If you are new to DJing, or just looking to upgrade to pro DJ software, you are probably wondering which one is the best right?
Your DJ software should be something that you are comfortable using, and it should have all the features that you require to perform a live DJ set.
In this article, we will compare and contrast the two top DJ software; Serato DJ Pro and Native Instruments Traktor Pro 4.
Both platforms are very good, and most professional DJs are using them, but you are probably wondering which is better.
If you are new to digital DJ software, here is a quick explanation of these two choices.
Serato DJ Pro
Serato DJ Pro is a professional DJ software that was first released way back in the mid-2000s, just at the time when DJing was about to go digital.
However, Serato can be used for turntables, as well as DJ controllers, which is why it was a great app for transitioning from analog to digital back in the day.
It started as Serato Scratch Live and ever since it came out, it would have changed the DJ scene forever. If you are a beginner DJ, you can try its lite version, Serato DJ Lite.
It would have limited features, but it will still have the core features that make it great software.
Native Instruments Traktor Pro
Traktor Pro 4 is the latest version of the software, and it was released earlier than Serato back in the year 2000.
Before it became what is known now, it had a lot of iterations over the years.
Native Instruments released this software together with their line of high-quality pro DJ controllers that a lot of DJs prefer to use.
Traktor Pro, however, works with other DJ controllers as well.
Now that you know the origins of these two top DJ software, let’s move on to the comparison section of this article.
Serato VS Traktor
Now, let's see the comparison between the 2 giants of the DJ industry:
Compatibility with Hardware
First of all, you need to make sure that your software is suitable for the DJ controller you are using.
These two software options work for most controllers, but not unless your hardware specifically states that it works for one of these software, it would not integrate and work the way it should.
Serato has more compatibility and partnerships with DJ controller manufacturers.
Plus, it also works with mixers and other accessories.
Serato works with Denon DJ controllers, specifically the Prime Series, and a lot of Pioneer DJ controllers including the DJM and CDJ series.
It even works with some Native Instruments (creators of Traktor) Controllers as well.
Traktor on the other hand wins with customization.
Imagine the iPhone vs. Android Phones.
The iPhone is like Serato, where it is very user-friendly and automatically works with tons of hardware without mapping.
While Android phones are like Traktor, where there are a lot more customizations and possibilities.
With Traktor, you can MIDI map the compatible DJ controller, making it easier for you to find the controls you need.
This feature allows you to remove buttons you don’t need and replace them with the ones that you use frequently.
Plus, you can assign the buttons and controls to a convenient place that will enhance your performance and workflow.
In terms of compatibility, these options are great, it is just a matter of what controller you have and if you prefer auto-mapping or full customization.
Serato has an intuitive interface that is easy to understand and learn if you are a beginner.
Each of its features is easy to find, and it visualizes the waveforms of playing tracks allowing you to beat match and volume match the tracks easily.
Traktor, on the other hand, has a very customizable interface that allows you to hide the controls you don’t need for easier navigation.
Both have the fundamental controls you need to perform live and create live mixes.
In terms of unique features, I feel that Serato has more to offer.
It has a video expansion pack for Video DJs, and it works for some streaming services like SoundCloud and Tidal.
Traktor, however, is a great option for improvising and live performances. Thanks to its sample-layering capabilities, and the ability to create loops, build-ups, and effects on the fly.
In terms of price. Serato is a little bit pricier without the addons, depending on the hardware you will be using.
While Traktor includes all the tools you need to for video. DVS support and tons of effects and features.
Can you DJ with Serato and Traktor without a controller?
Yes, you can DJ with both options using just a laptop.
However, with Serato, you will need to get the Serato Play Expansion Pack which will cost you extra.
Can you use Apple Music or Spotify with these options?
Unfortunately, none of these options allows you to use these streaming platforms, especially Apple Music who has very strict music licensing.
However, with Serato, you can use Soundcloud Premium and Tidal to DJ with streaming tracks.
Both of these software options are excellent and have unique features, and it really depends on the user preferences on which one is better than the other.
The community is split between these two options, and even professional and big DJ names have their own preference, so make sure you choose based on the information above.