The Bridge - Overview and FAQ
- Live Versions: 8.2 - 9, 32-bit only
- Operating System: All
What is The Bridge?
The Bridge extends the functionality of Ableton Live and Serato Scratch Live, opening a world of opportunities for Djing, remixing, mash-ups and live performance. You can control Ableton Live with Scratch Live using turntables or CDJs, combining Serato Scratch Live deck control and DJ mixing capabilities with Ableton Live’s on-the-fly remixing; including manipulation of audio files, drum patterns, effects and loops. Scratch Live also acts as a window into Ableton, effectively controlling an Ableton set from within Scratch Live, and you can turn Ableton Live into the ultimate synchronized loop player for Scratch Live. With The Bridge, you can export your Scratch Live mix directly to Ableton Live. Every fader movement and EQ tweak you make with your Rane DJ mixer can be edited after the tape stops rolling.
Important: Both Serato Scratch Live and The Bridge are legacy products. The Bridge has been superseded by Link in Serato DJ, which allows you to sync Live and Serato DJ together only. For more information about using Link and Serato DJ, check this article.
Requirements for using The Bridge
The Bridge requires the 32-bit version of Ableton Live Standard/Suite 8.2 and higher, or Live 9 Standard/Suite 32-bit. In addition you need Serato Scratch Live 2.1.1 or higher and Rane Serato Scratch Live hardware.
The Bridge is not supported by Live Lite, Intro or the 64-bit versions of Live 8 and Live 9. The Bridge is only available in Serato Scratch Live 2.1.1 and higher (which is a legacy Serato product) and not in any other Serato products such as Serato DJ, Pyro and Pitch 'n Time.
How do I get started with The Bridge?
- Install Ableton Live / Suite 8.2 or above
- Install Serato Scratch Live 2.1.1 or above
- Attach your Rane hardware and open both programs
- Follow the onscreen instructions to complete authorization
Can I try out The Bridge before I buy Ableton Live/Scratch Live?
As long as you have the hardware needed to run Serato Scratch Live, you can demo The Bridge using the Live 9 Trial.
What are the limitations when using The Bridge?
Certain aspects of Ableton Live's functionality are limited when using Ableton Transport Control, and may behave in unexpected ways. In particular, Live will not output audio while its transport is moving backwards. This means that backscratching in Serato Scratch Live will discontinue Ableton Live's playback. If you are recording in Ableton Live while backscratching, recording will also be stopped.
Relatedly, any devices in your Ableton Live Set that require a constant stream of incoming audio (such as Looper and certain Max for Live and third-party plug-ins) will work incorrectly if Live's transport plays backwards.
When using the 64-bit version of Live, it is not possible to use Serato Scratch Live for real-time control of your Ableton Live Set. Sets cannot be loaded or synced to a deck in Scratch Live, and Live’s clips and tracks will not appear in Scratch Live.
Serato mixes saved in .als (Ableton Live Set) format can still be opened in the 64-bit version of Live and will work as expected.
What driver should I use in Ableton Live when running The Bridge?
When both programs are open, the Serato Driver Type and Serato Scratch Live Audio Output will automatically be selected once The Bridge is authorized. This will ensure that the audio stream from Live will be routed to Serato Scratch Live.
If you do not intend to stream audio to Serato Scratch Live, you can also select a different audio interface in Ableton Live. For more help on how to setup Live and Serato Scratch Live, refer to the dedicated help page from the Serato website.
What buffer size settings should I use in Live and Serato Scratch Live when running The Bridge?
Your buffer settings in Serato Scratch Live and Ableton Live will depend on your particular computer and hardware setup.
When using the Serato driver, we recommend starting with 5ms buffer size in Serato Scratch Live, and 128 samples audio buffer in Ableton Live. You can try lowering your buffer size as much as possible: should crackles take place, set a larger value.
If you require a low latency in order to perform (for example for live scratching - turntablism) but want to avoid performance issues, it might be a good idea to set a low latency in Serato Scratch Live and a larger buffer size in Live.
In Live, please go to Preferences > Audio in order to adjust your buffer size.
In Serato Scratch Live, click on Setup and then on the Hardware Tab as shown in the screenshot below.
Can I route audio from Serato into Live?
It is not currently possible to route audio from Serato Scratch Live into Ableton Live.
It is however, possible to open Serato recordings in Ableton, using the Mixtape feature. You can find more about this on the Serato website.
Do I need an external soundcard for the Bridge?
You need to own Rane/Serato Scratch Live hardware, but don't need an additional soundcard. Ableton Live's output is routed to the Rane/Serato Scratch Live hardware.
Can I use Ableton Live's cue function when running The Bridge?
Yes, by chosing an external audio interface in Live's preferences instead of the Serato/Bridge driver.
The Serato Driver Type only supports one stereo output, whereas you can make meaningful use of Live's cue function only if your audio interface supports multiple stereo outputs.
Can I apply Serato's effects on the Ableton player?
It is not currently possible to apply Serato Scratch Live's effects on the output of Ableton Live, as Live's output goes directly to the Rane hardware.
How many tracks/scenes does the Ableton View in Serato show?
The Ableton View depends on your screen resolution, and usually shows 6 or 8 tracks at a time and 8 scenes at a time. You can use the arrows to move around sequentially or in banks.
Do I need to have both Ableton Live and Serato Scratch Live running at the same time to save my Serato mixes as Ableton Live Sets (.als)?
Provided that the Bridge has been activated, you can make mixtapes without opening Ableton Live. When you've finished your mix, Serato Scratch Live will write an Ableton Live Set file (.als) which you can open in Live and edit.
Can Live and Serato Scratch Live share warp/beat grid information?
No. Serato Scratch Live cannot currently read information from Ableton Live's warp data (.asd files). You need to set a beat grid for songs in Serato Scratch Live, and warp your audio files in Ableton Live separately.
Why am I receiving an error message when using the Mixtape feature in Live 9?
Live Sets created using the Mixtape feature in older versions of Scratch Live do not open in Live 9, but show an error message saying that the Live Set is corrupt. In order to resolve this, update Scratch Live to version 2.5 or higher.
The Bridge sometimes doesn't output any sound. What can I do?
Live and Scratch Live are running and the level meters in Scratch Live are indicating that there's a signal, but Live doesn't output any sound through Bridge.
This happens because The Bridge driver doesn't work properly when both applications are started simultaneously (or very soon after each other). In order to resolve, start Scratch Live and wait until it's fully loaded, then start Live. You can also start Live first and wait until it's fully loaded, then start Scratch Live.
Check the knowledge base on Serato's site here: The Bridge knowledge base
The Bridge page on Serato with system requirements, manual and feature information.