’t make any obvious improvement.. best regards -STEP_1-

  • DJ_Step-1

    Go for the TRAKTOR and please do forget about Serato if they haven’t make any obvious improvement.. best regards -STEP_1-

  • DJ_Step-1

    Go for the TRAKTOR and please do forget about Serato if they haven’t make any obvious improvement.. best regards -STEP_1-

  • DJ_Step-1

    Serato is foolish way to pretend like the old days when all technology still like the stone age era.. we should embrace the improvement of the technology (such as sync button). The modernity will take you over the limit of those who claim to be the “real” conservative way.. those who still stubborn and pretend that the coservative way is the only way will sink deep into the ancient age…. why not take the aeroplane if there is one, and why still take the seaship if there’s aeroplane.. we still could take the seaship, but it will be foolish to do that unless in certain condition…. peace out….

    • Misterfaust

      There is a massive difference between convenience in transportation and the avenue taken to deliver art. A terrible analogy dude.

  • dj brigidope

    the transfer stutter loop doesn’t break down on beat. it might work for a tempo switch or doing things in video. but if you are blending and hit apple t. it’ll throw your blend off.

  • dj brigidope

    the transfer stutter loop doesn’t break down on beat. it might work for a tempo switch or doing things in video. but if you are blending and hit apple t. it’ll throw our blend off.

  • charo

    alot of questionable opinions being thrown around in these comments, traktor vs serato ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzz

  • ManDingo

    DJ OMAC,

    Yes!!!! The last thing I think about when I’m on the floor is, “is this dj using sync”?
    Who cares how he’s getting me to where I am now…just keep going. If your mixing 4 dicks at once sync is cool to have. One thing to remember though, sync in Traktor is not always on point. I trust my ears more then I trust sync to match my beats. So, sync does me no good unless it’s 3 or 4 decks rolling as one!!!
    YEAH BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ManDingo

    ManDingo would love to see DJTECHTOOLS do a comparison between the different softwares available for producing music. LOGIC 9, REASON, CUBASE, ABLETON, etc. Pros, cons and stuff. That would be really cool to see and read the different opinions on this matter.

  • ManDingo

    The other day ManDingo, connected his Mac and Audio 8 card to a sweet sound system…just to show a patron in a club the difference between Serato and Traktor (ManDingo uses TRAKTOR). The first things outta peoples mouths was ” wow, your sound is sooo rich”. ManDingo proceeded to show off his use of his VCI 100 SE with cool tunes and wicked effects. People loved it…loved that with all my little gear which I haul in two bags can be sooo much more effective then two CDJ’s with a mixer.
    Even Serato was blushing:-()

    ManDingo, doesn’t play around!!!!

    • D Holling

      I enjoy 3rd person speak. proceed onward

  • Deejayogi

    Hi there i was a serato user & windows user as well now i’m a mac user & traktor user & i feel the same about mac vs windows (Mac win) to traktor vs serato (Traktor win)
    Btw sound better the scratch & more like a real vinyl with traktor!
    Just my opinion


    Just because there is the sync function in Traktor, it doesn’t mean you have to use it, so I think the Serato is for real DJ’s is silly. Anyway, there’s a difference between the technical DJ skills (whether that is using turntables, DJ software, etc) and knowing good music and reading an audience. A DJ could be the world’s best mixer on two turntables but if they play crap songs and can’t keep a dance floor hoppin, who cares. Obviously, knowing those technical skills enables the DJ to fully realize their potential, but the at the end of the day, what matters is did people enjoy the party and promote some worthy artists along the way. I could see why someone would feel threatened by software if they thought that the whole point of DJing was just mixing, but in reality it is not.

    This reminds me of all those tired arguments that “electronic music isn’t real music” because people were so hung up on the mechanical skill of learning to pluck strings on a guitar and forgetting that’s it about the creativity and vision to bring a bunch of musical notes together into something that kicks ass.

    So I’d say stop getting hung up on the way things were done in the past and evolve with the changing face of DJing. I personally think it’s interesting that there are so many different ways to spin some tunes now.

  • PishPosh

    You’re all fools. Bottom Line- Serato is for people who KNOW how to DJ and want to embrace digital along with analog. Traktor is for people who want to pretend how to dj by pressing a sync button. Tell me honestly, how many of you traktor users still beatmatch with your ear? you cheat at it with the sync function and you know it.
    &$#@ Pong in serato, never knew it was there, couldn’t care less that it is there. Serato still requires skill to operate.
    If you stood there holding a guitar that played itself would you call yourself a guitar player?
    Hide behind your claims of being forward thinking or whatever, but those of us who actually have skill behind the decks know who the posers are.

    • Edgar Ayala

      I use traktor and I beatmatch. Once I was playing in a club and the timecode cds were skipping, so the sync button came in handy.

    • DotCom

      Traktor’s purpose is to allow the user to focus on the creativity aspect of the mix. If you have 4 samples running who has time to beat match instead focus on applying filters and layering samples. Unfortunately not all of Traktor’s users are creative.

      Serato just allows the user to play music A to B in an antiquated way.

      Does PishPosh have any remixes, mash-ups, or compilations? Your the fool for thinking you’re a real DJ.

    • Tresfre

      Wow u know how to beat match? I’m impressed. Big fuckin deal. Like beat matching is everything.

      • Bird


  • JF

    Simply put. Serato is for scratch DJs
    Traktor for forward thinking DJs


  • digibeach

    hahaha this is hysterical, it really is, im sorry Serato users. Ive been using Traktor for quite some time now, all those hours spent learning complicated mapping notes, key detection, tempo, the 25 FX, all that time you guys were playing PONG!!!! NI and Traktor is definetly for the more Techy djs, the MAC snobs, like myself i guess.

  • Kupujte_Pytle

    Pong? Srsly? is that in serato, for real? that is awesome XD

  • koeul benny

    Yeah… not a traktor user but I’m pretty sure you can’t design your own effects in that program

    Try the edit button in your beta’s people you can save the profiles of the new effect you created for future use

    they are also saved in your serato effects folders so if
    you find someone with a cool effect they can share it with you
    if you bribe them first LoL /

  • charo

    “”This by itself shows you how much the people at NI are concerned about customer satisfaction. As for Serato…. Mmmm…. Not so much :P””

    lol, where do you come up with this stuff

  • Nicholas

    [quote post=”4873″]But hey you still can’t do this with serato!

    ahahahahahah honestly i seriously lolled when i saw that your video for the contest was in this link XDXDXD….what wouldn’t you do to win??? ahahhaha

  • M.C.

    [quote comment=”27185″]I’m impressed, there’s some pretty cool feature’s I never new serato had! Plus Pong! Traktor’s reply, pac man 😉

    But hey you still can’t do this with serato!

    But you will…

  • Khaled Crow

    I truly think that the reason Serato’s Scratch Live is never really ahead of NI’s Traktor is simply because of their R&D. They don’t have enough cash to continue researching and developing their product as much as Native Instruments do.

    Which explains why Native Instruments continuously bring out updates and new software/hardware to their customers. The best recent example is their new timecode update for members! This by itself shows you how much the people at NI are concerned about customer satisfaction. As for Serato…. Mmmm…. Not so much 😛

  • moti

    It’s all about the music… nether the stuff you use nor if it is analog or digital, new school or oldschool, real or fake. Good handmade and soulful music is always real. the brand of some stuff is the last thing, this whole shit should be about.

    I’m using technics, serato with the ttm57 for my scratches (i also use traktor just for comparison or for certain styles of music – just because its better at some point, the rane and serato is a compact way for doing scratches), ableton live for loops and live-instruments, native instruments maschine for live-beats (sometimes my old MPC60 for that grimmy sound ^^), real vinyl 😉 … sometimes i even use a real bass-guitar at a set. who cares? But I always use MY hands, MY groove, MY ideas (hopefully ^^) and MY will for doing music.

    This website is exactly about that point, that’s why i love it so much. You really should give a fuck about equipment in general and equipment-specs as long as you have ideas for using it in a way you like. I bet every traktor-lover could get some awesome stuff out of serato and vice versa. A different sound and style, but thats what it is all about.

    Don’t be ruled by your equipment… rule your equipment!

    (sry for my english)

  • GeeBeeH

    I reckon who cares how ya do it………its what the people hear that its all about really innit…..thats how i see it…..if some people wanna fuck about with 12inch pieces of plaggy well they can……if id spent a fortune on technics and built up a record collection id probably be a bit ignorant to it……ive used traktor since about 2004 5…when i had to press the sync button about every 20 secs…i reckon in 5 6 years we look back on dex like u see on the flintstones wehere a bird plays pieces of round rock with its beak….haha….Bring on the Digital Takeover!

  • Bob

    Actually DJ Stylus, Serato have said that mode was included specifically at the request of AM, surely the most trainspotted DJ in history…

  • frank bash

    i think serato stay always on the second place,

    there is not much flexibility:

    you have to use their soundcard, mixers or buy ableton ( the bridge)
    to get the same functions like traktor, this is too expensive and not very creative.

    you have always look( the men who stare on serato)and type on the keyboard

    you can find videos or infos( demo versions only at native) here:

  • dj stylus


  • The Reverand

    Johnny Vulcan: DJ, Philosopher and Poet.

    Personally I’d like a DJ centric DAW. But that’s me.

  • Johnny Vulcan

    I wish people could just enjoy their tools, and think outside of their little boxes for a minute, realize people approach djing and dj software from many perspectives. If it’s really important to you to be “true to the DJ nature” or whatever, go for it. But maybe realize some people approach things more like a producer, or dare I say, artist might. Any tools that can rearrange, splice, loop, synchronize, tweak, destroy or otherwise bend any audio to your will are welcome tools in my book. I like dj software to remind me of a lite version of my DAW.

    The whole frikkin idea is to be able to do what you can dream up! Why are people always so hung up on what technique is “more authentic”? I guess what I’m trying to say is: SSL lovers- live large! Enjoy! But when it comes to judgments of other approaches, Think twice.

    The sooner we can all think of all audio as clay or paint on a palette, the better.

    • Tom

      Well said that man!

  • n:deuce

    nice to see an article on ssl, which i use. there are lots of nifty new features in 2.0. although i dont use traktor, i really like this site for all the great info and the lack of bs. traktor or ssl…dont matter as long as you can rock it!

  • Edubbs_NYC

    Well, well…just when you think you know all the tricks of Serato. I will use the pong feature next time someone train-spots my crates. I dont get it, why are you here peeping my stuff out when you got mad girls on the dance floor ready to get their grind on? Is it just me!!!

    Nice article.

  • Lo.Definition

    That’s great that people are excited that Serato will be linking to ableton. Not being an Ableton user, I am excited about Traktor linking up with visual software, specifically resolume Avenue.

  • dubplatsa

    Theres a DJ AM mode in Traktor?

  • mtvstinks

    i found it.

  • mtvstinks

    where can I find the public beta? I can’t seem to find it…?

  • charo

    yes it is! and it’s fun!

    dj ally, those ‘truthers’ are the type of people that need, in their own minds, to make themselves feel more worthy or true to some ideal…the best thing a person can do to combat it is not become one his/her self.

  • mtvstinks

    is 2.0 public beta out???

  • ToS

    I can add that Traktor is more closer to the “Programmer nature”. But with the recent scripting engine on “the third” dj software, there might be some programmers crossing the street.

  • dj ally

    There have been a lot of comments about SSL vs Traktor and how one stays truer to the true nature of DJing. My question is; which one? The one that you push a button to sync up tracks, or where you move a slider to match up a couple of lines? If someone who has NEVER DJed before can be beatmatching like a pro in 5 seconds on either platform; and later can experiment with samplers, effects, auto loops, REGARDLESS of the software; does it even matter anymore?

    They both have their advantages; but their differences pale in contrast to their ever expanding and converging set of features.

  • Vinicius Hoffmann

    [quote comment=”27192″]Roll in Traktor = Beatmasher?[/quote]
    I think that you are right…
    but I am not a serato user
    can we have some video action?

  • CGDJ

    it’s official
    i’m still color-blind
    & and I still can’t make heads or tails of the SSL waveform. i think it’s even worse than before, looks all yellow to me.

  • B-Matty

    @ Fredrik C3
    [quote post=”4873″]I’m using Traktor and I’ve always gotten heat from Serato users that the looping functions and the sync was too easy and that Serato was the bomb since it was so true to the DJ nature. 🙂 Well now I guess they can calm down since Serato also are getting these functions.[/quote]

    Serato has these functions too…And from what I’ve heard from alot of traktor users…is still closer to the true “DJ Nature.” Serato has had the loop functions for a while. There is no Sync however so it’s still left up to the ear to get your music in time.

    Only thing I can think of to bring it into Traktors playing field will be the inbuilt FX and the 4 deck capacity. On the other hand the bridge is going to propel Serato way into the lead with the integration of Ableton Live.

  • ocd

    the horizontal view has been an option in serato for a long time. is that what you guys are saying looks more like traktor?


    Roll in Traktor = Beatmasher?

  • Mudo

    Almost upgrades are free.

  • Pete

    Great to see some other tech getting a bit of coverage. (I hope I do not get shot down toady).
    Being a Traktor user I am interested in what else is out there!
    Big up DJTT.

  • Double DutchDj

    I’m impressed, there’s some pretty cool feature’s I never new serato had! Plus Pong! Traktor’s reply, pac man 😉

    But hey you still can’t do this with serato!

  • Fredrik C3

    Isn’t Serato looking more and more like Traktor??
    I’m looking forward to seeing the 2.0 version. Hopefully they will do something to their interface, so it looks better in higher resolutions. 🙂

    I’m using Traktor and I’ve always gotten heat from Serato users that the looping functions and the sync was too easy and that Serato was the bomb since it was so true to the DJ nature. 🙂 Well now I guess they can calm down since Serato also are getting these functions.

    I hope Traktor will copy some functions off Serato now too. It would be great with a dedicated sampler and integration to Machine.

  • the Brooklyn Knockout

    Just d’loaded the 2.0 beta (after backing everything up of course =D) and it doesn’t seem all that to me .. maybe i am missing something, but no hot key for turning the fx on and off? .. btw didnt know about the pong trick lol

  • oquela

    Great article. Could you please add video samples of what this looks/sounds like?

    Do you happen to know what new features will be available on Serato v2?


  • Fredrik C3

    Wow! It’s starting to look like Traktor. =D
    But it’s just not Traktor…