NYC Electro
7Jul/109

Serato Tip of the Week: Analyze Your Files

This weekend, I was speaking to a DJ friend of mine who uses Serato, and I realized that there are many features and tips I can share. This particular situation, my friend was unaware that Serato could auto BPM the files. This happens when you analyze your files. There are few crucial reasons that you want to make sure all of your files are analyzed, one is the fact that it detects your BPM. In this article, I will explain the reasons why and how to go about doing this.  Click through to get all the info:

Tip: Analyze Your Files

First off, if you have not updated your Serato in a long time, do it now! Its free, there is no reason not too, so just do it already... click here for the link: Scratchlive.net, as of this writing the most current version is 2.0.0 (20049). Scroll through the bottom the post for the latest link.

What exactly does Analyzing your files do?
Four very important things.  It prepares the overviews for the track, auto BPMs the track, applies any auto gain settings to the track, and alerts you if there are any corrupt files. Lets dig a bit deeper here to define what exactly these things are.

How do I do it?
Its simple, disconnect your Serato hardware and launch Serato. You will see only one "Deck" available. Just below it on the left side, you will see a button that says "Analyze Files". Take any files that need to be analyzed and drag them to the button, or select your files and hit the button.  If its your first time, just select all your files and hit the button, then, go to bed. It takes about 20 seconds a song on average depending on the size of the file.

If you already have lots of songs analyzed, then I would go to your main library and organize your library by BPM. You will notice that there are many songs without BPMs tagged. Those have not been analyzed, so select them all and hit the Analyze Files button. Also, scroll down to the bottom of your library. You may have files with BPMs of like 14309 BPM, that is obviously wrong. Read further in the BPM section to find out how to correct this (its easy).

Analyze your Files

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Building your file's Overviews:
An overview is the graphical, and colorful, representation of your file (pic below). This allows you to see the music. I am sure most people are familiar with this. If you do not build your overviews before you play a new song, Serato will do it for you while you are playing the song, live. This takes up precious computer cycles. Its rare, but it could stutter or shut down playback if you have a slower computer, so its always a good idea to have almost all your overviews (all if you can)  built before you play a gig.

Build Your Overviews

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Auto BPM:
Well, it is what it says. BPM, if you don't already know, means Beats Per Minute. Matching BPMs is how we mix, so being able to see these before playing a song is crucial. There is a button next to the Analyze Files called "Set Auto BPM", make sure that is selected. If so, when your track is analyzed it will save the BPM to the file's ID3 tag permanently.

There are times when Serato will put the incorrect BPM in the file. Usually, its doubled the beat from like 75 to 150, or it could be way off and set the BPM to something like 12398, that is definitely wrong. You can set a BOPM range in for the files and re-analyze them in the tab next to the Set Auto BPM. It says "Range" and has a drop down menu with some BPM range options. This is also good to use if you are about to analyze lot of songs in one genre that you know will fall between a certain range.

Auto BPM

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Auto Gain:
If you have "Use Auto Gain" selected in your Setup > Playback tab, then your tracks will automatically be turned up or down according to the dB selected in the drop-down menu to the button's right. This is highly recomended. Once your file is analyzed, the auto gain is applied. If you want to then turn the gain up or down on the track with your volume knob in Serato, you can still do so. If you want to have the auto gain re-applied to the track, then simply Alt+click the knob.

Auto Gain

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Alert you of Corrupt Files:
Well, it does just that. Once the analyze is finished, it will give you a broken disc icon if any files are corrupt. There are many reasons why a file can become corrupt. Hopefully you do not have any. I deleted all of my corrupt files. Some files just need to be relocated. I would rather delete them and re-import anytime I have this happen to me. For me, its pretty rare occurrence.

So there you have it:
That is the 411 on analyzing your files in Serato. If you have not done it, do it now. You will be glad you took the time up front to do this. Getting the BPMs of the songs is more than reason enough to do this right now. Good luck!

Comments (9) Trackbacks (1)
  1. What dB setting do you recommend?

  2. Andy,
    I use the default 92dB. It seems to be just fine for any purpose (club or home). When you activate the “Use Aurto Gain” dB setting in the “Playback” tab of the setup screen, it will adjust your anylised files to whatever dB you pick. 92dB has always been good for me.
    Normally, to adjust the volume, I use the Mixer’s gain and masters, and sometimes Serato’s the Track and Master Volume controls to cut the music up as needed.

    Hope that helps
    DJ Color TV

  3. VERY HELPFUL… IM NEW 2 SERATO

  4. Glad this helped. You can search all our Serato articles if you’d like.

  5. im still having problems with corrupt files.. do i have to download the track again or is any there a way to correct the file?

  6. dj vidalziz,
    There could be a few things going on here. I would say that maybe you should reach out to the Serato Forums for help. If you cannot find the answer, you can put in a help ticket. They are very responsive and thorough. Here’s the links:
    general forum: http://serato.com/forum/
    help forum: http://serato.com/help/scratchlive

  7. tnx for the hints

  8. I wasn’t aware of being able to click and drag the files onto the analyze button, this helped me fix the last few files the automation missed, thank you!

  9. This is great, thank you!


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