Serato DJ Song Pre-listening/Previewing

Discussion in 'Digital DJs' started by Handinon, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. Handinon

    Handinon DJ Extraordinaire

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    It's no secret that Serato DJ, with one exception, is one of my favorite DJ programs. The exception is that it does not have a dedicated song pre-listen/preview feature - you must first load a song into a deck or a sampler. IMHO, this is a P.I.T.A.. You young people might some day be like me - a 71 year old with poor memory, poor Spanish language skills, yet the local Latin Clubs favorite DJ, playing lots of Salsa. Being able to easily preview a song after both decks are already loaded is a necessity, not an option.

    Many people have asked (on the Serato Forum) for Serato to add this feature - to date it has fallen on deaf ears. What follows is my solution to the problem, an early Holiday Present for those interested. It is specific to Windows, although I'm sure it can be altered for Mac's. It requires an additional piece of hardware, two cables, and a different default Windows Player. Here goes -

    Serato has a keyboard shortcut - Ctrl O - that plays a song highlighted in it's library browser through the laptops headphone jack, using Windows Media Player (or whatever default player you have). We will take advantage of that, but first the default player must be changed to this -
    @MAX Tray Player - Play your favorite music right from taskbar

    Why? Because it is one of the few players that runs completely in the background and never captures "screen focus". I'm going to assume you know how to change your Windows default player to this new one.

    Now, you will need a headphone mixer. Anything should work as long as it's stereo - I already had a Multimixer 6 (typically around $30 on ebay). Next, a 1/8" stereo jack and cable to feed audio from the laptops headphone jack to the mixer, then a 1/4" stereo jack and cable to feed audio from your controllers headphone jack to the mixer. Your DJ headphones also plug into the mixer. At this point it should be self evident how this works.

    Turn off the PL button(s) on your controller, hit "Ctrl O" on your laptop, and using the laptops up down arrows you can fly through your library pre-listening! You can also customize keyboard shortcuts for the Max Tray Player - just make sure they don't conflict with any of Serato's. That's it.
    sonic-vision, steve149 and ittigger like this.
  2. ittigger

    ittigger 100 Acre Industry Icon

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    Western Maryland
    Good info. :)
  3. Albatross

    Albatross DJ Extraordinaire

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    I've never understood this request from Serato. It's so easy to load a track into a deck that isn't live to the audience and pre-listen if needed. The desire to have both decks loaded while still pre-listening to other songs has never occurred to me or felt like a limitation. But I'm glad you're finding a way if that is important to you.
    ittigger likes this.
  4. Handinon

    Handinon DJ Extraordinaire

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    I understand, but you would have to try it first to appreciate it's convenience. Trying it is easy - it's in almost every other DJ program. Traktor, Cross, VDJ, Mixxx, Rekordbox, you name it, and they wouldn't include it if they felt it wasn't necessary.

    Music I play is usually 2 to 4 minutes per song - early Salsa Dura comes from the era when radio stations tried to limit songs to 3 minutes. Once both decks are loaded (with Serato), it just feels really rushed if I'm freelancing the song Que - it's even worse if you are running "locked" decks.

    IMHO, it's only a matter of time before Serato will add this. For far too long, the SSL Groupies have unduly influenced Serato by negatively stigmatizing anything that's not vinyl-like as "Virtuall DJ ish". I think 64 bit is going to start to change this.

    It's like Sync - use it, or not, but at least provide the option.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
  5. Handinon

    Handinon DJ Extraordinaire

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    I am editing my own reply from this -
    To this -
    My initial comment was Posted both here and on the Serato Forum, which gets a huge amount of traffic. While many there have complained about Serato's lack of this feature, not one person has commented on my solution! Say La Vie! Ross nailed it!!
    ittigger likes this.