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Overview : FX

FX in Serato Studio can be applied in 9 different slots, across the Deck View, Scene Player, and Master View. FX Slots and the different FX units are are applied left-to-right. Serato Studio comes with built-in FX, and third-party FX plugins can also be used. 

FX controls

The controls below are universal across all FX units in Serato Studio.

Show/Hide FX Panel: Click on the FX button to reveal the FX slots in the space between the Library panels and the Deck view / Scene Player or Song view. In the Master Track view this will appear below the main waveform.


FX Header: Shows the name of the selected Pad or Deck, or simply shows 'Master' in the case of the Master track, and indicates specifically where FX in these slots will be applied. Note the colour of the title in the header will change, in the case of Deck Pad FX, to help quickly identify which Pad has been selected. Hover your cursor above the Header to allow the title to scroll.


FX Depth: Controls the level or amount of the FX that is applied. Note the notch inside the knob will change colour, based on the selected Pad, in the case of Deck Pad FX. Click & drag on the control to adjust the value, or hold control/command on your keyboard while doing so, to make finer adjustments.

FX Slots: Drag & drop FX directly an empty FX Slot, or use the FX Select function to insert FX.empty_FX.png

FX On: Click on FX in the slot to turn it on, which is indicated by the inserted FX unit turning purple. Click on it again to turn it off, indicated by the FX turning light grey.


FX Select: Click on the small white arrow on the right-hand side of the FX slot to reveal the FX drop-down. Click on the parent category to expand the list where FX can be chosen. You may also drag & drop FX directly onto an FX Slot from the FX Files panel.

FX Beats: Displays & allows for adjustment of the currently selected value for time-based FX. Click on the small arrows on either side of the timing to cycle through the different timing options.


Pad FX

Found under the Deck view area, these 3 FX slots apply to each of the 8 Deck Pads and can be used when either a Drum Deck or Samples Deck is selected.Clap_pad_w_2_FX.pngNOTE: the FX Header and FX Depth controls are coloured to correspond to the 'Clap' pad in a Drum Deck

Deck FX

Found under the Scene player, these 3 FX slots apply to the currently selected Deck, but are also applied in addition to Pad FX, where applicable. Deck FX are available regardless of the Deck type. The FX Header in the Deck FX unit is shown on the far right-hand side of the Deck FX Slots.Clean_808_FX.pngFlanger and Stereo Pan loaded & enabled on FX slots 1 & 2, on a Clean 808 Drum Kit Drum Deck

Master FX

Master FX are found under the Master track waveform, in the Master view, and the FX header in the Master FX is shown on the far right-hand side of the Master FX Slots.

Using third-party plugins as FX

Third-party plugins can be used as FX, however they will not show in the FX Select drop-down menu. Navigate to the Plugins tab in Library area in Serato Studio, then drag and drop the plugin you wish to use onto an FX slot. Note that plugins which can be loaded as FX will show the Plugin Effect symbol, in the status column of the Files panel.

When using Plugin Effects, the FX Depth will be replaced with a toggle to show or hide the plugin interface, as pictured below:
Plugin Effects loaded onto a FX slot

Sidechain Compression

Build energy and layer sounds using Sidechain Compression - create a 'ducking' audio effect by sidechaining one sound to another. There are two types of Sidechain compression available in Serato Studio - 'Soft Sidechain' and 'Hard Sidechain'. To use the the Sidechain Compression effect, first choose the deck you wish to effect, then from the Sidechain input dropdown select a deck to act as the 'trigger' of the sidechain effect. For example, to create a ducking effect on your bass line by:

  • Add Soft Sidechain effect to your Instrument or Sample deck with your bass line
  • From the Sidechain input dropdown select your kick (or any other available trigger option)
  • Use the knob to control the level of the effect that is applied