We’ve just compiled a list of the top rated DJ mixing software for your convenience. Because we’re awesome that way. These programs are made for professional or aspiring DJs to be able to mix their music live, on the spot. Don’t expect to see GarageBand or something simple like that in this rundown; this a list for the serious live music performer. The programs are listed in no particular order, because they’re all pretty damn good.
1. Traktor ($89.00)
Traktor Pro 2, by Native Instruments, provides great sound quality and works quickly on the right setup. One of the most noticable changes from it’s predecessor is colored waveforms, which help identify frequencies more easily. This program has been available since 2011 but has seen several upgrades since then. Recent upgrades allows you to “seamlessly syncs track meta data from TRAKTOR PRO to TRAKTOR DJ and back including all BPM, beat grid and cue point information,” as they put it. One of the things DJs often compliment Traktor for is its range and quality of effects, such as delay, flanger, and reverb. Another feature people seem to be utilizing is the beatgrid, which allows you to see where certain beats are located in your track. Traktor lets you adjust the visibility of the beatgrid or zoom in very closely for precision.
2. MixVibes ($49.00)
MixVibes Cross DJ is another quality program for the would-be DJ. The latest incarnation of this program features four channel faders, multi-effects, and quantization. The beatgrid editor in this program has been celebrated for its ease-of-use. MixVibes may not be as recognizable as some of the others on this list, but every list needs an underdog. By the way, this particular underdog also has some really nice internal recording features – definitely worth checking out.
3. Serato Scratch Live (Free, kind of)
The program is free, but the hardware you need in order to use it can cost over $1,000.00 per unit. If you can afford the hardware, then you’ll be in the company of the top DJs in the world who use this program. Generally speaking, it is very easy to use and very reliable. This is definitely one of the best programs to use if you’re worried about lag-time during scratching, as it doesn’t have any. One of the coolest features in this program is that the virtual vinyl on the screen turns at the exact same rate as the actual vinyl in your setup, with a line indicating where it is in the track. “Also lurking under that user-friendly interface is a great little add-on called The Bridge, which gives full integration between Scratch Live and Ableton Live,” DJMag.com points out.
4. VirtualDJ Pro ($299.00)
VirtualDJ, by Atomix Productions, is a sleek program that often goes underrated. It is one of the better options for those interested in video mixing and competes with many less affordable options. Video mixing is often not as focused on with this kind of software, but being able to sync some impressive visuals on a projector while you mix can be a great addition. There is a reason this program is heavily downloaded across the board. You can operate four decks at once, and the Rewire feature is pretty competitive with “The Bridge” feature in Serato. VirtualDJ works seamlessly with your iTunes account and allows you to edit playlists more easily than many other pieces of software.
5. Ableton ($449.00)
Ableton Live’s most recent incarnation is a powerhouse in the DJ industry. Many of the features in Ableton are hard to compete with, including its Audio Warp functions, for example, which, according to Expert Reviews, “are the sonic equivalent of Play-Doh, re-timing and pitching recordings with a dexterity that other recording software has yet to match.” The Push hardware, developed by Akai Professional, does a lot in regards to improving how well you can operate your MIDI with the software. Speaking of MIDI, the audio-to-MIDI conversion is hard to match, operating three unique algorithm options that allow automatic and efficient conversion. The new browser in the latest version, which includes instrument-based categories, is also a significant improvement. Hardware like the Push device can get pretty expensive but you’ll end up with a very capable setup for your performances.
What do you think of our list of the best DJ Software? Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments below.