We’ve been eagerly awaiting the perfect video scratching solution. The Ms. Pinky hardware is fantastic, but the software is long in the tooth, so for anyone not wanting to create their own Max/MSP/Jitter software, it may not be the best choice. Serato, while they’ve lagged seriously in basic features (only recently adding MIDI control, for crying out loud), nonetheless excel at rock-solid vinyl control. Vinyl-controlled digital DJing? Yawn. Vinyl-controlled digital VJing? Now that’s more interesting.

After a long wait, VIDEO-SL, Serato’s video plug-in for its Scratch LIVE software, is here. (Serato Scratch LIVE 1.8 is required; it’s an add-on. Updated: I erroneously said this was part of Scratch LIVE 1.9; not sure where I thought that up, but it’s 1.8!) It’s in beta for download now, with a full release shipping January 2008. (Yes, Serato, we’re clearing our NAMM schedule to talk to you about it.)

Here are the specs from Serato:

  • Add video clips to your Scratch LIVE performance
  • View loaded clips and output from your computer
  • Manipulate playback with control records or CD’s
  • Mix Audio and Video with the Rane TTM 57SL mixer
  • Use built in transitions and effects

The "built-in transitions and effects", "bonus music videos and loops", and "mixer overlay" are a bit worrying — well, at least we can ignore the last two, but please, Serato, we’re hoping you’ve done some decent effects that don’t shout Cheez-Whiz. (Not that I don’t like spraying artificial cheese product onto food. I am American. Just not in my VJ sets.)

As for system requirements, the good news is this runs on Mac, Windows XP, and Vista, provided you’ve got a recent 2GHz+ processor. (I assume they mean that for simultaneous audio and video.)

The bad news: you need a Rane TTM 57SL mixer. So I’d say this fits into the "niche" category as far as audience. I’m sticking to computers; I can’t even lift turntables. But let’s say I know at least one VJ who could do some beautiful damage with this (and we’ve got one lined up for a CDMo review).

About VIDEO-SL [Serato]

We hope to have that full-blown review soon; stay tuned.


New Serato Scratch Live 1.8 Will Scratch Video

Actually, let’s just roll the video again. Mmmm… embedded video. Nope. Still want hands-on time.