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Serato has held the title of an industry leader for a long time, offering DJs music platforms that allow them to perform their best. They offer a rich palette of DJ software, but two particular types of software stand out amongst the others – Serato DJ Lite and DJ Serato Pro.
Both DJ software programs are made by Serato and have been popular with DJs ever since their launch. The main difference between the two is that Serato DJ Lite is free and has limited features, while Serato DJ Pro is more advanced, costs around $100, and offers a lot more tools.
The two have many other differences, especially regarding the interface. In general, while the Serato DJ Lite is mostly used by beginners and those who are satisfied with the free version, those who’ve left their beginner days behind opt for the Serato DJ Pro.
In this Serato DJ Lite vs Pro review, we’ll look into the matter, and cover all the differences and similarities between the two DJ programs. Follow carefully and by the end of the read, you should have a good idea of which one is the right choice for you.
Serato DJ Pro (Overview)
The Serato DJ Pro is one of the most obvious picks for a DJ considering DJing software. Serato is a well-recognized player in the industry and its software has reached every corner of the world providing quality services to its customers. So how good is Serato DJ Pro, really?
The manufacturer keeps up with the latest advances in technology to incorporate innovations in its software. Serato DJ Pro offers many cool features, such as key analysis, cue points, a recording option, all of which make DJing run smoother and easier.
These features will not do the DJing for you as that’s not the point, right? However, they will open a new world of possibilities for you and inspire you to take bigger steps in your DJ endeavors.
Continue reading as we give a more thorough explanation of the features that Serato DJ Pro includes and we’ll show you exactly what you get by upgrading from the Serato DJ Lite version.
Key analysis is a remarkable feature that comes in handy to every DJ. The built-in key analysis smart option shows the key of the song playing, and the algorithm lets you know which songs would mix together nicely with it. It’s like a dating app for tracks.
This is a very useful DJ tool that isn’t offered with the Lite version.
Cue Points And Pads
Another major advantage of the paid Serato Pro DJ software is the number of cue points you are allowed to set and the number of pads you will be able to control with this software.
Instead of the 4 cue points that the Serato DJ Lite offers, the Pro DJ version will unlock 8 cue points for you, along with 32 sample slots. Those who have been mixing DJ controllers for a longer period of time will appreciate the fact that you can control more pads with the Serato DJ Pro.
If you’re a beginner and haven’t heard of cue points, they represent the exact moment (minute, second) within the track where an interesting part starts. This feature is quite useful for those with more experience, so if you’ve just started spinning this might not be important for you.
The Serato DJ Pro allows you to record your mix, which is a big advantage in my opinion. With this feature, a DJ can take a more distant approach to their work and spot all the details they like or dislike. The recording studio tool can take your DJing to the next level.
Also, it’s quite necessary for present-day DJs to maintain their online presence. Having a record of your mix is a piece of media that you can share on your social media accounts or personal website. Keep in mind that you will not be able to record with the Serato DJ Lite.
Another Pro feature is the slip mode that comes with the paid version of the software. This feature is getting more and more popular among DJs, especially those who’ve been in the game for a longer time. In fact, slip mode is being increasingly integrated into modern software and plays an important role in DJing.
For those not familiar with the tool, it allows you to manipulate the track at any possible moment. Once you feel the timing, you can beat jump, scratch, loop, and so on. This is particularly important for a DJ who prefers more energetic music, rather than slow harmonic mixing.
If you like spicing up your tracks with some special FX sounds, what better than the pro model? Unlike the Serato DJ Lite, the Pro DJ software offers a great chain of FX that you can combine. Plus, the company offers the FX Pack expansion along with a tutorial on how to use it.
For $39, the expansion offers basic filters, audio bending effects, 8-bit audio-bending FX, echos, delays, and more. The effects can be used in single mode or put together using the Multi FX mode. Serato also offers other useful expansions for DJ Pro that you can play around with.
Another difference between Lite and Pro are the display options. The DJ Pro offers a broader array, offering four options to choose from: horizontal waveforms, extended deck view, vertical waveforms, and stack and library. Serato Lite only offers the classic mode.
The various display modes allow you to maximize your library space and set the sidebar wherever feels comfortable. Being able to switch modes is very important to those owning a rich tracks library since it gives them better visibility.
The practice mode is available for both Serato DJ Pro and DJ Lite, and it’s free to download. You don’t need a controller or any other type of special hardware for it – just a laptop will do. In this mode, and the latest update, you can practice DJing and make mixes on your computer, for free.
Serato offers tutorial videos on their website, with really simple and clear narration. This is especially important for beginners so they can better understand cues, loops, and other DJ basics, in their own time and without any pressure.
The free practice mode shows that Serato wants to ensure you feel comfortable with their product. Since the launch of practice mode, the tutorials have attracted many beginners to Serato, as it shows that the brand wants to offer maximum support, especially when you consider that the Serato team includes DJs.
The Best Hardware For Serato DJ Pro
The company has listed the best DJ controllers on its website that go with the pro upgrade of their DJ software. The most prominent names on the list are the Rane One, Pioneer DJ DDJ-FLX6, and Denon DJX1850 PRIME. Visit the company’s official website for more information.
What You Need To Know About Serato DJ Lite
Serato DJ Lite Does Not Support Playlists
I already mentioned that the DJ Lite lacks many of the features that you can find in Serato DJ Pro. Well, this might come as a bummer but the free DJ software does not support playlists. This will probably be the biggest problem you might face if you choose to proceed with Serato DJ Lite.
Every DJ has a huge library that has to find its place on a playlist. Most negative comments about DJ Lite stem from this issue, as it kind of pressures you into getting Serato DJ Pro. Creating mixes and spotting the right track is crucial for DJing, and taking away this possibility makes it really difficult.
Serato DJ Intro
People often ask about the Serato DJ Intro and whether it’s the same as Serato Lite. In a way – yes! The Serato DJ Intro is the entry software created by the Serato company. Serato DJ Lite has taken its place and has the same features, more or less.
As I mentioned in the beginning, any debate on Serato DJ Lite vs Pro usually ends with the conclusion that the latter (Pro) suits more established DJs that have been in the game for longer and are looking for tools that will help them improve their performance. The former (Lite) is excellent for beginners as it’s free and has most of the tools that a newbie would need.
Serato DJ Pro has a lot of advantages in comparison to Serato Lite, especially in terms of the features we discussed in detail. What the two programs have in common is the practice mode and the fact that Serato stands behind both DJ software products, so you’ll get all the support you need regardless of which program you choose.
Additionally, both programs can be connected to a controller, and the company has made it easy for you to figure out which controller goes best with what DJ software. All you have to do is visit its website and use the filters provided to find your perfect hardware. Just select the DJ software you own or want, and under hardware, you will see which one matches your software.
And, lastly, to summarize the main differences between Serato DJ Pro and DJ Lite, I’ve prepared a comparison table of their features.
|Serato DJ Pro||Serato DJ Lite|
|No. of cue points allowed||8||4|
|DJing level required||Experienced||Beginners|