imixmag home page
info & contact
Serato Itch 2.2.2 DJ Software Numark NS6 Pioneer DDJ-S1 Review and overlook
review update 10/21/2012
Review based on these specifications:
13" Macbook Pro Laptop, 2.4 GHZ Intel Core 2 Core 2 Duo, 4GB Ram, NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics.
Mac OS X 10.6.8, 2
Dell XPS 1340 Intel Core 2 Duo p8700 @ 2.53GHz, 4GB ram, Windows 7
Numark NS6 with latest firmware as of 10/15/2012
Serato Itch version 2.2.2. This will be the last version of Serato Itch. Will
receive updates but will be replaced by Serato DJ in Spring of 2013.
Laying the foundation.
Serato is well known for Serato Scratch Live, the professional standard for DJs.
Because of this Serato Itch is a highly received software choice for DJ Controllers.
The NS6 by Numark is also is based on a previous product, its highly acclaimed NS7.
Although the NS7 is much larger and comes with motorized platters, their features are very similar,
thus laying a foundation to follow. Because of this the NS6 was one of the most anticipated hardware
product releases in recent DJ history
The NS6 Unit
The NS6, along with Serato itch, allows for up to 4 virtual decks or channels (the NS6 defines these channels as
layers). The units microphone input, when used, takes up one of the channels, leaving three; this can easily switched back
and forth by changing the function switch on one of the channels. The platters and the pitch range control are by far the two most important and used functions of
any DJ controller unit. These platters/jog wheels are probably the most accurate available on any controller.
While it's not a replacement for turntablist, it will definitely satisfy the scratching needs of most DJs.
Updating the firmware is quite simple, while connected to the internet go into setup and then into hardware. If a new update
is available, it will let you know. Now fixing the firmware of the NS6 isnít rocket science however it involves steps which must be done with
extreme care. You will need to uninstall the firmware which is exactly what we had to do with our unit.
Unfortunately Numark doesnít make the solution easy to find in their support section, we had to contact Numark support for the solution.
They sent us links to a few files to uninstall and reinstall the firmware. While Numark support did promptly reply to
our support request we believe Numark should definitely make finding a solutions to such problems a much easier
The platters are touch sensitive, sometimes too sensitive, this is especially true when in scratch mode. If you touch or graze the top
of the platters with your fingers or hands, the music can and will most likely pause for a second. This can be a real pain in
the ass and embarrassing . The only other complaint about the platters is that itís almost impossible to control the pitch speed with them.
when manipulating the pitch range with the jog wheel the change in pitch is not indicated on the itch software.
This leaves the pitch faders as the only true means to accurately control the pitch.
The pitch range can be change +/- 8, +/- 16, and +/- 50. Unfortunately
a negative100% pitch
range isnít available. One can use the pitch bend buttons to achieve -100% however you will not have the same control as if it was available through the pitch faders.
Much like all the faders on the NS6, the pitch faders are smooth and acurate. The crossfader on the NS6 can be used for heavy scratching. You can adjust it for scratching to smooth blending by adjusting its slope. Should it wear out you can easily replace it.
Strip Search is very helpful when one needs to quickly get to a certain area in
a song. Itís not a perfect science but can be of great use.
The Loop Control section works flawlessly and is an area which can be used for
You have 5 hot cue point buttons available per track with the NS6.
They are nicely positioned under the jog wheel for easy access and is also a function which allows for some incredible on the spot
creativity. They can easily be added or deleted. Unfortunately the Hot Cue functions cannot be used in conjunction with
the above mentioned Loop Control functions.
The Microphone output is nice and clear. Headphone
output is clear and lound enough. The cue mix works nicely.
The browser section on the NS6 does allows for some navigation through
the music library. Because most DJs would rather use the laptop for music searches, we would rather see the browser section used for other functions.
Itch Version 2.2.2 review.
Itch 2.2.2 handles music files quick enough.
When using Itunes you shouldn't have any problems Ė that is unless Apple makes a drastic update to itunes, which isnít Seratoís fault at all. When this happens Serato usually resolve the issue but it doesnít always happen quickly.
Serato ITCH uses the same library file as Serato Scratch Live. If you have Scratch Live on your laptop all your music, loops, and cue points will be available in ITCH. If you create a library in ITCH and then install Scratch
Live, the music loops and cues from ITCH will be available in Scratch Live.
If you are having any trouble with itch, rebuilding the database file is an excellent place to start.
ITCH Display Layout updated in 2.2.2
2.2.2, which is the last version of itch, finally offers what NS6 users have wanted for so long, a two deck view. Unfortunately the two deck view doesnít free up much space on the layout. Screen shots from the upcoming Serato DJ, which will replace itch, shows a two deck layout which is much cleaner.
The Itch display offers multiple display modes which are more in line with whatís available in Scratch Live.
To toot it even has a day and night mode. Waveform displays are much smoother than in previous versions.
In the previous version the effects section was an absolute disaster and we are happy to report that 2.2 brings improvements.
With that being said, they still aren't up to par with those in Scratch Live and we can't wait till the day it is.
Whatís not to love about the SP6? The SP6 sampler allows for six samples in the four banks ( A, B, C and D).
You can load complete songs into the sampler and set them to play in different modes. Version 2.1and allows for hardware
control to play the samples.
Beat Grid / SYNC
With version 2.1 you now have the option of choosing between simple sync and smart sync mode. Much improved since the previous version.
Yes, you can tweak your Windows laptop to run Serato itch and many do so but hereís what we experienced.
Some Windows laptops run itch without much of hiccup, while other have problems. You can reduce the negative probability by finding out what other Windows based itch users are using.
When it comes to most DJ software Macs just do it better. This is deifinately true of Macs with Serato Itch. Any of the current MacBook Pro line will easily run itch.
The final version of itch, 2.2.2, is rock solid and leaves itch users in good hands.
NS6 and ITCH - THE VERDICT
While we all complain for more and more from Serato itch, we are all happy with how reliable itch runs on the NS6. And thatís why it, along with the NS7, has taken the professional DJ market by storm. Itch 2.2.2 will be its last version. Serato DJ will be a free upgrade for owners of itch based controllers. With all new layout and effects Serato DJ can bring a whole new breath of life to itch based DJ Controllers. And with Seratoís history, itís almost a definite.