AppMonday: Serato Pyro
3.0Overall Score

Price (RRP): $Free
Manufacturer: Serato

The next time you have a party, you might be thinking of hiring a DJ, because as good as “shuffle” is, continuous mix is better. Serato’s Pyro could just save you some money in this area, bringing a bit of DJ power to your constant mix.

If you like the idea of having a DJ at your party or just mixing your favourite tracks, but you never really got the gist of cueing tracks, finding the right beat, and pressing play at the right time, listen up because one of the leaders in music mixing technology — Serato — has built a piece of software that has you — and a bunch of songs — worked out.

It’s an app called “Pyro” and the whole point of this program is to take songs you may already have on your device or songs on a supported music network, and then mix them together, finding the beat and letting you jump from one song to the other automatically.

The songs can be on your device, as mentioned, but if you rely on the Spotify music service, you’ll find Serato’s Pyro can link up with your account and not only bring in your own playlists, but also grab playlists by others and music recommendations to create mixing lists.

For instance, you might have a dance or hip-hop list you already dig into, or just some songs you think would work well together by running into each other, much like you can find at a club or with a constant mix “Ministry of Sound” CD. You can browse a list of songs recommended for Pyro, or just fill in your own songs, turning anyone into a DJ(ish) quickly.

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With a track list ready, Pyro will give you a rough beats per minute (BPM) count in a number which can be used to tell you which songs will mix into each other well.

From there, you merely position songs the way you want to on the playlist, sliding the songs in and out of the list and following the colours. You can add more songs at the bottom and even take recommendations from Pyro on what could work, filling the list even more and giving you more to work with.

You’ll notice the colours pretty quickly, because the more red the song’s colour is, the further up it is in the list, because what you are making here is a fire of sorts, at least for the colour scheme for a DJ playlist. Yellow sits towards the bottom and red at the top, and as you run down the list, the fire gets softer.

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When you position a song to play next, it’ll be cued, and as the current song finishes, it is loaded for playing. Alternatively, you can hit the “next” button — which goes on fire as a transition starts to happen — and Pyro will try to make the mix happen. It doesn’t always work well.

In a way, Pyro is a little like a puzzle game for people that like to find music that matches, with the numbers on the right needing to be close to each other — 101 to 103 or 108, instead of 101 to 138 — making a mix possible.

If a song is too fast or too slow for another, Pyro will basically stop the song or play an effect to halt the mix and start from that new track, so this is all about making songs match each other, gradually speeding up or slowing down.

You might start with Blackstreet’s “No Diggity” at 88BPM and gradually get up to Usher’s “U Got It Bad” at 125BPM, but you can’t do it one hit with a seamless transition, so you’ll be working your way up there with different tracks you find or like.

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Beyond the idea of automatically seamless mixing, the best part of Pyro has to be from the way the audio files are mapped, with lines up the top acting like a bit of a timeline scrubber that allow you to jump forward and backward in time while still keeping the beat.