Make Your Own Edits With Serato Flip

For club DJs, making edits are the key to having a unique performance and track collection. Lots of DJs find themselves making edits in their DAW before a gig. When Serato finally released Serato DJ with Quantize and the Flip feature, this allowed DJs to make edits even faster, and improved the time and number of edits DJs could create. Today DJ Kue is going to show how you can create your own edits using Flip in Serato DJ.

Quantize and Cue Points

Before getting into Flip there are 2 important features to cover that will make working with flip easier: quantize and cue points. When beatgrids are set correctly in Serato and with quantize turned on (learn how to set beatgrids in Serato DJ), DJs can drop cue points and they will snap perfectly to beatgrid on the Serato waveform, even if playhead isn’t on the beatgrid. This allows DJs to trigger the cue points based on the Quantize value in the settings. The default is 1 Beat but there are a number of values that it can be changed to (as low as 1/16 for rapid quantized triggering).

To turn on Quantize, click the “Q” button on the top left hand portion of your Serato screen. It will turn blue when activated.

Cue Point Edit

When mixing live, I can do a cue point edit by hitting the Cue Points to jump to various parts of the track to make a new arrangement. To create a Cue Point Edit in Serato, set cue points on the relative breaks and drops in the track. On my remix of “This Could Be Love” I set cue points at different points of the track that I’d like to jump to such as the beginning of a breakdown/buildup or the start of a new phrase. Having quantize turned on can also help make the cue point jumps seamless and in time.

Serato Flip

Building on the concept above, Serato Flip allows you to record these same cue point actions so that they are done automatically for you. DJs can have up to six different “flips” or edits per track. The best part about Flip is that it’s non destructive and saves DJs from having separate tracks for edits. Serato Flip isn’t included by default in Serato DJ, it needs to be purchased through Serato’s in app purchasing if you’d like to use it.

To ensure that the edit is accurate, make sure Quantize is turned on. This ensures all the cue points are triggered in time. For more complex flips or finger drumming routines it’s best to have quantize turned off. To turn on Flip, click the “Flip” button on the top left hand portion of your Serato screen. It will turn blue when activated.

Further Reading: Review Akai AMX and AFX Serato DJ Controllers (the AFX includes a free Serato Flip license!)

Recording Your Flip

Using Flip, you will record your Cue Point actions. Click the cue point you’d like to start your Flip action. For this edit, I will be starting at the blue Cue Point.

Arm your flip by clicking the “Record” button. Flip will only start recording after a cue point has been triggered.

Make sure looping is turned off as well, this will ensure the flip only plays through once and keeps it from looping through the flip.

Click and play your first cue point to start recording the Flip actions. In offline mode, I do this by holding down the cue point I am recording and pressing the spacebar on my keyboard. Allow the track to play for a couple of seconds, then stop it by pressing the spacebar again. You’ve now recorded your first Flip action.

Scrub to where you’d like the edit to occur. For this track, I want the yellow cue point to jump to the pink Cue Point for my edit. I then scrub to where the yellow Cue Point begins. I then record my final Flip action by clicking on the pink Cue Point and pressing the spacebar on my keyboard, allowing the track to play for a couple of seconds. Press the spacebar again to stop the track from playing. Click the record button to disarm Flip recording.

Now we want to review our Flip. Press the “Play” button next to the Record button. Your Flip will play which will allow you to review if everything came out as you wanted. When you’re satisfied with your Flip, click the save button. Typically, I will try and label edits based on the length of the edit. For example, “Medium” for edits that may be four to five minutes long, and “Short” edits for those that are two to three minutes long.

For DJs that don’t have a DAW and are interested in creating their own edits, Flip is a super easy way to get started. It’s a really good bargain when compared to the price of a DAW like Ableton and can help you get ideas out quickly right within Serato DJ.

 

DJ Kue is a DJ/Producer/Remixer and hosts a weekly show, Club 94.9 on Wild 94.9 San Francisco. Check out his amazing remixes at djkue.net.

Have you been using Flip? What kind of edits do you make?

Let us know in the comments below!

 

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Comments (33)
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  • DrJones123

    can you use the same song on 2 different channels like mixing duh, and have completely different cue points set up? when I load a song lets say called FIRE on channel one and load it again on channel 2 I want to change the cue points on one of the channels however as I try it now it changes both sides. do I just re name it?

  • Chris Wunder

    I am a Traktor junky but I must say that is really freaking cool. I could see myself getting carried away with that though and end up with sets that are half as long as usual lol.

  • Patch

    This is not a great feature, this is a step backwards!!!

    • jprime

      Disagree, it’s a fine feature.

    • CUSP

      I’ll bite, how is this a step backwards?

      • Chris Wunder

        If I was to guess Patches point would be something along the lines of “automation in djing is not actually djing” while a solid argument there is still the fact that it was created to increase workflow for djs. Which will free them up to do better/more complicated mixes.

        • CUSP

          This was exactly what I was bringing into question. Certainly it’s not “Traditional DJing”, but Traditional DJing isn’t the only style to DJ. The same people who claim that using a sync button, and using waveforms to DJ isn’t DJing are the same people who claim using cue markers and automation isn’t real DJing.

          Using automation is just another way to play a remix/redo of a song. It’s using new techniques to produce the same result: a dance floor worth dancing on.

          If this upsets someone’s perceptions of DJing, so be it. DJing is like warfare and love; all is fair. We see Paris Hilton get away with “being a (cute) warm body” in front of the decks, we see DJs doing everything manually, on turntables, and we see everything in between. Controllerists *are* DJs, like it or not. Automated actions are just another tool made available for controllerists.

  • cvn68

    Thanks for a great video! I’ve have Flip and have made some edits but realistically , I don’t have a good grasp of it. You’re tutorial was very helpful!

  • D.N.A.

    Bleep or Censor actions are also recorded. No need to buy a dirty AND clean version.

    • CUSP

      Right, just the dirty version. ;p

  • midiman

    for me a real dj edit is a little more than jumping from one song part to another. useless for me a nice toy for beginners..

    • Not a wanker.

      Wanker.

      • Patch

        You are an idiot.

        • Chris Wunder

          lmao that guy posted as “not a wanker”

    • Patch

      You are right.

    • Crump

      An edit is cutting the original track extending and re arranging. All this can be done in Flip. Adding your own elements is a called a remix.

    • Mr Wilks

      I think you’re taking about a remix. An edit it where you “edit” (cut/splice) a track up and this is EXACTLY what Flip does.

      More than this would be a remix.

  • Ryan Dejaegher

    I can honestly say that after seeing Flip was the first time that i’d considered using Serato. It’s one of those features that seems so obvious and you wonder why it’s taken so long. I really hope Traktor implements something similar in the future.

  • André et Michèle

    Wish Traktor had something similar!

  • Niels

    I’m a traktor user and super interested in how people are using this feature. For instance, i like to play a lot of old disco, funk, etc, mixed with hip hop and slow sample driver house. I’m curious as to how Flip would enable me to do edits of those old unquantised records and mix them with modern stuff without losing the swing, like you do by warping tracks in ableton.

    • Mike Timberlake

      I don’t think flip can help if the tunes can’t have a synched beatgrid. You’d still have to warp the tracks in ableton, but doing this doesn’t mean you have to lose the swing. Only correct the end of every bar (or 2 or 4), not every beat. But how well those warped tracks will match against a quantised beat becomes a matter of luck for each individual track

      • filippo

        Flip will still work fine to create edits of old school live recorded beats – funk/soul etc. You’ll just have to leave quantize off and be more precise when hitting the cues. It’ll sound more “real” that way anyway…

        If you’ve got the time you can always tap in the beatgrid on those songs as well as Serato has adaptive beatgrids… It’s a bit of work, but if the song slowly ramps up over time or varies with the drummers excitement you can account for that and then still use features like quantize and sync.

        • Mike Timberlake

          hmmm, I’ll have to give those varying beatgrids another try, but when I first got Serato I pretty quickly decided to apply the changes to the tracks in Ableton, as it’s easier and more permanent. The problem, as I’ve learnt from extensive experience, is that when mixing old tracks with varying tempos with, for example, perfectty timed house beats, is that even if they’re in synch, the subtle timing differences of where the beats fall can cause problems

          • CUSP

            And that’s why you nudge and play with the tempo/pitch fader.

          • Mike Timberlake

            That wouldn’t work me for. My DJing mostly revolves around playing old funk and disco, but with a house beat running underneath to add the punch that most of these old tracks lack. Also, I mix in key, which sometimes means long transitions. So, there are always at least 2 tracks playing, 3 during transitions, and 4 if I add some percussion. Even if I were using 4 decks this would be pretty much impossible to achieve, especially as some of these tracks like to suddenly miss a beat or speed up dramatically on fills, etc.

            Also, I’d rather spend my time being creative with the mix, rather than nudging the beats all the time 🙂

          • CUSP

            I’d recommend trying it anyway, sometimes what we think won’t work will, but in a different way.

  • CUSP

    This is another reason that Serato DJ is actually ahead of Traktor Pro right now; triggerable, automated actions. The option to engage some simple scripting in the mix gives DJs the ability to (or not to) engage semi-complex actions depending on their choices (aka responding with a real-time customization of pre-recorded actions according to the crowd).

    I’m more prone to buy and use Flip now that I see how it’s added a feature I’d use, because the description of Flips isn’t as good as this video’s “how to” demonstration.

    • Ryan Dejaegher

      I’m really glad DJ Kue put together this tutorial because it definitely clears up some confusion around Flip. When I first saw it I thought you had to record the flip/cue point hits in real time. Seeing that you can make really precise edits by stopping and scrubbing through the track really speeds up the workflow.

      • CUSP

        The question remains: Can you automate multiple songs, and samples into the SP-1 automatically, (up to and including an entire set), or are Flips locked to just one song? I’d certainly spend a lot of time mini-mixing some complex edits that I’d be able to use in my sets if this were possible, but I just don’t know right now. Real-time mashups are much easier when unnecessary triggering is reduced. I find great joy in layering in sound clips at the right spots at the right times. A sample deck is too limiting, and loading tracks just for a sound clip takes too much time and effort when I’m grooving songs.

        If I had to compare the Remix Decks of Tracktor to the Serato DJ solution of the SP-1 sample player and Flips, the honest truth is the Serato solution is simply easier to make work, and more suited to helping a DJ do more, with fewer “on the spot, do-or-die” decisions. My personal experience has shown that even though I have made stuff work at home, I’m less likely to try complex triggering when I play out… mainly because it’s too easy to screw up.

  • asp

    Hello

    • Chris Wunder

      hi