Best DJ Software Real Review June 2019 (Review by an actual user- Gods Doctor)
UPDATE SEP 2019
What is the Best DJ Software of 2019? Should I upgrade? What’s good for beginners? Which is the most customisable? How much does it cost?
Being a DJ has never been easier when it comes to equipment and software. There are free open source programs like mixx or premium pro products like Traktor Pro. There are Linux dedicated dj programs as well as phone and tablet apps. We could even included hardware hybrid software like Native instruments Maschine or Serato Scratch.
There are apps for extra control or linking with other software and controllers, like Ableton Link and Virtual DJ Remote.
With so many options and updates out there it can be difficult to choose what’s best for you (it’s difficult to choose what to review too).
This article will cover the most common DJ set up at present which is a controller and DJ software.
Real life Testing (well some worked live)
The Software has been tested in a couple of real DJ situations, where things like effects and were needed on the fly.
There may be links (I don’t have at the time of writing this) which help the site when clicked but only if they are available and these certainly bear no outcome of results. The highest paid link won’t necessarily be the best (it does happen on some sites i’m afraid)
Laptop spec used for testing
The reason I decided to Re-visit DJ software was partially down to the video. I thought “Wow! They have really stepped up their game”
I’d also been thinking about Serato recently and there DJ software, having recently purchased a second hand Numark mixtrack pro 3.
The irony is, these two djayPRO and Serato DJ are bottom of any list list for me.
More on this below.
Top 7 programs we tested (In a nice neat table)
Quick overview of products we tested
djayPRO 2 Windows 10 app
I’ll start with djayPRO 2 whom, with such a big statement in their advertising campagin, were going to blow my socks off!
Well, they didn’t. I should of seen the signs earlier I should have stopped when windows app store launched Instead of an installer! Oh No, I hate any Windows 10 app, they’re useless, give me an old fashioned installer any day over an app.
But I proceed to give it the benefit of the doubt.
I was as usual right with my gut feeliing!
The second I load up djayPRO, Bam! Fullscreen take over no way out of it like a ransome webpage telling you you have a virus. Which is a shame because when I load up the GUI everything is looking good! Some nice big chunky buttons and in the correct places…..
…..But…. That was about the highlight of djayPRO 2. for me.
After first launch the software just kept crashing and crashing. Uninstall, reinstall I finally gave up after 30 minutes.
I didn’t try any of the others available platforms, the likes of the iPad app etc Just the windows 10 app so Maybe the others are OK?
I will revisit the app sometime but I’m in no hurry.
If you asked most people which DJ software they thought was the best? You will probablyerly find Serato leading the way. In years gone by there would have been no arguments from me, but now…….?
The user interface has not been updated asthletically in years. It looks like “Serato 16bit” next to 4k UHD when it comes to a GUI. Worse still the options available to change the views, are no more improvement then just throwing a brick at the screen.
Serato seem to have spent way too much time on other projects when they should have stuck to their bread-and-butter of DJ software.
I mean Serato sample? Eh, erm, what the heck is all that about? It’s just a sampler and there are loads of samplers on the market much much better. In fact I’m pretty sure you could chop samples like this in the popular late 90’s game- Music for the Playstation Original.
Update: Serato have just released “Serato Studio” Wait for it…….. Yup it’s a DAW
The only possible reason I can see for this crazy idea is for somewhere put their sampler?
There’s a public Beta version (at time of writing) that may still be availabe for you to try? If not I’ll be posting some stuff on in soon.
Pioneer and their Rekord box software have done what Serato should have done. They stayed true to their Roots and focused on what they were good at.
Rekord Box have Focused on things a real DJ wants, a clean Gui, plug and play, responsive controls. Couple that with how good Pioneer hardware is and has been for many years. Might as well throw in an “IF design award” this January gone and you end up with a darn good product.
Thats including Pioneer effects, which we all know are a lot better than most.
I fully expect rekordbox to be known as the best DJ software (and hardware with Pioneer included) by 2020 accross awards, review sites and other DJ brains in the industry………
They’re just not
Virtual DJ have always just plodded along nicely even while being mocked by their competitors. The GUI is very basic and bland which often takes hits but then one of the great things about virtual DJis it Customisability.
You can have old school turntables or a Supper Cyber buttonfest as your GUI, all while the software itself works quietly in the background.
Virtual DJ is my personal software of choice (at present.) but I won’t stick up for their prices! No chance.
£19 a month is a fucking joke! just to use a controller that can be bought for the same price second hand (ok maybe double cost of VDJ licience, for a decent controller £40 second hand, but you get the point.)
Then they have the cheek to turn around and claim, I quote “helped new DJs discover the world of DJing without all the costs of traditional equipements.” “but we are committed to keep VirtualDJ free for beginners, to respect our initial vision.”
Traktor is one of the originals, NI are a fantastic company with a history.
As the world of Digital DJing took off. Traktor along with Serato dominated Digital DJing for many years.
Native instruments who also have an abundance of music production software and hardware, have seemingly kept the DJing element seperate from the production side of the business.
Traktor is well within the average users price range and has fantastic effects.
PCDJ didn’t fair well the last time I tried their software, this has certainly been improved in both their sotware and website. PCDJ is/was a bit confused as to where it’s core market lies but I would lean towards entertainment DJing as oppose to Night Club DJing.
PCDJ is great for events like Karaoke, weddings, birthday parties and corporate events, with it’s video intergrated software and extras.
They do have just audio software available which is good but the focus is on the video elements and VDJ. I think PCDJ would work well as beginner software or if you have social events as your main aim in your djing career.
There is an always free version (Dex 3 LE) available which is still good even with the limited free controls.
- MIXXX – I personally have MIXXX as a back up and a go to program because I know if I run into problems with other software, MIXXX has me covered
- Virtual DJ -My personal software of choice but ridiculous pricing, I am considering others after this review.
- djayPRO – I never got to really test the product due to software crashes. It’s a Windows 10 app, so it’s not for me
- Traktor – As good as it’s always been and priced right for the market. Stable and fairly user friendly
- PCDJ – Nothing bad to say about this product but nothing amazing either. If weddings, corporate events etc are your aim. This is the one for you
- Serato – Shocking from the once were giants. Unless they rediscover the past I don’t see Serato lasting much longer. consider other options is availabe.
- Rekordbox – Huge improvements since I last tried these. Will be top dog by the end of the year.
Update end of September 2019
It’s been nearly 4 months since writing this and in that time I’ve taken a bit of stick for claiming Recordbox would be up there at the top in 2020 from what was disasterous software as early as 2018 and Serato are losing the plot bringing out a sampler and key finding software. Not together as extras to the DJ software but as seperate programs So let’s take a look at what both been doing in the meantime?
Well Recordbox have been improving on their software and have introduced “Support for Beatport LINK and SoundCloud Go+ streaming services.” OK so this isn’t a new thing I think DEX has had something similar for a while and seratos had soundcloud a while. But what it does show is that they are still thinking about the DJ and it’s certainly a big step in the right direction. Remember they already support live video streaming, video mixing and overlays as well as apps for iOS and Android. Full latest release notes
…… Which could be software for dj live streaming a good guess right? Nope wrong.
Online storage maybe? Nope wrong again. It’s the thing we’ve all been missing.
“Intuitive beat making software for DJs and producers.”
A DAW basically! So thats DAW, Sampler and Key software. All three of which have way too many options out there already, saturating the market and are too far ahead. Serato are trying to copy, emulate, achieve the same as Native Instruments success in the production industry. Thing is NI came from music production starting wih synths then developing traktor where as Serato started as a way for dj’s to change tempo of a record without changing the pitch. I really hope they find their direction soon but for my thoughts on both futures things seem right on track.