Database Linking Incorrect Audio Files issue - Anyone Else?

I had an issue at a gig recently, and interested if anyone else has run into this. I erased my internal drive and started from scratch to fix it, but want to get a full understanding in case this happens again.

I had been loading from Serato Crates into Engine Prime and then on to my Internal SSD in the Prime 4 for days. I finished loading and building crates about an hour before a gig. I setup Prime 4 and sound checked fine. I played first two songs no issue. When I loaded the 3rd song, the name of the song was linked to a different audio file. For an example - I loaded a Reggaeton Song, and the actual audio was Beyonce - Crazy In Love. I started frantically jumping through files, and every file was not matching the song name. No match at all between genre, folder, or BPM. A Hip Hop song was actually an EDM song etc.

I restarted and once again it seemed fixed. I played 2 songs and both were correct. However, when I loaded my 3rd song - it was not the correct audio file. It was playing a completely different song than the title on all songs I loaded. I shut down, ran to my house which was luckily close enough and just played off of a different controller and laptop.

Like I said, I wiped my internal, wiped Engine Prime, Reloaded my entire library and now it seems fixed. I had another gig coming up so I didn’t have much time to troubleshoot.

I can tell you that every single song I loaded once it started happening, no matter the crate or playlist it lived in was loading incorrect audio. The second time it happened, I set a loop and just kept loading tracks for 10 minutes or more. All songs audio did not match the title or metadata. I have had nightmare ever since about playing a High School Homecoming and the wrong song or unedited version loading, even though the title is correct!

My best analysis of the error is that it was caused by the fact that I had multiple external hard drives connected and running into Serato while I was syncing for part of the time. As an example - I had my main external SSD, a Flash SSD, and a 3rd Hard Drive connected while syncing. All of my library lives on the main external SSD, but maybe since Serato folder was on the other drives in broke the linking inside the SQL database for files as they were packing onto the Prime 4 internal drive. I have never had an issue with this when using Serato in the past. These additional drives could have caused the actual indexing to link to different audio files in theory. I do have a complex library, as most event DJs do.

I have worked in Web Development for years, and have a decent understanding of the Database - but have to admit I’m not a hardware guy or an expert on Serato or Engine Prime and how they index files while analyzing or packing. Not going to act smarter than I am.

Has anyone else run into this issue with the song titles loaded actually playing a different audio file? Anyone have any ideas how this would happen? The Prime 4 was acting completely normal otherwise. It nearly killed a gig for me, and I am scared it will happen again. I know it is safe to carry a backup controller and laptop to every gig, but I would rather not out of fear. Any ideas and thoughts are appreciated.

Hi @BearCole

I am not an expert at this but had a couple of thoughts:

  1. Could your issue be a corrupt db from Serato? Only thinking this as you’ve done it twice with the same results.

  2. Maybe too exhausting to do this again but I wonder if a clean install of EP would help?

Hopefully someone more knowledgeable than me will chime in here to help you.



Now it hits me, too.

As I updated my collection with new tracks, some of the crates linked to false audiofiles. I noticed it, because the artwor did not match the artist. And as I played it, omg - total wrong audiotrack … the wave display also did not match the sound it was playing.

I than removed the crate, to reimport all of the tracks. Hope it will work now, and doesnt crash other files that worked by now. Because 50.000 audiotracks and some are wrong, isnt cool at a party.

Mind, hot party on the dancefloor … you will play another hot track … and BAM - “Kelly Family - An Angel” Not Funny!

Hi, to point 1 I can say: “No, it isnt a bug from serato databse, because it hits me plain importing my files with EP”. So there must be a counting bug in EP, which leads to false track and audio data.

Does anybody know, if the database of EP is SQL compatible, or maybe works with SQL ? I hadn´t has the time to look at this. But if it is SQL, I could analyze how the bug will be created.

If you use a mac, you could have a look at the software developed by ATGR.NL. You can convert from most other workflows to Engine Prime and it is very fast too, much faster than doing an import from Serato, with the added advantage of not having to re-import everything everytime you update the serato crates in Engine Prime.