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Your DJ software is an essential part of your craft. It can save you time, help you create playlists, and improve your mix. Plus, it can give you the tools to individualize and create a flow that reflects your sound and vibe. 

However, there are many options and a lot of opinions about which one is the best DJ software. Today, we look at what makes DJ software useful, what you should consider when choosing it, and what we think are the best DJ software options for different categories for 2021. 

So, What Is the Best DJ Software?

Interestingly enough, DJ Software is the digital version of the old-school hardware setup DJs used to use (and still do, to some extent). DJ software is designed to make your mix sound better and help you save time by making logical playlists of songs for you. However, the best DJ software gives your mix the following advantages over your hardware, per E-Home Recording Studio:

Also, before we get into the best DJ software for 2021, it’s essential to review how you should make your individual choice for software. There are a few questions to consider when choosing the software you want to use, as E-Home Recording Studio points out:

Let’s not forget one of the important questions regarding the best software for a DJ: Can you afford it? It would be best if you knew all of these critical things going into your search. Then, consider the software listed here as a place to start your search for the right solution. 

Best DJ Software for 2021

Best Overall: Pioneer rekordbox DJ

We chose the Pioneer rekordbox DJ as the best DJ software because of its overall functionality, cross-platform compatibility, and features that enhance a DJ’s mix from beginner to pro level. In addition, rekordbox has an Auto-Mix feature, which Music Radar says can “do a lot of the work for you,” which is ultimately what DJ software is all about, particularly for beginners or amateur DJs. With add-on packs, pros can get into DVS, video mixing, and lyrics (for Karaoke gigs). In other words, rekordbox is functional, compatible, and versatile—especially if you use one of the pioneer controllers. In addition, it is available for trial, so you can see if it’s right for you, and if it is, you can buy it or subscribe monthly. 

To see everything Music Radar had to say about the best DJ software, please click here.

Runner Up for Best Overall: Traktor Pro 3

Native Instruments Traktor Pro 3 is another excellent all-around DJ software. We like that it also has exceptional functionality, appeals to artists that want to remix live, and has remarkable effects. In fact, per Sweetwater Sound, an online gear retailer, Native Instruments provided these effects to Music Producers for years as a standalone product. Also, when you use it with Native Instruments DJ equipment, it is even more powerful. (However, you can use almost any DJ controller with it.)Traktor Pro is also not afraid to do things differently either. They put a section for Stems/remix control where the jogwheels used to be. You can download a demo to try the software out, and Native Instruments sells the software for $99. 

To read everything Sweetwater had to say about DJ Software, please click here.

The Most a popular DJ Software: Serato DJ Pro

Serato DJ Pro is one of the most popular DJ software out there. The free version often comes with DJ equipment, like controllers or mixers. Also, because Serato is excellent with its controller compatibility and so popular, many people can teach beginners how to use it. In addition, the user experience is intuitive, which helps when you are still finding your way around the software. Beyond the DJ just starting, Serato DJ Pro is a fantastic system if you like scratching. Per the DJ Shop, Serato’s DVS system is effortless. Plus, you can stream with the popular services, too. You can try it out on a free trial, and if you like it, you can upgrade and buy it for $139 or subscribe for $5 a month to take advantage of additional features the software has to offer.

To read everything The DJ Shop had to say about DJ Software for beginners, please click here.

Bonus Category: Best Laptop for Serato DJ Software: Apple MacBook 13”

It’s not cheap, but it is the best laptop for Serato DJ software. It’s small, light, and compact. It has the power to run Serato’s DJ software efficiently, with the new M1 chip—plus up to 20 hours of battery life. They aren’t the cheapest, but the MacBook pros are the best, at least for this software.

Best DJ Software for Broadcast: Virtual DJ 

Choosing Virtual DJ’s latest version for the best video DJ software is a no-brainer with its exclusive broadcast feature. The newest version makes it possible to broadcast your set on Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, and Radio Servers live. You can also schedule a track, sample, video, or playlist ahead of time. Stems is another fantastic feature that isolates parts of the song on any track without restrictions. Two more things that E-Home Recording Studio points out are the Genius DJ algorithm that selects the next track to play automatically that goes with what you are playing now and the Serato Crate compatibility that allows Virtual DJ to read them, too (which is essential if you are making the switch from the Serato software). Virtual DJ works with pretty much everything. Virtual DJ is free to use at home, but pros can buy it for $299 (VirtualDJ Pro Infinity) or subscribe for $19 a month. 

Best Video DJ Software: PC DJ Dex 3

If you like mixing videos with your audio, you need what we think is the best video DJ software, PCDJ DEX 3. Not only can it handle music production and mixing digital music files, but per Music Critic, it also can mix digital music videos seamlessly. In addition, you can apply video effects and transitions, as well as scratch, loop, and record audio and video mixes. Some other features that make this software great for video DJs include auto-looping, automatic mixing, beat sync, and key lock. Also, its file browser works with your iTunes music library and makes it easy to search for songs and create playlists. In addition, the karaoke features make it easy to host shows. It works with more than 70 DJ controllers, and as music critic says, it’s hard to go wrong with this versatile program. (Did we mention that you can install it on up to three computers?) PCDJ Dex 3 is available as a free trial. But, then, if you want to buy it, it runs $149. 

To read about all the DJ software apps Music Critic talks about, please click here.

Best DJ Software on a Budget: Mixxx

You can’t beat free, so the best DJ software on a budget is Mixxx. As E-Home Recording Studio explains, it is open-source software, so it’s free, and it also has an active community supporting it. It works with any MIDI or HID device and has a built-in mapping for controllers. It has BPM, Key Detection, and Sync features, like all of the professional DJ software we included in this list. It also has effects and vinyl record control to allow for digital scratching. In addition, Mixxx has pitch and key control so you can change the tempo with or without changing pitch, beat looping to extend the track when you need to, master sync to lock your deck in time while remixing on the fly, EQ and crossfader control, Hotcues, Quantization and much more. Download it for free anytime and play around with it.

Your DJ software is an essential part of your equipment. It helps you automate the mundane tasks to focus on the sound you want to create and the vibe you are trying to deliver. We think you should take a look at the ones we chose, take advantage of those free trials, and check out any others you see on the links to find the right software for you. Because what every DJ knows deep down in their beating heart is that the best DJ software is the one that works best in your hands. F

Sources:

“The 7 Best DJ Software for Live, Studio, and Home DJs.” Ehomerecordingstudio.com. Web. 2 July 2021. <https://ehomerecordingstudio.com/best-dj-software/>. 

“The 11 Best DJ software applications in the world today.” Musicradar.com. 2 March 2020. Web. 2 July 2021.<https://www.musicradar.com/news/the-11-best-dj-software-applications-in-the-world-today>. 

“Which DJ Software is Right for Me?” sweetwater.com. 28 April 2021. Web. 2 July 2021. <https://www.sweetwater.com/insync/which-dj-software-is-right-for-me/>.

“Best DJ Software for Beginners.” Thedjshop.co.uk. 29 June 2020. Web. 2 July 2021. <https://www.thedjshop.co.uk/blog/best-dj-software-for-beginners>.

“9 Best DJ Software Apps” musiccritic.com. 10 April 2021. Web. 2 July 2021. <https://musiccritic.com/equipment/software/best-dj-software/>. 

Parker, Joseph. “Best Laptops for Serato DJ.” Bestdjgear.net 2 July 2021. < https://www.bestdjgear.net/best-laptops-for-serato-dj/>.