It's often said that DJ software changed the DJ business as we know it. In fact, Properly using a DJ software is near, if not just as important as learning how to use a controller.
Not only that, but the choice of which software to use is one of the most important decisions a DJ can make.
In this article, I will be talking a little bit more about the Serato DJ Lite and DJ Pro, their main differences, and which you should be choosing over the other.
I chose to talk about Serato because not only it is perhaps the most popular DJ software, but many people often compare DJ Lite and Pro and so I felt people needed a trustworthy source to talk about the topic.
I hope you find this article useful!
When it comes to the main differences between these two programs, the first one that we need to talk about is that you have the ability to record your mixes with DJ Pro, while you don't have that chance with DJ Lite, which might be the only reason to choose the former over the latter.
Recording has so many obvious pros that most of you are going to be aware of them. Some of these pros include the fact that you can listen to your mixes again, which helps to identify when you are doing a good job with your mixes and when you aren't.
Aside from that, recording a mix means that you can upload it to a social media platform like youtube, Instagram, or SoundCloud, which is super important if you are interested in promoting yourself, your DJing services, your songs, or all of these.
As mentioned in this article, marketing and promotion are some of the most important parts of becoming a popular DJ, and having a DJ software that allows you to record your mixes is one of the things that can definitely help you with this aforementioned promotion.
Now, you could always record your mixes with another software of course, so getting Serato DJ Pro isn't 100% necessary if you are looking for something that can record your mixes.
This is especially true if you do not need the other features that DJ Pro gives you that aren't in DJ Lite.
Another big difference between DJ Lite and Pro is that the latter has a built-in key analysis software installed, while this is not the case with DJ Lite. If you didn't know, key analysis software is a type of feature that lets you know which is the key of the song or songs being played, which helps you find songs that go together.
This is something that I talked about in another article, but key analysis software is one of the most useful tools that a DJ can have in his arsenal. Not only is making good mixes a piece of cake with this software, but it makes finding songs that match very easily too.
It is definitely one of those features that I simply can't live without, and if that's your case too, I'd recommend that you choose DJ Pro over Lite!
Also known as key detention software, Key analysis software also tends to come with some other cool, nifty features that are useful to anybody that DJs.
Serato proprietary key analysis software is pretty competent but not as good as other choices on the market, like Mixed In Key or Beatport.
So if you tend to use this feature heavily and want something that is more accurate than what Serato DJ Pro offers, it might be wise to just use DJ Lite and buy a separate key analysis software, especially if you don't care about the other features found on DJ Pro.
Another less known but still important feature that DJ Pro has that Lite doesn't is slip mode, which is perfect for scratch friendly DJs that want to manipulate the audio without going out of time.
Slip mode is super popular with club DJs, wedding DJs, and other people looking to play scratch and effect heavy music such as EDM and trap music.
If you didn't know, slip mode is a very recent feature that is slowly but surely being added to countless DJ software in the market.
The way that it works is that once turned on, it allows you to manipulate the track in multiple ways without ever going out of time or phrase. You can scratch to your heart's content, use cue points, loops, and more.
Slip mode is great when mixing more energetic passages. However, I personally tend to avoid it when mixing slower songs, and I'd recommend that you do so too in those moments. If you are the kind of DJ that is more used to mixing slower mixes, this feature might not be as useful, which means that DJ Lite might be more ideal for your needs.
Slip mode is definitely a great add-on for more experienced DJs, but not everybody will find it useful as I mentioned, which means that if you don't want it and do not need the other features exclusive to Serato DJ Pro, it might be wise to choose DJ Lite instead.
Serato DJ Pro's Interface Is Different
Another difference found between DJ Pro and DJ Lite is the GUI differences. To be more specific, the display found on DJ Lite is vastly different from what's found on DJ Pro. You only get to look at one thing while mixing, which can be vertical or horizontal waveforms or the song library.
This is obviously not ideal, for both DJ newbies and power users alike. I think you can get away with it at first if you are a newbie, but eventually, you are going to notice that this setup found on DJ lite is very cumbersome and not ideal, especially as you improve your mixing. This is one of the reasons why I'd strongly recommend DJ Pro over Lite.
Unlike DJ Lite, DJ Pro allows you to have an interface with different things on view, which makes mixing much easier and more intuitive. You get to see the vertical, horizontal, and song library all at one, among other things. This is a big pro because you don't want to be switching from one thing to the other while in the middle of a set.
Now if you are used to software that tends to only work with something showing at any time, then this might not be a huge problem, but if otherwise, it might wise to choose DJ Pro over Lite.
One of the other differences between Lite and Pro, and this is a big one, is the fact that Serato DJ Lite doesn't support playlists, while DJ Pro does. This by itself might be enough reason to choose DJ Pro over lite. After all, you don't want to be looking around the playlist for the right song while in the middle of a set, especially if you have a lot of songs in your library.
Having the opportunity to create a playlist has it's own set advantages that are pretty obvious. The first one is that you get to sort your music the way to want to so that it's easier to use when mixing. You can sort your music by genre, harmonic key, if it has vocals, and by the length of the composition, among other things.
Properly sorting your music is something that every DJ must master for obvious reasons. Not only is retrieving it easier when mixing but if you sort it by harmonic key, you can technically have all the songs that go together in the same folder for easy access.
Aside from the points above, there are a few other differences between these two versions. One of these is that you get to use 8 cue points with DJ Pro, unlike Lite which only allows you to use 4 points. Now many of us can work with 4 cue points, so this isn't a dealbreaker, but not everybody though.
More experienced mixers will appreciate the additional cue points, so if you are choosing between DJ Lite and Pro, it might be wise to think if having additional cue points is really that important to you. If it is, then you might want to choose DJ Pro, or you might want to choose DJ Lite if you are fine with just using 4 of them.
Another big thing to mention is the price of admission of DJ pro compared with DJ Lite. As most of you guys know already, Serato DJ Lite is completely free, something that has been super useful for those just starting out and looking for good software to start learning the ropes of the craft.
In contrast, You need to pay to use Serato DJ Pro. The full version of Serato costs 130 USD, which isn't too bad but it isn't too affordable either. Thankfully, Serato gives you the ability to also purchase the software for just a month for 10 dollars, which is perfect for those of us in a tight budget.
Now, we talked about Serato DJ Lite and Pro, but have you ever heard about Serato Intro? In the following paragraphs, I'm going to explain what it is and how does it differentiate from Serato DJ Lite.
First of all, let me tell you that Serato Intro doesn't exist anymore. It used to be Serato's entry level product.
In other words, Serato DJ Lite is the replacement to Serato Intro, and overall it used to have pretty much the same features as what Serato DJ Lite has now, with some small differences.
Most of you that found this article on Google will probably be comparing Serato DJ Lite and other free softwares out there. Most developers are now developing these stripped-down programs very cheaply or even for free, so there is a lot to choose from in this software tier.
I'd say that Serato DJ Lite is well equipped compared to other barebones software, like Rekordbox. When it comes to the difference between Rekordbox free and Serato DJ Lite, the first one that we must mention is that Serato allows you to use DJ hardware like controllers, while Rekordbox doesn't let you do that, instead forcing you to buy a more advanced version to mix with a controller/CDJ.
When it comes to the differences between Serato DJ Lite and Traktor DJ 2 (Traktor's entry-level software), Traktor tends to have a few extra features that are not found on Serato DJ Lite.
I hope you found this article about the main differences of Serato DJ Lite and Pro useful. As I mentioned above, this article will be really useful for those DJs that are just starting out and are looking to compare Serato Lite and Pro.
However, let me tell you that Serato isn't the only program that I recommend that you use. Other cool programs that are really acclaimed by the general DJ community include Rekordbox and Traktor. I recommend that you check them out if you are looking for a DJ software and do not want to use Serato.