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Serato DJ Pro vs Rekordbox DJ in 2021: Complete Roundup

By Ferdi Vol
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There are few DJ software out there that is as common and acclaimed as Serato DJ and Rekordbox. In fact, this is because they come included with many controllers for sale today, such as Pioneer's and Numark's controllers, among other brands.

Now, Have you wondered about the main differences between these two Softwares? have you ever wondered which software is better?

And the answer is that it depends on what you are looking for. If you are on a tight budget and want something that looks sleeker and more modern, choose Rekordbox DJ. If you want something that is more compatible with DJ controllers and more reliable too, go with Serato DJ Pro. Both are excellent choices for DJs of any kind.

Obviously, the choice between one or the other will come down to several key factors, including but not limited to: the equipment available, the budget, and having a particular liking for a particular brand.

Another factor that might come into play include features found on one software not found on another.

In this article, I will be talking about the main differences between these two pieces of equipment and some similarities too. If you are an aspiring DJ looking to choose between these two programs or are looking to switch from one software to another, this article will be really helpful.

I hope you find the information below useful! If you want to watch a video you can also do that below.

Things to Look out for in a DJ Software

First of all, I think it’s important to know what you should be looking for in a DJ software. As we all know, they each have their own differences, and some of them you might not like but do I think that most great DJ software has the features listed below.

  • Ease of use: The most important quality that a DJ software must exhibit in my opinion is the ease of use. The easier to use a DJ program is, the more time you can spend actually learning how to mix and experimenting with different passages. Thankfully, both Rekordbox and Serato are well known for being accessible and beginner-friendly without sacrificing depth and usability.
  • Reliability & compatibility: Another very important quality that you must make sure a DJ software has is reliability. After all, you do not want the software to crash on you in the middle of the set. This can obviously be disastrous to any DJ, especially one looking to make a name for himself in the local scene. It's also very important that the software be fully compatible with the computer you are using.

Rekordbox DJ Vs Serato DJ Pro: Main Similarities and Differences

So as I said above, this two software have their own similarities and differences. I decided to write a little bit about their main differences so that you can make a comparison. Please check below for the info!

NOTE: Keep in mind that this isn't a comprehensive list of all the differences between these two DJ software. Rather it's a more concise comparison of the key differences between them.

Rekordbox DJ comes free with some Pioneer controllers

One of the main pros that Rekordbox DJ has over Serato is the fact that the parent company currently makes the full version available for free in most of their controllers. This is unlike other controllers out there, which typically come with a downgraded version of Serato: Serato DJ Lite.

While you can upgrade from the Lite to the Pro version anytime, doing so means more expenses, something that might be worrisome for people on a tight budget.

And the upgrade can be quite pricey too. We are talking about a monthly subscription of 10 dollars a month, or a permanent license for 130 bucks. This might be a steep price point for many aspiring DJs, and if you aren't willing to pay that amount for the program, it might be wise to just purchase an entry-level Pioneer controller.

They might be a little bit more expensive than other choices on the market, but you at least don't have to worry about also spending your hard-earned cash on DJ software.

Serato DJ Pro is compatible with a wider array of DJ hardware

So while Rekordbox DJ comes for free with most modern Pioneer controllers, there's one caveat to that: those controllers cannot use any other type of DJ software.

This means that if you want to switch from Rekordbox to Serato or Traktor, you are going to have to purchase a completely different controller to do so.

This business strategy is very similar to what Apple does with their products: They force the user to use only very specific programs & hardware made by them. Due to popular demand, Pioneer does offer a few controllers that can use software other than Rekordbox DJ though. Some of these controllers include the DDJ-SX3 and the DDJ-1000SRT, among others.

Unlike Pioneer's proprietary software, Serato DJ Pro is compatible with a wider array of DJ controllers out there. This is very useful because once you learn the layout and GUI of the software, you can create great mixes in any controller that uses Serato.

The quality of your mixes shouldn't diminish at all, and you should become a more versatile DJ that can more easily adapt to new gear.

Rekordbox DJ looks much sleeker & modern

Both software has a very appealing look, but if I were to choose one over the other, I'd say that Rekordbox DJ is the better choice, at least when talking about visual polish and aesthetics.

The Rekordbox DJ user interface just feels modern. It feels really technologic and state-of-the-art, and many DJs opine the same. Serato, on the other hand, feels a little bit different.

I'm not saying that Serato's user interface is ugly. It's just that it feels a little bit more primitive and basic. Some people do not like the colors used on the menus, claiming that it makes the software look childish or overbearing. I personally think that's true.

The GUI does feel a little bit basic, and while it's not something that's going to affect the functionality of the software, it's definitely something to keep in mind if you aren't sure which of these two solutions to choose over the other.

Serato is a little bit more reliable

As I said above, one of the most important qualities that you must make sure your software of choice exhibits is reliability and dependability, and when it comes to this, I think it's fair to say that Serato wins in this department.

Serato's dev team has prided themselves on making the most reliable software, and I think they do deserve that title. Now, keep in mind that I'm not saying that Rekordbox crashes a lot or has a lot of bugs, but it simply isn't up to par with Serato.

Rekordbox DJ used to be software with a lot of bugs and weaknesses, but this is not the case anymore. Pioneer has been working really hard on improving their software, and their efforts have definitely been showing.

Each new release of their software is more reliable and less buggy, and many people have commented that they have been getting close to Serato in this regard. In might change in the not so distant future, but for now, Serato is the winner in the reliability department.

Keep in mind that there are some other factors that affect software reliability, such as the computer being used and some quirks between certain specific software & controller combinations.

I'm saying this because there are sometimes where the software crashes because of a fault in the computer or the controller. When this happens, many people blame the software when it actually the other components were to blame.

How About Traktor?

While this is an article about two of the most popular software out there: Serato and Rekordbox, I decided to take some time and write a little bit about Traktor, another very popular software used by thousands today, and how it compares to the two programs mentioned above.

Traktor is a software with a lot of features not found on either of the two choices above, but many have commented that they have been less active when it comes to updating the program.

This has led to the platform being considered a little bit buggier than the two choices above.

I personally really like Traktor, but it's currently outclassed by the two software above, at least in my opinion. In the future, I will be making a more comprehensive article about Traktor, and it's main differences when compared to both Serato and Rekordbox DJ.

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About DJ Pro Tips
DJ Pro Tips is a website that has the goal to make you a better DJ by providing useful and accurate information.
About the Author
Ferdi Vol is a DJ for several years and is here to share his passion with you.
About Ferdi Vol
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