Are you a DJ who has experienced equipment failure or simply prefers to use one turntable?
Don’t worry, you can still use Serato DJ with just one vinyl deck or CDJ.
This often overlooked advantage of using a DVS system can be a lifesaver in a pinch.
In this article, we’ll discuss the technique for doing so and how to achieve it using both Serato DJ and Traktor.
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, this guide will help you mix like a pro with just one turntable.
So let’s dive in and explore the world of Serato DJ with one turntable!
How To Use Serato With One Turntable
First things first, let’s define what a DVS system is. DVS stands for digital vinyl system, which is the technology behind using Serato DJ with turntables or CDJs. To make it work, the CDJs or turntables need to have a control signal loaded. This control signal is a long high-pitched frequency sound that changes pitch as you adjust the pitch or tempo controls. This tells Serato DJ which speed to play the currently loaded track.
Now, let’s get into how to use Serato with just one turntable. When you use Serato, you can set what’s called “instant doubles.” This essentially duplicates whatever is playing on one channel to the other and effectively creates a virtual second deck. So, you can mix in with the turntable, use instant doubles to transfer the track to the other channel, then repeat the process.
To do this, start by loading a track onto your turntable and playing it through one channel of your mixer. Then, activate instant doubles on that channel. This will duplicate the track onto the other channel and allow you to mix in and out of it as if you had two turntables.
Another option is to use a single turntable with a pitch slider and a second channel from another device such as a listening deck or an iPod. This will allow you to beatmatch and mix on one deck while still having access to another source of music.
It’s important to note that while using Serato with one turntable can be a great solution in a pinch, it’s not ideal for long-term use. It’s always best to have two turntables or CDJs for optimal mixing capabilities.
Understanding DVS Systems
Now, let’s dive into understanding DVS systems. DVS systems use special timecode vinyl records or CDs that are played on conventional turntables or DJ CD players such as Pioneer CDJs. The output of the turntable or DJ CD player playing the timecode is routed into a DVS-enabled sound card box, DVS-enabled DJ controller, or DVS-enabled mixer. This changes the timecode sound into computer data, which goes into your DJ software. Your DJ software then translates that data into changes in the playback speed, direction, and position of your selected track.
DVS systems allow you to scratch, spin, and jump around a record by dropping the needle anywhere on the timecode vinyl or CD. Within the software, your tracks will react as if they were pressed directly onto the record. The output of your DJ software is then sent back to the sound card, DJ controller, or mixer. The result is digital audio playback that was spun on a piece of vinyl or DJ CD player.
There are three options when it comes to DVS: audio interfaces (sometimes called “breakout boxes”), mixers, and DJ controllers. Each option comes with its own pluses and minuses. Audio interfaces are typically small and portable, making them great for DJs on the go. Mixers are more versatile and can be used for both DVS and traditional mixing. DJ controllers offer a more integrated experience with Serato DJ software but can be less flexible than mixers.
When choosing a DVS system, it’s important to consider compatibility with your DJ software. For example, if you plan on using Serato DJ, then pick a DVS-enabled sound card box, mixer, or DJ controller that is compatible with it.
Setting Up Your One Turntable System
To set up your one turntable system with Serato, you’ll need to follow a few simple steps. First, make sure you have the Serato DJ software and the DVS expansion pack. You can purchase and activate the DVS expansion pack by opening Serato DJ, entering your account details or creating a new account, going to the expansion pack tab, and selecting the DVS expansion pack. After purchasing it, you’ll receive a voucher code from Serato that you can enter in the top right corner of the main tab of Serato DJ to activate the DVS expansion pack.
Next, connect your turntable to your audio interface. Your audio interface inputs must match the turntable outputs. Turntables output very quiet phono-level outputs that must be amplified for Mixxx to use. You should either find an audio interface that has phono pre-amplifiers built-in (one for each deck), use standalone phono pre-amplifiers, or use turntables with built-in phono pre-amplifiers. You can try skipping the phono pre-amps if you use the software pre-amp in Mixxx on the Vinyl Control preferences pane. This may not work for everyone.
Once your turntable is connected to your audio interface, go to the setup screen of Serato software and click on the expansion packs tab. Now select the CDJ/Vinyl control option from the given menu, and this option is available if the DVS expansion is active. Then check that whether the CDJ/Vinyl control is enabled or not. You have to enable this feature to connect your turntable to Serato.
Finally, you’re ready to start using Serato with your one turntable system. Load a track onto your turntable and play it through one channel of your mixer. Then activate instant doubles on that channel to duplicate the track onto the other channel and allow you to mix in and out of it as if you had two turntables.
Configuring Serato DJ For One Turntable Use
Configuring Serato DJ for one turntable use is a fairly simple process. First, make sure that you have the Serato DJ software installed on your computer and that your turntable is connected to your computer via USB.
Next, open Serato DJ and go to the Setup screen. Under the Audio tab, make sure that the Input dropdown menu is set to the input that your turntable is connected to. If you’re using a listening deck or iPod as your second channel, make sure that it’s connected to a different input on your mixer.
Under the Vinyl/CDJ tab, select “Relative” mode for the turntable that you’re using. This will allow you to control the playback of the track using the turntable’s pitch control and jog wheel.
Next, go to the Library tab and make sure that “Instant Doubles” is enabled. This will allow you to duplicate whatever is playing on one channel to the other channel with just a push of a button.
Now, you’re ready to start mixing with just one turntable. Load a track onto your turntable and play it through one channel of your mixer. Use the pitch control and jog wheel to beatmatch and mix in another track from your Serato library. When you’re ready to switch back to the first track, simply activate instant doubles and fade across to the other channel on your mixer.
Remember, while using Serato with one turntable can be a great solution in a pinch, it’s not ideal for long-term use. It’s always best to have two turntables or CDJs for optimal mixing capabilities.
Using Traktor With One Turntable
If you prefer to use Traktor instead of Serato, the process is similar. You will need a soundcard with at least two stereo inputs and two outputs. Plug your turntable into one of the soundcard inputs and the soundcard outputs into your mixer’s line inputs. Then, load a track onto your turntable and play it through one channel of your mixer.
To create a virtual second deck, you can use Traktor’s “Deck Duplicator” feature. This feature allows you to duplicate whatever is playing on one deck onto another deck in Traktor. To activate this feature, click on the “Deck Duplicator” button on the top right corner of the Traktor interface.
Once activated, you can mix in and out of the duplicated track as if you had two turntables. You can also use a second channel from another device, such as an iPod or listening deck, to have access to another source of music.
Again, it’s important to note that using Traktor with one turntable is not ideal for long-term use. It’s always best to have two turntables or CDJs for optimal mixing capabilities.
In summary, using Serato or Traktor with one turntable is possible but not ideal for long-term use. It’s always best to have two turntables or CDJs for optimal mixing capabilities. However, in a pinch, using instant doubles or deck duplicator features can create a virtual second deck and allow for seamless mixing.