DJs are among the most essential people at gigs who mix the recorded music as it plays. Today laptops that hook up to other controllers are among the most essential hardware for DJs.
The laptops include virtual DJ software that effectively emulate the effects processing DJs use to mix and match songs and enables users to create mixes before or during a gig. They’re programs that replace the vinyl turntables with digital music. This is some of the best virtual DJ software to get your parties started with!
Zulu is ideal software for novice DJs with its intuitive drag-and-drop UI and automatic beat detection. This program is compatible with Windows and Mac OS X, and there are also Zulu apps for Android and Kindle devices. The software has a Home and Masters edition that usually retail at $50 and $60, but are currently discounted on the NCH website. You can add a freeware version of Zulu to Windows by clicking Download the free version here on the software’s home page.
Zulu includes two decks with which to play selected tracks. The software provides you with a range of effects to apply in real-time, which include reverb, distortion, amplify, compression, delay, echo and chorus. As the program has VST plug-in support, you can even add your own extra effects.
As mentioned, the software has unique automatic beat detection that automatically scans loaded tracks and assigns a beat per minute to synchronize decks. Zulu boasts widespread compatibility with all the major file formats, such as WAV, MP3, AIF, AVI, MPG, MPEG, WMV, ASF and more besides. NCH also provides comprehensive technical support for the software through its website.
PCDJ Dex 3 (suggested)
PCDJ Dex 3 software allows you not only to mix music but also videos and karaoke. This is a strong feature for a software compared to SVM 1000 from Pioneer (hardware) which costs around 7 k dollars.
It gives you full control over your media in order to boost your mixing experience.All traditional DJ features (loops, hot cues etc.) are highly responsive. You can try that directly with your keyboard and mouse – you’ll be very surprised. The grid-based BPM sync system allows you to focus on other aspects of the mix with a big ‘fourchette’ of effects and controllers.
If you have iTunes playlists – they can be easily imported into PCDJ Dex 3 and mixed right away. Another great feature is that you can select the type of files you want to work with: this allows you to manage your sound quality during the mix (for example only FLAC or 320kbps tracks).This is a great product that is easy to use and good enough for both novices and advanced DeeJays.
- Download now PCDJ Dex 3 free edition
Serato DJ is software chosen by many club DJs that has numerous state-of-the-art tools and options for gigs. The software is retailing at $99, but you can subscribe to Serato with a $9.99 montly subscription. There’s also a freeware Serato DJ Intro you can add to Windows 10, macOS Sierra and Mac OS X platforms from this web page.
Serato DJ consists of four virtual track decks that enable users to mix four channels simultaneously for more creative remixes. Each of the track decks have full color waveforms with red representing bass, green mid-range and blue treble audio frequencies.
The waveforms have several alternative view modes for you to select from. The software enables users to set up to eight cut points to mark songs with, and it also includes quick sync controls so that you can instantly beat-match.
Serato provides users with an extensive set of customizable DJ effects that include creative noise synths, filters, echoes and delays. In addition, this software comes with full digital vinyl system support to emulate the feel of traditional DJing, a comprehensive library integrated with iTunes and Pulselocker and recording and sampling tools. Note that you can only use this software with a limited range of compatible hardware that include DVS, non-DVS and MIDI controllers.
Mixxx is perhaps the best open-source DJ software for Windows, Mac and Linux. It has almost all the DJ tools you’ll need with advanced controls for playback, sampler decks, live broadcast streaming, timecode support, a great mixing engine and a customizable UI you can select alternative skins for. You can add Mixxx 2.0 to 32 or 64-bit Windows platforms from the this home page.
Mixxx 2.0 incorporates four virtual turntable decks to combine tracks with, which are held together with the Master Sync engine that keeps them aligned. Each of the decks have red, green and blue waveforms so that DJs can visualize audio changes in the tracks. Beat looping, vinyl emulation, hot cues and pitchbend are a few of the mixing engine’s advanced controls.
Mixxx includes a range of built-in effects to select from, such as flanger, echo, reverb, bitCrusher, bessel and biquad. DJs can apply up to four chains of effects to a single mixer channel. The software boasts a music library database that integrates with iTunes, Traktor and Rhythmbox for quick access to playlists in those external libraries. Mixxx also has fairly extensive hardware compatibility as it supports more than 85 controllers, but as it isn’t tiered to a specific company some configuration will be required to get your hardware working with the software.
VirtualDJ is another of the foremost DJ programs that the publisher’s website boasts has had more than 150 million downloads, which is more than any other DJ software. The software is freely available for home users, albeit with a few ads included, but you’ll need the Pro Infinity package to use it with multiple external hardware controllers. VirtualDJ Pro is available at $299, or you can become a Pro subscriber with a $19 a month subscription fee. Alternatively, you can use VirtualDJ Plus with one USB or MIDI controller.
VirtualDJ V8 is the latest version of the software that has a fresh engine, lots of new tools and extra novelties. VirtualDJ V8 now supports up to 99 decks, which is more than you’ll ever need. The software has a multitude of effects for you to select from, which include echo, flanger, slicer, loop-roll and beat grid. The developers have added a new Sandbox to V8 that enables DJs to prepare the next mix while the current song is still playing. Furthermore, VirtualDJ is also widely compatible with most DJ controllers, which you can configure with VDJScript.
One of the best things about VirtualDJ is that it’s not just limited to playing audio as users can also hook it up with projectors and other screens for karaoke and videos. As such, you can add video tracks to audio-only songs with segments from other video clips. With the AutoMix editor, DJs can apply video transition effects for mixes and pre-edit automix sequences. The software’s built-in sampler is also a handy tool that you can use as a sequencer and produce complex remixes with.
Traktor Pro 2
Native Instruments’ renowned Traktor Pro 2 DJ software provides users with an extensive assortment of creative tools for gigs. There’s only one version of Traktor Pro 2 retailing at about $99, but you can try out a demo that closes after 30 minutes. The program is compatible with Windows and Mac OS X, and it requires a fairly hefty one GB hard drive storage, 4 GB RAM and 2 Ghz CPU.
Traktor Pro 2 is flexible DJ mixer software with an intuitive and customizable UI. The software provides users with 4-deck control, which includes a remix deck that you can capture loops, load sounds in extra slots and trigger samples with. Another great thing about the remix deck is that it can handle up to 64 samples, and you can run it independently of the main deck to adjust samples.
This software has more than 30 customizable studio effects to apply to the decks. Traktor’s built-in mixer has a good selection of EQs and filter types for DJs to choose from. In addition, the software has a great music library that’s integrated with iTunes and displays extensive track details.
Traktor Pro 2 is compatible with a wide range of Native Instruments gear, and the company has tailored its hardware specifically for the software so that minimal configuration is needed. Note that Native Instruments bundles Traktor Pro 2 with some of its hardware. However, the software is also compatible with all third-party MIDI controllers; and there are some Traktor Ready controllers and soundcards that the software is already configured for with preset MIDI mappings.
Those are five of the best of virtual DJ software for Windows and other platforms. Which is the best package might depend largely on your own DJ setup requirements with regards to hardware compatibility and software options and tools. Serato DJ, Traktor Pro 2 and VirtualDJ are the industry standard virtual DJ software included at gigs the world over; but Mixxx and Zulu are good value alternatives.