• DJ Vic Alva

Everything you need to know about USB Buffer Size and Latency in Serato DJ...

Written By Jaeson Ramirez (posted by permission)


There are many ways to set the USB buffer to help maximize you Serato experience. There are a few ways to adjust this feature to minimize the latency when using a controller or timecode vinyl. Let's start with the specs of Serato DJ. The processor needs to be at least 1.5 GHz and a minimum of 4 GB of Ram. Intel processors are what Serato created their software to use. AMD processors will work with Serato, but it may not give you the flawless experience you are expecting to get from your DJ Software. Depending on your Operating System and version you are currently running of Serato DJ, could mean you have a great or terrible experience. It honestly relies on a trial and error basis.


Serato DJ has had many different versions of the Software that have worked great with Windows and OSX. My advice is to make sure there is a great amount of testing before you use it at a live gig or DJ performance. The USB buffer is a tool to help minimize the strain on your PC or Mac's resources by reducing the processing in small amounts on your Software.


Have you ever noticed a glitch in the waveform or a pause in music that has not been analyzed? This creates what DJs call a "lag," or a delay in data transmission from the hardware to the software. When this happens you tend to have a delay in the performance of a scratch or triggering a loop. This can be avoided by decreasing the USB Buffering feature. This will speed up the software processing rate to lessen the latency, but will also use more of the resources when using the Software.


On the Serato Software, there is a small indicator at the top right will show you a meter that measures how much CPU the program is currently using. When CPU is in green the program is running solid and only using minimal resources. When the CPU is red and is almost full it is time to panic and reevaluate the resources your computer is using, since it is being overloaded and will likely crash! This can be caused by using Wi-Fi while DJing, playing corrupt audio or video files, or having other programs running in the background.


As DJs, we tend to swap music with other DJs to broaden our library but sometimes the files we get can also be harmful to your library and Software so keep that in mind.


Depending on the specifications of the computer and Operating System you can have can have a great or terrible experience using Serato DJ, but your BEST BET is to UPGRADE when you have choice between GOOD and BETTER. Don't skimp out when it comes to buying your DJ computer! Pay more to get the better, faster computer to avoid lag/latency problems later down the road. This is especially true if you are going to be DJing with videos later on.


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