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Vestax VCI-300 / Serato ITCH Manual 1.0
IMPORTANT SAFTEY INSTRUCTIONS
1. Read these instructions.
2. Keep these instructions.
3. Heed all warnings.
4. Follow all instructions.
5. Do not use this apparatus near water.
6. Clean only with a dry cloth.
7. Do not block any ventilation openings. Install in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions.
8. Do not install near any heat sources such as radiators, registers, stoves, or other apparatus (including amplifiers) that produce heat.
9. Only use attachments and accessories specified by the manufacturer.
10. Use only with the cart, stand, tripod, bracket, or table specified by the manufacturer, or sold with the apparatus. When a cart is used, use caution when moving the cart/apparatus combination to avoid injury from tip-over.
11. Unplug this apparatus during lightning storms or when unused for long periods of time.
12. Refer all servicing to qualified service personnel. Servicing is required when the apparatus has been damaged in any way, such as liquid has
been spilled or objects have fallen into the apparatus, the apparatus has been exposed to rain or moisture, does not operate normally, or has been
dropped.
13. If rack-mounting, provide adequate ventilation. Equipment may be located above or below this apparatus, but some equipment (like large power
amplifiers) may cause an unacceptable amount of hum or may generate too much heat and degrade the performance of this apparatus.
WARNING: To reduce the risk of fire or electric shock, do not expose this apparatus to rain or moisture. Apparatus shall not be exposed to dripping or splashing and no objects filled with liquids, such as vases, shall be placed on the apparatus
Vestax VCI-300 / Serato ITCH Manual 1.0
3
TABLE OF CONTENTS
4
IMPORTANT SAFTEY INSTRUCTIONS 
3
USING THE LIBRARY 
16
TABLE OF CONTENTS 
4
SETTING UP 
5
5
5
5
5
6
16
16
16
16
16
16
17
17
17
17
17
17
17
17
Unpacking
System Requirements
Software Installation
Installation Mac
Installation PC
CONNECTIONS 
7
7
7
7
USB
Speakers
Headphones
SOFTWARE OVERVIEW 
8
TOP PANEL OVERVIEW 
9
Main Library View
Crates Subcrates Searching
Browsing
Library Icons
Setting up Columns
Tagging
Album Art
Prepare
Import
Review
Scratch LIVE Compatibility
Using External Drives
Software Setup 
18
18
18
19
19
Playback Options
Library Options
Display Options
Software Version FRONT AND REAR PANEL OVERVIEW 
10
SUPPORT 
20
GETTING STARTED 
11
20
20
11
11
11
11
Starting the Software
Importing Music
Building Overviews
Making Crates and Subcrates
Playing Your First Track 
12
12
12
12
12
12
12
Resetting the Mixer
Navigating the Library
Load a track to the Deck
Starting Playback
Adjusting Gain
Equalizing
Mixing in the Next Track 
13
13
13
13
13
13
13
13
14
Finding the Next Song
Loading it to the Deck
Previewing in the Headphones Finding the Right Part of the Song
Temporary Cue
Getting the Tracks in Time
Dropping it in
Beat Sync
Advanced Features 
15
15
15
15
15
15
15
15
15
15
Mic and Aux Mixing
Pitch Shift
Key and Quartz Lock
Cue Points
Loops
Autolooping
Auto Tempo
Censor/Reverse
Recording
Software Updates and Online Support
Official Support Channel
TROUBLE SHOOTING 
20
Vestax VCI-300 / Serato ITCH Manual 1.0
SETTING UP
Unpacking
1. The following screen will appear. Click Continue.
Your package should include:
• This Printed Manual.
• VCI-300 Controller.
• USB Cable.
• Serato ITCH Install CD.
System Requirements
The minimum system requirements are:
Mac
• G4 1.5 GHz processor or better.
• 1 GB RAM.
• OSX 10.4.11 or higher.
• Available USB Port
• Hard disk space for music
Windows xp
• Pentium 4 mobile 2 GHz processor or better.
• 1 GB RAM.
• Service Pack 2 or higher
• Available USB Port
• Hard disk space for music
WINDOWS VISTA
• Core Duo 1.6 GHz processor or better.
• 1 GB RAM.
• Service Pack 1 or higher
• Available USB Port
• Hard disk space for music
2. Accept the License Agreement and then click Continue.
3. Choose the hard disk you want to install to and click Continue.
Please note: The above is the minimum requirement to run ITCH. For
best performance and for use in professional situations we recommend
you buy a higher spec computer.
64 bit Windows is not supported, if you are purchasing a Windows
machine for ITCH please ensure it has a 32 bit Windows installation.
4. Confirm the install location and click Install.
Software Installation
Free updates to the ITCH software are available from http://www.serato.com/itch
We suggest you check the website for the latest version before installing.
INSTALLATION Mac
• Either
• Insert the Serato ITCH install CD into your computers CD drive and browse to it using Finder.
• Or
• Browse using Finder to the location where the ITCH download installer was saved, double click the ITCH .dmg file to mount the image on your system, and browse to that volume.
• Then:
• Double click the file called “ITCH installer.mpkg”.
Vestax VCI-300 / Serato ITCH Manual 1.0
5. ITCH will now be installed.
5
6. A confirmation screen will appear when the install is complete.
5. Confirm the installation options and click Install.
6. ITCH will now be installed.
INSTALLATION PC
The installer should start automatically, if not;
• Either
• Or
• Then:
6
• Insert the Serato ITCH install CD into your computer’s CD drive and browse to it using Windows Explorer.
• Browse using Windows Explorer to the location where the ITCH download installer was saved, unpack the ITCH .zip file and browse to the extracted contents.
7. An confirmation screen will appear when the install is complete.
• Double click the file called “ITCH_installer.exe”.
1. The following screen will appear. Click Next.
2. Accept the License Agreement and then click Next.
3. Choose the location you want to install to and click Next.
4. Complete will perform a standard installation.
Click Next to continue.
Vestax VCI-300 / Serato ITCH Manual 1.0
CONNECTIONS
USB
Speakers
The VCI-300 is a bus powered device. Power is drawn from the computer
and under normal operation the VCI-300 does not require its own power
supply. The single USB supplied cable is all that’s required to connect
the VCI-300 to your computer.
The VCI-300 features both 6.5mm TS Jack and RCA main outputs
for connection to your sound system. It can be connected directly to
powered speakers, a traditional stereo system and PA or another DJ
mixer. Ensure the Master volume is down on both the VCI-300 and your
sound system before plugging it in and turning it on.
If you are using a USB hub, or have a lot of other USB devices you may
need to use the optional power supply (available separately) there is a
limit to how much power your computer can supply over USB.
The VCI-300 does not require driver installation on MAC or PC. To install,
connect the VCI-300 to your computer and move the power switch
on the rear of the VCI-300 to the on position. Once the computer has
recognized the device it will appear as a 4 channel sound device and a
separate midi device.
Vestax VCI-300 / Serato ITCH Manual 1.0
Headphones
A 6.5mm Jack is provided for headphones on the front right of the
VCI-300. The volume of the headphone is controlled by the “Monitor
Level” knob at the top of the VCI-300. It is best to turn this volume down
before plugging in your headphones.
7
SOFTWARE OVERVIEW
8
No.
KEY
Function
01
Album ART
Shows / Hides Album Art.
02
Import
Shows / Hides the Import panel which enables you to search for tracks on your hard drive.
03
Browse
Shows / Hides the Browse panel which enables you to browse for tracks by genre, bpm, etc.
04
Prepare
Shows / Hides the Prepare crate which is a special crate for preparing your set.
05
Review
Shows / Hides the Review crate which shows you what tracks have been played already.
06
Tooltips
Enables / Disables tool tip display.
07
Setup
Shows the Setup Screen.
08
Search
Searches your library for the terms entered.
09
MIC/AUX
Shows / Hides the MIC/AUX channel strips for monitoring and mixing the MIC/AUX inputs.
10
Library
The main library area shows you all the tracks in your current selection.
11
Save Button
Saves the current recording to disk.
12
Recording Filename Field
Field for entering filename to save current recording.
13
Recording Timer
Timer for current recording.
14
Recording Meter
Peak Program meter for recording input.
15
Record Source Selector
Drop down menu to select your recording source.
16
Record Button
Starts / Stops recording.
17
Beat Match Display
Shows transients (usually the drums) to aid beat matching.
18
Tempo Match Display
Displays tempos of both tracks to aid mixing.
19
Status Bar
Status of current selected item.
20
VIRTUAL DECK
Rotates with playback.
21
BPM Field / Tap Button
Displays current BPM, or can be clicked to tap and save a tracks tempo.
22
Track Time Display
Current position of playhead in track.
23
Autoloop Value
Shows the current autoloop setting in beats.
24
Repeat
Clicking toggles repeat mode on and off for the track.
25
Playback mode
Clicking toggles between single and continuous playback modes. Single mode just plays one track. In continuous
mode at the end of the track ITCH will automatically play the next track in the current selection.
26
Waveform
Waveform of currently loaded track.
27
Pitch
Current percentage pitch difference from 0.
28
Artist Name
Artist tag for current track.
29
Track Name
Shows the name tag of the current track.
30
Track Overview
Overall view of the currently loaded track.
31
Crate List
Lists and controls crates for organizing library.
Vestax VCI-300 / Serato ITCH Manual 1.0
TOP PANEL OVERVIEW
No.
KEY
Function
01
PITCH SLIDER
Adjusts playback speed ± 6%.
02
AUTOTEMPO
Turns on auto tempo, this automatically matches the speed of the track to the other playing track.
Shift function: BEATSYNC
Automatically aligns the last transient in the track with the closest one in the other playing track.
KEYLOCK
Engages Keylock. This keeps the key of a track the same even when you change the tempo.
Shift function: QUARTZ LOCK
Resets the pitch of the track to zero regardless of the slider setting.
04
PITCH SHIFT BUTTONS
Offsets the pitch range by 12%, for example when pitch shifted one step up your available speeds become 6% to 18%.
Pressing both buttons at once return you to normal pitch range of ± 6%.
05
CUE/IN
Pressing these buttons will set cue points 1-3, pressing them again will begin playback from the relevant cue point.
03
Shift function: DELETE CUE
Deletes the current cue point setting.
06
SCRATCH
Puts the platter into “Scratch” mode which allows vinyl style playback control.
07
OUT/LOOP
When you have a cue point set this will create a loop out point. Playback will loop between the cue point and the
outpoint until you press the out button a second time.
SHIFT FUNCTION: DELETE OUT POINT
Deletes the current out point setting.
08
SHIFT
Holding shift engages shift functions of many of the buttons, secondary functions are printed inside a grey box.
09
TRIM
This controls the volume of the track before it goes to the EQ and fader.
10
CENSOR
Pressing censor reverses playback temporarily, when released playback resumes from where the playhead would have
been if censor was not pressed. It is used to “censor” out portions of a song.
Shift function: REVERSE
Toggles playback direction.
11
AUTOLOOP
Autoloop works for tracks that have BPM calculated and when pressed will create an autoloop of the current autoloop
value.
12
EQ
There are 3 EQ knobs, low mid and high. The available range is -∞ dB (off) to 0 dB to +6 dB.
13
HALF/DOUBLE
These buttons set the auto loop length before you turn it on. Once autoloop is on they allow you to half or double the
length of the loop.
Shift function: NExt/PREV
Skip to the next or previous track in the current selection.
14
MASTER
This knob controls the overall output of the VCI-300, ensure this is right down before running ITCH.
15
MONITOR SELECT
Controls the balance in the headphones between the mix output and the PFL headphone cue.
Vestax VCI-300 / Serato ITCH Manual 1.0
9
No.
KEY
Function
16
MONITOR VOLUME
Controls the volume of the headphones.
17
CUE
When playback is paused this sets a temp cue point, once the temp cue is set pressing it while playing will jump to the
temp cue point.
18
PLAY/PAUSE
Starts and stops playback.
19
CROSSFADER
Fades between the left and right channels.
20
INPUT FADERS
Control the volume of their respective tracks.
21
PFL A
Sends the left deck to the headphone mix, pressing with SCROLL loads the current selection to the left deck.
22
SCROLL
Turns on platter scrolling, this allows you to browse the library using the platters.
23
PFL B
Sends the right deck to the headphone mix, pressing with SCROLL loads the current selection to the right deck.
24
NAVIGATION
This control works like cursor keys for navigating the library.
25
PLATTER
On startup the platters temporarily NUDGE the playback speed slower or faster.
Shift function: FFWD/REWIND
Skips through the track at high speed.
26
CRATES
Switches cursor focus to the crate area.
27
FILES
Opens the Import panel where you can browse your filesystem for tracks to load.
28
BROWSE
Opens the Browse panel where you can filter your selection by Genre, BPM, Artist and Album.
29
JOG TORQUE ADJUST KNOB
Adjusts the Torque of the Jog Wheel.
FRONT AND REAR PANEL OVERVIEW
10
No.
KEY
Function
01
MIC IN
Microphone input socket.
02
MIC LEVEL
Hardware microphone input gain control before sending to software.
03
CROSSFADER CURVE
Adjusts slope of Crossfader. Rotate clockwise to shorten fade time with sharper cut off at either end, and
50/50 mix across width of fader. Rotate anti-clockwise to lengthen fade to gradually mix across fader and
50/50 mix in centre only.
04
CHANNEL FADER CURVE
Adjusts slope of Channel Faders. Rotate clockwise to shorten fade time with sharper cut off at bottom and
full level most majority of fade length. Rotate anti-clockwise to lengthen fade to gradually increase level
up fader and 100% level at top only.
05
HEADPHONE OUT
6.5 mm TRS Jack for headphone connection.
06
AUX IN
RCA connections for auxiliary sound source.
07
AUX GAIN
Hardware AUX input gain control before sending to software.
08
GROUND POST
Connect AUX input devices requiring grounding to prevent interference.
09
THRU SWITCH
Sends the AUX and mic signals directly to the master out and disconnects the computer output.
10
MASTER OUT JACK
6.5mm TS Jack Master outputs.
11
MASTER OUT RCA
RCA Master outputs
12
PLATTER SENSITIVITY CONTROLS
Adjust level of touch sensitivity for the platters, adjust if ITCH is not detecting your touches correctly.
13
DC POWER INPUT
To power hardware with optional DC adapter: 9V DC 500mA.
14
POWER SOURCE SELECTION
Select between Adapter, Off, and USB power for unit.
15
USB SOCKET
For connecting the VCI-300 to your computer.
Vestax VCI-300 / Serato ITCH Manual 1.0
GETTING STARTED
Starting the Software
Hardware Disconnected Mode
The ITCH software is installed to the following locations:
When ITCH is run without the VCI-300 connected it will show a
“Hardware disconnected” message and the overview builder becomes
available. To build overviews for all files in your library click BUILD
OVERVIEWS, files that already have overviews will be skipped. To
manually build overviews for a single file or selection, drag and drop the
selection onto the BUILD OVERVIEWS button. Building an overview this
way will overwrite any existing overview information. It is recommended
for performance that you build overviews for all your songs before
playing a gig.
Mac: ITCH will be installed to your applications folder
Windows XP: Start> Programs>ITCH
Windows Vista: Windows Menu>All Programs>Serato>ITCH
To start ITCH on OSX double click the ITCH icon in your applications
folder. To start ITCH on windows browse your start menu and click the
ITCH icon. When the software launches ITCH will automatically detect
the VCI-300.
Importing Music
Supported File Types
ITCH supports the following file types.
.MP3 , Ogg Vorbis , AAC , .AIFF , .WAV
Fixed and variable bit rate files are both supported.
Please note that ITCH will load and play the 32kbps mono preview
portion of Serato Whitelabel files (wl.mp3). Full quality Whitelabel
playback requires Rane hardware and Serato Scratch LIVE software.
Adding files to the ITCH library
There are several ways to add files to your ITCH library.
Pushing the FILES button on the hardware will show a view of your file
system where you can browse your hard disk for music to load. You
can navigate using the navigation controls on the hardware, the cursor
keys on your keyboard, or with the mouse. Loading a file to either deck
automatically adds it to your library.
Dragging a file from Finder or Explorer onto ITCH will also load the the
track into your library. You can drop tracks directly into the library or
straight onto the virtual deck.
Showing your iTunes library
ITCH can read your iTunes™ library and show it whilst browsing in ITCH.
To enable this feature go to the setup screen, under the library tab tick
“Show iTunes Library”.
Set Auto BPM
If this option is checked, building overviews
will include the estimated tempos of your
files. If ITCH is confident that the auto BPM
estimate for a file is accurate, it will be written to the file when possible
or stored in the library. The range drop down allows you to specify the
BPM range of your tracks to avoid half or double BPM values being
calculated.
NOTE: As auto BPM is part of the overview building process, it will not
apply to any files that already have an overview. To use auto BPM on a
file that already has an overview, drag it onto the BUILD OVERVIEWS
button to force an overview rebuild.
Making Crates and Subcrates
Crates and sub-crates are a
way to organize your music
into groups for quick access.
This can be by genre, mood or
whatever suits your DJing style.
The crate area can be accessed
by pressing the CRATES button
on the hardware or by clicking
inside the crate area with the
mouse. The “+” button on the
software allows you to create a
new crate. To add files to a crate, drag and drop the track(s) from the
library into the Crate. Crates can be nested inside each other to create
sub-crates for more detailed sorting.
See the Using the Library section for more details on crates and
subcrates.
NOTE: iTunes Music Store DRM files cannot be played back by ITCH
How to get music from CDs into ITCH
ITCH does not support CD ripping. We suggest you use a 3rd party
application like iTunes to convert your audio CDs into a suitable file type
for ITCH. 320 kbps MP3 files are recommended for high sound quality
and low CPU load. Audio CDs can be played directly from the computers
CD ROM or DVD drive.
Please visit http://www.serato.com for articles and information on file
conversion.
Building Overviews
Building overviews is a process where
ITCH analyses the song and builds
an overview containing the waveform
information as well as the song BPM.
By default ITCH will build the overview for a track as you load it to the
deck.
Vestax VCI-300 / Serato ITCH Manual 1.0
11
Playing Your First Track
This section describes the basic steps to start playing tracks with the
VCI-300, it will tell you everything you need to know to get up and mixing
quickly.
Resetting the Mixer
It’s a good idea before playing to set your mixer to the default settings.
To reset the mixer, set your channel faders all the way up, all EQs to
12 o’clock, and the master and monitor levels down to 0. Place the
crossfader on the side to which you will be loading your first track.
Navigating the Library
The library contains all the music that you have added to ITCH. By using
browse and search you can easily narrow down your selection to find
the track you want.
NOTE:You can search your library by keyword using the computer
keyboard, see Searching for more info.
Hardware Navigation Controls
Direction pad
The direction pad controller lets you navigate your library in an intuitive
fashion, similar to the arrow keys on a computer. UP and DOWN move
the cursor up and down the library. BACK and FWD move the cursor
between adjacent columns in the browser view. The center TAB button
moves through any browse fields available.
Files
The FILES button opens the import panel which shows your computer’s
file system. This allows you to add new files to your library or load the
directly to the deck.
Starting playback
To begin playback press the play/pause button on the Hardware, this
will start playback from the beginning of the track. Pressing this at any
time will pause playback at the current position.
Adjusting Gain
The TRIM knob at the top of the channel strip allow you to boost or cut
the volume of the track before you control it with the up fader for mixing.
It is best to have the level of the track adjusted so that in the loudest
part of the song the first 2 red lights on the meters are lighting up but
are not permanently lit. Setting the TRIM so both tracks are metering in
this manner makes it easy to balance the mix between them with the EQ
and faders.
Equalizing
EQ is used to boost and cut specific frequencies. The VCI-300 features 3
band EQ with low, mid and high. The knobs go from full cut (or kill) when
turned all the way left, unity when facing straight up and 6 dB of boost
when turned all the way to the right. EQ is used to balance the sound
of 2 tracks that have been mastered differently, to make a track sound
“right” on your particular system, or for creative mixing techniques.
With EQ, less is usually better - when boosting do so sparingly. Cutting
frequencies is also usually better than boosting them. For example if
you have a track with too much mid range, rather than boosting bass
and treble to compensate it is better to cut back the mid range. Every
speaker system and room has a different frequency response so you
will need to adjust your EQ to suit not only the music you are playing but
the room you are playing it in.
Crates
The CRATES button switches focus to the crate list.
Browse
The BROWSE button opens and closes the browse panel which groups
the tracks in your library by the tags: Genre, BPM, Artist, and Album.
Mouse and keyboard
As well as using the control surface you can also use the cursor keys
and mouse to navigate the library. The cursor keys work as UP, DOWN,
FWD and BACK. The mouse can select the different modes and make
Genre / BPM / Artist and Album selections.
Platter Scroll
By pressing the SCROLL button you can engage platter scrolling. This
allows you to use the platters to scroll up and down within the library.
Loading a track to either deck automatically disengages platter scroll.
Load a track to the deck
Once you have located the file you want to load in the library you load it
either with the VCI-300, the mouse or the keyboard. To get started load
a track to the left deck.
Hardware
SCROLL + PFL A to load to the left deck.
SCROLL + PFL B to load to the right deck.
Keyboard
Shift + Left arrow to load to the left deck.
Shift + Right Arrow to load to the right deck.
Mouse
Drag the track to either the left or right virtual deck.
12
Vestax VCI-300 / Serato ITCH Manual 1.0
Mixing in the Next Track
Finding the Next Song
Visual Aid: Main Waveforms
Once you have the first track playing you need to find the next song to
mix in. Browse your library to find a suitable song. The BPM column is
useful for finding a track with a similar tempo to the current song.
Loading it to the Deck
Before loading the next track ensure that the crossfader is over so that
only the current playing track will play through the speakers. Load the
next track to the right deck by pressing SCROLL + PFL B or using the
keyboard or mouse.
Previewing in the Headphones
When you load a track to a deck, PFL (pre-fade listen) is automatically
engaged for that deck. When PFL is on the track is sent into the
headphones so that you can cue it up without it playing out to the
speakers. The MONITOR SELECT knob controls the mix of what is sent
to the headphones. You can balance the mix in the headphones between
what is playing to the master out (MSTR) and the PFL channel (CUE).
The “Monitor Level” knob controls the headphone volume.
Finding the Right Part of the Song
When the track is paused the platter is always in SCRATCH mode which
allows you to scrub though and find the point you want the song to start.
You can fast search through a song by pressing SHIFT and winding the
platter, this will skip through the song at high speed.
Visual Aid: Track Overview
This view provides a close-up view of the track, including color-coding
to show the frequency of the sound; red representing low- frequency
bass sounds, green representing mid-frequency sounds and blue
representing high-frequency treble sounds. You can also switch to a
three-band spectrum view by holding the ctrl key and clicking on the
waveform. Click on the waveform to ‘scrub’ or make fine adjustments
to your position within the track. The Main Waveform is zoomed around
the current position in the track.
Tip: Use the + and – keys to zoom in and out.
Getting the Tracks in Time
The playback speed of the track is controlled by the pitch slider. The
range of the pitch slider is ± 6% from the track’s initial tempo. Moving
the slider up will slow the track down, moving it down will speed the
track up. This allows you to take two tracks that are of different tempos
and mix them together in time. The pitched BPM and the pitch % are
shown in the ITCH GUI below the track name and artist. The simplest
way to adjust the speed to match the other track is to move the pitch
slider until the BPM value is the same as the track that is already playing.
By repeatedly playing from the temp cue point and fine tuning the pitch
slider you can get the tracks playing at exactly the same speed.
NOTE: ITCH can play your music at a large range of speeds with or
without keylock, for more information see Pitch Shift or Key and Quartz
Lock.
This view provides a complete overview of the waveform of the track
and includes a marker to show the current position within the track. This
view is useful for finding transitions within the track. The waveform is
colored according to the spectrum of the sound; red representing low
frequency bass sounds, green representing mid frequency sounds
and blue representing high frequency treble sounds. You can jump to
different positions within the track by clicking on the Track Overview
display.
Grey lines behind the overview show the length of the track; a thin grey
line every minute, and a thick grey line every 5 minutes. The overview
will be filled when you load the track onto a Virtual Deck.
Temporary Cue
The temp cue function allows you to set a temporary cue point in a track
that is not saved into the file. This is useful for finding a point in a song
and then being able to easily start again from this point as you get your
mix right. While paused you can use the platter to fine tune the playhead
placement to ensure your cue point is set exactly on a downbeat.
If no temp cue is set, pressing the CUE button while playback is paused
will create one at the current playhead location. Once the temp cue is
set, holding the CUE button whilst paused will play from the temp cue
point. Releasing the button will pause playback and return to the temp
cue. This is good for stuttering in the start of a track.
If you press the PLAY/PAUSE button whilst you are holding down the
CUE button, playback will continue when you let both buttons go.
This allows you to cue a track in from pause mode and then continue
playback once you know the mix is right.
The CUE button can also be pressed whilst the track is playing at any
point to return to this point and put the deck in pause. To change the
location of the temp cue put the deck in pause with the playhead at a
different location and press the CUE button again.
NOTE: You can easily match the tempo of one deck to the other
by pressing the AUTO TEMPO button. See Auto Tempo for more
information.
Visual Aid: Tempo Matching
The Tempo Matching display area provides a helpful tool for beat
matching. ITCH detects the beats within the track and places a row of
orange peaks (for the track on the left side) above a row of blue peaks
(for the track on the right side) in the Tempo Matching display area.
When the two tracks are matched to the same tempo, the peaks will line
up. This display does not show the relative timing of the beats, only the
tempos of the tracks. The peaks will still line up when the tracks are
playing at the same tempo, but are out of sync.
Dropping it in
The platter on the VCI-300 is touch sensitive and when ITCH starts is
in NUDGE mode. In NUDGE mode, moving the platter backwards or
forwards will temporarily bend the speed of the track faster or slower.
This is for when you have two tracks mixed together but they are not
quite in time. By “nudging” the platter back and forth you can ensure that
the timing is aligned. When pressing the SCRATCH button, SCRATCH
mode engages and the button lights to show this. In SCRATCH mode,
touching and holding the platter will stop playback just like with a
record. Moving the platter will scratch backwards and forwards through
the track as if you were using vinyl. You can also NUDGE whilst in
SCRATCH mode by turning the platter without touching the black top.
You do this by using the clear plastic edges, this is a bit like using the
rails on a turntable to get tracks in time.
The temp cue point is also useful to repeatedly start from a preset point
in the track. This allows you to easily drop in a few times until you get it
right.
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Visual Aid: Beat Matching Display
This view shows the position of beats within the track. When beat
matching, this view helps align the downbeats of the two tracks. The
markers are matched up when the two tracks are beat matched.
Example:
The following is a demonstration of how to use the visual aids to help
beat match. In this example, the track that is playing is on the left deck
and the track to be mixed in is on the right deck.
1. Start the track playing on the right deck. After a few seconds, blue
peaks appear in the Tempo Matching display.
2. Adjust the pitch of the right deck until the blue peaks sit under the
orange peaks in the Tempo Matching display. Once
they are aligned, the two tracks have the same tempo.
3. Next align the markers in the Beat Matching display. Watch the color
of the items passing by in the Main Waveform display.
Remember that a kick or bass drum will be red in color, and a snare
drum will be green or blue. This technique will by no means guarantee
perfect mixes, but may help to speed up the process of beat matching.

Beat Sync
BEAT SYNC is an advanced feature that will automatically align the
transients (usually the drums) in the two playing tracks. If you have
dropped your next track in but it’s not quite in time, by pressing SHIFT
+ AUTO TEMPO you can perform an automatic beat sync. When the
current track is playing on the left side press SHIFT + the right hand
AUTO TEMPO button. This will snap the right track’s beats to be in time
with the left hand side. BEAT SYNC works by snapping the two closest
transients together, this means the timing of the two tracks has to be
close before BEAT SYNC will work.
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Vestax VCI-300 / Serato ITCH Manual 1.0
Advanced Features
Mic and Aux Mixing
The VCI-300 features a Microphone and an Auxiliary
line input. The volume and equalization of these two
inputs is controlled in software and each can be
either assigned to the main mix or either side of the
crossfader.
Click the MIC/AUX button to open the MIC/AUX mixing panel.
The knobs can be controlled with the mouse and the
drop down box allows you to choose where you’d like
each source to be sent. There are also physical gain
controls next to both the MIC and the AUX inputs on
the hardware. These knobs control the gain before the
signal is sent up to ITCH for mixing.
There is an emergency thru switch located next to the
AUX input. This sends the MIC and AUX directly to the
master volume knob and completely disconnects the
computer from the signal path. If you are using mains
power, this allows you to use an MP3 or CD player as a
sound source whilst switching laptops.
NOTE: Ctrl - Click to reset a knobs position.
Pitch Shift
The PITCH SHIFT buttons allow you to offset the pitch of the track to
give you access to different speed ranges. Pitch shifting up will make
the track faster and pitch shifting down will make it go slower. The
maximum pitch shift is 12 steps up and 12 steps down.
Even when you have pitch shift engaged the pitch slider range is always
±6% from the base pitch you are shifted to. Pressing both pitch shift
buttons at once will reset the pitch shift to zero.
Key and Quartz Lock
Key Lock
Normally when changing the speed of a track you will hear a change
in the pitch of the music. With KEYLOCK is on, even when you change
the speed, the pitch stays the same. This is useful to avoid two tracks
sounding out of tune when mixing them together. KEYLOCK has scratch
detection, so that it automatically turns off when scratching for a natural
scratching sound.
Quartz Lock
When QUARTZ LOCK is on, the pitch is reset to zero. This overrides any
PITCH SHIFT or slider settings. Any pitch setting you might have will
return once you turn QUARTZ LOCK off.
Cue Points
The VCI-300 features three Cue/Loop slots. To create a cue point, press
one of the CUE/IN buttons for the deck. The button will light up to show
that there is a point set. To delete a cue point hold SHIFT and press the
CUE/IN button for the point you want to delete.
Once a cue point is set, you can jump to it at any time by pressing the
relevant CUE/IN button. Whilst playback is paused, hitting a cue point
will play from that point as long as the CUE/IN button is held down. It
returns to the cue point and pause when the button is let go. You can
also jump to cue points using keyboard shortcuts – 1 through 3 for the
cue points on the left deck and 6 through 8 for the right deck cue points.
If this this is done using the keyboard while the track is playing, the cue
point will be repeatedly triggered, producing a stuttering effect.
TIP: The rate of cue point stuttering is controlled by your operating
system keyboard repeat rate settings. Windows users: Keyboard
properties are in the Control Panel. Mac users: Keyboard and Mouse
are in System Preferences.
Vestax VCI-300 / Serato ITCH Manual 1.0
Visual Aid: Cue Point Status
Notice that the stripe on the Virtual Deck jumps to the 12 o’clock position
and changes color when you set a cue point - you are at the cue point
when the stripe is one solid color and at the 12 o’clock position. As the
track plays on beyond the position of the cue point, the colored bar will
shorten by a fifth for each rotation. Likewise, as you approach the cue
point, the color will grow by a fifth each rotation.
Loops
Once you have set some cue points, you can add outpoints to them to
turn them into loops. Pressing the OUT button once will set the loop
outpoint and turn LOOP on. Both the CUE/IN and OUT buttons will light
to indicate that you are in a loop and playback will loop between the
cue point and the outpoint. Pressing the OUT button a second time will
turn LOOP off. Holding SHIFT and pressing the OUT button will delete
that outpoint. By holding the OUT button and moving the platter you can
adjust the position of the outpoint to fine tune your loop. By holding
the OUT button and pressing the CUE/IN button at the same time, the
playhead will jump to the outpoint and turn LOOP off. Loop areas show
up green in the main waveform display.
Autolooping
Auto looping allows you to create loops that will automatically be
in time with the music. This is great for creating loops on the fly and
other creative mixing techniques. The loop length can range from 1/8
to 16 beats, based on the track BPM (tracks must have a BPM tag set
for autolooping to be available). Set the loop length using the HALF
and DOUBLE buttons on the VCI 300. The current autoloop length
is displayed on the ITCH deck underneath the time display. Press the
AUTOLOOP button to activate a loop of the set length, which is snapped
to the beat closest to the playhead. The length can be adjusted while
the loop is active using the HALF and DOUBLE buttons, and the loop
disabled by pressing AUTOLOOP once more.
Auto Tempo
To simplify getting your tracks in time, ITCH features auto tempo.
Pressing the AUTO TEMPO button for a deck will disengage the pitch
slider on that deck and automatically match it’s tempo to the other
deck. Auto tempo requires a BPM value for each track to work. While
auto tempo is on, the AUTO TEMPO button will flash for that deck.
Whilst auto tempo is engaged, the playback speed is controlled by the
pitch slider of the deck that doesn’t have auto tempo turned on. Both
decks will follow any changes you make to this deck. If you have both
decks in auto tempo mode, they will follow a “ghost tempo” which is the
tempo that you were at when you started using auto tempo.
On the ITCH GUI there is a “pitch navigator” that shows you how far
away the slider is from the current auto tempo value. This can be used
to get the pitch slider into the right position before switching back to
manual tempo mode.
Censor/Reverse
Pressing CENSOR reverses playback temporarily. When released
playback resumes from where the playhead would have been if censor
was not pressed. It is used to censor out portions of a song. Pressing
CENSOR + SHIFT will toggle reverse playback.
Recording
ITCH can capture recordings of your mix output, mic, or aux input
channel. Recording controls are grouped into a strip above the right
deck. Select the source to record from the drop down menu. The
recording meter shows the signal level that will be recorded to disk.
The Mix source records the master output signal, post faders and
EQ, pre master gain. Adjust the recording level using the controls for
the applicable source being recorded. To show and hide the channel
controls for MIC and AUX, click the MIC/AUX button below the clock.
Click the REC button to start and stop recording. To save the recording
to disk, type a filename into the text field, and click save. Recordings
are saved as 16 bit 44.1 kHz stereo AIFF files into the Recordings folder
inside your main library folder.
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USING THE LIBRARY
ITCH can support an unlimited number of tracks – the only limitation
is the size of the hard drive of your computer. A number of features
are included to help you to keep your music organized and find songs
quickly and easily.
Main Library View
Crates
Searching
ITCH uses digital “crates” for quick access to your favorite collections.
There is no limit to the number of crates you can create, and any given
track can be placed in multiple crates. The Crate area is on the left hand
side of the library.
ITCH includes a search function to help you find files quickly and easily.
Just enter text into the search box and ITCH will automatically find as
you type.
For example, you could organize your files into the following crates,
where any one track would be filed in more than one crate.
• Hip Hop
• French Hip Hop
• UK Hip Hop
• Instrumental Hip Hop
• Old School Hip Hop
• Hip Hop LPs
To make a new crate, click the + button. To rename a crate, double click
the crate name. You can change the order of tracks within a crate by
dragging them up or down.
Tip: The protect library option in the setup screen applies to removing,
editing and renaming crates. Check this option to prevent changes to
your crates.
Subcrates
You can drag and drop crates into other crates to make subcrates. If
you drag a crate to the very left of the crate panel, it will stay in the top
level of the crate structure. If you drag the crate a little to the right, onto
the name of another crate, it will make the crate you are dragging a sub
crate of the first crate. Subcrates can be opened and collapsed. This
way you can have a large number of crates but still keep them easy to
browse.
TIP: Use the keyboard shortcut CTRL + F to jump to the search box.
This keyboard shortcut will also take you out of any crate or playlist that
you might be in and into your main library, so you can find any track
in your collection. If you then click on a crate or playlist, the search
query will be cleared. To select which fields the search function will look
through, click on the left hand side of the search box. The drop down
menu shows which fields are currently being used. Press ESC or the X
button on the right of the search box to clear the search.
Browsing
To browse through your files, just move up/down with the navigation
controls. You can also browse through your files using the platters on
the controller, clicking on the SCROLL button and then moving the
platter will move up or down the library.
In ITCH, pressing the BROWSE button will open the browse panel above
the main file library. The filters are GENRE, BPM, ARTIST, and ALBUM.
You can narrow down your search by selecting the specific genre, BPM
or name of the track you’re looking for, and ITCH will show the results on
the main library window. You can move between the four filters with the
left/right keys on the navigation controls, the computer keyboard or by
clicking with the mouse.
Library Icons
The column at the far left shows the status of each track, examples of
these icons are below.
ITCH has detected some corruption in the MP3 file. If possible,
re-encode the MP3.
The track has been imported from the iTunes library.
The track has been imported from iTunes but is corrupt
The track cannot be found. Most likely the file has been
renamed or moved.
ITCH is trying to import a track from the iTunes library, but
cannot find the file.
Tracks that are read-only have a locked icon.
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Vestax VCI-300 / Serato ITCH Manual 1.0
Setting up Columns
Review
The track information display area can be customized to display any of
the columns listed below.
The review window shows the tracks you have recently played in the
order in which they were played. Tracks you have played recently are
colored orange. Press the clear button to reset the list of recently played
tracks.
• album
• artist
• bitrate
• BPM
• comment
• composer
• filename
• genre
• grouping
• label
• length
• location
• remixer
• sampling rate
• size
• track
• year
Clicking on the triangle at the top right of the library will show the list so
you can turn fields on and off. You can resize columns by grabbing the
edge and dragging to the width you want.
Tagging
Editing ID3 tags
Much of the information associated with each file can be edited from
within ITCH. Double click on the field within the main library to edit
it. Filename, length, size, bit rate and sampling cannot be edited, this
information is saved in the file itself. Note that the protect library option
in setup must be unchecked to allow edits.
TIP: Select the contents of the review window and drag them onto the
new crate button (+) to save a history of the tracks you have played.
Scratch LIVE Compatibility
ITCH uses the same library as Rane Serato Scratch LIVE. If you are an
existing Scratch LIVE user 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 automatically be available
in Scratch LIVE. Any changes made in either program will be written to
the library so if you have existing cue and loop points, be aware of this
when moving between systems.
Using External Drives
Any external hard drive connected to your computer will show in
the import panel. You can load files by navigating the hard drive and
locating your audio files. Then drag them onto the library, or into crates
or subcrates just like you would do when importing from the hard drive
of your computer. The crate information for files on your external drive
is stored on the drive itself. This means if you add tracks on an external
drive to your library and then plug that external drive into another
machine running either ITCH or Scratch LIVE, the crates and tracks will
automatically be visible in the library.
TIP: Use the keyboard shortcut CTRL + E to edit text. Hold down the ctrl
key and move with the arrow keys to change to a different field while
staying in edit mode. When you have more than one file selected, editing
tags changes all the files in your selection.
TIP: The second column in the library is the label color for that file. Click
it to bring up a color palette, and customize the virtual deck for that file.
NOTE: Tracks that are read-only have a locked icon.
Album Art
MP3 files can contain album art. To display this album art, click the
SHOW ALBUM ART button. There are many third party applications
available for adding album art to MP3s. We recommend Apple’s iTunes.
Prepare
The prepare window is an area for holding tracks, much like preparing
a set by lifting records partially out of your record bag. You can drag
tracks (or whole crates) from the main list into the prepare window, or
simply drag them onto the prepare button. These tracks will be removed
from the prepare window once they have been played. All tracks in the
prepare window will be discarded when you exit ITCH.
Import
You can load files into ITCH by pressing the import button. This will
open the import panel, where you can navigate the file system of your
computer to locate your audio files. Click on files (or folders containing
files) and drag them onto the crate list. You can add files into the main
library by dropping them onto the “All” heading in the crate column, or
into a specific crate or subcrate. You can also import by dragging files
and folders directly from Windows Explorer (PC version) or Finder (Mac
version) into the ITCH library.
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Software Setup
The ITCH setup screen has controls to personalize and maintain your
ITCH system.
Click the associated tabs to switch between three groups of options;
Playback, Library, and Display.
Audio output
Sets the audio output to Stereo or Mono.
Library Options
Playback Options
General
Show iTunes library
Shows the current default iTunes library and iTunes playlists in ITCH.
Track end warning
Enables warning flash of the virtual deck for the last 20 seconds of the
track. Does not apply to any tracks under one minute long.
Playback keys use shift
With this option on, all cue point, loop, and general playback keys on
the computer keyboard require shift or caps lock to function.
Lock playing Deck
When this option is checked, you can only load a track to a deck if it is
paused.
Use Auto Gain
Check this if you want to use an automatically calculated gain value for
songs with overviews built.
Hi-fi Resampler
This significantly reduces digital distortion at very slow or very fast
playback speeds, increasing the CPU load slightly. This option is on by
default.
On Song Load
These options affect the state of tracks when first loaded to the deck.
Play from Start
Positions the playhead at the start of each track when loaded. If this
setting is not enabled, freshly loaded tracks will continue to play from
the point the last track was at. This option is on by default. This option is
overridden by ‘Instant Doubles’ and ‘Play from First Cue Point’ options.
Instant Doubles
This allows you to quickly match the playhead position of two tracks.
With this option set, when you load a track on one virtual deck that is
already loaded on the other virtual deck (it must be the same file), the
playhead will jump to the position of the track that was loaded first, with
the keylock state and looping settings copied. This setting overrides the
play from start and play from first cue point options.
Play from First cue point
Enable this option to start all tracks from the first cue point when loaded.
This setting overrides the play from start option.
Braking
Note: ITCH cannot play files that have been protected by Digital Rights
Management systems, such as those sold through the Apple iTunes
Music Store.
Protect library
Uncheck this setting to remove files and crates from your library. Enable
to lock your library and prevent accidental file or crate deletion. Enabling
this setting will also lock all file tags and crate names, so that no text
can be changed.
Center on selected song
With this option on, scrolling up and down in your library holds the
selected track in the middle of the library panel.
Show all file types
Enable this option to show all files when importing tracks into your
library. If this option is not selected, only files that ITCH can play will be
displayed.
Include subcrate tracks
Displays the tracks from any subcrates in their parent crate. With this
off browsing in a crate will not show tracks that are in any subcrates of
that crate.
Autofill overviews
Automatically generates the track overview as soon as a track is loaded
as fast as the CPU will allow. If this option is off, the track overview
information is filled in as the track plays.
Rescan ID3 tags
Re-reads file tags for the entire library. Use this function if you have
edited or modified file tags in other software.
Tip: Rescanning the tags is a handy way to identify any files that can’t
be found, for example, if the files have been re-named or moved. These
tracks are shown red in the library pane, with a question mark icon in
the status column.
Relocate lost files
If you’ve moved some files which are already in your library, they will
show up as not found and be displayed in red. Drag and drop a folder
from Finder (Mac) or Explorer (Windows) onto the relocate lost files
button to search it, and any sub-folders, for files currently marked as
not found in your library. Doing this will update the database with their
new location.
This controls how fast the track stops when the deck is paused.
Counterclockwise, the stop is immediate. Clockwise rotation increases
the stopping time from a finger grab all the way to a slow turntable
power-down.
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Vestax VCI-300 / Serato ITCH Manual 1.0
Display Options
Maximum screen updates
This slider allows you to lower ITCH’s screen refresh rate and potentially
use less CPU. Users with slower computers or those running a recording
program at the same time might like to do this if they are having
performance issues. The default setting is 60 Hz, or refreshed 60 times
per second. This setting applies to the entire ITCH user interface; the
Virtual Decks, the Waveforms, the library, and the setup screen.
Horizontal waveforms
Display the main waveforms horizontally across the bottom of the
screen.
Left vertical waveforms
Display the main waveforms vertically on the left side of the screen.
Right vertical waveforms
Display the main waveforms vertically on the right side of the screen.
Software Version
The ITCH software version is displayed in the bottom left corner of the
setup screen.
The check for updates button will launch your web browser and take
you to http://www.serato.com to tell you if there are updates available
for your version of the ITCH software.
Vestax VCI-300 / Serato ITCH Manual 1.0
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SUPPORT
Software Updates and Online Support
For ITCH software updates and online support visit the ITCH website:
http://www.serato.com/itch
To help us with your support enquiry please have the following
information available.
• ITCH software version
• Operating System
• Computer model and specifications
Official Support Channel
For VCI-300 hardware support and customer service, included warranty
cover, contact your local Vestax distributor:
Or visit the website http://pcdj.vestax.com
TROUBLE SHOOTING
The following suggestions may help you if you are experiencing poor
performance with ITCH. For more troubleshooting help visit http://www.
serato.com/itch
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• Check for updates using the CHECK FOR UPDATES button or by visiting http://www.serato.com/itch
• Close other open programs
• Disable wireless networking
• Disable bluetooth
• Disable antivirus software
• Increase the USB buffer size
• Unplug other USB devices
• Run your laptop connected to power
• Run the VCI-300 on a power supply
Vestax VCI-300 / Serato ITCH Manual 1.0
Vestax VCI-300 / Serato ITCH Manual 1.0
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