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Noob advice: Traktor Scratch vs. Serato Scratch Live

Discussion in 'TRAKTOR SCRATCH' started by SoulLifter, Aug 14, 2008.

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  1. SoulLifter

    SoulLifter Forum Member

    Messages:
    77
    Hi everyone,

    Aspiring DJ here. I need some advice. I'm about to receive my new Dell laptop for the sole use for DJ'ing and need to make a purchase to get my digital tracks on my CDJs.

    I'm at the "still learning how to beatmix" stage right now. I really want to be able to practice with all of my tracks without the need for burning piles of CDs. So, I'm looking to either purchase Traktor Scratch or Serato Scratch Live.

    My friend told me that Serato is quite simple, really only enabling you to get your digital tracks to your CDJs and nothing much more. He also said Traktor, which is what he uses, obviously does that too but features more bells and whistles.

    I was thinking I would for sure go with Traktor on his initial recommendation -- but he suggested that since I'm still learning how to beatmix, maybe Serato might be better for me since it's more simple. (He also just had a recent Traktor update which botched Traktor completely and left his laptop unusable at gigs until he gets it fixed! That worries me a little. :eek: )

    My gut is telling me to go with Traktor Scratch since those bells and whistles may come in handy later on -- when I'm more proficient at DJ'ing. But I'd like to hear some thoughts from other Traktor Scratch users here and also hear from anyone who has tried Serato as well.

    To sum up, I'm looking for a good piece of software which will allow me to easily get my tracks to my CDJs and practice beatmixing -- then later on to actually use at gigs.

    Advice? Thanks in advance. :D
     
  2. progen

    progen NI Product Owner

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    265
    What bells and whistles? ? ? ? ?

    I find Traktor's interface much nicer and pleasing to the eye than Serato's but in all fairness, they do the same thing. It's just a matter of preference.
     
  3. TeLLy

    TeLLy NI Product Owner Extraordinaire

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    6,430
    Get your hands on them both and play around at a store. Decide which feels better. Buy that one, it's more a preference thing.
     
  4. buenputter

    buenputter NI Product Owner

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    1,858
    You should not gig without a backup-solution, e.g. some vinyls. Especially when starting the digital way.
    Anyway, you should not gig with a system / software which you did not test entirely... or you have to bring a full backup (full set of vinyls, etc.) with you.

    The other point has already been made:
    Finding the perfect hardware / software is a personal decision depending on your workflow, features needed now and features (maybe) needed for future use...
    If you can testdrive the two systems that should definitely help you in the purchasing-process.
     
  5. SoulLifter

    SoulLifter Forum Member

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    77
    Thanks for the advice so far.

    I did have one more question: I would really like to "catalogue" my tracks in either Traktor's or Serato's database if possible. That way I can peg tracks by genre (like house, club, funky, electro, etc.) and then search by genre only. Is that possible with Traktor Scratch? Or will I just have to make separate directories "like electro" and sort my tracks by directories? Ultimately, I would love for my tracks to be pegged with multiple genres so I can get very specific in my searches (like which tracks are funky, high-energy, 131 bpm, and are dubs.)

    thanks!
     
  6. TeLLy

    TeLLy NI Product Owner Extraordinaire

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    6,430
    It's VERY much possible in Traktor Scratch, and in fact, IMO is a cornerstone feature to this particular program. You can sort and search by various criteria, all of which can be written to ID3 tags on each mp3.
     
  7. CraigKC

    CraigKC Forum Member

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    66
    I've spent a lot of time on this question since I've owned Traktor for almost a year and it still doesn't work with my 'certified' compatible hardware. So, here's the lay of the land, as I've observed it...

    Serato
    SSL is the Ford F-250 work truck of DJ software. Bare, basic, lacking style, comfort or features but rock solid. It will haul bricks all day. This is what performing DJs use, but it doesn't do much more than put your MP3s on wax but it does it perfectly. This is the hip-hop / scratch DJ's choice.

    Traktor
    This is a new trendy Hybrid SUV with unproven reliability, slow customer adoption, and potentially quickly-fading appeal but from a well known manufacturer. It's got tons of features but it seems to glitch in and out regularly and sometimes just quit running. Traktor has a great interface and a lot more in the way of effects, workflow, and yes, loads of "cheater" features for syncing, looping, etc. This is the choice of most middle-aged hobbist DJs (see the post here, "What kind of DJ are you?").

    Torq
    You didn't mention Torq, but it's a much more affordable solution you may consider as well. It's similar to Traktor but half the price and arguably more reliable. I picture it like a trendy but cheap college-kid car, maybe a scion. Honestly? I think it's a bargain for the $220 you can get it for new on Ebay. Check out the tutorials (free!) at torq-dj.com. This is the choice of younger Electronic DJs - it supports VST plugins, great for that genre.

    Summary
    If I were just starting out I'd go with Torq actually. Save the extra $400 for a trigger finger, better mixer, decks, whatever and upgrade later when there seems to be a more clear winner and the technology settles. They all have something going for them, but chances are at least 1 of them will be obsolete soon.

    Other
    PS - Have you checked out Deckadance, Mixxx, or VirtualDJ? They all have downloadable trials, and you can download the Miss Pinky compatable MP3 (can be burned to CD too) timecode audio from VirtualDJ's site.
    ---
    PS - Yes, I know that Richie Hawtin uses Traktor... He has a second laptop with Ableton on it running simultaneously for a backup though! :)
     
  8. matt_beatz

    matt_beatz New Member

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    7
    In regards to CraigKC, I think you're a little off on traktor.
    Yeah, I've heard of it sometimes having issues, but most of these are issues related to updating and not testing it out, or using too much with too little pc.
    For example, I started using traktor with a dell, had a 1.73 duo core, and 2 gigs of ram, but I could only have the latency at 7, any less, and it would glitch and skip. Also, I had to turn effects off, the phase, and even the wifi on the computer, basically only could use the waveforms and maybe the record feature.
    Now, I sold it and bought a mac, it has a 2.2 core 2 duo, same ram, but I can have the latency at 2, can use all the features and have never once had any sort of issue. I still optimize my mac when I play out, but I think thats just common sense.
    If you have an inadequate computer, even just too little of ram, you will probably have problems, because both serato and traktor need quite a bit of resources to run properly, and the more available, the better.

    Anyway, I think traktor and serato are both very good systems. I've only heard of serato messing up live once with anyone I know, and never for traktor. But, serato is a lot more common to see used than traktor.
    And like CraigKC said, its a matter of features that really makes the difference.
    I think traktor is more dj friendly, with better waveforms and all, and has a lot more features. Like one touch record.
    But, if you want a basic mp3 to wax system, buy serato. And they're both nearly the same price.
     
  9. chilly

    chilly Returning Customer

    Messages:
    3,131
    Serato is the club standard.

    Yeah...I said it...kill me.... but it's the truth.

    I love Traktor Scratch. Don't be fooled by the 'failure' of the 1.3 update that your friend did. This has happened in the past to many a Serato update. It's technology. You'll have issues from time to time with ANY technology vendor you choose.

    It's just the way the world is.

    Do what Telly said...go play with both of them...talk to other dj's in your area and see if you can spend some time with their setups so you get a feel for each program.

    Don't buy anything other than Traktor or SSL though.
     
  10. SoulLifter

    SoulLifter Forum Member

    Messages:
    77
    Thanks for all the detailed advice so far. I'm gonna hit the local Guitar Center and try to test out at least Serato and Traktor. I obviously need to check them out before I make that purchase. I appreciate all of the honesty here in the TRAKTOR forum. Seriously (Chilly!) :)

    I have DJ friends that swear by Serato and some others who are playing with Traktor now and love it.

    Anyone know if Serato allows you to search for tracks by multiple genres or attributes? I mentioned this earlier in the post but for some reason -- it's important to me.

    And...has anyone actually played with Torq? I like their website and would appreciate any feedback on it.

    Thanks again...what a meat-y thread! :)

    P.S. I wanted to mention: I'm getting a pretty top-of-the-line Dell laptop here in a few weeks (Studio 1535, Intel Core 2 Duo T8100, 2.1GHz, 4 Gigs ram) -- just FYI... I'm definitely sticking with PC for now.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2008
  11. chilly

    chilly Returning Customer

    Messages:
    3,131
    Don't buy Torq.
     
  12. DJ Freshfluke

    DJ Freshfluke Traktor Mod Moderator

    Messages:
    26,792
    my brother tried torq and was disappointed. he's now on ssl, because when he wanted to buy a DVS, traktor scratch wasnt out yet. although he's younger than me, he's way more conservative on using the digital possibilities available... i.e. he is not interested in using loops or effects - but i am.

    so you see, it's all about your personal taste and your ambitions! :)

    personally, traktor never failed on me while using live and i cant imagine using sth else.
     
  13. CraigKC

    CraigKC Forum Member

    Messages:
    66
    I also own Torq, it was the first setup I bought. It had some issues up front which is why I then bought Traktor Scratch, but they've really got Torq v1.0.7 extremely stable now.

    Read through the Torq forums and you'll see that most people's complains now (valid ones) are that the interface isn't very flexible or configurable including the fact that the on-screen mixer is always there even if you run it with an external mixer. Traktor smokes Torq in this area with Traktor 3.x added on to TS.

    Anyway, PM me if you want more detail. I've honestly thought about buying SSL too and writing a comparison article, if only TS would work for me :(
     
  14. matt_beatz

    matt_beatz New Member

    Messages:
    7
    ^^^I have no idea why traktor doesn't work for you, never had a prob, and don't know any that have.

    Anyways, torq may be more stable now, but I would NEVER in my right mind trust that thing for playing a live gig. Never.
    And I figure, if you are going to spend $250-300 on a digital vinyl system, why not do it right and spend a little more? I'm not sure, but you might still be able to get traktor for $400 if you are a student, I know at least you used to be able too.
     
  15. bigbadselecta

    bigbadselecta Forum Member

    Messages:
    628
    well - look around here, there are more than enough people having problems :S

    So what? I had huge problems with TS at clubs before... I've had problems with MixVibes too. There are enough people running Torq just fine. And there are people having problems with Torq.

    Its digital djing. Nothing is safe!
     
  16. Jard

    Jard Forum Member

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    25
    i have the traktor demo and myself am still trying to decide on ts or ssl. im very impressed with traktor and def swayin towards it but is there no way of creating 'crates' like in ssl? there only seems to be current playlist at the top and no way of adding any other playlist?
     
  17. chilly

    chilly Returning Customer

    Messages:
    3,131
    Jard...read the manual a bit more matey.
     
  18. inforlk

    inforlk Forum Member

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    29
  19. chilly

    chilly Returning Customer

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    3,131
  20. trance alba

    trance alba Forum Member

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    612
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