Tracks You Need to Know Made in Serato Studio
It’s been just over three years since Serato Studio was released, and we’re continually inspired by the musical output of the community. If you’re not in our Discord yet, the #seratos-kitchen channel is an endless source of inspiration for what’s possible with Studio, and also just a great place to vibe out with other beatmakers and enthusiasts.
Today, we’re highlighting some of those community members and showcasing the artists behind 10 tracks that you need to know that were made in Serato Studio.
J. Rawls rose to prominence for his work with Black Star on their debut studio album, and has since worked with a range of artists from the Beastie Boys to Domo Genesis. Proficient with all kinds of hardware from the MPC to the SP-404, J. Rawls never truly connected with any computer-based production software until Rhettmatic put him on to Studio. His track “Believe,” is only the third track he made with Studio, and it’s out now on New York-based label Push the Fader.
A native of Watts, Lo-fi legend Dibia$e is one of the pioneers of L.A.’s vibrant beat scene and noted for his use of Roland’s SP-404. You may be familiar with his Serato Studio sound pack, a collection of incredible lo-fi drums, analogue loops and all things 8-bit, adapted from his 2019 album Bonus Levels. Last year, Dibia$e linked up with Toronto emcee Raz Fresco for their collaborative effort, Secret Wars—a 15-track offering that was made in just a week, and must-listen if you like gritty beats and bars.
You can catch Dibia$se cooking up beats on his three-month long residency, Dibia$se’s Diner, with samples voted on by our community. Be sure to follow us on Discord and check out the schedule posted on IG to tune in.
Tracks: “Mount Everest” and “Lesson A Day”
Since her debut release in May 2021, this U.K.-based producer, DJ and vocalist has been on a roll with a slew of impressive releases on established labels such as Garage Shared, Upcycle, Nuvolve and her own LAM imprint. She’s quickly cementing herself as a bright young talent in the thriving U.K. garage scene, and we’ve loved seeing Serato Studio in the behind-the-scenes videos of her production flow.
Tracks: “In Time” and “Come Over”
My process for creating a track usually starts with laying down a 4-bar chord sequence, and building layers to create a chunk of audio which forms the basis for the rest of the piece. Studio’s loop-based workflow and intuitive, streamlined GUI make doing so as fluid as possible – meaning that I can work quickly and avoid interrupting inspiration when the ideas are coming thick and fast. It also helps that the patches on offer in the soundbanks are so strong and the native effects of such high quality, as it saves me killing my vibe tinkering with reverb settings and sound design! I also find the sampler a really useful tool for mangling & reshaping audio.
We could fill multiple pages listing all of Khalil’s accolades, but just know that his career is about as long and storied as it gets. After catching the ear of Dr. Dre early on in his career, Khalil was signed an in-house producer if Aftermath Records and there developed his production skills under the Dr. himself, landing placements with 50 Cent, G-Unit and Jay-Z, and going on to produce for Kanye West, Drake, Anderson .Paak, Kendrick Lamar, and many others. Khalil recently lent his skills to a remix for Australian jazz band Hiatus Kaiyote, and the results are spectacular.
Track: “And We Go Gentle” (DJ Khalil Remix)
Gonz is a mainstay in our Discord and has even been credited by some users as THE reason why they’re in the server. You also may have seen him on our Twitch channel, or making YouTube videos with production tips. He’s a Serato Studio legend to say the least, and is always bringing the heat with his eclectic production style. He’s also been an integral part of the Houston DJ scene for over 15 years.
Tracks: “Say It Again” and “Soul to Rise”
It started from creating a bass line using Serato Studio’s VST bass instruments from their Sound Pack (Bass Synth From The Neo Synth Pack 🙂 over top of a vocal sample and the musical puzzle started to come together.”Gonz on “Say it Again”
It was the ability to stack melodic progressions with ease to build out the structure of this song. It’s been a track of mine that’s been used by many YouTubers and Podcasters for their Intros and video content. Serato Studio makes creating music fun and that’s what it’s all about. Simply Creative.”Gonz on “Soul to Rise”
We couldn’t have this list without including some of our amazing staff. Logan has been working with Serato for over 12 years, as a Product Specialist and more recently as a Product Lead helping develop and bring our products into the world.
I’ve been making Hip Hop beats for over a decade and I usually work quite heavily with samples. Serato Studio is a powerhouse for sampling but with this track I wanted to not use any at all, and just focus on instruments and sound design. I’d been listening to a lot of 80s New Wave and Post Punk music that my girlfriend’s dad had put me on to so I wanted to make music inspired by those sounds but still sounded like it was made by a bedroom producer. ‘Butter’ was one of the tracks I made in that vein.
Manga Saint Hilare and Freeza Chin
Manga and Freeza are both fixtures in the U.K. grime scene, and have been working together for years as emcee and engineer. Over the 2020 lockdowns, Manga was looking to make the most of his extra time by dipping his toe into production; Freeza put him on to Studio and the rest is history. They’ve since made two collaborative EPs together—WAVRUNNER and WAVRUNNER 2—which include tracks across the spectrum of sounds from grime to garage.
Manga started this beat and had used all of the stock Studio sounds and instruments, so when he sent it to me, I had everything in the session already to be able to work on it. A lot of what ended up in the final version came from Serato Studio packs, and I think that says a lot about the quality of the sounds.