Admit it. Traktor is a beast of a program. It’s universality and ease of librarianship make it a strong contender for first prize in the DJ software world. But it’s not alone. Every time we think we’ve gotten to the bottom of the list of playback engines, a new contender pops up. You’ll want a handle on at least a few if you’re aiming for any kind of professional DJ career. So let’s take a look at some of the popular underdogs in the ever-evolving world of DJ software.
DJ Player Pro
DJ Player Pro is a super-customizable and flexible DJ app for iOS. It’s the only one to support Traktor’s Stems format, beating out Native Instruments’ Traktor DJ software itself! DJ Player Pro is built for those with a clinical, software-heavy approach to DJing. The software prides itself on being a full-stack application with nothing left to the chance of outside developers. That time-stretching algorithm in Traktor? Effects? Sure, they’re good enough, but all developed by third parties. This might seem a pedantic point, or even a disadvantage. After all, who cares and what’s the difference? According to DJ Player Pro, the difference is better performance, better responsiveness and cleaner sound. The tagline ‘solid as a rock’ speaks volumes about their approach towards the build. Free to download, $1.70p/m to subscribe and $90 to buy. Features list on DJPlayerPro.com.
Mixxx makes the list mainly because it’s free. The Mixxx community is a friendly place to get into DJing, and has in the past been rated the #1 Top Free Mac App worldwide. Not everyone has the budget to purchase DJ software right away, and Mixxx is a great gateway to allow more novice users to test their DJ mettle. iTunes integration is likely the biggest drawcard, and being able to delve into the code also opens possibilities. The workflow and graphic user interface are simple and intuitive. Features include the standard bundle of effects, sync the lazy DJ’s prize - an auto DJ function. Open-source programs are usually among the first to fall in the competitive battleground of proprietary software, but with Mixxx you’re able to perform as a DJ with very little fuss and with very little to lose. Check out the features.
Mixvibes Cross DJ
Cross DJ lives up to its name with chameleon-like compatibility with other software. Retrieve your iTunes’ collection and playlist from inside the software. Also import Rekordbox, Traktor and Virtual DJ libraries along with hot cues, loops and playlists. The real power is integration. It’s a smart, all-encompassing program that positions itself as a network of bridges between the most popular programs with Link (Ableton) and HID (Pioneer CDJ). It’s one of the platforms that’s available on Windows, Mac, Android and iOS. Video mixing and turntable integration are additional bonus features, making Cross DJ a superbeast positioned to be at the forefront of DJing’s technical evolution. The range of product options starts at $49.99 for Windows/Mac, and they have a couple of freebies to get your started in their store.
Traktor enables so many vibe crafters to practice their art. However capable and dominant it is, being an artist is all about knowing the landscape. Take the time to check out a few of these alternative DJ programs and you’ll have an edge on the average fellow DJ. After all, knowledge is power, especially in an information age.