From there very first product they released back in 1999, Serato has been one of the lead creators of premier audio software for music lovers across the globe. Over the years, their products have grown into a community of millions of DJ's, producers, and engineers. From bedroom studios to festival stages, Serato has been one of the most successful brands to deliver the best possible experience for creating, playing and sharing music, all around the world. In this review, we will be taking a look at Serato's new Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) Serato Studio.
What is it?
Serato Studio is a brand new Digital Audio Workstation(DAW) that has been developed for people who come from a DJing background. It captures the essence of Serato's DJing software and makes it perfect for any DJ who wants to get into music production. Serato Studio has a very beginner friendly work environment for new producers and for more advanced producers it's a great tool to get your idea's out really quick.
Serato Studio's Key Features:
At first glance, Serato Studio works like any other DAW, but once you start experimenting and producing tracks you understand how different it is. Master Key is one of its features that really stood out to me, once you set the key for the project, every instrument, sample, and drum you play will automatically be in the key. This is a very helpful feature if you're just starting out and don't understand music theory. If you're a more advanced user you can turn off the "Play in Key" feature if you know what you're doing.
Both the Drum and Note Sequencers are another feature that made the workflow very easy and enjoyable. With the 808-style step Drum Sequencer, you can easily create unique drum patterns with the built-in drum kits or even your own drum samples. When it's time to add an Instrument to your song, the Note Sequencer allows you to either draw in or record your own chord progressions or melodies to your track. Serato Studio is also compatible with VST and AU as well. So if you prefer making sounds with your favorite VST plug-ins, you're in luck.
Scenes and Song View are a feature that allows you to organize your drums, samples, and instruments with ease. You can also copy Scenes and edit/add anything that was on the previous Scene, this makes the workflow streamlined and easier than ever to build a track.
These are just a few of Serato Studio's features that I really enjoyed. If you want to know more about the other feature like the built-in FX, Warping, Stretching, Sample Library's, and more click here.
What do I think?
For the past week, I experimented and used Serato Studio and I have to say I'm impressed. Within 10 minutes I knew how to navigate around and immediately started getting ideas out. Writing melodies was surprisingly easy, with the help of the Master Key feature I didn't have to worry about anything being out of key. The drum sequencer is also something that I enjoyed using, being able to record a drum pattern you're thinking of made the workflow fast and accurate. The song view and scenes make it extremely easy to go back into certain sections of a song and edit or add anything you want to.
Some aspects that I disliked about Serato Studio were that Scenes can only be set to 1-4 bars. If you were able to make them 1-16 bars I think it would allow you to get even more technical and add more variety to your tracks. Another aspect is that there is ONLY DJ style EQing, which means only 3 points in which you can correct a sound (Low, Mid, and High). I hope in the future they add or at least give you the option to run your own EQ's, Compressors, Limiters, etc... So advanced users have more options when it comes to mixing down tracks in the software.
Should you try it out?
Due to popular demand, Serato has temporarily closed the public beta. However, you can still register and you will be notified once more space opens up. If you're interested in registering click here
Overall, Serato Studio was a fun and enjoyable experience. I think it's the perfect way to bridge the gap for DJ's who want to get into producing but don't want to spend large amounts of money on expensive software right away. If Serato takes the time to listen to the feedback given and implements it after this beta testing is over they could make this into an amazing DAW. That being said Serato Studio is a DAW that I'll definitely be adding to my arsenal.