Which is the best virtual DJ software
Overview: The best DJ software for professionals | 2021
The range of DJ software is huge. At first glance, many of the programs seem to be similar, but there are definitely differences and not infrequently these are in the details. Particularly when it comes to professional DJing, details can be absolutely crucial. For example, you can find autosynchronization, effects or samplers in most programs, but the features differ in their usability and quality. To support you in your search for the best professional DJ software, we have put together our top 6!
Tractor Pro 3
The Traktor Pro software from Native Instruments is used by many DJs around the world and is considered one of the classics. The total of four usable decks can each be used as a track, live input or remix deck (sampler). Compared to the previous version, the layout has remained largely the same, the surface has a pleasantly dark look. The so-called stems are a specialty of Traktor: In this container format for tracks, which was specially developed by Native Instruments, the waveform is displayed in four separate stems. The mixer effects, which can be set on the filter control, have also been added.
The routing of the channels, the assignments of MIDI controllers and the many high-quality onboard effects expand the performance possibilities. Of course, Traktor Pro 3 also supports track control via DVS. What is new is that you are no longer limited to in-house sound cards, interfaces from other manufacturers can now also be used. In the course of this, many DJ mixers and media players from other manufacturers such as Allen & Heath or Pioneer have now been equipped with certifications for Traktor, so that seamless support for the DJ software is guaranteed. So were z. For example, the Pioneer CDJ-2000NXS2 and XDJ-1000 media players are stored at Traktor as Plug & Play controllers using the HID protocol. Even mixers like the DJM-900NXS2 now support Traktor time codes.
Tractor's strengths lie in the versatile setting options and the large selection of good-sounding and practical effects. In addition, the auto-synchronization of tracks and samples with the help of beat grids is extremely precise and reverse playback is also possible. Traktor sounds good and the GUI is very clear, here you can clearly see Native Instruments' many years of experience with software user interfaces. And DJs benefit from timecode control at every level.
Unfortunately, the integration of videos or a light control is not possible. Features for mobile DJs such as You won't find any smart crates, a karaoke function, the simultaneous display of several playlists or an auto-DJ function with Traktor Pro either. The integration of streaming services such as SoundCloud or Spotify is also not yet available, but is planned for later versions. Unfortunately, there is also no alternative waveform display yet.
Anyone who already owns Traktor Pro 2 can upgrade to version 3 for 49 euros. If you buy a tractor controller like the S2 or the S4, you get the DJ software for free. In the full version, on the other hand, Traktor Pro costs 99 euros.
Price: 99 EUR
Serato DJ Pro
The direct competitor is called Serato DJ Pro. This DJ software can be operated both via timecode and a controller. It is important that it only works with certified and connected hardware, the respective mixer, controller or audio interface then serve as a dongle and activate the software. This is why Serato DJ Pro is inherently compatible with a large number of controllers and mixers. Non-certified MIDI controllers can also be used, but then do not offer all control commands.
Serato DJ Pro provides up to four decks and a sampler. The GUI can be optically adjusted using various screensets, and there is also a small selection of effects on board that sound OK. There are additional pad effects for controllers and additional effect packages, the video mixing plug-in Serato Video or the pitch-n-time feature can be added through in-app purchases. The latter is a very precise pitch correction with which harmonic mixing can be almost completely automated.
Serato DJ Pro's strengths lie primarily in its plug & play behavior. Every certified device can be used immediately after connection without the risk of losing yourself in the settings when logging in. This is very user-friendly and saves time and nerves. Thanks to the different screensets and the arrangement of the waveforms, it is even possible to mix purely optically. The track analysis is very precise and beatgrids rarely need to be corrected. Another advantage of the tracklist search are the Smart Crates, which act like keyword filters. This makes track management a little easier. Another big plus: Serato allows streaming via the SoundCloud and Tidal services. Overall, with Serato DJ Pro you get a comfortable DJ software that invites you to start quickly and is very clear.
Serato DJ Pro's user friendliness can also become a limitation, for example when it comes to freedom in signal routing or MIDI mapping. External signal sources cannot be looped through, for example to cover internal effects. This also applies to MIDI data that is required to synchronize external devices such as drum machines or synthesizers. However, these features only come into play if you really want to let your creativity run free; they are not missing when you just hang up. In addition, some features are unfortunately associated with surcharges, for example if you want to use the internal audio interface of a Pioneer DJM-900NXS2 for timecode control.
Serato DJ Lite can be downloaded from the manufacturer's website for a foretaste of the software. There are also three program versions that can be purchased either once or in monthly installments. Serato DJ Pro is priced at $ 129, or $ 9.99 per month. Serato DJ Essentials offers additional content and already costs $ 249 or $ 11.99 per month. The Serato DJ Suite includes all content provided by the manufacturer and is available for USD 349 or USD 14.99 per month.
Price: Only with certified hardware
Originated from Pioneer's archiving software Rekordbox, Rekordbox DJ is now a fully equipped DJ software that absolutely does not have to hide from the top dogs Serato and Traktor. Similar to Serato, most of the functions in Rekordbox DJ are only fully available with appropriate Pioneer hardware. DJ controllers of the DDJ series such as the DDJ-1000 or DDJ-400 are possible, but table-top media players of the CDJ and XDJ series are also supported. Rekordbox DJ offers four decks for playing, a sampler with up to 64 slots and the usual basic functions such as hot cues and loops.
The track analysis works very precisely, including pitch detection and beat grids, and there is also a clear selection of effects on board. Since the software is mainly geared towards the use of controllers, various pad effects are also available. For a surcharge, Rekordbox DJ can be expanded with an effects package from the RMX series or a DMX light control. If you have the RB-DMX1 interface, you can even use it to create a music-synchronized light control. There is also a video mixing extension for Rekordbox DJ with text overlays and effects, as well as a DVS extension for timecode media.
The similarity to Serato DJ Pro cannot be denied, but there are differences: The track management of Rekordbox DJ, for example, offers intelligent playlists, its own tagging and a track recommendation. The whole thing is rounded off by a live playlist stream on the company's own social media platform called Kuvo, where titles are broadcast to the audience in real time. The user interface can be set up individually with prefabricated screensets. Overall, Rekordbox DJ is in no way inferior to the competition in terms of performance, streaming services such as SoundCloud and Beatport are also implemented.
The disadvantage of the DJ software is that all extensions are only available for an extra charge and that Rekordbox DJ only works with Pioneer brand products. However, this product world is very extensive and the devices are also widespread.
Rekordbox DJ is available as freeware and as a core (9.99 EUR) or creative subscription (14.99 EUR).
Price: Only with certified hardware
Algoriddim djay Pro 2
The DJ software djay was originally designed for MacOS by the Bavarian company Algoriddim and for years was more of a user-friendly consumer app. Djay Pro then expanded the application with the aim of satisfying the needs of professional DJs without reducing user-friendliness. This is ensured by a clearly laid out surface with up to four decks and a sampler.
Basically, djay Pro 2 also impresses with its user-friendliness. Many Pioneer DJ controllers and media players can be connected via plug & play, but manual mapping is also possible. In addition, improvements have been made to the track management and the screensets, and the integration of Spotify makes djay Pro2 a tool with an almost unlimited choice of music. In addition, you can now switch the onboard effects postfader and up to eight cue points or loops per deck are standard with Djay Pro 2.
The track analysis determines the BPM accurately, with beat grids being set automatically. In addition to the BPM, there is also pitch synchronization, which makes harmonic mixing much easier. Another strength of the app is the integrated video mixing, which can also process videos in 4K and 60 fps. Supplemented by video effects and VFX transitions, Djay Pro 2 is particularly suitable for getting started with VJing over two decks.
The DJ software shows weaknesses in signal routing from external sources, the lack of DVS support, the effects that have been kept too simple and the 12-slot sampler. The latter two seem more like gimmicks that cannot really be used professionally. For more fun you should definitely buy the effects from Sugarbytes for an additional charge of 10.99 EUR.
Djay Pro 2 is now available for Windows, MacOS, Android and iOS. A free (test) version can be downloaded from the manufacturer's website or directly from the app or Google store. However, if you want to use the full scope of the app, you have to pull out your wallet. On its homepage, the manufacturer announces that soon only a subscription model will be offered.
Price: 54.99 EUR in the Mac Appstore
Atomix VirtualDJ 2021
VirtualDJ is the jack of all trades among the available DJ software. The user interface was already good, but has been revised again in the latest version, and it can also be optically adapted with countless skins. Cue points, loops and effects are available for mixing (supposedly) up to 99 decks, but it is questionable whether someone needs that many decks at all. The 2- and 4-deck mode is designed purely optically like the common DJ software from other manufacturers. The waveform displays are on top of each other, followed by the deck control, mixer unit and track browser. There are additional performance or pad effects for cue points, similar to those known from Serato DJ Pro or Rekordbox DJ. Although these can also be set using the mouse, they are much more convenient to use with a corresponding pad controller.
Due to its widespread use, VDJ is compatible with countless MIDI controllers. Most mappings are already included, so you can count on a quick start, but you can also create your own mappings. In addition to the pure lay-up features, VDJ also offers video mixing, a karaoke function and a music subscription for iDJPool for a surcharge. Many extensions for effects, samples or even video loops are also available free of charge, but the quality of these extensions can sometimes be disputed. If you want to share your mix with the world, you can stream directly from VDJ to services such as YouTube, Facebook, Periscope, Twitch and even Beatport.
The strengths of the DJ software VirtualDJ 2021 lie primarily in the numerous features - every type of DJ will be able to discover something for themselves here. Control via controller, timecode or mobile device is possible, and it is also very welcome that VDJ can be used with almost any hardware, without restrictive license conditions. So z. For example, any sound card can be used for DVS operation, even if you cannot avoid the internal timecode media. The harmonic mixing, an event scheduler and the offline stem analysis round off the whole thing.
Just as the quantity of features is one of the strengths of VDJ, the quality of some features is also one of its weak points. The effects sometimes sound mediocre and unfortunately there is no multicolored waveform display. Working with Beatgrids is a bit fiddly and the video transitions could be a little more contemporary. In addition, there is no official support contact in Germany, help can usually only be found in the VDJ forum.
VirtualDJ 2021 is often included with DJ controllers. But if you want to purchase the software, you have three options. For a lifelong but non-transferable license, a one-time fee of USD 299 is due (or USD 19 per month as a subscription). VirtualDJ Business with extra support costs 99 USD per month. If you also want all the online catalogs, it is 166 USD. For a non-commercial license you put at least 49 USD on the table.
Price: 299 USD
Ultramixer 6 Pro Entertain
The Ultramixer software is aimed at mobile DJs who earn their money at weddings and company events. Her focus is less on remixing tracks or manipulating them with creative techniques, rather it is more about making the handling of multigenres easy and being able to deal well with wish lists and announcements. The up to four decks can be equipped with their own playlist and arranged differently, which makes it easier to sort the song selection. Mixing with autosync and Beatgrids is more in the background at Ultramixer, but the software provides a video sampler including transitions with which short videos can be played in the common formats.
In addition to text overlay and the playback of photo slideshows, Ultramixer 6 Pro Entertain also has a karaoke function so that music and lyrics are output centrally by the software. There is also a connection to the Madrix control software, which can be used to plan and automate light shows. Anyone who likes can show any video image to the audience via the webcam interface. Ultramixer has an auto-DJ function for party breaks when background sound is more desirable. And should you as a DJ want to take a break, there is an app with which you can remotely control the decks and the sampler via WiFi.
As the name suggests, the strengths of the Ultramixer 6 Pro Entertain DJ software lie in numerous functions that serve to entertain the audience. Anyone who is out and about as a solo entertainer will hardly be able to avoid Ultramixer, the software is tailored to the target group of mobile DJs like no other. Weddings and other celebrations are therefore among the ideal areas of application. Despite the abundance of functions, the software looks slim and clear, and it is stable and reliable.
Weak points can only be found with Ultramixer outside of the actual area of application, if z. B. to the Beatgrid editing or the VJ-ing. With around 80 DJ controller mappings on board, the most popular devices are available. However, if you want to create your own mapping, knowledge of XML is required.
Ultramixer costs 199.95 EUR in the full version and offers a lot of features. If that's too much for you at first, you can start with the cheaper home (49.95 EUR) or basic version (99.95 EUR) and upgrade later (from 29.95 EUR depending on the version available. Premium support costs a further EUR 99.95 per year.
Price: 199 EUR
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