Even though many Serato users have been using 2.0 for some time now you may not be aware of all the cool new features or how to take advantage of them. They include a redesigned GUI, DJ FX, 3 decks (SL3 box only), new display modes, Itunes-esque ‘Smart Crates’, online playlist publishing and export and advanced file management. I’ll briefly outline the above and hopefully give you some ideas on how to use them.


The DJ FX Plugin for Scratch Live 2.0 has 2 FX units with 3 chained effects per unit. It allows you to create and save new effects with the effects editor. Although not as sophisticated as Traktor, Serato 2.0’s effects are a great step forward. Rumored to be refined in 2.1 the MIDI implementation is a bit junior and lacking in the customization dept. Lets hope they handle limiting the range on the loop parameter and relative linking of the new supernobs.


1. Open the Setup window and click the Plugins tab.
2. Select the DJ FX plugin and click the selection box to enable.
3. Exit the set up and make sure you are connect to some flavor of Serato.
4. Open the DJ FX panel button now visible above our library window.
5. Rout an effect to a deck and enable.


The Aux Deck plugin for SL 3 users enables you to DJ with 3 decks. Although lacking ‘beat grids’, 2.0’s 3rd deck feature can be used to layer in samples, acapella and scratches. I’ve heard of people using white noise or test tones in combination with effects to create cool swell effects. Mixing between two decks while having a third track constantly ‘on deck’ can enhance your set programming greatly. However, without some sort of auto beat matching, few djs can manage combining three tracks for any prolonged period of time.  You should be aware that there are no cue or looping hotkeys avail for the third deck.


1. Open the Setup window and click the Plugins tab.
2. Select the SL 3 AUX deck and enable.
3. Exit the set up and make sure you are connect an SL 3 box.
4. Open the horizontal wave display and the 3rd deck should be visible.


There are several Display Modes with a range of screen layouts to suit your style of performing, including enhanced Album Art browsing for quick identification of your music and 4 other modes.  The display mode selection buttons are located at the top left of the main window when your lappy is connect to an SL box.. Modes include: Classic Horizontal and Vertical as well as stack mode for 3 decks. In any of the view mode tapping the space bar will collapse the waveforms maximizing your Library.


“Smart Crates” is essentially Serato’s version of “Smart Playlists” which uses keywords from your music library to automatically update a crate. Its better way music library feng shui to label your tracks ID3 tag instead of making ‘Dumb Crates’ which can easily become convoluted. For more on smart playlists in Itunes, check out this TechTools classic series.


1. Click the add new smartcrate button. It’s a + with a blue box next to it.
2. Click Add Rule, define a parameter or two and songs which adhere to those set rules will automatically be placed in that folder.


Since recording your set is so easy with an SL 3 or TTM57SL you should do it all the time. Its great to be able to critique yourself and heck, if its banging you’ll be happy you did. I’ve found that publishing your set list is a great way to get people to discover your dj skills. The Serato Playlists plug-in allows you to share your sets online using your user profile offline or as you play. You can also export your set as .txt, .m3u or .csv


1. Click history button and select a set list.
2. Select the format and click Export. The file ends up in ScratchLIVE/EXPORT HISTORY


The new Advanced File Management feature allows you to move or copy your tracks from and to external drives while keeping them in your library. On the surface this feature may not seem important if you don’t use external drives but personally this is one of the more exciting new features because it makes housekeeping of your library much cleaner. Pre 2.0 you had to delete song files outside of your serato library and then delete the reference in the library. This was buggy and often left red ghost tracks in your library.


1. Click the Files tab.
2. Drag a song or folder to an external drive.
3. Select Move or Copy.
4. The Remove original reference from ScratchLIVE library can be used for spring cleaning.


Serato 2.0 is a good step in the right direction with several new features that will make many djs happy. The general consensus is that Traktor still does certain things better than Serato like FX, Multi Decks and Midi controller mapping but the gap is becoming closer. For more info on this never ending debate, check out our Serato VS Traktor article.

The most interesting aspect of 2.0 is that it officially marks the entry of Serato into the world of controllerism. There are now several important features that are simply not controllable from a turntable and really require controllers to use in creative ways. Its going to be very interesting to see what this does to the styles of mainstream djing and the technology they embrace.  Up next, our crack Serato writers will be looking at the best controllers for those features in next months feature article: “MIDI CONTROLERS FOR SERATO 2.0”

Comments (30)
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  • Simon

    I think if you use Traktor you will think Serato is too busy looking but if you have been using Serato for a longtime (like moi) then its simple as anything. I would probably say the same thing if I dared go near Traktor. For me Serato does what it says on the box and does it really well. With the introduction of effects etc plus the hook up with Ableton, Serato will be able to match anything Traktor can do in due course!

  • PO PO

    @ Plo: boooooooooooo.

  • Plo

    The spelling and grammar mistakes are frequent on this site. The articles’ content provide great insight and valuable knowledge that I always look forward to reading, but if Djtechtools seeks to become more professional, a grammar editor will be needed.

  • PO PO

    Dear Alfredo the grammar nazi,

    No one cares if the words are misspelled. Get a life. This is a DJ site not an english lit site. Boooooo this man.

  • Pepehouse

    Bah! it looks as ugly as always

  • spelling bee

    I don’t care if you misspell every other word as long as I get the general idea

  • alfredo

    did you mean “recording your set” instead of “recording you’re set”??
    seriously, you give great tips and all, but it’ll be good for everybody (even for you) if you put some efforts on writing correctly… by the way, I’n not a native english speaker but I spot misspelled words or typos every time I read your articles.

  • DJ Urkel Dee

    Since I use V7’s I’m kinda interested to see what the next Itch update has to offer.

  • no asio driver

    unfortunately no asio driver for sl3…

  • ss714ss

    I’ve had my sl3 since it came out so happy with serato and it’s very stable on my comp.. haven’t had any problems with it.. can’t wait for 2.1

  • Peter Morgan (The DJ Podcast)

    [quote comment=”33152″]Peter Morgan, thank you for the hard work on your site. Keep up with the great work.[/quote]

    Thanks J.J. I release a new video tutorial every Friday. I should have some Traktor Pro tutorials soon as well.


    Peter Morgan, thank you for the hard work on your site. Keep up with the great work.

    Did you guys here the MIDI controller from Denon with the moving platter DN-S3700 will be getting Native Support. The announcement will be the middle of July.

    I’ve gotten the spinning platter to work in Traktor, but it needs some work.

  • Jared-F

    Thank may louis!! @the haters. Wow. I use both SSL & Traktor and I find the exact opposite with what you said about it being too busy. Traktor has SOOOOO much more going on at once (which I love tho). And BTW drop the mac vs pc shite… both are great tools… but I love my mac and wont ever go bac… Can’t wait for the MIDI article 😉

  • dj professor ben

    [quote comment=”33079″]Oops, forgot to add this. Unyari – iTunes has pretty extensive options for smart playlists. And remember that you can open your iTunes playlists in Traktor. I do this a lot and it’s actually really handy! :)[/quote]
    Yeah iTunes smart playlists are really useful but using them through itunes is kind of a kludge. What you see in the Traktor browser for your smart playlist is the song in itunes, not the song as imported to traktor. This can be confusing as you can’t edit the song info from within Traktor (and any edits you ahve made to the analyzed track are invisible when browsing the smart playlist). It would be great if Traktor implemented smart playlists natively….

  • Richard

    Would love to see smart playlists in Traktor Scratch Pro

  • unknown

    who cares serato sucks

  • Brosef Stalin

    Dear DJTT,
    I swear to all things great, you guys MUST be telepathic. Every single time there’s something I’m curious about, you guys manage to put an article out as soon as it crosses my mind. “It’s all gone pete tong” article after my first [and deafening] bar gig, mastering article after thinking about mastering, and now this two days after I get Serato. This site is the best. Kudos to the moon and back to everyone who’s involved with it.

  • cpoynter

    Oops, forgot to add this. Unyari – iTunes has pretty extensive options for smart playlists. And remember that you can open your iTunes playlists in Traktor. I do this a lot and it’s actually really handy! 🙂

  • cpoynter

    I agree with Sander. Too much going on. I really prefer the layout (and everything else) in Traktor Scratch Pro. It’s so much cleaner and professional looking. Whatever floats your boat though!

    It’s strange how people get so snobby about it, kind of like the Mac vs. PC thing. I’ve taken Traktor Scratch Pro into various venues for a set, and gotten such attitude from other DJs about how using a PC and Traktor somehow makes me less credible… which is funny when it becomes time to see who the crowd responds to better.

    The moral of the story? Don’t judge DJs on the gear they use, judge them on what they do with it. Hell, if someone can rock two reel-to-reel tape players, power to them!

    PS – Traktor is better than Serato and PCs are better than Macs 😉

    PPS – Thanks for giving us all the gift of the VCI-100SE, Ean. I just added it to my set-up last week and it’s soooooo siiiiiick!!!

  • Unyari

    I wish that Traktor had smartcrates. That would make sorting stuff easier.


    @Sander – that’s just one of the many GUI modes currently available. You can make it really really clean, with just waveform overviews and text for your files. That IMHO is the greatest thing about the new version: you can streamline the whole thing and go back to using your ears, not digital aids.

    Oh, and just one thing, inspired by the section “NO MORE RED GHOST FILES” – please do your best to keep all your files on the hard drive inside your computer and use external drives solely for backup. Especially for PC + USB users, you’re taking a far larger risk of crashing the whole software with external HDs, should you, say, break the connection by accidentaly pulling off the cable.

  • Sander

    I have always wanted to find out what’s the fuzz about Serato. But seeing the interface now, oh no. It’s one big chaos of color, text and buttons.

  • DJJS

    Sounds great but it looks confusing…

  • str8updrew

    I was using my Oxygen 8 in 2.0 with no problems at all. Using a mapping inspired by Ean’s oxygen mapping for traktor. I used the effects vigorously without a single problem ever.

  • Mudo

    Best controllers for Serato 2.1:

    icon iStage & iCreativ
    Novation Dicer (with technics)

    Obviously all in junction with Live and Bridge.

  • cozmic023

    Seems very stable when using FX, I’ve not had any crashes with 2.0 on the Mac.

  • cozmic023

    Nice article Mei. I’ve been using version 2.0 and SL3 since the beta and i’m well happy with it.

  • djyoungsoul

    good read! how stable is 2.0 when using the effects?