While it’s true that a DJ possesses good skills, but a lot of the work is also done by the software they are using.
In fact, choosing the best DJ software is really the crux of the whole profession, apart from having good ears and hardware. If you’re someone who’s trying to get into DJing or have just dived into it, it’s important to make sure you’re using the right DJ software.
DJing as a profession requires constant innovation, and with the trends that come and go likes waves, it’s ideal if you can adapt to them as quickly as possible.
Assuming you’re probably on the edge about the best DJ software out there, I am about to clear the air for you by mentioning some of the best ones.
Prominent features that you should look for in DJing software 🎵
Before we begin with the list of the software, let’s first learn about what a typical DJ software should offer. Here are some of the basic features you should look for to cover the ground-level functionality:
- User-friendly design interface
- Third-party extensions
- Easy-to-locate buttons
Moreover, your DJ software should have:
This is meant to add scratching effects and various other noises upon turning it up and down.
This feature gives a unique twist to the track that’s playing by allowing you to layer up a range of real-time effects and basically come up with different mixes.
Basics functions like start, stop, pitch, cue, etc., are what transport controls cover.
EQ and gain controls
A very important element of the software, this basically lets you adjust the bass, mid frequencies, and highs. It also balances the audio output among the decks or even the external hardware at times.
Obviously, there are several more things you should look into before getting DJ software, but the above features are a good starting point. Now, let’s dive into the list of software.
One of the most popular DJ software out there, VirtualDJ, has received over 100 million downloads to date, and there are far too many reasons why it’s so loved by users. They revamped their user interface to make it friendlier.
This software is fully compatible with virtually any hardware equipment available, and the good news is, that it’s great for beginners. Some of the main features of VirtualDJ are:
- Instant detection of beats per minute (BPM)
- 99 deck capacity
- Automatic key matching
- Compatible with various DJ controllers
- Schedule events to play at a later set time
- Broadcast your mix live on social platforms and radio server
The most interesting feature of this software is Stems, which allows you to separate vocals, drums, melody, etc., on any given track, and it works completely automatically. Another cool feature is their Genius DJ, which is smart enough to automatically select the next track based on what’s currently being played on your set.
VirtualDJ is absolutely free to get started with.
The company was founded in 1998 and has ever since made waves with its product. The demand for Serato DJ is a great example of that. If we’re talking about DJ software, there’s no way this one is going to be left out.
Now, the greatest selling point of Serato DJ has to be the fact that many gears, such as Pioneer DJ DJM-900 that are used in venues, are actually developed keeping this software in mind. This gives you a guarantee that if you go around different venues for your gigs, you won’t have any inconveniences.
Moreover, it’s known globally, is reliable, and has got the lowest latency in the market. The free version covers almost all the features you’d need to start mixing and DJing right away.
Traktor Pro 3
Traktor Pro 3 is Native Instruments’ flagship product and is crafted to perform, especially in live shows.
It has a wide range of controllers that are built especially for each of Traktor’s features. This gives you the assurance that you’d be able to get around the interface seamlessly.
Remix Decks is one of those features that come along, and it provides you with the ability to add up to 64 different effects. It also allows you to sync them to your playing track instantly.
The reason why Traktor Pro 3 is still a very prominent name in the market is that it packs a lot of powerful features that are future-proof, and they keep adding new ones as time goes on.
Completely free and open-source is what this next software called Mixxx is. You do not have to worry about spending any money on this software, and the good news is that it’s pretty decent when it comes to features for a no-cost solution.
Some of the main features include:
- Vinyl control records
- Various sound effects to mix and match
- DJ controller support with the help of built-in mappings
- Master sync to seamlessly match tempo and beats
- Musical key and BPM detection
- DVS included as standard
Interestingly, Mixxx is the only professional-grade DJ solution that works with Linux as well. It also supports PC and macOS.
This software can be called more of a digital audio workstation (DAW) rather than a DJ solution, but Ableton Live is still worth checking out. It holds power in the live electronic performance area and can help you bust out great musical pieces.
You can produce, play and perform, all from one single application. Also, it has audio manipulation tools that suit very well for the purpose of mixing and editing your tracks to however you like.
Obviously, it’s not a typical DJ software, but you can still use it for DJing to some extent. It’s available for PC and macOS.
Rekordbox is Pioneer’s very own DJ software, which is, in fact, very underrated, in my opinion. It provides efficient music management for pro-level DJ performance, and the greatest selling point is the fact that Pioneer is the number one manufacturer for different DJ hardware like turntables and controllers.
It’s loaded with many great features, but here are just some of them that really caught my attention:
- Mini Waveforms Previews to better identify which tracks would go well with the mix
- A library that’s easily compatible with Pioneer’s hardware
- Lighting mode to create lighting sequences as per the rhythm of the track
- Dark/light UI theme option
- Auto relocate files
Rekordbox is also great for live streaming on platforms like Twitch, YouTube etc.
Djay Pro AI
Very versatile and flexible, Djay Pro AI from Algoriddim is available on many platforms. From Windows to macOS to iOS and whatnot. Each of the platforms has a different set of features, but one thing that remains constant is the ease of use.
It’s the world’s first AI DVS system and gives you digital vinyl control. The term AI has been achieved by this software for features like their Neutral Mix, which basically isolates instruments of any given track to hand you the freedom of altering it.
Although it’s available for 4 different platforms, it’s been known to best perform for iOS and macOS. So, if you use either of these, you’re going to witness the real strength of this solution.
Dex 3 DJ
Available for macOS and Windows, Dex 3 DJ is a total gig success solution that’s loaded with a variety of features. It can help you go far beyond simple DJing because, in a way, this software works like multiple tools combined into one.
It allows you to mix music, host karaoke, blend tracks, and utilize in-demand controllers like hot cues and loops. It has over 100 different controllers support from popular equipment manufacturers. If your DJ controller isn’t included in that list, you can utilize their feature called LEARN to map it yourself.
Not to mention, Dex 3 DJ offers no-latency playback.
Yes, you can DJ even without a controller or special hardware equipment. However, that takes the fun thing out of it. But if you take it positively, it can be a plus in case of any hardware failure. As your DJing can not stop if you know how to DJ with just your laptop’s touchpad or keyboard.
To run most of the renowned DJ software or applications, you need an i5 or equivalent AMD processor with a minimum of 4GB of RAM and 64-bit OS. For a more efficient DJing experience while creating your own music, 16GB or more RAM can work wonders.
DJ software offers you a way to blend existing music and tracks together in an interesting way. On the other hand, Digital Audio Workstation is a complete set of instruments, computer software, and music production hardware that music producers use for creating and composing individual songs.
Whether you’re looking to make DJing a profession or get it on just for a hobby, these solutions above will help you throughout the process without any overwhelm.
Some of them are completely free, while some of them offer paid plans as well, so depending upon your requirement; you can pick one and dive straight into becoming a DJ.
On a side note, you’d also like to check out some audio editing software.