Using Serato DJ & CD/Media players with DVS

What is DVS?

DVS is a playback method used to control the software via an external input from a CDJ/Media player/Turntable. It utilises the Serato control tone in real time to dictate to the software the playback position of the file that iOS loaded to the virtual deck. 

Control Disc/USB stick

You can download the tone control disc/USB stick file at any time. This can be found, along with instructions on how to burn a disc/add the file to a USB stick here.

How do I set up DVS?

Activation

Connect your device to Serato DJ and ensure the DVS expansion is activated and enabled

Activate the DVS expansion as per this guide, then navigate to the Serato DJ setup menu, select the expansion packs tab and ensure that DVS (CD/Vinyl control) is enabled in this menu. 

Connection

Club kit mixer users:

For more specific setup information on using Club kit mixers with DVS, please see this guide. For all other devices, read below for more.

Interface (SL/DS1 boxes) users:

Whilst turntables output a phono-level signal, CDJs & Media players output a line-level signal, which is considerably louder. If you don't configure Serato DJ to accept the louder line-level signal you will encounter all sorts of problems, so make sure you complete this important step:

  1. Connect the outputs of your CDJ/Media players to the inputs of your SL box as per normal.
  2. Flick the dip switches on the SL box to down (or up on the Denon DS1) for a line level signal.
  3. Finally, connect the outputs of the SL box to your Line or CD inputs of your mixer as per normal.

Mixer/Controller users:

  1. Connect the outputs of your CDJ/Media players directly to CD/line input for your hardware. For the left deck use channel 1 or 2, and the right deck channel 3 or 4.
  2. If you have the option, (not all hardware will have this) set the input level switches on the back of the mixer to Line.
  3. Start Serato DJ, go to the Setup screen and click on the Audio tab. Configure the control source selection to match the mixer inputs you are using (CD/Line). For some hardware this is done in an external driver panel and not in Serato DJ: consult the user manual for your hardware if you're having a bit of trouble figuring this out. 

Calibration

Calibration is equally important for both vinyl and CD users of Serato DJ Although CDJ/Media players are not as susceptible as turntables to background noise, they can still be victims of vibration and other problems.

Our guide for CDJ calibration can be found here.

If you find that your scopes are not a clean circle as shown in the article above then please use the Diagnosing the scope views article for suggestions on how to resolve that. 

 

Playback modes

There are 2 DVS modes in Serato DJ, all which will behave slightly differently with the CDJ/Media player.

ABS mode

To use the cue buttons and loops on the CDJ/Media player itself, Serato DJ needs to be set in absolute mode, which behaves like a real CD - i.e. following the absolute position of the track. more information here.

REL mode

The alternative to Absolute mode is Relative mode. This is the recommended mode to use with CD players. Relative mode doesn't take into account the absolute position of the control CD. This means you lose the functionality of the CDJ/Media player cues and loops, however, you gain much more functionality inside Serato DJ. More information here.

INT mode

Internal mode is only used for playback from CDJ/media players connected in HID mode, or when playing back files using a controller. If you find that you are receiving a DVS signal but playback isn't working as expected, check that the virtual deck is NOT set to INT mode. More information here.

Additional information

Keylock / Master Tempo and CD player based effects

One thing to remember when using CDJs/ Media players with Serato DJ (all Digital DJ programs for that matter) is that the keylock (sometimes called master tempo) and effects on the player itself need to be disabled.

Remember - you are playing back the Control Tone with the player, not music, and it is vital that this Control Tone reach Serato DJ in an unmodified state (with the exception of pitch changes).

If you wish to use keylock or Pitch 'n Time DJ, use the one provided in Serato DJ  - click the musical note / Pitch 'n Time button to the left of the virtual deck to enable rather than using the keylock on the CDJ/Media player.