How To Organize Serato Crates
Need to know how to organize Serato crates? Anyone who's ever DJed has been there, whether you're working a professional gig or just acting as party foreman for some friends. You've been spinning tracks and have the crowd amped up, and you have the perfect song to keep the groove going. If only you could find it. Fortunately, if you're using Serato as your DJ software, you have the option of organizing your tracks into crates so that whatever you want is, literally, right at your fingertips. How should you organize crates in Serato? The beauty of the crate system—unlike the old record milk crates for which they are named—is that you can customize your crate organization to fit your DJ style. If you can come up with an organizational structure, you can make it happen in Serato. That said, there are a few systems that work especially well. And because Serato lets you have an individual track in multiple crates, the possibilities are endless.
- Organize by gig type. Let's say you play a couple of regular gigs each week. One's at a hard-core industrial club, while the other is at a trip-hop lounge. You can create crates for each venue, labeling them with the name of the club. If you have specific sets you like to play at given times in the night, or to generate a certain mood at a venue, use the subcrates function. So you might have a crate named "Hard-Core Club," with subcrates labelled "Friday First Set" or "Last Call." Give your crates descriptive names that make sense to you so you can easily access what you are looking for. You can also use this organizational strategy to separate the tracks you'd use for gigs like wedding receptions, birthday parties, bachelor parties or whatever type of gigs you play most often. You can even make crates for a specific party or gig ahead of time—"Jim's Bachelor Party" or "Frat Party Bid Night."
- Organize by genre. One of the simplest ways to organize your crates in Serato is by genre, though in the heat of a gig this might not be the easiest way to keep the music going. However, organizing by genre—with subcrates for artists and maybe even sub-subcrates for albums—can be a great way to organize your overall music collection. Having your tracks organized this way can make it easier to then build crates for gig type or create playlists. Organizing by genre can also be a handy way to sort through a very large and diverse music collection. In this system, you'd have crates for "Hard Industrial," "Trip-Hop," and "Classic Rock," for example.
- Organize by beats per minute (BPM). Serato's ability to organize by beats per minute (BPM) can be great for DJs who work with a great deal of techno, electronica, or trip-hop. If you have a sense of how a given BPM affects the mood of a crowd, or you want to make sure to mix playlists where there are no abrupt shifts in tempo or beat—or ones where there are—using the BPM organizational method may be for you.
- Organize by mix or playlist. This is much like organizing by gig type, but allows you to directly access a playlist or mix. If you have a standard playlist or group of playlists you use at a regular gig, this method can come in handy. You might have crates labelled "Funky Techno Mix" or "Halloween Mix."
- Most DJs who use Serato recommend organizing by artists and genre, at the very minimum. Without this basic information, you're essentially playing blind. However, as your DJ style evolves, you'll come to know what type of organizational system is going to work best for you. Serato's crate structure allows you to play around a bit to see what allows to you keep the tracks spinning.