In this article, we will discuss how to get sound from your controller and troubleshoot the most common issues. The latest versions of Serato DJ will allow you to use your computer speakers or your controller's sound card to get audio; this article walks through how to use both with Mac and PC systems. For this example, we will be using a Numark Party Mix II, but this applies to most DJ mixers and controllers.
- Routing Audio to Computer Speakers
- Routing Audio to your Controller's Outputs
Routing Audio to Computer Speakers
Before opening Serato DJ, plug your controller into your computer via USB and open your sound settings. You can get here by right-clicking the speaker icon on the bottom right-hand corner of your screen. Be sure to select your computer's internal soundcard as an audio device; once you connect your controller, the computer will automatically change the sound card to your controller.
Once you have selected your internal sound card, you can now open Serato DJ. If this is your first time launching the software, you will receive the following prompt on the bottom right-hand corner.
If this is not the first time you launch Serato DJ, click the Settings icon on the top right-hand corner and click the Audio tab. From here, check the box that says "Use Laptop Speakers".
To use your computer's speakers on a Mac, plug your controller into your computer via USB. Navigate to Serato's settings on the top right hand corner of the Serato screen and click the Audio tab. From here, check the box that says "Use Laptop Speakers".
Routing Audio to your Controller's Outputs
To utilize your controller's audio outputs, connect your speakers directly to the controller's main/master output. The ports available will vary based on the controller you are using; these connections will typically be XLR, 1/4", RCA, or 3.5mm (1/8") AUX. If your speaker's available inputs do not have the same connection as your controller's outputs, you may need an adapter to complete the connection. Most variations of adapters can be found online (i.e 3.5mm to RCA, 1/4" to XLR, etc.).
* Note - you can also connect your speakers to your controller's "Booth" outputs if they are present on your controller. The booth output will typically have an individual knob to control the volume.
To use headphones with your controller for cueing tracks, connect a pair of headphones to the headphone port. The volume knob for the headphones will often times be labeled as "CUE", but sometimes are labeled as "HEADPHONE". To activate the headphone output, press the Cue button located above the respective deck's channel fader. Most modern controllers will have a headphone icon and the button will brightly illuminate when active. Here is an image of what this button will look like.
Some controllers will have other headphone output options, such as Split Cue and Cue Mix. Please see the descriptions of each below.
- Cue Mix: Adjusts the audio output to the headphones, mixing between the cue output and the
master mix output. When set fully to the CUE position, the respective channel's Cue button must be active to hear audio. When set all the way to MAIN/PGM (Program), the controller will send audio to the headphones regardless of the active Cue button.
Split Cue: When this switch is in the On position, the headphone audio will be "split"
such that all channels sent to Cue are mixed to mono and applied to the left headphone
channel and the Program mix is mixed to mono and applied to the right channel. When
the switch is in the Off position, Cue and Program audio will be "blended" together.
If you are experiencing trouble getting any audio from your device, there are a number of factors to check.
- Ensure your device's drivers are installed for your computer's operating system (if applicable)
- Set all knobs and faders to the middle position. This will ensure that all the outputs are open without restriction. For example, if your Filter knob is set all the way to Low or Hi, this will stop audio from coming through those channels. Here is an example of how the knobs should be set when testing for audio issues. This is the most common issue that occurs; you should always be aware of the position of your knobs and faders while practicing or performing your DJ set.
- Ensure that your Speaker's volume is input and output volume are up (if applicable)
- Ensure that you do not have the "Use Laptop Speakers" option active in Serato's Audio settings.
- Test different speakers and headphones
- Test different cables that connect from your controller to your speakers