Pyro: DJ in Your Pocket

Image Courtesy of Veronica Arvizo

Shanthi Guruswamy
Promotions Director

If you’re a member of the deejaying world, chances are, you’ve heard of the brand Serato. If you’re new to it, Serato is a New Zealand-based DJ technology company. On Feb. 11, the company released an app named “Pyro” which is essentially a pocket DJ.

With its simplistic visuals and striking color combination, Pyro is a very straightforward app to use. Although you do need a Spotify Premium subscription to use Pyro through Spotify, the app also allows you to compile playlists through iTunes. Swipe left on a track to delete it from the playlist; swipe right to play it next. The songs are all matched by beats per minute (BPM), but as of yet, Pyro hasn’t added a feature to match by key.

Serato is best known for its DJ technology, and has made waves with its software, “Scratch.” According to Variety, this software was “one of the first to allow DJs to control mp3 files on their laptops with vinyl records that contained specially time-coded control signals, giving them the ability to physically scratch and manipulate digital audio files while the computer took care of tedious tasks like matching beats and adjusting the tempo of a track.”

Serato has taken these features and put some of them into Pyro, allowing you to shuffle your songs. If you reach the end of your playlist, Pyro begins to recommend similar-sounding songs. Since it works off of Spotify Premium or iTunes, there are no advertisements, which calls for continuous, non-stop music that seamlessly flows into one another.

Despite it being marketed as a DJ, it is not, by any means, a replacement for a real DJ. According to DJ Worx, “Unless you hire DJs for your dinner parties, then this simply isn’t the case. If anything, this is likely to make people a little more curious about DJing and seeing what can be done beyond the very automated basics of Pyro.”

For college students at UCSB, this app may be very coveted. According to The Verge, Serato co-founder and CEO AJ Bertenshaw said: “It’s definitely dance music, hip hop, top 40s, and that kind of music that really this app is designed for and does an amazing job of. That’s the kind of music you’d expect to hear mixed by a DJ.”

Serato isn’t the only company to create a pocket DJ. Last year, Spotify also unveiled beat-matched, professionally-mixed playlists, including one by Diplo. The difference between Spotify and Pyro is that the latter is much more streamlined, which makes it easier to have a playlist that you have complete control over.

Serato’s Pyro is available worldwide on the Apple Store for free. An Android version is currently in the works.