If sitting in front of two turntables and a microphone is your idea of the perfect way to spend a Friday night, this roundup is for you.
We’ve gathered 20 applications that allow both professional and wannabe disc jockeys to scratch, mix and loop their way into musical bliss. Whether you’re looking for fully loaded and professional or free and fun, there’s an below app that will suit your needs.
“Simply drag songs from the music library onto one of the turntables in djay, and they become virtual records complete with album art. Drag the needle to step through the song like on a real turntable, or drag the vinyl to easily find the right beat.”
Djay features seamless iTunes track transitions, auto-mixing capabilities, BPM sync, multi-touch support, midi controller support and a ton of other professional features.
“DJ-1800 is a complete, self-contained professional DJ system for the Mac. All you need is a Mac, some amplification, and some music!”
Features include pitch adjust, jog wheel, BPM calculation, integrated four channel mixer, and iTunes integration.
“Cross-fading tracks with random start/stop times can be ugly, even if the tracks have the same BPM. Trimming iTunes to Achieve proper beat-matching is a pain, but AccuBeatMix does it automatically for you.”
This app makes it easy to seamlessly switch between tracks in iTunes to create live mixes that automatically share the same BPM (use in conjunction with BPMer).
“PresetDj is a super simple dj-solution available for Mac OS X. Easy to use, no special features, no mindless hardware clone. Drag files from Finder or iTunes, arrange them, play them. ”
Simply drag in your songs from iTunes and arrange them in the order you want to hear them. Then work out any transitions and fades.
“DJ Mixer Professional is a full-featured and complete DJ mixing software for both Professional and Beginner DJs alike, This powerful DJ software combines a sophisticated, easy-to-use interface with innovative mixing tools to help you perform electrifying live mixes!”
DJ Mixer has tons of features including dual audio playback in two independent decks, automatic mixing or manual mixing of songs, video mix, one-click beat matching and synchronization, iTunes playlist integration, on-the-fly automatic BPM calculation with batch-mode function and more.
“VirtualDJ is the hottest audio and video mixing software, targeting DJs from the bedroom, mobile, and professional superstars like Carl Cox. With VirtualDJ’s breakthrough BeatLock engine, songs will always stay in beat, and the DJ works their mixes incredibly faster than they ever could.”
Virtual DJ is another option geared towards advanced professionals with features such as one-click beat matching and synchronization, automatic beat-matched crossfading, automatic pitch matching, real scratch simulation, infinite number of beatlocked decks using localized multi-instance loopback or cross network connectivity, FreeFrame and custom video effects, and a lot more.
Developer: Atomix Productions
“Traktor Pro sets the standard for power, reliability, and creativity in DJing. The culmination of a decade of DJ software development, Traktor Pro perfectly meets pro DJs’ needs.”
Traktor Pro features four decks, automatic beat grid, track beat matching, onboard mixer, cover art browsing and Maschine integration.
Developer: Traktor Pro
“Mixxx is free, open source DJ software that gives you everything you need to perform live mixes.”
Definitely one of the best free options available, Mixxx features parallel waveform displays, pitch-independent time stretch, vinyl emulation, wave recording, BPM detection and estimation, multichannel soundcard support, adjustable EQ shelves, crossfader curve control, and a skinnable interface with extra skins bundled.
Developer: Open Source
“UltraMixer is a DJ mixing software which enables you to mix digital music in various formats such as MP3, WMA, AAC, OGG, WAV, FLAC or CDs in real time. All you need is a sound card. The DJ’s turntables are replaced by two digital SoundPlayers, the “vinyls” are available within seconds through the integrated FileArchive.”
UltraMixer features include time stretching, realtime effects (Flanger, Resonance, CutOff), Loop-In and Loop-Out, normalization of music titles (ReplayGain), 31 Band Master Equalizer, high accurate Offline-BPM-Counter, widescreen skins (1280×800) for laptops, mini crossfader, silence elimination, customizable keyboard controls and more.
Developer: Digital Audio Solutions
Price: Professional: $239, Basic: $109, Home: Free
“Torq is a fully equipped DJ software workstation that provides innovative tools and production power to set you apart from everyone else. In addition to essential cueing, beat-matching and mixing, Torq goes beyond all other DJ applications by offering a host of real-time creative options unavailable anywhere else.”
Torq’s vast feature set includes tempo anchors (advanced beat-matching and crossfading), MIDI device integration, advanced effects processing, advanced looping and mashups, iTunes integration, and a 16-cell tempo-synced sampler. Torq is from Avid, the company behind the amazing audio engineering software Pro Tools.
“Beatler is a native Mac OS X client for the leading DJ music download site Beatport. It is a complete replacement for the Flash based interface provided by Beatport, offering several advanced features to enhance your music buying experience. All this through an interface with that Mac OS X look and feel you have come to know and love.”
Beatport is a wildly popular online DJ music store. Beatler provides an excellent iTunes-like interface for browsing and purchasing music from Beatport on your Mac.
Developer: Cancel Monday
“Finally, there’s music-making software made just for us—music lovers who don’t want technology to get in the way of the good times. The simple ARIA interface lets you get into the mix right away—you don’t need to pour over a complicated user’s manuals…or have a Ph.D in engineering.”
Aria emphasizes powerful music manipulation with a user friendly interface perfect for non-professionals. Aria features three modes: Karaoke, DJ or VJ, and Scratch.
Developer: Digital 1 Media
“MegaSeg is pro software designed for club & mobile DJs, radio stations, restaurants & bars, retail stores, dance studios, theater production, or anyone who needs full A/V control with beat mixing, looping, hot key sound effects, automatic playlist generation, playback automation, and event scheduling.”
MegaSeg is great looking and powerful piece of software designed specifically for the Mac and geared towards public events and broadcasts.
Developer: Fidelity Media
“Serato Scratch Live combined with Rane hardware is the ultimate solution for professional DJs, giving you the freedom to take your entire digital music collection on the road and equipping you with advanced features that add extra creativity to your DJing.”
Scratch Live features include iTunes playlist migration, multiple display modes, advanced visual feedback for quick mixing, built-in recording interface for recording your mixes and archiving vinyl, video-SL compatibility for video mixing and MIDI mappable controls.
Developer: Serato Audio Research
“MixMeister software isn’t quite like anything else on the market. It’s designed for people who care enough about their music to refine a mix until it’s perfect, rather than throw everything together on the fly and hope that it sounds OK.”
There are a range of MixMeister versions for all levels of the professional spectrum: MixMeister Express, MixMeister Studio, MixMeister Fusion, and MixMeister Fusion + Video.
Developer: MixMeister, LLC
“Rapid Evolution is an advanced harmonic music library tool for DJs, designed to be used while you mix. It helps profile your songs by saving important properties, such as the BPM, key, time signature, styles, comments, and more.”
This software aids amateur mixing with the features listed above and allows you to save comments and information about each mix you create. Definitely not as powerful as some of the professional suites above but free and useful if you’re just getting started.
“With FutureDecks Pro you can really mix your songs, nothing else needed but your imagination. Beat-matching is just a click away and also are seamless beat-aware loops, effects and many other things. All these thanks to a brand new audio engine.”
FutureDecks Pro features include a classic DJ setup with 2 decks, pro mixer and playlists, fully manual or automatic mixing (one-click beat-matching), video mixing (including pitch, break, reverse, scratch on video), timecoded vinyls/CD support, seamless intelligent looping and “skipbeat” and more.
Price: $99 (Lite version: $39.95)
“Alphabet Soup is a fun “beat” making application. It allows you to trigger loops of musical phrases to create new compositions.”
More of a fun toy than serious professional DJ software, Alphabet soup allows you to map songs and sound to certain keys on your keyboard and play them on top of each other.
Developer: OX Music Code
“Disco XT allows you to create a continuos, gapless, flow of music from individual audio files, mixing the songs together. It has been designed for live use so you can make changes to your selection of songs and how the songs are transitioned/mixed when needed”
Fully automated and manual mixing, pitch-lock, BPM detection, iTunes integration, tabbed navigation, and hardware controller support are just a few of the many features in Disco XT.
Developer: Disco XT Development
What Did We Miss?
Now that you’ve seen our top 20, let us know what your favorite DJ apps are. Leave a link in the comments below and tell us about your favorite features.