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Live's an ITCH and then you buy
Live's an ITCH and then you buy
Posted by Gizmo on January 17, 2008 :

Serato ITCH software SSL
Serato ITCH software SSL
So it seems that the Numark NS7 story posted earlier wasn't quite factually accurate. Rather than use Serato Scratch Live as the software blood pumping through the hardware veins, there is in fact a new Serato product. Imagine sat brainstorming a name for this product - I think it went like this: "I'll say a word and you say the first word that comes into your head". Indeed people for Serato's new super slimline size zero SSL is called ITCH.

Without having too much detail right now, ITCH (for it is in CAPS all the time) seems to offer native support for specially created hardware. So rather than MIDI doing the work, it seems like ITCH communicates directly at a hardware level. It looks like ITCH is much more of a protocol than just a piece of software. Here's the official word:
Serato has got an ITCH

Auckland, New Zealand (January 17th, 2008 ) - After more than two years in the making, Serato Audio Research today announced a new DJ technology called ITCH.

Serato ITCH is an integrated software and hardware solution for digital music selectors and DJs. Serato is working closely with select hardware partners to offer a level of integration, ease of use, and reliability never before seen in the digital DJ realm.

By design ITCH is simple: It works straight out of the box says Seratos General Manager, Sam Gribben. One-to-one hardware to software mapping means that we can provide a system that is fully featured, but still very easy to use.

Theres just one USB cable to your computer and an audio output to your sound system. Plug in your headphones and you have a complete portable DJ system with audio output, level control, crossfader and EQ.

The entire audio chain is delivered via Serato software and all mix adjustments are controlled by the ITCH hardware. All audio is in the digital domain until the master audio output, with Serato proven technology from beginning to end.

ITCH takes music lovers into a new territory that gives them the ability to mix their music for fun or performance. If you use iTunes, you can use ITCH to physically control the playback and mixing of your playlists. If youre a Serato Scratch LIVE user, youll find that all your crates, cues, and loops are available in both programs.

It became apparent once working with Vestax and Numark engineers, that we could far surpass the usability and response of current DJ Controller bundles. ITCH software is uncompromisingly matched with the hardware and vice versa to ensure utmost reliability.

When asked what data we wanted from a controller to our software our response was how much can you give us? says Future Products Engineer, Bill Mitsakos. I think it surprised our hardware partners that we were insisting on high speed/high data rates when other software was asking for less.

The first brands to announce future ITCH hardware are Numark and Vestax. Serato will announce other hardware partners soon. First public demonstrations of ITCH will be at Frankfurt Music Messe in March 2008.

I've just got this spec list:

  • High performance portable music system that allows internal mixing and platter style playback control.
  • Integrated one to one hardware to software mapping for instant control and minimum setup time.
  • Interoperable with Scratch LIVE crates, loops and cue points, also support for iTunes.
  • Audio processing and internal mixing via Serato ITCH software, Channel fading, EQ, cross fading and
    track trim are processed in software with audio and headphone monitoring on the ITCH hardware.
  • Clean and simple software user interface with emphasis on hardware controller to display information.
  • Auto Tempo Matching and Beat Sync.
  • Optimal Gain and BPM Calculation
  • Seratos unique color waveforms for easy identification of sound.
  • Set and store Cue-points.
  • Manual and Auto Loop activation.
  • Music Library management tools for backup and restore.
  • Input and Mix recording capability.
  • AIFF, WAV, MP3 and AAC audio file support
  • Built-in multi-lingual help tools with Serato customer support and update program

And this from Sam Gribben at Serato:
  • ITCH is not in any way LE, it has all all the features of Scratch LIVE, except the vinyl control technology. You can't plug analog turntables (or DJ CD players) into it to control playback.
  • ITCH is bundled with the official controllers, and only works with those controllers. The two controllers that are currently announced are the Vestax VCI-300 and the Numark NS7. We are talking to several other manufacturers, and plan to support more controllers in the future. We have no plans to support any controllers that are already on the market
  • ITCH controllers will be designed specifically to work with ITCH software. The emphasis is on very tight integration with the controller hardware.
  • Scratch LIVE is our flagship product, and we will continue to support and develop it for many years to come. Scratch LIVE, and the vinyl control technology it contains, is licensed exclusively to Rane Corporation.

Looking at the screenshot, the ITCH software looks like a kind of SSL Lite (but from the above comment obviously isn't), where I think much of the function is given over to the hardware, leaving the screen free from too much in the way of controls. This will help eliminate the constant tooing and froing between DJ gear and laptop.

Obviously this is very pre-release so there's little in the way of detail. I'm sure the Serato boys will stop by to answer any questions. And importantly, this looks like being a Rane-free venture. Remember that Serato was a software company long before Rane came along.

So we've seen the Numark hardware (more of that later once pictures come in, but I wonder what the vestax hardware is like?

NOTE: No further comments are being accepted.
14 comments to this story

On January 17, 2008, Anonymous said this:
All this scratching is maki.. making.. me itch!

On January 17, 2008, Anonymous said this:
All this scratching is maki.. making.. me itch! 8)

On January 17, 2008, wakka said this:
Sam from Serato.. man that guy's gonna be the new Steve Jobs!!

On January 17, 2008, DaCaveDwella said this:
I hope things between rane & serato are going well & will get better in the future...I would hate to sell my ttm57sl over lack of support or advancement...

At the same time...I would love to get some sort of ultra portable dj set for small parties or even clubs if I can hide the digital gear & make people think I'm using real vinyl... :D


On January 17, 2008, What? said this:
I just don't get serato takes something like hid and midi and calles it something totally retarded and you buy into it people have being enjoying this "ground breaking" technology in traktor and the likes for years. Boo hoo I say. SSL continues to copy others and hides it under fancy names, nothing new here move along.

On January 17, 2008, Gyro (Canada) said this:
The question is; does it has the same scratch emulation as Scratch live?

On January 17, 2008, DJ Richy said this:
I wonder if this is like stanton "Enter The System" thing but with more muscle! :D

On January 17, 2008, trying to help said this:
I keep getting internal server errors 500 on the site, just thought I'd let you know.

Enjoying the site otherwise though! I'll stick with my SL-1

On January 17, 2008, evan said this:
Looks interesting - glad to see that Serato is branching out a bit. It will be nice to have the SL-1 for larger gigs and maybe just bring a laptop and controller for an ultraportable setup.

On January 18, 2008, Risqu said this:
"I'll stick with my SL-1"

Likewise! This looks a bit microwav'ish to me, but maybe I'm wrong. I'll have to wait and see.

On January 18, 2008, DJ NightLife said this:
Numark lost a customer here with the CDX problems... And I firmly think that there is a money deal behind that because it's truely merging Ferrari with Kia !

Save your money instead for the DENON DN-HS5500

On January 18, 2008, HeaVyy said this:
FAQ About itch

On January 18, 2008, Spank said this:
here's the vestax vci300 found it on some japanese site

On January 18, 2008, Felix said this:
Heres what i found on the Vestax Page:

Greets from Germany,


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