The Best DJ Software On The Market in 2023 (Mac & PC)
An efficient DJ software is the most important tool for modern DJs. Without software, there is no way to mix your tracks, unless you want to rely on vinyl and an old-school mixer. Therefore, if you want to gain a full control of your beats, an appropriate software will guide you through performances and enhance your DJ experience. So, when you are choosing a software, you should consider if its function fulfills your needs.
As DJ software has become a standard tool for DJ-ing, many companies have developed a variety of different software suites. Almost all professionally made music software features easy control over all the options you’ll ever need. Nowadays, anyone can learn to handle such software pretty fast. You will be surprised at how fast you can get to grips with DJ software as there are many guides online and trial and error can also help you pick things up quickly.
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There are many options which would please your needs, but such options like PCDJ DEX 3 and Serato are some of the most popular softwares. There is also the popular Ableton Live which is designed as a Digital Audio Workstation but can be perfectly used to DJ. Such option as Mixvibes Cross is less popular, but still, it is a worthy alternative. Each of these combines parameters to fulfill users’ needs, but they also differentiate themselves in styles.
1. Pioneer SVJ-DL01 (PC Only)
Pioneer SVJ-DL01 has a lot of fans, especially DJs who prefer working with digital music. Pioneer SVJ-DL01 has a very wide support for controllers because its design is devoted to the software and efficient sound cards.
The difference between PCDJ DEX 3 and Pioneer SVJ-DL01 lies in Pioneer SVJ-DL01’s emphasis to recreate the virtual controller experience. The Pioneer SVJ-DL01 supports a deep fine-tuning. Its traditional focus can also be seen in the features it offers.
Now, if you haven’t already guessed by the name of the software, this is a Pioneer product, produced by Pioneer and designed to work best with their hardware. However, it does a pretty good job of simulating real-life DJ decks on your PC as well, so it’s perfect for those of you who aren’t ready to drop $1k on an actual controller just yet.
The Pioneer SVJ-DL01 has eight main effects you can play with to personalize your sound, as well as pitch shifter/master tempo, BPM syncing, and fader start functions. It also features auto beat/mixing and program play, as well as two modes of cueing – CDJ mode, and Vinyl mode.
If you’re interested in Pioneer SVJ-DL01 and willing to check out more compatible devices check this link:
2. Ableton Live (PC & Mac)
Ableton Live features an unusual approach to DJ-ing, but despite its focus on DAW, it has been integrated by many DJs for live use.
If you’re quick to learn and interested in something which will help you expand in more directions, Ableton Live would be an extensive choice. It features 26 effects, four sound libraries and the ability to record 16 tracks simultaneously up to 32-bit/192 kHz. However, Live has another unique skill, which you find less in other software. It’s the “clip view.” With this, the user, can slice up loops and rearrange them live.
You have a bank where you can store all those audio clips and trigger them simultaneously in any order. You can hold within various audio effects and make a use of them live. In other words, you can take effect and play it over the bass from another track and maybe add some kick or pad from another composition.
To implement all the possibilities above, you would need a little bit of practice and a midi controller. You will probably invest also some time in slicing up the tracks for getting the loops you want. A midi controller would be essential to manage the whole parameters, trigger the clips and navigate through controls. The best one would be one with several control surfaces so you can trigger more tracks. You can check those from Akai or Roland, which are focused on professional performance. You can configure Ableton Live to function with more devices, what makes it very fun. However, if you want to use it with an iPad for example, you will have to map the controls yourself.
Ableton Live offers many options and the possibility to manage your tracks and mix them live. For further information, you can check this link:
3. Mixvibes Cross (PC & Mac)
Mixvibes Cross is another great mixing software that has its unique features. The software allows you configure your tracks and effects to be assigned to some videos. While performing, the user can insert some clips or some graphics that will respond to your actions and will be animated inside the software. Mixvibes Cross has many similarities with PCDJ DEX 3 and features with additional effects and samples.
Despite its great functions, it also has some disadvantages. It supports no more than 2-decks which can be troublesome performers. If you are used to more than you probably have to develop a new method for mixing out the tracks. Another drawback is that the interface and the library system is a Windows port, which will hold back the Mac users.
Mixvibes Cross is a worthy investment if you want to bring you DJ-ing on another level. Despite its drawbacks, it has a unique feature, which is worth exploring if you want to study new approaches. You will want to consider this option to possibly improve your further performances or develop a new style based on visual effects. You can check more about Mixvibes Cross here:
Other Points to Touch On
What will you need to consider before purchasing your new DJ software? Well, despite the advanced functionality and unique parameters of each of them, there are some factors worth considering. After answering the questions below, you will definitely be able to find the exact right software for you:
Do you aim to perform live under serious conditions, or you want to just have fun while mixing?
Will the software resemble your style or you just want to experiment?
Do you prefer turntables or a controller?
Are you more into scratching or mixing?
Would a closed system satisfy you?
Could you adapt to a closed system, or you would rather rely on an open one instead?
Do you want to adjust the settings easily in the software or have more possibilities with a more complex structure?
Do you want to expand your audio interface with more devices? After thinking carefully about the opportunities you have and the needed functionality, where should you head further?
Choosing a suitable DJ software requires some time. However, in the end, counts what will you be able to do with it and in which direction can you head further. The software presented in this guide have the basic functionality of a DJ software. However, the small differences make the final impact, as they influence towards the biggest changes in style and experience.
PCDJ DEX 3 is the best option if you want to be able to expand your audio interface easily and have access to more upgrades and new features. PCDJ DEX 3 is a standard choice for most users as it has the functionality which will satisfy any DJ. The provided effects, instruments and the ability to loop is surely rewarding. PCDJ DEX 3 also comes at a good price, which can be acquired bundled with lots of affordable hardware.
Ableton Live is the option for more advanced music performers. If you are interested in producing music and doing this, in the long run, Ableton Live you be your perfect choice. It allows to create your tracks, loops and mix them live. Many would back off from Live because it’s more complex than other software mentioned in this guide. However, with Ableton Live, it will be more fun to perform over the years and will help in gaining a deeper understanding about the modular world due to its expanded options.
Mixvibes Cross is a good alternative if you like experimenting with diverse DJ software and expand your knowledge. It will help you in developing your style and will help to make your performances more exciting.
The choice can be hard sometimes, even when you find out that everything might fit your style. Well, in this case, you could select some DJ’s which you like and check what kind of software they use and how. It is not necessary that their platforms will be very expensive and lie in the fantastical range of prices. However, it is hard to go wrong with a DJ software, when you know what you exactly expect. Following this guide and your needs, you can find a platform that will suit you perfectly.
Great stuff, thanks for sharing! Any recommendations for controllers compatible with the PCDJ?