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Optimization Guide for macOS

The following optimizations are recommended for users of Serato DJ Pro or Serato DJ Lite, using computers running macOS. It's strongly recommended to carry out the optimizations whether you have a very powerful Mac computer, or an older model.

Please check the Serato DJ Pro System Requirements or Serato DJ Lite System Requirements for supported operating systems, and to ensure your computer meets or exceeds the other computer specifications that are stipulated.
Make sure you are also using the latest point release of your supported operating system version.

In order to complete many of the optimizations below, you will need to access System Preferences or System Settings (if using macOS Ventura or above):

macOS 13 Ventura or above

  1. Click the Apple logo at the top left corner of your desktop or new Finder window, and choose System Settings
  2. Navigate to Mac HD > Applications > System SettingsScreenshot_2022-12-06_at_11.37.15_AM.png

macOS 12 Monterey or lower

  1. Click the Apple logo at the top left corner of your desktop or new Finder window, and choose System Preferences
  2. Navigate to Mac HD > Applications > System Preferences

Restart your computer

You'd be surprised at how many random issues can occur because a computer has not been restarted in days, weeks, or even months in some cases. Audio drop-outs, distortion, hangs, freezes, and crashes can all be mitigated or avoided simply by regularly restarting your computer. We strongly advise you restart your computer before any major performances.

Connect your power adapter

It's absolutely critical to ensure your computer's power adapter is connected at all times when using Serato DJ Pro/Lite software.

Serato DJ Pro & Lite are both demanding real-time audio applications and using your computer's battery while DJing can cause macOS to throttle your computer's processing power in order to conserve battery, this can adversely affect Serato software and cause audio drop-outs, distortion, or freezes & hangs.

USB-bus powered devices may in some cases lose connection or functionality.

NOTE: Serato DJ Pro & Lite software will show a 'battery' icon in the top right-hand corner of the main user interface to help you recognize when you've started playing a set using battery power instead of your power adapter. Remember that when you see the icon below, you will likely want to check or connect your power adapter as soon as possible:Screen_Shot_2022-10-03_at_4.04.01_PM.png

Additionally, in some rare cases, you may encounter thermal throttling issues depending on the side of the computer your Macbook power adapter is connected to. Try disconnecting all external devices (USB, HDMI, Thunderbolt), apart from the power adapter, and then change the 'side' your power adapter is connected to, and see if issues persist.

Optimize Power adapter settings

Even after ensuring your computer's power adapter is connected, it's still important to ensure your computer doesn't try to sleep, turn off it's display, or put hard disks to sleep while using Serato DJ Pro or Lite.

  1. Open System Preferences/System Settings
  2. Click on Battery
  3. Click on Power adapter
  4. Un-check the box for Put hard disks to sleep when possible
  5. Check the box for Prevent computer from sleeping automatically when the display is off
  6. Move the Turn display off after slider all the way to the right, to Never
  7. As a precaution, un-check the box for Enable Power Nap while plugged into a power adapterScreen_Shot_2022-09-29_at_3.22.31_PM.png

Turn Off Wi-Fi & Bluetooth adapters

Wireless and Bluetooth adapters may need to be disabled for Serato DJ Pro or Lite to work efficiently in some cases.
Turning off wireless communication for your computer can prevent the operating system from trying to update applications, or communicate with nearby devices, which can use up available resources.

NOTE: Skip this step if you are using a Music Streaming service with Serato software, as an active internet connection is obviously required, unless there is an cached offline option for that service.

To disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth:

  1. Open System Preferences/System Settings
  2. Click on Network
  3. On the left-hand sidebar, click on Wi-Fi
  4. Click on the Turn Wi-Fi Off button
  5. Go back to System Preferences/System Settings
  6. Click on Bluetooth
  7. Click on the Turn Bluetooth off button

Disable FileVault Protection

FileVault is macOS encryption feature that can help keep data on your hard disks secure. Unfortunately having it turned on can reduce overall performance and disabling this can allow your hard drive to work more efficiently with Serato DJ Pro or Lite.

To disable FileVault:

  1. Open System Preferences/System Settings
  2. Click on Security & Privacy
  3. Click on the FileVault tab
  4. If FileVault is on, click the Turn Off FileVault button

Disable Automatic Updates

While we strongly recommend you stay up-to-date with the latest point release for your supported operating system, allowing macOS to constantly check for app updates & system updates in the background, can take up valuable resources. Therefore, it is suggested to disable the automatic update functionality.
If there is an update that you need, you can manually update macOS and associated software by clicking on the Apple menu in the upper left corner of your screen and choosing About this mac Software Update.

To disable automatic updates:

  1. Open System Preferences/System Settings
  2. Click Software updates
  3. Un-check the box labeled Automatically keep my Mac up to dateScreen_Shot_2022-10-03_at_3.52.36_PM.png

Disable Spotlight

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 real-time, resource demanding audio applications, having Spotlight suddenly start indexing in the middle of your set can be disastrous.  

If your Mac is overheating, the fan just won't stop buzzing or you can't work out why certain apps are struggling to perform, it could be time to check the Activity Monitor, to see if Spotlight is indexing in the background - the systemstats, mds_stores, and mds processes that are responsible for this, might be using up your CPU resource.

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 Spotlight addict, don’t worry, you can easily remove your drives from the Privacy list to restore search-ability after your gig is over.

To prevent Spotlight indexing on a drive: 

  1. Open System Preferences/System Settings
  2. Click on Spotlight
  3. Click on the Privacy tab
  4. Click the + button in the bottom left corner, click on the drive you want to make ‘private’, and then click Choose.
  5. Repeat the above process for each drive you wish to add to the Privacy list
    NOTE: To remove a drive, click on the drive icon listed and then click the - sign button in the bottom left corner

Disable Automatic Brightness

Disabling Automatic Brightness (if your Mac has an ambient light sensor), can improve waveform display related performance on some Mac devices.

To disable Automatic Brightness:

  1. Open System Preferences/System Settings
  2. Click Displays
  3. Select your Built-in Retina Display if you have multiple displays connected
  4. Un-check the box labeled Automatically adjust brightnessScreen_Shot_2022-10-03_at_4.26.58_PM.png

Disable Sudden Motion Sensor (laptops with rotational hard disks 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.

NOTE: This feature only affects Mac computers with an older, rotational hard disk drive with spinning platters. It does not affect users who only use SSD's or flash memory in their configuration.

To disable the Sudden Motion Sensor feature:

  1. Click on macHD
  2. Click on Applications > Utilities
  3. Open the Terminal app
  4. Type sudo pmset -a sms 0 and press Enter/Return on your keyboard
  5. Enter your mac user password when prompted, then press Enter/Return on your keyboard again
  6. Type sudo pmset -g to verify that this has been applied

To re-enable Sudden Motion Sensor feature:

  1. Follow steps 1-3 above, to open Terminal
  2. Type sudo pmset -a sms 1 and press Enter/Return on your keyboard
  3. Enter your mac user password when prompted, then press Enter/Return on your keyboard again
  4. Type sudo pmset -g to verify that this has been applied

Misc. optimizations

The following is a list of further recommendations to get better performance out of your system.

  • Avoid connecting audio interfaces or controllers to USB hubs or adapters, where possible. You may have an overall better experience when you plug directly into your computer.
  • Make sure all unnecessary foreground programs are closed, such as web browsers, instant messengers, or really any software other than Serato DJ. They can all tie up computer resources and begin seemingly random operations in the background which could cause intermittent issues.
  • Turn off software that runs in the background, such as calendars, file locker / cloud storage, anti-virus / firewalls, and disk maintenance programs.
    NOTE: We do not endorse disabling anti-virus or firewall software on a permanent basis. Only try disabling these utilities temporarily as part of a process of elimination, to see if they are causing performance based issues, then re-enable them, find another alternative software, or contact the software developer for more tips on trying to reduce their performance overhead on your computer.
    If you are unsure about following this specific step, please consult an IT professional before proceeding, as it can leave your computer vulnerable to malicious software or attacks.
  • Disconnect any unused USB devices from your computer, including phones, tablets, USB storage devices, or devices you are charging.