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MIDI mapping with Serato DJ

The MIDI feature in Serato DJ is a great way to add flexibility to your performances by mapping frequently used Serato DJ controls to your primary Serato DJ hardware or secondary MIDI controller. Create, save, and customize your mapping to better suit your performance style. The following article will give some tips on:

  • Remapping your primary Serato DJ hardware
  • Saving your custom MIDI presets
  • Assigning controls to a secondary MIDI controller
  • Reverting your mappings if you have made a mistake

Remapping your primary Serato DJ hardware
If your primary Serato DJ hardware (the hardware used to activate Serato DJ - whether controller, interface or mixer) has MIDI capabilities it will appear in the 'MIDI devices' list of the MIDI tab. If your hardware device is not showing in the 'MIDI Devices' list it most likely does not have available MIDI controls or is unable to be remapped.

Click the hardware device you want to remap and make sure that the "Allow Serato Hardware Remapping" box is checked. You will need to enable the "Allow Serato DJ Hardware Remapping" option per device in the MIDI devices list. When this option is on, the MIDI button in the main Serato DJ screen will be available to assign MIDI controls for your primary hardware.

Close the SETUP screen. Click the MIDI button at top of the screen. This will enable MIDI assign mode and open the MIDI panel ready for custom mappings.

You can now click on a Serato DJ software feature, then touch a control on your hardware and Serato DJ will link those two mappings. When in MIDI assign mode, clicking a software function and pressing, turning or moving a hardware control will map this function and remove the default mapped function.
NOTE: Remember to save your mapping preset if you think you will use another type of device.

Save your preset!
To prevent the hassle of having to MIDI assign every time you have a gig you can create new, save, delete and load MIDI templates in the MIDI tab of the SETUP screen.
Make sure you create a new preset BEFORE you start MIDI mapping so that when you are finished there will be a preset to save to - just clicking 'new' will wipe your current MIDI settings. 

Assigning controls to a secondary MIDI controller

To assign MIDI controls to a secondary MIDI controller you have connected along-side your primary hardware, enter MIDI assign mode by clicking the MIDI button at the top of the display screen next to SETUP. The MIDI assign button will not be available and will be greyed out unless a secondary MIDI controller is plugged in (or Allow Serato Hardware Remapping is enabled for primary hardware).

Once in MIDI assign mode click a control on Serato DJ, then press/move/twist the desired MIDI control on your hardware to map the two together. The grey "assign" box will turn blue when successfully assigned. If you make a mistake, press the ENTER key while the blue box is showing to revert the mapping. Some controls on Serato DJ can have a secondary function by using CTRL + Click when mapping. For example, holding CTRL and clicking on the loop button allows you to MIDI map the Loop Trigger instead of Loop Toggle.

NOTE: Dials and faders in Serato DJ will need to be assigned to either dials or faders on your MIDI controller. Assigning dials and faders to buttons will not work due to the difference in MIDI signal received. It is always best to map a button to a button, a knob to a knob and a slider to a slider etc.

Reverting a mapping
If you have made a mistake while making a MIDI mapping, click the mapped Serato DJ control and press the ENTER key while the blue mapping box is showing and the specific mapping will be reverted.

If you want to revert back to the standard Serato mappings for your primary device you have two options.

  • You can turn off the "Allow Serato Hardware Remapping" option in the MIDI tab of the SETUP screen, this will keep your current MIDI .XML loaded but will only disable custom mappings to your primary device. This is good if you have mappings for a secondary controller you want to keep, or..
  • You can click the 'Restore Defaults' button which will prompt you to save any custom mappings you have made and will unload your current MIDI .xml leaving you with a clean slate.

If you have already made custom mappings for third party MIDI devices it's best practice to back-up existing mappings before you begin remapping your primary device. Make sure to save your favourite mappings! Unsaved mappings will be cleared once the software is closed.

Clicking the 'Restore Defaults' button will wipe mappings for any device saved to that XML. If you have two devices connected at the same time, both devices will be restored to their default mappings.

Current limitations of MIDI mapping

  • MIDI mappings will be remembered (but might not match up) even if you connect a different piece of Serato DJ hardware. It is recommended to make a MIDI preset for each different piece of hardware you wish to use otherwise MIDI mappings might not function correctly for each device.
  • Hardware features that cannot be remapped at this stage are the Jogwheels/Platters, Input Switches, Shift buttons and Performance Pad Mode buttons.
  • Re-mapping any pad(s) in Hot Cue mode will also re-map the same pad in Saved Flip mode and vice versa.
  • Official Serato Accessories are not currently supported for remapping.

Check out your hardware Quickstart Guide for more information on MIDI mapping or refer to the Serato DJ software manual.

We've also got a Video on Hardware Remapping on the Serato Blog.