Best Mac DJ software?
March 27, 2009 11:28 AM   Subscribe

Best Mac DJ software?

What OSX software do you recommend for a newbie? I'm looking for something that does enough to DJ a dance party, nothing too complicated.

Would like to know about the best free and not-free options.

I've seen these but haven't tried them yet...

Mixx (free)
DJ-1800 ($)
djay ($)
Ultramixer DJ (free and $ versions)
posted by kdern to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I played with an earlier version of Traktor, and while it is quite advanced and versatile, I think you can make your way through the instructions quickly, and be able to use it. It is 229$.
posted by ddaavviidd at 11:32 AM on March 27, 2009

Unless you plan to be professional or want to spend the money, Traktor is probably overkill.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:42 AM on March 27, 2009

Response by poster: I'm not doing anything professional. Need software that does just enough to DJ a party, maybe beat matching. I can't picture doing more with it.
posted by kdern at 12:04 PM on March 27, 2009

Mixxx is fine. Its interface is a bit clunky, clearly a straight port from Linux, but it is free, functional, and not hard to learn. I ultimately decided to stick with my live-PA hardware thing instead of going into DJing, but it was easy to see how I could get there using Mixxx.

I have two friends who do the semi-pro laptop DJ thing, and both use Traktor. It appears to be the dominant contender in that category. Moving up to Traktor after starting with Mixxx looks like it would be straightforward.

Ableton Live is also very popular, but that is oriented more toward production or live looping than traditional DJ-style track-mixing.
posted by Mars Saxman at 12:18 PM on March 27, 2009

Blazecock Pileon, I don't think Traktor is too much overkill if he wants to do beatmatching. Ableton Live would be overkill.
posted by radioamy at 12:20 PM on March 27, 2009

Need software that does just enough to DJ a party, maybe beat matching. I can't picture doing more with it.

AccubeatMix may do everything you need. Just run the BPM tool to analyze your tracks, then set up a playlist, hit a checkmark, and play. Pretty cheap at $19 and it looks like there's a demo if you wanted to try it out.

Ableton Live would be overkill.

Live is more overkill than Traktor, because it wasn't made to do DJing (although it could be used for that) and costs even more.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:26 PM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I just tried Mixx and can't seem to do beatmatching, perhaps because I am unable to do a headphone preview/cue. I think that's because I don't have a soundcard that can do two audio outputs at once? (I have a new aluminum macbook).
posted by kdern at 12:53 PM on March 27, 2009

Beatport Sync is a free, simplified version of Traktor and works great. Bpm auto-sync, pitch control, playlist and library management, etc. etc. More than perfect for a party or messing around.
posted by gyusan at 1:08 PM on March 27, 2009 [3 favorites]

To get your 2 separate audio outputs (Pre-fade cue and main output) you'll probably want a USB audio interface -- there are many at all sorts of prices. Research this to ensure that what you get will definitely do what you need without too much latency.
Upping the budget slightly, there are a number USB DJ controllers that include the audio interface, along with faders & buttons that can be mapped to your software for a much more tactile DJing experience... they start with models like the Hercules and get better as your budget increases. With a good enough controller/interface you'll probably get the light version of Traktor as a freebie.
The no-budget option is that some software will allow you to skip the additional interface and use the main stereo out of yout Macbook in mono by sending the cue to left channel, and main mix to the right... then you just need a 3.5mm stereo miniplug wired up to allow you to connect headphones and amplifier appropriately.
posted by dirm at 12:00 AM on March 28, 2009

I've used Algorddim's d-jay a few times for a real 'live' disco with paying punters - and can recommend it as solid (which should be anyone's number 1 concern) , simple and affordable.
It uses itunes so if you're familiar with playlists and smart playlists you can build up what you need in advance.
posted by Megamix at 12:55 PM on May 14, 2009

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