The Basics of Serato DJ | Mister Gray | Skillshare
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8 Lessons (40m)
    • 1. Class Overview

      3:12
    • 2. Getting Set Up In Serato DJ

      2:06
    • 3. Configuring Serato DJ

      18:13
    • 4. Adding/Importing Songs

      3:48
    • 5. Organizing Your Music

      1:18
    • 6. Creating & Organizing Crates (Part 1)

      5:49
    • 7. Creating & Organzing Crates (Part 2)

      5:33
    • 8. Conclusion

      0:22

About This Class

If you're a new DJ looking to figure out what a seasoned DJ is doing different or just want to learn a little bit about Serato DJ, this class is for you! Over the next 40 minutes I will be showing you the basics of Serato DJ and how to organize your music properly so that you are 100% ready for any gig that you might have.

Transcripts

1. Class Overview: My name is Mr Gray. I am a deejay, producer and remixer. I got into deejaying through my father. I got my first deejay gig trying out for it and my friend's garage, and that was about 16 years ago. My favorite style of music to play while I'm deejaying is pretty much anything with base, so my favorite DJs would include ah, deejay craze. Q. Bert Diplo, D J. Snake Skrillex His intensities Ridiculous. Those air pretty much my main influences at this time. I do enjoy playing on a controller. It allows you to do a lot more things than a. C. J or turntables or as a beginner. If you think you're ready to leave the bedroom and go to a nightclub, by all means do that. I wanted to teach this class because I wish I had this when I was growing up. When I first started, I literally just went toe parties and went to clubs and watched and just practised a lot. Lots and lots of practice. With classes on mixing techniques and different things, you can learn a lot quicker, and you can learn a lot more in this class. I'll be teaching the basics of cerrado deejay and configuring the program to work with you the best it possibly can. Also, the most important thing that I'll teach in this class is going to be importing music and organizing your music. Having a very organized library will help you in the long run with making sure that you're playing all the right music in all the right times. A lot of common mistakes that DJ's make is playing the wrong songs at the wrong times. I've had new DJs open up for me, and they are playing the hottest track out at 10 30 at night. Right when the club opens, they're going full force and they want to try and show the the owner or the promoter. A. I can play main slide, but that's the wrong way to go about it. The best way to go about that is to know your place. Open up a club as it's supposed to be opened up and play music. When it's supposed to be played, your time will come just have patients. The largest event that I did was for about 3500 people, Um, and it was opening up for laid back loop, a great inspiration, Great D J great producer and probably one of the most fun times I've had is a deejay. If you're just starting off as a deejay and you really don't have a lot of money, there are definitely ah bunch of options. You know, go with the affordable route, don't spend a bunch of money and then a year later, decide that you don't want to do it anymore. It is a passion, and I truly love what I do. And being in front of a crowd of people in watching their reaction and watching them have a good time. And me being that person that's helping them have that good time is just one of the ways that I get to enjoy making people have fun. 2. Getting Set Up In Serato DJ: and this lesson, we are going to learn how to set up and configure cerrado deejay to work toe the best of our abilities. All right, so the first thing that you want to do is download cerrado deejay, and you will go to cerrado dot com ford slash d j. And you will see on the right side it says download Cerrado deejay version 1.8 point one for Mac. Ah, If you have Windows, it'll tell you to download the Windows version so we'll go to download cerrado deejay and type in your email address. If you already have an account, then just ah, log into your account. If you don't, then you will have to sign up. It's relatively easy. Takes less than a minute, and then you just download the software. I usually download things to my desktop. Um, if you have a specific place that you download to, you can download there. So once you're done downloading the application cerrado D J 1.8 point one double click on it. Read the user license agreement uh, etcetera. Hittle open Cerrado deejay. Okay, so now you've downloaded it. Put it into the application's folder and you're ready to open up the software. So double click on the application. And as you can see, it will tell you, um, what the update is what's new With 1.8 point one you can read through that. Um, but if this is the first time that you're ever opening cerrado D j Ah, this is kind of ah foreign to you, so we'll go ahead and close that out. And this is what cerrado deejay looks like. We don't have a controller or a cerrado box or anything like that hooked up right now. So this is the main screen before you start and putting files and putting videos and putting music, etcetera. Um, so this is exactly what it's going to look like. 3. Configuring Serato DJ: Okay, Now that you have that opened up, let's go into the set up screen on the top right hand corner. This is basically all your configurations for cerrado deejay itself without a controller or a cerrado box. So we have here your deejay preferences, your control preferences. Um, the 1st 1 you'll see is the playback keys use shift. So ah, you have shortcuts within cerrado deejay for playing back for doing things like looping and stuff like that. Ah, which I'll get into a little bit later. Um, but this will. If you have that checked off, it will only allow you to use those shortcuts if you have caps lock on or if you're holding the shift key down. So if that's how you want to do it than you can, I choose not to. I don't have it checked off. Um, because that's just what it's what's comfortable for me. Ah, the next one lakh playing deck. So if you have a song playing on the left side on the left deck, you cannot put another song in there on accident, which has happened before, um, without the others, without the song being stopped. So for you to load in another song on the deck that's playing. You have to stop the song and then load in the new song. So it's good for, you know, just in case something happens. Maybe your your finger slips and and ah, you load the song into the wrong, uh, into the wrong deck. This will prevent that from happening, which is a great thing to have, because when you're deejaying in a club and the song switches in the middle of the verse or in the middle of a chorus, it doesn't. Doesn't sound good. Doesn't look good for you. And, you know, it just prevents mistakes. The next one, the sort cues chronologically, Um, I have that checked off because I Q my, uh, records up in all my songs up. Ah, my cue points are chronological anyways, so basically your first cue point will be ah, at the beginning of the song. Your second cue point will be the next few point along there. So it might be 15 seconds, and, um and then you were third cue point, etcetera, etcetera. Um, basically, it'll just line them up in the order that they are in the song. Um, it helps me just keep track of where everything is Track end warning. I don't have that checked off. I don't need a warning that the track is ending. Usually I know that it's ending. Um, you know, it's it's has a countdown. A time countdown. Ah, on the software. So the track and warning if you want it, it'll flash, and it'll ah, it'll show that the the track is ending. Just gives you a little warning. Disabled needles search during playback. That right there. I don't check off because I don't even use needle search at all. Ah, but it is something that Ah, if you do want to use it, that's fine. Um, I just choose not to. So the next thing you'll see is the show beat. Jump controls. Um, that right there, I'm gonna get into Ah, in another class, it's ah, little more advanced. Um, than than the basics. Ah, the next one you'll see is use auto gain. I use that. This basically you will see. You have, Ah, 89 to 98 decibels, which basically is how loud the tracks are gonna be played. Um, I use auto gain because it'll adjust the tracks automatically toe where If you have a song that's low, it'll bring up the volume automatically. If you have a song that's high, it will bring down the volume a little bit. Um, just so that the songs are very similar and sound, and you don't have to do very much adjusting with the EQ use or with the gain. Um, so that's actually a good thing. Toe have Ah, the next thing you'll see in the control preferences are your breaking. You have a start time and a stop time. So if you have the fast if you have the start time all the way down, um, it will start immediately once you hit play. If you want to have the song, uh, kind of slowly start, then you'll, uh, move the dial to slow. I choose fast because when I hit play, I wanted to play. I don't want it toe take two seconds to start playing. Um, so the stop time. Ah, that right there. I have adjusted to where it when I hit the pause or the play button again to stop the song from playing. It stops as if it would stop on a techniques 1200 turntable. Ah, which I'm used to using. So, ah, when I use that when I use a controller, um, I like to have that feeling. If you wanted to stop immediately, then obviously you're in a ah, turn the dial to all the way to fast and it'll stop immediately. But I like to have it toe where it said, Ah, toe the feeling of ah, techniques 1200. Ah, stop button. Okay, so the next one you'll see is on song load. Um, I have only play from first cue point checked off because that's my preference. Um, the 1st 1 you'll see his play from start. So whenever you load a song if you wanted to play from the start of the song, that's exactly what you want to have checked off. Um, I have played from first cue point because I have said all my cue points to start where I want thesaurus is to start, so ah, the next one you'll see is instant doubles. That right there will get into a little bit more in the advanced class. Um, next you'll see virtual deck speed. We have 33 rpm and 45 rpm. If you know anything about turntables, Um, that was relevant back then. Right now, really, it's just 33 rpm. Ah, 45 rpm will just speed up the song. Um, which you really don't want to do on this. You're into that. But, um, 33 rpm will play the song normally as it's supposed to be played. Ah, next thing we have recording if you are going to record your mixes of record anything, this area right here is for you. This basically just shows you the bit depth. Ah, 16. Better. 24 bit. Ah, I f f file or way file. Um, I can get into that a little bit more in the next class, which is advanced. Ah, using cerrado deejay advanced techniques, The next thing you'll see is sink preferences. Ah, I have that turned off because I choose not to use sync mode. If you do choose to you sync mode. Um, that's up to you. That's something I can get into also in the advanced class. The next thing you'll see is quantities preferences. Um, this has to do with when you're ah. When you analyze the files you will have the option of analyzing of quanta izing. You will have the option of quanta izing the song to 1/16 of a bead 1/8 of a bead, 1/4 of a beat, etcetera. I have one beat because basically it will ah Kwan ties and show you the grid of the song. Um, one beat at a time instead of 1/2 of a bead or 1/4 of a beat or two beats etcetera. OK, so we're done with D J preferences. Ah, The next tab you'll see on the top is audio. There's only one thing in there, and that's USB buffer size, which is basically the late NC of ah, your USB and how quickly the decks respond to your touch and how quickly cerrado deejay responds to those decks. Um, I have it at two. That's a perfect setting for me. It gives me a good feel for, um when I'm queuing up a song or when I'm scratching or something like that. It's exactly what I need and it doesn't use up too much. Ah, processing power. Um, if you have it on one and you have a slow computer. You might run into some issues where you'll have USB dropouts and your songs might crackle a little bit. Or you might. Ah, the song might drop out completely and you'll have dead silence. So it really is based on what your computer can handle and what it can't handle. You'll have to kind of play around with that. Um, depending on the specs of your computer, the next thing you'll see the next tab is library and display. The 1st 1 library you'll see it says, show iTunes Library. You have the ability to load up cerrado deejay with your iTunes library. If you are used to using iTunes to organize your music, then I suggest using that I would check that off. And if ah, you have all of your music organized through iTunes, it will come up and it will show you those playlists that you've created and you'll be able to go through those to search for music. Ah, I choose not to have it just a personal preference. I know lots of DJs that do use that feature, and it works well for them. I choose not to because I like Teoh, use Arado deejay to its fullest extent as faras adding crates and and ah, using the crates to their fullest extent. Next thing you see is protect library. I'll get into that a little bit. Maurin the advanced class so we'll go past that. Next thing you'll see is custom create columns. That right there is well, is a an advanced technique, and it will be covered in the next class. The next thing I have checked off is center on selected song. Ah, when you're scrolling through songs, basically, it will just center on the song that you have selected. It's pretty self explanatory, but you'll see when I get into ah, the next phase of the class, Um, which is importing Ah, your music and stuff like that. Finally, you have includes sub crate tracks that also is an advanced technique, and I will show you in the advanced class to the right of that, you'll see plate track color. So if you already played a song, you can have it show up as blue, or you can have it show up as gray. Um, it's just personal preference. I choose Gray just because that's all next you'll see library text size. So if you want the text to be big, you will just adjust it to your liking. I have it all the way to the left, which is the smallest size just because that's what I'm comfortable with. This is a comfort thing. So you know, kind of play around with that and figure out which size fits you the best. Next thing you'll see is display. We have hide track slash artists, which is D j M mode. Um, so basically, when you load up a track into your deck, it will hide the track and the artists which a lot of DJs like to do because they don't want to see Ah, lot of DJs like to do because they don't want other DJs to see their special edits or what they got or they don't want other people to see what they have. Ah, I choose not to, because I don't you know, if a d. J. Wants to know what I'm playing, that's fine. I it doesn't bother me. Ah, lot of people choose to hide their track and artist I choose not to. The next one is e que colored way forms. Ah, that right there will get into in the advanced class as well. Um, it's basically changes the way form ah, colors as you use your EQ. You I will dive into that a lot more with Thea. With the advanced class, it's actually really cool feature. The next thing you'll see is the color key display. This will be covered in the advanced class, but basically what it does is it shows you the color of the key based on the Camelot wheel . That right there will be all covered in the advanced class. Okay, so we have Shoki as and you have four options, The first to Camelot and Classical Key are the two most common. The last two open key and original tag are not so common. The Camelot is what I choose to use, because that's what's comfortable for me. If you are used to using classical key than that's your choice. The difference between the two Camelot is a system created by mixed in key that allows you to see the key of a track in number and letter form. So you have one a two, a three a etcetera, and when you are mixing, if you are mixing with a track that is one A you can mix in a track that is to a or 12 a, and they will be in key. Also, if you are mixing a track that is five B, you can mix in a track that is four B five a six B and they will all mix and key. The classical key is if you know the major and minor scales B flat major C minor, etcetera, and you're comfortable with being able to mix in key with the knowledge of those major and minor scales on the right, you'll see deck BPM display. I have it checked off as one decimal place. If you want to get Ah Mawr intricate with it, you can check off two decimal places. So if I'm mixing a song that's a 128 BP EMS and I want to speed up or slow down that song. It will show me 1 28.11 28.2128 point three if I'm speeding it up gradually, If I wanted to use two decimal places, it would show me 1 28.151 28.181 28.24 etcetera. So it's it's up to you how you want to use that. I choose one decimal place. The next thing. Maximum screen updates per second. Basically, how fast your screen updates the program. So if you want it to update as fast as possible, you would have 60 which is what I have. Um, it's really a preference. Sixties is what you should have because then there aren't gonna be any weird screen lags or anything like that. Ah, the next thing. Send anonymous usage data to Cerrado. As you can see, it says helps Arado improve products and support etcetera. I have that checked off because you know it does help them. I have that checked off because it does help them fine tune their software. And there's any issues with the software. You have any glitches? It'll send that information to them and hopefully they can work on a fix for it. The next tab we have is the effects tab that will be covered in the advanced class. But this basically allows you to add effects like delay, echo, reverb, phaser, Flander, etcetera you can see all the different effects to add. In effect, you would select the effect that you want to add. Go to add and click. Add. If you want to add another one, you would go to the one the next one that you want to add. Click on that and then scroll down and click. Add basically, that adds it to the favorite effects. And then you can use that in your deejaying live. You can use that live. You can add delay. You can add echo to any song that you want that's playing at the time. Uh, just depends on if you want to use that are not. The next tab is the expansion packs. You will see Cerrado video. You will see the SP six sample player. You will see cerrado playlists and you will see Cerrado promotes the Cerrado video, and the SP six sample player will be covered in the advanced class. The Cerrado playlist. I use a lot because I like to see what I've played two months ago at certain gigs, and it helps me keep track of what I'm playing a lot it and it's just really a good tool to use if you run into a bind, say, you know you played really, really well at a gig two weeks ago. You can go into your playlist and say, All right, this is what I played. Let me grab some stuff from that may be a mixed sounded perfect and you wanted toe replay that mix on a specific night. Then you could go back in your playlists and view that that's why it's important for me to use. That's it for the set up and configuration. If you have any questions or comments, don't hesitate to leave that in the class. 4. Adding/Importing Songs: this next section of the class will incorporate adding and organizing your music. This is one of the most important things that you have to do as a deejay, making sure that all of your songs are properly tagged and imported into cerrado deejay properly. Let's get started. The first thing you want to do is to download music personally. I use club killers dot com. I use D. J citi dot com, and I use promo only those three resource is Give me the ability. Teoh pretty much get whatever music I need. Once I download a song, I create a folder on my laptop called Cerrado Music. And within that folder I have a bunch of sub folders with dates. This is something that is basically up to your discretion, but this is how I personally organize my music. So ah, obviously I have the dated folders and those of the dates that I download the music off of these websites or off of soundcloud or whenever I'm downloading music. This is generally what I do. I create a new folder, put the date in it, and then I start downloading, so we have a bunch of different songs in here that I've downloaded recently. And once I download those songs, I open up cerrado deejay and I import all of the song. So you want to select all of the songs, and when you're in Cerrado D. J, you're going to click on the all tab on the left side of the screen and you will drag all of those MP three files or your audio files into that folder into the all folder. And basically, that's just all the music that you have imported into cerrado deejay. Now, once you have done that, you want to select all of these songs that you just put into cerrado deejay, and you want to analyze those files so you select all of those. You drag the files over to the Analyze files tab, and as you can see, it starts analyzing these files. This is very important because it processes thief files that you have just imported into cerrado deejay. This will gather the length the beats per minute, the key, all the different comments, all the different aspects of the file. So all the tags, if it was tagged with a specific genre, etcetera, so once it's done analyzing all those files. Any information that is tagged in that audio file will come up in cerrado deejay now. On the other hand, some deejays choose to use iTunes to organize their music. I choose not to, but if that's something that you want to do, that's fine. Ah, basically, you're just going to create playlists and iTunes of the music that you've downloaded. If you import into iTunes, that's up to you. It's basically the same thing, But some people just feel more comfortable with iTunes. I personally feel more comfortable in Surat O D. J Creating the crates and the organization within Cerrado deejay. 5. Organizing Your Music: we have all of these songs that I just imported probably about 60 songs, and we need to organize these properly. You see, we have different columns in the cerrado screen. We have song, artist, BPM, key album length and comment. Those air just the default columns that they choose for you. If you go to the right hand side, you'll see a triangle and you click on that. And these are the different columns that you can had you have added. Which is when the song was added to the library album Artist bit rate, which is the bit rate of the MP three or the way file BPM Comment Composer file name, genre grouping etcetera. So it's really up to you as to what you want. Teoh. Add to your cerrado screen, which comes you want to add. Um, I don't particularly use comment or I don't use album, so I'll take those off. The most important wants to me personally. Our song artist BPM, Key and Length. Every once in a while, I will add, uh, the added column, which will show me what songs were added. The most recently 6. Creating & Organizing Crates (Part 1): Now that we have our cerrado screen set up to the way that we want it to be, let's start organizing. First, let's go to the left. You will see a plus sign with a an orange box to the right of it, and you will see a plus sign with a blue box to the right of it. The tab with the plus sign and the orange box is just a regular crate. We will add one of those. As you see, it comes down to the left side of the screen and it names it. Create one. If you double click on it, you can rename it. I will name this genres because I like to organize my music and genres first. That way I know what song is, what genre and Aiken automatically and I can immediately go to that genre. If I'm playing a specific song in that genre, and then I can see what other songs air in that genre from there, we need to create sub crates. Sub crates are basically just creates within crates, so we will go to the Icahn with the orange box. Click that again, and it creates a new crate. We will double click on that to rename it, and I will name this hip hop wrap. Okay, so now we have that below genres, but to be a sub crate, you need to click on it, hold it down and then drag it to the genres Crate. Once you let go, it will drop it down into the genre's crate as a sub crate. The next genre. We're going to add his house, E G. M. Okay, click on that. Drag it to the genres Crate, and you will see that it goes just below hip hop and rap, and we will do just one more. There's more genres, obviously, but I will show you one more and that will be top 40. And once you have those three genres set up, those three crates set up going to your the all going to the all folder on cerrado deejay and basically start going through your music and putting the hip hop and wrapped into that crate, putting the house in medium into that crate in the top 40 into that creek. So we have a few different songs here we have, ah, watch out by two chains that is a rap record, so I will throw that into the hip hop and rap create. The next one we have is hello, by Adele, that is a top 40. Now, if you accidentally drag a song into the wrong crate, you will go into that crate, click on the song and hit command Delete, and it will delete the song from that crate. If you do that and the all folder, it will delete that song from your library. So make sure that when you're deleting a file from a crate, you're deleting it within that crate and not within the all section of cerrado deejay. Otherwise, you might have some issues when trying to search for that song. You deleted it from the library, so be sure you don't do that onto the next one. Let's find a house song. Most House and TDM songs are within the 1 20 to 1 30 bpm range. To adjust your list of songs to be from lowest BPM, two heist BPM, you will go to the BPM column and you will click on BPM. As you can see now, all over songs are from lowest bpm, two highest BPM So now we can go through and see what songs are in the house slash e g m bpm Range the stereotypical house slash medium BPM range. I will go to the Tiesto, Tony Jr Get down! That is a house song. I will click on that and drag that into house and e g. M. As you can see, that shows up and we can continue with organizing all of our songs. So another house song would be the Thomas Gold Bord GIs Beast song. Drag that in there. All right, so now we've put the songs into the genre sub creates that we need to be properly organized . If you want to add different Johner sub creates that's up to you. The most common, I would say our top 40 hip hop wrapping RB House and Electronic Old school, which would be seventies eighties and nineties, reggae and Latin and then rock. So basically your genre create should look something like this. Now that we have that done, we're gonna move on to the next section 7. Creating & Organzing Crates (Part 2): all right. Now that thes genre crate is set up and ready for you to organize properly, we will go into another form of organization that I use constantly, which is creating a crate specifically for a gig. So you want to create? You want to add the crate? Rename that well, say nightclub gig Friday night. Now, at most open format nightclubs, you're gonna have pretty much the same music throughout the night. And you want to organize this in a way that's going to be easy for you to find proper songs for the opening of the night for the peak hours of the night and for the closing of the night. So that's how I always set it up. I will add three crates to that great Sorry. I will add three sub crates to that create. 1st 1 will be open, 2nd 1 will be peak and the 3rd 1 will be close. That way you can add songs to your crates that you will play and the opening of the night, which normally if you're playing a nightclub that is open from 10 p.m. To 2 a.m. The opening of the night will be 10 p.m. To 11 PM The peak hour will be 11 PM to 1 a.m. and the closing which will be from 1 a.m. to 2 a.m. Now, if you click on all, you will see all of your music. I have since imported all of my music and to my library. So now we want to go through our library and figure out what music to choose toe, open up the nightclub to play during the peak hours of the night club and to close out the night club. That right there is the most important thing as a deejay is to play all the right music at all the right times. It's very essential for somebody that is going to play a nightclub for the first time. You want to be as prepared as possible, and this right here is the best way to be prepared. You might have to do a little bit of research to see what songs are good for. Opening what songs Air good for peak and what songs air good for clothes. I will give you a brief look into what I do for open pique and close opening usually is going to be recurrent songs, old school songs. Not really anything. That's, Ah, a major song right now or over the past year to two years that you will say for the peak hours in the closing hours, you're you, Congar Oh, into a little bit more old school as well. You can play a little bit more newer stuff. It really depends on the event that you're doing. It really depends on the nightclub that your deejaying at or the event that you're doing. So let me go through and pick out some things for opening a nightclub, a top 40 nightclub. I will look for Jay Z and Rihanna. We have umbrella, very good song, very, very popular, slower song. And that is a song that is perfect for opening up a top 40 nightclub. Next, we will find a song that is perfect for peak hour at a top 40 nightclub will go into that Adele song Hello really, really popular song, and for peak hour, you want to get a high energy version off of the song. If you don't have it, look for it Soundcloud ah, and or other other means on on the Web, you can find tons of different remixes and bootlegs and stuff like that. I personally like the B breaker Melbourne bootleg of that. He did a very good job, so I'll throw that into the Peak Crate, and now I'm going to choose a song for the closing. Right now there is a song called Sugar by Robin Schulz, and I choose I like to Play the Huggel remix that is a perfect song for the closing of the night. And those three songs are perfect examples of what kind of music you would play toe open a nightclub at the peak hour and to close out a nightclub. If you wanted to go more up tempo for the opening of a nightclub, we might want to choose a deep house or, ah, future House version of ah Top 40 song. It's really up to the night club that you're playing at and what they normally have being played as to what songs you're gonna choose to open and what songs will be peak and what songs will be closing 8. Conclusion: Okay. Now that I've finished showing you the basics of cerrado d j, I want you to imagine that you're gonna be playing your local night club this Friday night . Organize your crates as if you're gonna be playing for four hours. Once you've done this, take Screenshots uploaded to the class and tell me what city you're in. It's time to get to work. Let me see what you've got.