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DJ Software

Traktor_Pro_2_GUITraktor Pro 2

Serato-DJ-main-screenSerato DJ

There are three big programs. One of these three will usually come in the box with your gear. The cheaper, entry level decks typically come with either Virtual DJ, Serato Intro, or Traktor LE. These are the cheapest and most annoying pieces of DJ software out there, as they have limited effects, almost no beat detection and only have support for two decks.  In this reviewer’s opinion, this crap software is a long and tedious joke at the music industry’s expense, as it puts people who are new to the practice of DJing at a disadvantage creatively and can discourage and disappoint people who are testing the waters before they throw down money on a serious deck.

Traktor 2 is the most popular software on the market, and will come with most intermediate controllers in the $400 – $900 mark. This software is very stable, has great beat detection, a vast library of effects and a great sample deck/remix deck function. For advanced users with technical expertise, you can even get deep into the midi routing and remap your lighting, response and control midi functions with your hardware. Check out DJ Tech Tools’ website for more info on this, they have plenty of walkthroughs and custom mappings available for free.

The pro level software that you will get on the elite level controllers is Serato DJ. The big benefit of Serato DJ is that it is the software of choice for Rane DVS systems, and also includes beat detection that operates on a 4/4 beat structure, not just a single beat function. This allows Serato to have some pretty amazing functions, like the slicer, grid rolls, quantized effects, and also has the option to have Serato Video VDJ software added on later. Whilst the midi routing functions are not as advanced as Traktor, it makes up for that by having an expansive, dynamic, and unique suite of remix tools and effects. This is also the most stable DJ software currently available, and you can purchase mini upgrades for around $10 each that provide it with more stylized effects libraries.

Aside from the two major companies, the most interesting DJ software has to be The One. This software is the most customizable, easy to use, and ingenious software available as a separate product. Not only can you customize the layout and colours of the work area for maximum visual cohesion, but you can also customize the audio chain, linking together various decks, effects units and mixers, very similar to the way Reason manages its audio chain. Finally, you can also layer inside audio files, one on top of another, inside the audio channel itself, giving you ultimate remixing capability, both for live mashups, or to simply add extra kick or bass lines.


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