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DJing with a Mac

Today, with application stores flourishing everywhere, the variety of DJing software is overwhelming. Each one has its own alternative, and today we bring you the definitive list of the most relevant ones such as MIXXX the free software alternative, Virtual DJ, djay or Traktor. Let’s see the main differences, the advantages and disadvantages of each one. Which one are you currently using?

After answering the eternal question: why do most DJs use a Mac for their events? Today we will answer another big question: what software should we use in our performances? We’ll try to find out which software is better, what suits our needs and their prices. We will only touch on the most outstanding applications available for OS X out of the many that are available on the market and I’m sure you will like them.

MIXXX

DJing with a Mac
DJing with a Mac

We start with the cheapest one of all. Specifically, it costs zero euros – yes, yes, free! Mixxx is a multi-platform free software application open to everyone and even available on the Mac App Store. It only accepts MP3, MP4AAC, FLAC and OGG, but it integrates with iTunes, which we thank all those who understand us better with the organization and playlists of iTunes.

The BPM detection engine for synchronization is quite good. In some tests I have done with various themes it has been quite accurate and has auto mix . The most demanding ones should know that it is compatible with timecode control vinyl, so we can use it to emulate the usual vinyl. It allows us to record our sessions, broadcast them and, of course, use the typical equalizers, mixers , hotcues , loops .

It only has two decks or channels, enough for most, but one of the most significant new features is the four samplers to quickly throw a base some vowels or effects. The interesting thing is that you can choose which channel you want them to come out on.

Finally it includes support for about 30 MIDI controllers of various brands like Numark, Vestax or Hercules and as an extra it includes 5 different skins . It is translated into Spanish and Catalan. If you want to try your luck in the DJ world, you can’t miss it.

djay

Another great application also available on the Mac App Store for $49.95 of our old-fashioned algoridim. Your iPad application is pretty good and so is your Mac version. I think it’s a very good application, simple to use and with a very clear interface. It also integrates with iTunes and includes automix or session recording.

The good thing is that in algoriddim they get along very well with everything that has to do with Apple. In this case, you can use the multitouch trackpad to control the equalizers or do scratch . The most remarkable thing that sets djay apart from other programs is the Harmonic Match that analyzes the tone of the songs to make the mix harmoniously perfect; a whole story within the world. It also includes AirPlay to broadcast our set on any compatible receiver.

The best thing about making applications for OS X and iOS is the integration between them. djay applications are synchronized with each other through iCloud to synchronize the points cue and other information. Of course it also supports various MIDI controllers and allows different settings for pre-listening.

VirtualDJ

This is already one of the classics. I started with this one and I have the impression that Virtual DJ is just that: an application to get started. Its more expensive version, however, becomes a real tool for professionals. I haven’t had the pleasure to try it out yet, but they say that the BeatLock engine is good enough to analyze any track and always be in beat .

Of course it also includes loops , samplers , waveform overlays, control through time code vinyls, etc. In short, everything that is included in the above. VirtualDJ differs from the rest in that it is also a software that allows you to send the mixed video signal to a monitor or projector. We won’t go any deeper into this feature, as we are focusing on audio today. Unlike other applications, VirtualDJ allows up to 99 decks simultaneously.

There is a basic edition for $99 without drivers, nor timecodes and a professional edition for $299, plus a free, fairly complete Home version to get you started. You can take a look at the version comparison on this page.

Traktor

For me it is the software par excellence used by the most renowned disc jockeys around the world like Richie Hawtin, Dubfire, Carl Craig or Loco Dice, to name a few. It is the most stable software and lately it offers a bit of everything with very good quality for both mixing and creating live music.

Native Instruments not only makes_software_, but also hardware as drivers of various types and prices. Most at prices within the reach of a few who don’t want to spend a little more time on it. So the integration software hardware is a plus for this program.

There are a couple of programs that allow easy mapping of MIDI controllers of any brand. The latest versions include the Remix Decks that allow you to play small pieces in loop or a directly recorded live sample. This is a trend that is beginning to stand out: selling the tracks in parts and remixing them live.

Traktor is able to send the master tempo in the form of MIDI to other computers and devices, so you can do a live session with 10 more people next to you and each of them on his own roll. The effects are also one of the positive aspects. Traktor allows you to assign effects to several decks and the unique mode allows you to adjust specific parameters of an effect. Finally, it can be synchronized with the iPad application via Dropbox.

These are some of the most relevant applications for Mac OS X. We have collected some of the most relevant ones and we know that there are many more like Torq, Serato Scratch Ableton, or other free alternatives by the App Store like CrosDJ Free for example. Which is your favourite?

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