Mac Optimization Guide for OS X

The following optimizations are recommended for use with Serato DJ on your Mac running OS X. Make sure you are using the latest point release of supported operating system version.

Please check the Serato DJ System Requirements for supported operating systems.

In order to do many of the optimizations below, you will need to access system preferences. To do so, click the Apple logo at the top left corner of your screen and choose System Preferences. Please make sure you follow each step correctly.

Optimize Energy Saver

This optimization will free up system resources as well as prevent the computer from going to sleep or standby mode which can cause audio dropouts with Serato DJ software and hardware.

  • Open System Preferences.
  • Click “Energy Saver.”
  • Un-check the box for “Put hard disks to sleep when possible.”
  • Do one of the following (available option depends on your computer model)
    • If present, set the “Computer sleep” slider to “Never.”
    • Otherwise, check the box that says “Prevent computer from sleeping automatically when the display is off.”

Turn Off Wi-Fi (during performance)

If your computer is equipped with Bluetooth wireless and/or a Wi-Fi (AirPort) card, these may need to be disabled for Serato DJ to work efficiently. In addition to freeing up system resources, disabling these can help resolve errors. We recommend you turn off Wi-Fi in live performance scenarios if possible.

  • Open System Preferences.
  • Click “Network.”
  • On the left hand sidebar, click on Wi-Fi.
  • Click on the button that says Turn Wi-Fi Off.

Disable FileVault Protection

This optimization will allow your hard drive to work more efficiently with Serato DJ.

  • Open System Preferences.
  • Click “Security & Privacy.”
  • Click on the “FileVault” tab.
  • In this window find where it states: “FileVault protection is (on/off) for the hard disk…”
  • If FileVault is on, click the button to “Turn Off FileVault.”

Disable Automatic Updates

Some updates to your Mac software can cause conflicts with Serato DJ.  Therefore, it is suggested to disable the automatic update functionality within the operating system. If there is an update that you need, you can manually update your Mac software my clicking on the Apple menu in the upper left corner of your screen and choosing Software Update.

  • Open System Preferences.
  • Click “App Store.”
  • Make sure the box labeled “Automatically check for updates” is unchecked.

Disable App Nap

App Nap can negatively affect the performance of Serato DJ or other software that processes audio or control changes. This is because App Nap considers any app that is hidden from view to be “idle.” It may then temporarily disable the app to free up resources which may cause clicks and pops as well as disrupt any processing that is happening in the background. To disable App Nap :

  • Go to your Applications folder.
  • Go to the App for which you want to disable App Nap (Serato DJ).
  • Right-click or control+click the application and choose Get Info.
  • In the Info window, under General, you will see an option to prevent App Nap.

Disable Sudden Motion Sensor (laptops only)

If you’re recording in a loud environment, this optimization will prevent the Sudden Motion Sensor from kicking in which temporarily stops the hard drive from spinning to prevent damage if your computer is suddenly moved.

  • Double-click on the Macintosh HD icon on your desktop (this would be your system drive if you have renamed it to something else).
  • Go to the Applications folder.
  • Go to the Utilities folder.
  • Double-click on Terminal.
  • Type sudo pmset -a sms 0 and press Return (typing in ’0′ disables it).
  • Enter your administrator when prompted.
  • Type sudo pmset -g to verify that this has been applied.

To re-enable Sudden Motion Sensor:

  • Go back to Terminal following the above steps.
  • Type sudo pmset -a sms 1 and press Return (typing in ’1′ re-enables it).
  • Enter your administrator when prompted.
  • Type sudo pmset -g to verify that this has been applied.

Disable Spotlight Indexing

Have you ever seen the Spotlight magnifying glass icon with a pulsating dot in the middle? Did you notice your Mac running super sluggish while this was occurring? This is Spotlight creating a virtual index of all the files and folders in your system (i.e., indexing), allowing Spotlight to quickly search your drives. For everyday use, this is fine and not too much of a nuisance, but when using resource intensive audio applications, having Spotlight suddenly start indexing in the middle of your set can be disastrous.  

If your MacBook is overheating or the fan just won't stop buzzing, it's time to check the Activity Monitor. Because the systemstats process might be unnecessarily eating up your CPU processes.

The easiest way to prevent indexing is to adjust your Spotlight Privacy settings. The only hitch, Spotlight will no longer be able to search the drives you make ‘private.’ If you’re a Spoltight addict, don’t worry, you can easily remove your drives from the Privacy list to restore search-ability after your gig is over. 

  • Open System Preferences by clicking the System Preferences icon on your dock.
  • Click on Spotlight.
  • Click on Privacy.
  • Click the + sign in the bottom left corner, click on the drive you want to make ‘private,’ and then click Choose. Repeat the above process for each drive you wish to add to the Privacy list.
  • To remove the drive, click on the drive icon listed and use the – key.

Disable Automatic Brightness

Disabling automatic brightness (if your Mac has an ambient light sensor), can improve waveform display related performance on some Mac's. 

To disable it;

  • Open System Preferences
  • Choose 'Displays'
  • Select your built-in display if you have multiple displays connected
  • Disable the 'Automatically adjust brightness' checkbox