In today’s workshop we are going to discuss Cue Points, their importance, and multiple uses for them. The software that we will be mainly working with today is SeratoScratchlive 2.1. So, before we get into it, let’s discuss exactly what Cue Points are.
A Cue Point is a digital event marker that is used to indentify a certain part of the song, sample, or sound and is either triggered by a control within the software or by an external midi device. This digital marker, once set, will be permanently stored to the digital audio file. In Serato, the user has up to 5 Cue Points to save per track, and an additional “Temp Cue Point” if all 5 Cues are stored.
Setting a Cue Point in Serato is actually very easy to do. Here is a step by step on how to set your cue points.
1. Make sure you line up your track right to the edge of the wave file. The “white line” that runs across your Waveform Display is considered “Needle Placement”, so the edge of the wave should line right up with that white line.
2. Mouse over to your “Cue Point Table” and press the PLUS button.
3. You will instantly see a colored Cue Point pop up on your waveform. Additionally, you will see the 1st Cue Point bank in the table store that point.
4. Now let the record play. You can trigger the cue point by either pressing the “PLAY ARROW” next to the cue point, OR, you can use HOTKEYS.
5. HOTKEYS are keys on your keyboard that control functions in your software. For cue points you can use: (HOT CUES-make sure ENABLE HOT CUES is ON in your SETUP screen) 1 thru 5 (numeric key row) for the Left Deck, and 6 thru 0 for the Right Deck.You can also press COMMAND 1 thru 5 for the Left Deck and COMMAND 6 thru 0 for the Right Deck if you don’t want to use ENABLE HOT CUES.
6. If you watch the dial on the virtual deck that has a Cue Point, you will notice that the dial matches the color of the cue. This is actually a very helpful feature here. Whether you are approaching the Cue Point or moving away from it, the dial will either fill up or deplete in color, letting you know exactly which cue point you are closest to.
Why would someone want to use Cue Points in the first place? Cue points actually have multiple purposes; here are a few uses for them:
· Identify and mark your Mixing Points. Can be used to mark the top of each Chorus or Outro to ensure a structurally tight mix.
· Can be used at the START of the song so the user doesn’t have to backspin/rewind the record all the way to the start.One click of a button and BOOM…back to the start. This saves the DJ time and allows them to be faster when mixing.
· Can be used to mark uncensored lyrics. Obviously you are limited to only 5 so if you have a track that has more than 5 “bad words”…you might have to get a clean version. But if there is a couple, it’s a great way to know that there is some profanity on the track.
· Can be used to “Chop” up parts of the song, which can be re-arranged in real time play. It’s almost like using an MPC or some other form sampler.
Hit us up if you have any questions or issues concerning Cue Points. Have fun and as a friendly reminder, make sure you always “back up all your music files”. See ya later!