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SYNC with Serato DJ

Always a controversial subject, Sync is here for DJs that want it. Hit Sync to get tracks in time quickly, allowing you to do other things instead of moving the platter or pitch slider. Try it, you might like it! If you don't like or want Sync, you can disable it and never see it again. Below are details on using the two different Sync modes, Simple Sync and Smart Sync.

Simple Sync (No Beatgrids)

Simple Sync does a simple transient sync to the opposite track on the deck. You do not need Beatgrids in order to use Simple Sync.

Simple Sync
Pressing Sync will match the both the BPM values and transients of your tracks together. If you have dropped your next track in but it’s not quite in time, by pressing sync you can perform an automatic beat sync. Beat sync works by snapping the two closest transients together and matching the BPM.

You can click the OFF button to the left of the Sync button to turn sync off (or press shift + SYNC on your Serato DJ hardware). When using a controller, one press of the OFF button will fully disengage Sync. However, when using Simple Sync with vinyl or CDJs, the first press will disengage Sync, but will keep the decks in Relative Pitch. This is shown by a blue outline around the SYNC button.

A second press of the OFF button will cause the pitch to revert to the tracks absolute pitch as reflected on your hardware pitch slider controls. When you engage Sync on a deck, that deck becomes the Secondary Deck while the deck it has been synced to becomes the Primary Deck. The synced BPM value will be taken from the Primary Deck. The Sync button should appear blue and there will be no beat position indicator with Simple Sync.

TIP: You can use Simple Sync as a way to auto-tempo your tracks. Load a song, press Sync so the BPMs are the same and then drop the track in yourself. You can engage Simple Sync when using vinyl or CDJs in Relative or Internal modes.

Snap to Beatgrid

Snap to Beatgrid will make Beatgrids visible on your tracks waveform, and when first pressing sync it will sync the track using the tracks Beatgrid information rather than the transients. You can enable this option in the DJ Preferences tab of the Serato DJ Setup Screen.

Relative Tempo & Tempo Control

When using a controller, pitch slider/dial adjustments on hardware of a deck in Sync will alter the tempo for all tracks in Sync. When a deck is in sync, altering the pitch will affect the pitch of all synced decks. This is known as relative pitch. However, when using vinyl or CDJs in Relative mode with Simple Sync activated, adjusting the pitch on your hardware will only affect the deck you adjust. Disengaging sync on a deck causes the pitch to return to its absolute pitch level as represented on the hardware slider.
The exception to this rule, is if you have 'Tempo Slider affects all synced decks' under SETUP --> DJ Preferences, enabled. This will force all decks to be affected by any pitch changes.

Smart Sync (Using Beatgrids)

Smart Sync gives you more control and requires your tracks have accurate beatgrids. You can select which type of Sync you wish to use in the DJ Preferences tab of the Serato DJ Setup Screen. Once you have accurate Beatgrids you can now use them to easily sync tracks together.

Beat Position Indicator

The Beat Position Indicator is a display of where the track’s playhead within the current bar. The playhead will illuminate and move through a 4/4 count in time with the track’s tempo. This indicator will change color depending on the Sync state.

Beat Sync

Press Sync to engage Beat Sync for the first deck.


Pressing Sync for the first deck will engage Sync mode for that deck. This deck’s tempo will become the Sync tempo for any further tracks entering Sync mode. Now press Sync on the track you are introducing to match it to the first track. This will snap the Beatgrids, tempo and the bar position of this track to any other tracks in Sync mode. Beat Sync will maintain this snap even if the track’s Beatgrid changes (i.e. you have manually set a Beat Warp Marker).

Press Sync again to re-sync the track if it has gone out of time.

NOTE: Tracks that sound out of time may have an incorrect Beatgrid or Sync may be disabled for the track.

Arm Beat Sync

You can arm Sync by pausing the deck and pressing Sync.


Pressing the play button using your Serato DJ hardware or on the virtual deck will start playback and automatically Beat Sync the track to other tracks currently in Sync mode.

Tempo Sync


Tempo Sync is when the deck tempo will match decks in Sync mode, but the track’s position in the Bar will not be locked as with Beat Sync. Adjusting the platter or playhead while a track has Sync engaged will disable Beat Sync and put you into Tempo Sync. This allows you to keep tracks at the same tempo but drop the track when desired without it snapping to the beat. Adjusting the platter will create an offset, this offset will be maintained, even if the track’s Beatgrid changes (ie. a Beat Warp Marker is placed and the track’s tempo changes). This will allow the track to warp around tempo changes without losing Tempo Sync.

You can adjust the position of tracks in the bar, manipulate the platter, scratch or juggle the track while still keeping the tracks’ tempo matching. i.e. If you drop a track out by exactly 2 beats behind a track on another deck in sync, then the yellow Sync state will continue to stay at the same tempo as the other synced track.

Disengage Sync

Press SHIFT + SYNC on the hardware to disable Sync for the deck.You can also click the OFF button to the left of the SYNC button in the software. The first press of the OFF button will keep the deck in Relative Pitch, but it will no longer be in Sync. This will be shown by the SYNC button having a blue outline.

The second press will disengage Relative Pitch and the hardware pitch slider will assume control.

Relative Tempo & Tempo Control

When a deck is in Sync, altering the pitch of any one deck will affect the pitch of all other synced decks. Disengaging Sync on a deck keeps the pitch in relative pitch mode. Relative pitch will react to slider position movements up or down, but not reflect the absolute position on the hardware slider itself. To reset the pitch slider to absolute pitch you can either

  • Load the track again once Sync has been disabled.
  • Double click the OFF button next to SYNC on that virtual deck. If the tempo slider on your Serato DJ controller, turntable or CDJ is at 0% then the track will return to it’s original BPM, if it’s not then move the pitch to 0% to return it to the original value. When a deck is in relative mode, the BPM will display blue, and REL will appear below.

NOTE: When in relative mode, you can hold SHIFT on your Serato DJ hardware to disable the pitch slider temporarily - you can then move the pitch up or down, re-positioning it back to any position to suit your needs.

Loading tracks With No Beatgrid

Loading a track with no Beatgrid will disable Sync for that deck. A Beatgrid will be created for un-analyzed tracks if ‘Set Auto BPM’ and ‘Set Beatgrid’ are enabled in the Offline Player. Once a Beatgrid has been created you can then press Sync to engage Beat Sync.

If ‘Set Beatgrid’ is not enabled in the Offline Player, then only a BPM value will be created and Sync will not be available for that track. If a track has previously been analyzed, but has no Beatgrid, then Serato DJ will not create a new Beatgrid for that track.

TIP: Manually add a Beatgrid for tracks to enable Sync functionality for that deck.