The years have passed when even the best DJ software would never appear in a professional live DJ setup. The DJ software is not substandard anymore. Most professional DJs now perform with their laptops, DJ software, and a club mixer.
Let’s face it; you can get the same or even more capabilities from DJ software than a costly setup with a pair of turntables and a mixer. Two DJ software is responsible for this small revolution.
Our list of the TOP 6 Best DJ software in the world today:
- NI Traktor Pro
- Serato DJ
- Rekordbox by Pioneer DJ
- Virtual DJ
- Ableton Live
A lot has changed since the Virtual DJ. The most popular software a decade ago was a bar/club standard for an automatic mix. The “baton” received by Traktor Pro and Serato DJ, two viral and top-rated softwares used by beginners and professional DJs around the world. Taking into consideration which DJ software the top DJs are using as well as features, interface, and budget, we found the six best DJ software for you to choose.
The Top 6 Best DJ Software for Mac & Windows
1. NATIVE INSTRUMENTS TRAKTOR PRO
The best advanced DJ software for professional Disc Jockeys!
Native Instruments have been established in the music equipment industry for decades. NI is well known for its DJ equipment as well as keyboards, controllers, and virtual instruments. For nearly ten years since its launch, Traktor Pro has been used by the majority of professional DJs around the world, such as Richie Hawtin, Carl Cox, Joris Voorn, and Sasha. The attention to detail is what made it our first pick for the best DJ software. Traktor’s special feature is, of course, the digital vinyl system (DVS).
An important factor of Traktor’s success:
After it’s release, it followed a numerous of midi and DJ controllers to dominate the market. DJ controllers like the Traktor Kontrol S2 are a perfect fit for beginners who want a complete DJ setup “look” from only one tool. While midi controllers such as Kontrol X1 or F1 are more affordable choices but with limited functions.
Traktor Pro offers superb remixes and sample decks. Either you want a classic two-deck setup, or a more advanced four-channel environment. On each desc, you will find color-coded waveforms that will help you identify the kicks, hi-hats, and snares of the track. Also, Traktor’s extremely accurate beat grid-ding will not only improve your mixing skills but also give character and color to your performance. It was never easier to manipulate, edit, and cut a track into loops and samples.
Traktor gives you the opportunity to create and manipulate music libraries and arrange your music according to BPM, title, duration, and many other characteristics. It also integrates with iTunes to make it easier for you to add tracks. Traktor’s key features are the powerful looping and over 40 effects to experiment and perform smooth mixing.
Conclusion: Even if some might doubt it, Traktor Pro by NI is the most reliable, highly rated, and trusted by top DJs worldwide. That fully-featured professional DJ software is definitely worth every penny of its sweet price tag. Traktor Pro is compatible with MAC and Windows OS and can handle situations in the biggest clubs and the most crowded DJ festivals in the world. Its interface is still manageable and user-friendly for every beginner DJ. Find more info and the price tag at native-instruments.com.
If you like the software by Native Instruments, you might also want to take a look at the best DJ controllers for Traktor Pro, and you may find the software included.
2. SERATO DJ Pro
The biggest competitor of Traktor Pro is a perfect fit for any amateur or pro. Both DJ software offers excellent features and a user-friendly interface. The main has taken digital DJing to a whole new level of mixing experience. The price difference between those two is so small that there is no purpose for the report.
Serato scratch DJ is a winner for scratch and hip-hop artists with its impressive DVS (digital vinyl system) support. Same for electronic music DJs, it offers pro features and a very friendly minimal design interface. You can accommodate both 2 and 4 deck mixing, and still be able to view BPM, the time elapsed, and the remaining time of each track. The color-coded waveforms are great for monitoring the path of the songs.
The frequencies are easily to identify in order to succeed a perfect smooth mix. Red shade waves represent low frequencies such as bass and kicks. Green are the natural mid-range frequencies. And with the blue shades you will see the high-ends.
Check dedicated controllers for Traktor and Serato software at the best DJ controller of 2023.
A single click on your mouse or a push of a button on your controller/CDJ is enough to create hot cues and loops. More than creating a list, Serato also allows you to add rules to keep your tracklist well organized and ordered. This DJ software integrates with Soundcloud for easy access to your music collection.
Conclusion: You can check the free “Intro” version of Serato before buying one. A quick reminder that if you buy a DJ controller is common to receive a full version of this software. As well, as perfect compatibility for plug-and-play adjustment. There are numerous DJ controllers on the market for you to pick from and for a very affordable price. You will also find interfaces, mixers, and accessories compatible with Serato DJ.
Visit serato.com for more pieces of information and other DJ products.
3. PIONEER RECORDBOX DJ
Where there is a DJ, there are Pioneer products and equipment. Serato and Traktor PRO have engaged the majority of DJs around the world. However, when the scene enters a Pioneer DJ product, you cannot let it pass unnoticed.
Recordbox DJ may not have the popularity of the above DJ software, but it has engaged a circle of famous and beginner DJs. The interface is simple, but at the same time, not very user-friendly. I find it easier to navigate than the other major mixing softwares.
There is everything you will need from your DJ mixing software. You can choose 2 or 4 decks and have access to features, such as Hot Cues, pads, sound effects, a sampler, recordings, and more. The browsing and library display part gives full and clear options to sort, filter, and read your tracks, folders, and playlists. The colorful waveforms are also there to help you beat-match, mix, and perform a perfect DJ set. If you are looking for a new laptop to install Recordbox, check the best DJ laptops.
This digital mixing software uses sound processing from the CDJ-2000NXS2 player and a DJM-900NXS DJ mixer to provide superior sound quality.
Conclusion: Rekordbox DJ works with many Pioneer DJ controllers and media players. It has all the features you will want to find, analyze, edit, and mix your tracks, and all this with the credibility of the Pioneer DJ. Recordbox offers a 30-day free trial, plus four packs with DVS, Videos, remix effects, and Lyrics in case you want to explore more capabilities.
For more information, and plans to purchase go to Recordbox.com.
4. VIRTUAL DJ
The most popular mixing software in the world!
Virtual DJ spread the word around the globe and made it a perfect option for every bedroom DJ as the easiest DJ software to use. It has been around for ages and has recorded over 150 million downloads. From beginner DJs to bar and club owners that are looking for perfect and easy auto-mixing sets this is the answer.
It couldn’t be on our list if it didn’t offer at least the basic features. Play two or more tracks at the same time with FX control such as flanger, echo, and beat slicer. A premium feature is that you can add much more than four desks at the same time. In fact, you can add up to 99 tracks or vocals for mixing, scratching, or sampling. You can set the BPM, and you will also find cross-fader and, of course, cue points, and sound effects. It lacks, however, proper color-coded waveforms that help you achieve a smooth transition between tracks.
Furthermore, the Virtual DJ offers more than the basics. You can mix karaoke, record your podcast, and besides track desks, you can also do video mixing. As the most popular DJ software on the market, you will find a massive number of tutorials and community forums that will solve any problems you might have.
However, the free version is only available for non-commercial use. If you want to use a DJ controller, you will have to invest and order a pricing version. Otherwise, you will have to compromise with your Laptop’s keyboard and mouse.
Virtual DJ integrates with Spotify and Soundcloud so that you won’t have to search deep into your music database for your next tunes. If you want to DJ with Spotify you might want to take a look at the djay | DJ App for your android mobile, iPhone, or iPad device.
Conclusion: A great option if you run a cafe, bar, or radio station and looking for a DJ program that mixes songs automatically. If the Virtual DJ looks very basic for your taste, remember that DJs like Carl Cox and Tiesto have endorsed it. It is available for download at virtualdj.com, and here you will find the prices of DJ equipment that offer the software for free.
5. ABLETON LIVE
The best DAW DJ software for mashups and remixing songs!
Even if Ableton live is not a natural DJ software, it can still deliver the job with extreme features and capabilities. If you are wondering what software DJs use to make music, remix, or mashup of songs, the answer is a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). Such as the Ableton Live, FL Studio, and Logic pro.
We leave the arrangement view for the mixing and mastering process, and for DJing, we work in the session view. Instead of the standard look of desks and a DJ mixer, we move into an environment with a grid with rows and columns, where you drag and drop your tracks or music samples. I know it sounds a bit inorganic, but with DJ controllers such as APC40, it is super easy and fun to play and experiment with your DJ set. Check out how to make a DJ set on Ableton Live.
Except for sound samples, you can also insert midi clips and perform live with plug-in instruments to produce your own sounds. Ableton Live offers audio and midi effects such as filter, reverb, delay, and dozens more that will give you everything you need to perform a perfect mix. There is not enough time for you to even cover a small number of tutorials available on the web from amateur bedroom videos to complete track walkthroughs by world-class music producers.
Conclusion: Ableton Live is compatible with Windows and MAC OS. Its price tag might scare you, but don’t forget that we are talking about high-end professional music production software. It won’t be easy DJing with Ableton without an Ableton Live MIDI Controller. The market includes controllers such as Ableton Push and APC25/40 by AKAI that offer fast integration and a lite version of the software to try before buying.
The best audio software for listening to music on auto!
I kept you waiting for the first free DJ software on our list. Mixxx is probably the least-known software in the market. Although I believe that it deserves more attention, Mixxx can be installed on WIN, MAC, and Linux Operating systems.
If we forget the essential factor of a free and open-source music application, Mixxx offers most of the pro features we met before from the previous DJ software. A standard two-deck system with a colorful waveform display similar to Serato Dj is what you need. As soon as you perfect mixing with two channels, you can go up to 4 decks for mixing, scratching, or creating a mashup. Also, the powerful DJ mixer machine comes with FX slots and a music library that integrated with iTunes to import and organize your lists is ideal. And not just iTunes but can also read Traktor, and Rhythmbox libraries for an ultimate and fast connection.
You can control tracks with actual turntables, as Mixxx gives you the opportunity to set it up with a vinyl control system (DVS). The dark “look” doesn’t excite anyone, but the premium features are worth looking at. If you know a bit of coding, you can also customize it by yourself.
On the other hand, there are not many reviews on forums and websites to get the feedback that you might want. Even if this software is easy to use, you will have to explore it by yourself, as you won’t find as many tutorials as the first three options above.
Conclusion: Without a doubt the best FREE DJ software available. Download the new version 2.0 and start mixing today. If you can afford to spend ten bucks check the pro version.
These were our picks for the top 6 best DJ softwares in the market for mixing and DJing in 2020!
If you are a beginner with a limited budget check out the best free DJ Software Apps.
All the above DJ software can be installed on both MAC, Windows PC, or Linux. They will do a proper job, not only for the conventional DJs, but karaoke, radio, and every event with music.
What is DJ software?
To mix music on your computer you will need a DJ software. Installed in your PC or Mac, it emulates turntables and a DJ mixer. With a DJ software, you can deliver the job by simply “drag-drop” a track from anywhere in your computer into the software. You can create and edit music libraries of your choice in no time. By creating music libraries in your software, it can quickly then scan and analyze your music. Most of our picks also offer iTunes integration.
That will offer the BPM, the keys they’re in, and many other essential DJ pieces of information to get a harmonic mixing. The mixer is a replica of a traditional DJ mixer, but unless you want to use your keyboard and mouse, you will have to invest in a DJ Controller or DJ mixer with MIDI connectivity.
Pretty amazing to run on your computer, a piece of software that offers a full DJ experience without spending a fortune.
How does DJ software work for mixing?
Imagine a DJ setup with two turntables or cd players that are used to play the music of your choice. You can either enter CDs, USB sticks, or vinyl and re-produce your music on whatever sound format it is. But with DJ software, you can deliver the job by creating and managing your music libraries inside your computer software.
Without a doubt, performing with only your computer and the software feels a bit unnatural. A mouse-clicking cannot anyhow be compared to turning knobs, faders, and manual beat matching. But the equation now enters the DJ controllers. That is a tool that combines mixer controls and two-player simulators with jog wheels and cue points, as well as the auto loop, FX controls, and drum pads.
DJ controllers offer perfect connectivity with the best DJ software we will see today. The best of all is that most beginner DJ controllers provide a trial or full version of their supported software.
What to consider when choosing your DJ mixing software?
There are two significant factors to consider before buying DJ software.
- Features: Standard features we consider a desc with two or more tracks playing at the same time and a DJ mixer with FX controls such as echo, reverb, and filter. As well an easy way to set the BPM, crossfade, and save cue points. A feature more difficult to find is the digital vinyl system (DVS) with which you can connect it to your turntables. A big plus for your mixing is also those color waveforms display on each track.
- OS compatible: Make sure the DJ software you are about to pick, is also compatible with your desktop or laptop. However, most DJ softwares out there will run in both Mac and Windows operating systems.
- DJ controller integration: The market is filled with DJ controllers that offer perfect integration with the top DJ softwares such as Traktor Pro, Ableton Live, and Serato DJ. However, they may not function at all or as well with other DJ software, so it is essential to get one that is compatible with the software you are currently using.
Consisting of knobs, encoders, jog wheels’ faders, backlit buttons, and performance pads, the DJ controller will give the same feel as the traditional DJ setup. Controllers are flexible in their use and can help make a DJ software do much more.
- Reputation: An essential factor in creating our list is to find which DJ software the top DJs are using. Furthermore, how easily intermediate and beginners can adapt to their environment and interface.
- Price: Even if the majority of DJ programs are surprisingly cheap, there are some great FREE options as well. Those softwares are not lacking much from their competitors and are definitely worth your attention if you have a limited budget.
What DJ software do most professional DJs use?
Traktor Pro, Serato DJ, Rekordbox by Pioneer, Virtual DJ, and Ableton Live are the most popular DJ softwares used by the majority of professional DJs out there.
- DJs that use Traktor Pro DJ Software: Carl Cox, Richie Hawtin, Tocadisco, Nicole Moudaber, Joris Voorn, and the majority of Techno and Tech-house music scene DJs.
- Serato DJ Software: Used by Kygo, Fatboy Slim, Skrillex, Steve Aoki, DVBBS, and other house music DJs.
- Pioneer Rekordbox DJ Software: Used by Armin Van Buuren, Axwell, Juicy M, Chris Lake, and most EDM DJs out there.
- DJs that use Virtual DJ Software: Used by Carl Cox, Tiesto, and more.
- Ableton Live DAW: Used by Guy J, Rodriguez Jr., Alex Dimou, Marshmello as it is the top choice for DJs / music producers when performing live.
Other use of DJ software:
Weddings, club/bar owners, and in general, whoever wants a mixed set on “auto-pilot”. Of course, we are not talking about DJing here, but sometimes as a DJ, you need to focus on other things and less on the technical aspects of mixing music. Don’t forget that the basic principle of a DJ is to keep the crowd entertained and the dance floor filled.
If there is any hip-hop DJ or anyone who truly loves mixing and scratching, by reading this, they will probably close this post right away. I understand that the only possible way for you to use DJ software is with the digital vinyl system (DVS), which means that you will have your turntables and mixer for DJing, and your software will only work as a track selection tool.
Digital Vinyl System (DVS)!
Even if you still desire a classic DJ setup with turntables and a vinyl feel, you can now combine them with your software. Both the most popular DJ software that dominates the market and has brought this digital revolution in the last years can easily be set up with your turntables and a DJ mixer. The DJ software receives the “moves” of your turntables and DJ mixer to give you a real feel of djing, beat-matching, and scratching. If you prefer traditional mixing or you are a vinyl enthusiast, go and check the best DJ turntables for every budget.
Whether you want to mix techno, dubstep, hip hop, or rock music on your PC, buying digital mixing software is the answer.
DJ software does not have to be expensive to get the job done. All choices above, especially the first two, are professional mixing softwares used by the majority of famous DJs in clubs or/and big festivals. By taking into consideration the price, user-friendly interface, features, and user ratings, you will be able to make the best possible choice for your current and future needs.
We hope in our guide, we collected all the necessary tips and pieces of information you need to make the best decision.
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