Serato vs. Traktor my user experience
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  1. #1
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    Default Serato vs. Traktor my user experience

    So recently I got rid of my S4 and VCI and jumped on DJM-800 two CDJ 400's and.......Serato Scratch Live. :eek:

    There was a thread here the other day of a member thinking about switching to CDJ's from controllers and Smitten asked him - is the purpose to make things more enjoyable for you? I thought that was an awesome question and wanted to share my SSL vs. Traktor thoughts.

    I jumped on the controller VCI-100 team - thinking "man there is SO MUCH we can do with controllers and SSL is so bland". I read all the threads of Sync vs. no sync, and real DJ's don't sync, etc. Well after using the S4 for a while I never really felt it. I liked it, but didn't love it. I also had an NS7 and loved the simplicity of it, so I thought -- why not give SSL a try, so I made the change and I get it now.

    My breakdown

    Sync. vs. No Sync

    SSL does make beat matching easy for you with the waveforms, but I find that's whats so fun about it. The two standard views only use whole numbers and a % for BPM's (no decimal places). So it requires you to move the pitch and knudge a bit, but also has stacked waves that assist you greatly. The argument has always been that having sync is modern technology and allows you to do more. I agree with that 100% and when using more than 2 tracks it's almost certain you'll need it. However, the interaction that SSL requires you to have with the gear and the songs I find it involves me more with whats most important. The music. Sync and having more time, gives me more time to do what is secondary "effects". That interaction for me is what I am finding very enjoyable. I know, sure you can turn off sync in Traktor and do it the old fashion way but trust me when I tell you. It's not the same.

    Effects

    Traktor has way MORE effects but only really a few that are MUCH better. The midi mapping in Serato is very painless (it's not as complex either though) and allows for some pretty neat "super knob" effects. I find that the DJM-800 + a handful of SSL effects is more than I need.

    Sound Quality

    I used my SL-2 with SSL and Traktor on two M-Audion BX8A and Traktor sounded much warmer. I enjoyed how traktor sounded more.

    Waveforms - Traktor song waveform is larger and therefore more detailed. Regular waves are equally descriptive. I think Itch has the best view with waves running across the entire screen

    Beatgrids - SSL and Itch use the same grid system. SSL can sync with ableton bridge (haven't tried it) but not with each deck, still use the grids for a few reasons. The grids are elastic in SSL and Itch. They are much better than traktors. The way you set them is also easier. What I find very useful is the grids are tick marks and then a solid line every 4 beats (1 bar) and then each bar is numbered....making it very easy to keep track of where I am in a track and transition songs in phrase.

    Libary Management - Its not even close. SSL wins by a mile. No need for a "collection" and has smart crates, better Itunes integration and prepare view so you can see the tracklist you are preparing and your library

    Those are the quick main points. I know folks have different styles that are better suited for different tools. One thing I used to think about when creating midi mappings and wanting more knobs and buttons (and I see this here sometimes) I would think "am I limited by my equipment or my own creativity". So I used to think I needed MORE KNOBS!!! Well turns out, what I enjoy most is less knobs and buttons, keeping things simple and engaged with the music not the tool is what I am finding to really be fun. I think that fun and enjoyment brings out my creativity more than any amount of buttons or knobs.

    Also I thought this was pretty dope. A DJTT midi fighter inspired SSL ipad
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoF9FB0w8e0

    cheers!
    SSL - DJM 800 - Technic 1200's - X1 - ITCH - NS6 - VCI-300

  2. #2
    DJTT Infectious Moderator photojojo's Avatar
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  3. #3
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    I have to agree with Haze on wanted less knobs and more DJ'ing. I love traktor and I love my S4 but sometimes I find myself mapping and testing combos more than just rocking tunes. I haven't tested SSL but it appeals to me.

    Off topic but my first love is DJDECKS, I actually made a serato skin for it and I loved it.
    :: Kontrol Z2 :: :: Technics 1200 :: :: Pioneer DJM 250 :: Kontrol X1 MkII :: :: Maschine :: :: Kontrol S4 ::

  4. #4
    DJTT Tankard fullenglishpint's Avatar
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    An SSL box is another one of those things I'd like to get but can't justify the expense as it would only really be to play around with.
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  5. #5
    Tech Guru MaxOne's Avatar
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    I had serato and I did like it.

    It just feels sexy and pure. Beatmatching on vinyl is satisfying and there is something about turntables that focuses my mind in a way that controllers don't.

    However I just found myself using DVS less and less and I ended up doing a lot of my mixes at home just using hot cues mapped to the keyboard.

    I then started using traktor and it suited my style more and the logical step was to get a controller.

    Personally I can't think of a better controller than the VCI SE as it's just a unique little powerhouse with DJTechTools sensibilities built in.

    Recently though i've found myself warming to the idea of using an X1 with an external mixer.

    Don't know why but might be something to do with stripping things down a bit too.

    Think I might treat myself to an X1 anyway. Surely a useful thing to have to control decks C/D or samples
    Last edited by MaxOne; 06-27-2011 at 09:47 AM.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaxOne View Post

    Recently though i've found myself warming to the idea of using an X1 with an external mixer.
    Played around with the DJM and X1 and TP2 and enjoyed it more than the S4. There's something about the feel of real gear I find very appealing.

    I think the siginificant advantage of Traktor over Serato is the flexibility of using it as a DVS, Controller, or controller + mixer. I agree the VCI is the most action packed piece of kit in such a small and well laid out package.
    SSL - DJM 800 - Technic 1200's - X1 - ITCH - NS6 - VCI-300

  7. #7
    Tech Guru Sherlock Ohms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fullenglishpint View Post
    An SSL box is another one of those things I'd like to get but can't justify the expense as it would only really be to play around with.
    I keep telling myself I need a really good scratch mixer ... soemthing like a Rane TTM56 - oh and whilst I'm at it I might as well get the one with Serato built in ...
    Traktor Scratch Pro 2/Serato SL1/Ecler NUO 3.0/VCI 100 SE/2 x Technics 1210 Mk2/Sennheiser HD25 II/Novation Dicers

  8. #8
    Tech Guru Bassline Brine's Avatar
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    Really great post.

    I still consider myself a mixing nub, though I've been researching it for too long. The Serato vs Traktor debate is something that has been bothering me for a long while, and I'm lucky enough to have friends who have both programs, and a few different setups.

    I like both programs. But to me, there are two different strengths that really appeal to each of Traktor and SSL.

    I think Traktor is the stronger program for controllers. Plain and simple. The things you can do with it above and beyond Serato with sync and different effects really, and I've had experience with it using my friend's Stanton SCS3 system. Using more than two decks and the looping/effect protocol is really sweet.

    In talking with my buddy, who isn't much of a tinkerer programming wise, he keeps going back to Torq for his TT's and Traktor for his controllers. He just upgraded to 2.0, and while it's neat, I don't feel that it's as intuitive as Serato or Traktor.

    The thing that keeps bringing me back to enjoying Serato more, at least as a "nub" mixer, is the waveforms. I know that looking at the screen to match waveforms is a "crutch" BUT, I think it's a really intuitive way to learn. The FX are also fun to play with, and starting out, they are more than enough for anyone getting into it I feel. Also, I just feel Serato feels more natural to me using vinyl.

    I'm going to be purchasing either Traktor or Serato in the very near future. I've probably over-analyzed it to a large degree. I was really on the fence about what to buy, but right now I'm leaning toward Serato since I just picked up turntables and feel it just feels more natural there.

    I'm not opposed to sync, but I also feel like that if it's there, I'm going to find myself more than I initially want to while learning. It's something that makes the mix sound better initially, because I'm sure I'll be trainwrecking otherwise. The waveforms lined up is also a crutch, but much less of one I feel. I know my buddies still have trouble at times just straight doing it by ear, but then Serato is there to help them fix it quickly if they are having trouble.

    Another point that I think is somewhat overlooked, is what your buddies use, people generally stick close with. Because it's a matter that it's nice being able to chill out and be used to whatever system they are using. I know that's something I've thought about, but it's also something I have to choose between since I have friends who use everything lol.

    I dunno, that's my take on the two at least. For controllers? Traktor imo. For vinyl? Serato. For a CDJ? Well, I usually see people using them without a DVS.
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  9. #9
    Tech Mentor Poulet Blanc's Avatar
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    Audio 4 Dj + traktor vs Serato SL1, is this a good trade, yes or no?
    AIAIAI TMA-1 | Shure SE-215-K | VCI-380 | 2x Xone:K2 | Xone:62 | Audio 10 | NI TSP 2 | Roland TR-8 | Ableton Live 9 | Komplete 10 | MBP 13" | Saffire Pro 14 | 2x Eve SC205

  10. #10
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    No.

    Get the SL2. The sound quality of the SL1 is inferior. The cost of the SL2 reasonable with your trade. You can find an SL2 for a little over 400 bucks USD.
    SSL - DJM 800 - Technic 1200's - X1 - ITCH - NS6 - VCI-300

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