Serato DJ Pro is my digital DJ software of choice. I have tried and tested the majority of options available to mobile DJs including Traktor, Virtual DJ and Djay Pro to name but a few. While Serato might not be perfect, it ticks more boxes than anything else and most importantly, it has my trust! Serato is rock solid when it comes to stability and I have never encountered any issues, even when running some long and intense sets. The software is by no means basic, but doesn’t some of the unnecessary and somewhat tacky features of certain rivals. There are still plenty of effect options for those who wish to get creative, but the interface remains clean and uncluttered.
Another huge positive for me is the fact I am able to organise my music library via Serato and bypass iTunes completely. This wasn’t really something I had considered before coming across this excellent article by Lou at Paris Creative. I knew I wasn’t happy with iTunes for organisation purposes, but was struggling to find a suitable alternative. I now store all my music in folders which match my Serato crate structure and eliminate the bloat. This approach has additional benefits including faster load times when firing up Serato and less work when adding to or updating your tracks.
Djay Pro is another software I like a lot. For DJing via your iPad or iPhone, this is definitely the best option. I always bring an iPad and Pioneer DDJ-WeGO4 along to any gigs as a back up solution. This is also a cool little setup for small house parties, or just mixing on the go. Djay Pro integrates seamlessly with Spotify, you do need a premium account however. Another consideration is that you aren’t meant to use Spotify for public performance, and relying on streaming services for important events is definitely not something I would recommend. A similar option utilising Serato software rather than Djay is Numark’s DJ2GO2, a mini controller I recently acquired. The DJ2GO2 works with a laptop rather than iPad/iPhone but is really tiny. I mean, can almost go in your back pocket size, but still highly functional. This allows me to work on sets in Serato as and when just by connecting one cable to my Macbook.
Pioneer’s Rekordbox DJ is quickly growing in popularity, the hardware giant having made a number of improvements to their software over the past few years. Pioneer make the most popular DJ controllers and have previously always worked very closely with Serato. However, the company now appear to be reserving their high end products just for Rekordbox. I’m not sure how this is going to affect Serato going forward, but I’m sure this must have had some impact in terms of sales. That being said, I’m more than happy with my NS6II at the moment, and even the stunning DDJ 1000 isn’t enough for me to make the jump to Rekordbox DJ. Serato is still No.1.