A Brief History Of Serato

Posted on 20th August 2019

Serato has become a household name within the world of DJing. Founded in New Zealand by Steve West and releasing their first product in 1999, Serato has played a huge role in the success of so many big name DJs and development of the digital DJ scene across the world.

1999 - Pitch ’n Time

The Serato story begins with the birth of Pitch ’n Time which is STILL one of the worlds most renown studio plugins for time stretching and pitch shifting technology.

Back in ’97 Steve West was studying at the University of Auckland and learning to play bass guitar on the side. Steve wanted to start slowing down complicated bass solos so he began investigating tempo-changing algorithm’s that would adjust the BPM of songs without affecting the pitch.  

He then developed a neat little algorithm which turned into the Pitch ’n Time product that was first unveiled and demonstrated at an AES event in October 1999, marking the beginning of Serato’s phenomenal journey towards developing a world famous DJ mixing software.

2000 - Scratch Studio

The rise of electro dance music was just hitting the scene and Serato really came to fame releasing their Scratch Studio software. First unearthed as a Pro Tools plug-in, the idea was to allow studio engineers, producers and DJs to scratch any digital sample of sound file on their computer using a mouse or turntable as a controller.

After Scratch Studio was such a hit, Serato partnered up with the Rane SL1 and built Scratch Live which allowed DJs to access their entire digital music libraries using nothing more than specially designed control records, CDs or MIDI controllers.   
Still two of the most awesome music production companies out there, both Serato and Rane help each other out when developing products of their own, with Rane covering manufacturing and distribution whilst Serato tackle the software elements.

2008 - Serato Itch

Whilst Serato Scratch Live was well underway, Serato were discovering that so many DJs were still facing problems with their every-day setup, like the declining quality of in-house turntables.

The Serato team put their techy heads together and developed an all-in-one DJ compact controller that could be used straight out of the box. In corroboration with Rane, Serato released the Vestax VCI-300 hardware controller alongside their Serato Itch software in 2008.

2013 - Serato DJ

The world of digital DJing was expanding and Serato developed the answer to all DJs prayers, a unified piece of software across all of their product range that introduced a new interface to Serato users. Serato DJ was released in conjunction with the renowned Pioneer DDJ-SX hardware controller.

This introduced a new side to Serato who were now marketed as a unified software company with an extensive product range. Five years later, the DJ Intro and Serato DJ packages were combined to become Serato DJ Pro.

Today, Serato remains one of the most important and revolutionary companies to exist in the digital DJ market. Serato DJ Pro is widely used by professionals, bedroom DJs and mixing enthusiasts, and they continue to develop world-leading software tools that serve as the centrepiece to DJ setups across the world.

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