This Advice was Last Updated 3 months ago.
Consider a situation when you have the best hardware, have an excellent ear for rhythm and percussion, but you don’t have a good DJ app. What will happen in such a situation? Even with enough primary investment, knowledge, and skills, you will not play the tunes you desire.
Nobody wants to be stuck in such a situation. Therefore, it is always crucial for you to know your options for the best DJ software out there.
We have compiled a list of all the top DJ software out there. The reviews paired with a handy guide to choosing the right software should help you pick the software you like the most according to your music style and genre.
Looking for more great reviews ☍ ? Check out all our articles on this topic.
The Best DJ Software For You to Consider – Reviews
Whether you are only starting out with digital DJing or have been in the industry for a while, you will need good DJ software. Only a brief skimming through the Internet will get you overwhelmed with the numerous option available. However, since your DJ career is entirely dependant on the software you use, you must choose the proper application.
We talked to several music producers and digital DJ experts to find the most potent and reliable options in the market. So, without taking more of your time, we will start with the reviews.
Many people like to play safe and choose the software that most people from their industry like. After all, there’s a reason why some software become so popular, right? They tend to be powerful, effective and allow you to unleash your creativity. If that is the kind of software you are looking for, Serato DJ is an attractive option.
Most people like Serato DJ do not negate its unique features because it covers all the DJing essentials tools and programs. The software had been proving its mettle from its beginning in 1999. It was the first software to achieve negating pitch modification to achieve the perfect sound modification.
One of the biggest reasons to choose Serato DJ as your primary DJ software and DAW is its popularity. It is so popular that gear such as Pioneer DJ Controller (DDJ-SB3) ☍ is explicitly designed to work with Serato DJ. Therefore, if you’re playing at different venues that offer their own equipment, it is highly likely that you will have to work with Serato DJ.
Another reason why we recommend Serato DJ is its absolute simplicity. Your program can be as cluttered or as organized as you want since you will have to buy most of the features you will need. However, even without most purchases, you can achieve some solid mixes and grooves.
We love the intelligent crates feature offered by the software. You get access to intelligent playlists that will automatically search for mixing tracks according to your definer criteria through this feature.
The software is equipped with a powerful practice mode that allows you to play even without your gear. This allows you to practice on the go and enable you to carry the show forward even if your hardware stops responding.
- Easy to use and understand by beginners
- So popular that it is used by practically any big gig venue
- The interface is easy on the eyes
- Powerful package of all the DJing essentials you will need
- Allows simplicity
- One of the most complete DJ software to work with
- Purchasing every feature you need can come off as an annoyance to some people
- Does not venture into risky yet highly creative features
Native Instrument Traktor PRO 3
If you’re looking for the best DJ software for Mac, you should consider Native Instruments Traktor PRO. While Serato DJ is one of the best software for people who like to play safe, Native Instrument Traktor PRO 3 is a whole another story. Even though the latest software does come with all of the essential tools and features, it has more to offer.
PROFESSIONAL 4-DECK DJ SOFTWARE
- Flagship DJ software, used from bars, to booths, to the biggest stages around the world
- Pro-grade audio, with new time-stretching and improved limiter
- Powerful interfacing with TRAKTOR hardware, including Haptic Drive™, Remix Deck pattern recorder, and more
The software features an excellent suite full of effects that are ready to be incorporated into your next tune. These effects are so cool that the company even offers them individual packages with different software and hardware.
Most producers like this software because of its versatility. It can be used with just about any external DJ control, and you can use open MIDI mapping as well. However, you will benefit from using this software if you also use gear by Native Instruments. However, with the quality of gear offered by the company, that is hardly anything to complain about.
When you use controllers such as the Traktor Kontrol F1 ☍ that are made specifically for this software, you open up a whole new avenue for yourself. With these controllers, you can use the Remix Decks feature to mix 40layer Stem tracks.
If you are a remix artist, this is the software you should indeed have under your radar. With the maximum number of live synths and samples, stacking and mixing are very interesting in this software. This is why Native Instruments Traktor PRO 3 might not be the most popular software out there. Still, it has excellent customer retention and has tons of loyal users.
- Extremely versatile software that allows you to use just about any DJ gear you can think of
- Comes with many cool experimental features to help you get as creative as you can
- Comes within an integrated audio engine
- Can use the software even without any external hardware attachments
- Perfect for remix artists with its exclusive Remix Deck features and a superb effects suite
- Allows you to be highly creative
- It might not be the most straightforward software DJ to handle for beginners
- Tagging system might cause some lag issues
This open-source software is great because of its accessibility and simplicity. Free software allows more people to explore the industry’s nuances and learn as much as they can without spending too much money. Therefore, if you are looking for the best free DJ software for Mac, Mixxx can be an ideal choice for you.
Even as open-source software, Mixxx is extremely powerful due to its several essential and handy features. It allows you to create playlists to enjoy some control-free DJing and blurring the lines between original tracks to get creative in a live setting.
Since Mixxx is open-source software, it is not only accessible but also controllable and programmable. If you have any interest in programming, you can tweak the code to do just anything you want it to. Therefore, you can get access to several unimaginable features and settings for free.
We like most Mixxx because you can set it up with DVS such as Virtual DJ ☍ and Serato ☍. Therefore, you can mix several tracks with your DJ mixer at the same time while allowing you to use actual turntables for optimum sound manipulation.
Most people are skeptical about using free software because they are generally associated with bad sound and low-quality support. However, Mixxx is that one software that will never give you such troubles. As long as you use it on a decent quality computer with a powerful sound card, you will hardly face any lag or glitches.
Just like premium software, you can use Mixxx without external gear attachments. You can perform simple actions within the software itself, such as loading tacks, pitching, and syncing. It also allows the Auto-DJ feature, where it will play custom tracks without any external interference.
- One of the best free DJ software out there
- Allows real-time creativity
- It can be used with just about any external gear and DJ controller
- Allows you to tweak the in-built code to use whatever feature you would like to
- Extremely reprogrammable and customizable
- Proper external hardware will allow you to get a professional feel and workflow
- It may not work well with your system
- It might not be a good option for experienced DJs since any free software has limitations.
Many people will argue that Ableton Live should not be on this list because it is not DJ software but a full-fledged DAW. However, as the name suggests, the software can very well be used for live DJing due to its live settings. In fact, Ableton Live is the number one live performance software designed for either produce music on a whim or DJs who love DAW flexibility.
Ableton is a company that has the software ready for just about any music needs. Even as DAW, Ableton Live is the best way to create arrangements, FX, tweak knobs, and make real-time crossfades. Therefore, Ableton Live is the software that very efficiently blurs the line between a studio and live DJing.
One thing that sets this software apart from other DAWs is that its Session view. This view is compelling because of the precise representation of rows and columns it presents. The rows hold the tools and clips, while the columns hold the entire tracks. This arrangement is perfect for making loops and highly beneficial for DJs who work with complex mixes.
Ableton Live has the most potent elements that vary from musical sounds to familiar elements. Even though some of them might sound bizarre at first, you will not realize how quickly you will start using them in your live DJing. After all, having something too different for the beat drop is always desirable.
We like how programmer-friendly Ableton is. It allows for easy MIDI mapping and can be connected to just about any external DJ controller. However, suppose you want to explore the capabilities of Ableton Live to its total capacity. In that case, you should use the Akai APC 40.
If you are a beginner who only wants to learn, you can even use Ableton Live Lite.
- Surpasses any traditional DJ software to become the best DJ software for Mac
- Works with just about any external gear
- Very user-friendly
- Comes with a vast array of elements and effects
- Session view is a gamechanger
- Many people do not include it in the best DJ software category, as it is a DAW
- Slightly expensive
Are you looking for the best DJ software that is cloud-connected and has won several awards? In that care, rekordbox should be your DJ software of choice.
As a DJ software, rekordbox can do just about anything that comes you would want regular software to do. However, as software created and championed by the likes of Pioneer DJ, it holds up to its popularity and value. Even though the software started to organize decks and crates when the era of CDs ended, it ended up being much more.
rekordbox takes up tracks from your iTunes music library and allows you to crossfade or add cues and mixes. What’s great about this software is its power to retain all information in an organized manner. No matter what tunes you make and what effects or mixes you make with your DJ mixer, the software will combine everything and save all the files and the metadata in a folder.
rekordbox Price Plan
Due to this metadata storage, all the tracks are generally organized by the modern CDJs decks. Therefore, even when you want to do it on the go, not only do you not need external gear, but you do not even need your laptop. As long as you have access to any device that can use rekordbox, you will be good to go. This is the power of smartly organized cloud-connected DJ software.
The software comes with features such as DMX integration and lyric integration. Therefore, you get to control not only sound but also visuals – two essential aspects of DJing.
The software has come a long way since the time it was created. Therefore, it has fostered a vast community of DJs who will always be ready to help you learn.
- Cloud-connected DJing allows you to get access to your records and mixes anywhere.
- One of the most well-organized software out there
- DJing tools include everything a beginner might need but also come with several tricks even experienced DJs can learn
- Allows you to control visuals through DMX and lyrics integration
- Has a vast community of pioneer digital DJs who are always ready to help new DJs explore their style through the software
- Paid versions of the software are too expensive for the value they provide
Things You Should Consider While Choosing the Best DJ Software
Using the best DJ software is of utmost importance if you want to get your DJing to the proper magnitude. However, choosing the right software can get tricky, especially if you are new to the DJing industry. Even experienced DJs can get confused because of the sheer number of options available.
To make choosing the right software easy for you, we have come up with a list of things you should consider while choosing DJ software. Therefore, always keep the following things in mind before you settle with software you’re going to use for your future gigs.
Much like hardware, DJ software can cost you a lot of money. However, you don’t need to spend too much money if you do not want to, especially if you start only. You can find good DJ software program in a wide range. Therefore, considering your budget is of utmost importance.
If you already have a suitable DJ controller, you might not want to buy a new one. However, as you can see from our reviews above, all software tends to have a different controller that brings out its best performance.
If you really want to shine, you should consider buying software and its compatible DJ controller. Therefore, while buying software, always makes sure you have some leftover money for the required hardware.
We recommend using the lite version of the software you like. Not only will this save you a lot of money, but it will also give you an idea of buying the entire software is a necessity for you.
Features are undoubtedly the most important thing you want to consider before buying the best DJ software. You should see if the software’s price gets you the correct number of quality features.
Before buying software, we recommend making a list of the features most important to you and then looking for software that provides you all those features at the most logical price. Almost all DJ software should have some of the most essential features: good volume meters, RGB waveform readouts, multiple tracks playing at once, and sound effects.
However, make sure that the most important feature, i.e., music library organization. It should is perfect according to your liking. After all, there is nothing more important than effectively searching for and organizing your tracks.
It would be best if you gave preference to the software that will give you all the essential features and some unusual ones that might improve your personal style.
Compatibility And Popularity
While practicing in your space, a software’s popularity and compatibility with various gear hardly matter.
However, when you are out playing gigs, you must first check the DJ app and if your controllers are compatible with it, such as your MIDI controller. The straightforward reason for this is that many-a-times, venues prefer you using their gear, and if your software cannot work with them, there is no point in using it.
The more popular a DJ app is, the more chances are that it will be compatible with the gear provided by the most popular venues. After all, there is a reason why that software is popular among experienced DJs as well.
Even when you are only playing for yourself, you should see if the software is compatible with the hardware you already own. Doing so will make your previous and future investments worthwhile. Neither will be a waste.
Many beginners might not give too much importance to a software’s layout and aesthetics. However, that is one thing you have to always keep in account because it is the layout offered by the software that will give you the most usability. For example, if you are naturally inclined to use horizontal decks, not having them will involve a significant learning curve and cost you your productivity.
As a budding DJ, you are likely to be spending several hours with the software you choose. Therefore, you should be comfortable with the way it looks and feels. Moreover, buying software that is designed to be easy on the eyes is the best idea. You don’t want to irritate your eyes while you are making music and mix for long hours at a stretch with your DJ mixer.
As long as you choose from some of the best DJ software out there, quality should not be an issue. However, if you are looking for an alternative option, ensure that the software does not have a reputation for lagging and crashing. The rendering and export times should not be too much, and the software should not have issues with stability.
Even though you can find some good free software that offers exquisite quality, most of them tend to get slow after a specific size of files is imported into it. You should make sure that the manufacturer provides constant bug fixes and updates to address the never-ending problems that software is inclined to face.
Don’t forget to check compatibility with your DJ setup, like your MIDI controller, pitch fader, or BPM detection.
Many people who negate the importance of choosing the right DJ software program are inevitably affected by productivity and creativity. However, choosing the best free DJ software is not as simple as people would like it to be. With innumerable options that have different specialties, choosing the best among them might get tricky.
Choosing the right software will massively improve your DJing skills. Therefore, we hope you find the best DJ software for you from our reviews and guide. We cannot wait to hear some splendid tunes your mix and export from your choice of the best DJ software program.