This review is meant to provide you with in depth information about the 3 leading digital manipulation tools currently on the market for deejays. Stanton’s Final Scratch 2, Rane’s Serato Scratch Live and Numark’s CDX. To make this review as fair as possible we have 4 deejays giving their opinions on each unit. Each of these deejays has a different skill set and different use case scenarios. Saultee is primarily a turntablist who makes turntable tracks. He doesn’t own any of these products currently. Manila Ice is also in this realm, but sometimes spins live mixing sets at clubs. He owns Serato Scratch Live. Xman primarily accompanies a rock band and rarely ever mixes at a club. He owns the Numark CDX unit. NickNack makes turntable tracks, plays in a jazz band and often times mixes live at clubs. He owns the FS2 unit. Obviously each deejay’s opinion/review will be from that deejays point of view and how he sees himself using each of the products.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time to load Serato and FS2 on the exact same computer or even computers that are really that similar. Fortunately, there wasn’t any huge processor or latency problems with either software, so we think the review is still very fair. Serato is running on a Dell 2650 Inspiron laptop with 1.6gHz Celeron, 384 MB RAM and a 20gig HD. FS2 is running on an HP ZD7000 laptop with 3.2gHz Pentium 4 with HT, 512 MB RAM and a 60 gig HD. I think if you make sure to adhere to the manufacturer’s recommended system requirements then you should be fine. If you have a system with better specs than the recommended, then expect better performance. If you are curious about cpu and overall system performance as it relates to audio applications, I have found a very interesting cpu test on the Ableton Live forum.
There are 3 videos (one for each product) where we start off with a brief explanation of each product’s high level features, then we get into scratching with each product. All 4 deejays scratch the same sound on all 3 products and we attempt to do a wide variety of scratches. There isn’t any video of beat juggling or mixing, but we did do these things…we just didn’t want each video clip to be too long or the file size to be too outrageous. We focused on the scratches that would be more difficult for the software to interpret (slow drags, power off, extremely quick pitch changes, tears, etc..).
We show some still images of each hardware and screen shots. However, we recommend you visit each respective manufacturer’s website for more detailed specs and info on each of these products:
With that said, let’s get into it.