Finding a good DJ software program is the first thing you should do to kickstart your DJing journey.
Even if you just want to play music for your friends, the best DJ software apps and programs will allow you to do so in a professional way.
And you don’t have to break the bank to get them – some basic versions of DJ software even offer free starter kicks.
To help you find the right thing for you, we compiled a list of the best DJ software programs in the market right now.
From pro DJ software to beginner-friendly DJing apps, there’s something for everyone.
1. Pioneer DJ rekordbox – Best DJ software
Pioneer DJ rekordbox is hands down one of the best DJ software programs out there, both for beginners and experienced DJs.
Some basic features can be used for free, so you can try it out even if you’re on a budget.
Generally, the program has some cool features such as visual mixing, sequencer, lighting control, and lyric playback.
The Slick Edit mode allows you to access DAW-like features and edit your tracks.
You can also take advantage of some handy tools like effects, samplers, and DVS control.
And let’s not forget about its amazing track organization tools that basically allow the Rekordbox library to quickly access BPM, key, and phrasing information from a central database of all tracks.
The Rekordbox library is compatible with Pioneer’s controllers, CDJs, and standalone players.
By the way, Rekorbox’s flexibility is probably one of its biggest strengths – it works well with a high-end controller in clubs as well as in your home studio.
That said, Pioneer DJ Rekordbox is a well-rounded and reliable DJ software program for all levels and applications.
2. VirtualDJ – Best for beginners
VirtualDJ is probably one of the most popular DJ software programs out there.
Even if you’re new to DJing, you’ve probably heard of VirtualDJ.
VirtualDJ is perfect for beginners because it’s flexible and very easy to use.
It’s compatible with a variety of streaming services such as Beatport, Beatsource, Soundcloud, and Tidal.
The newest version of the program comes with some upgrades, and it allows you to mix in real-time the various components of your tracks (vocals, instruments, kicks, hi-hats, etc.)
Stem separation right on the EQs enables seamless transition in a new way.
And the superior song library management brings fast search, smart folders, playlists, AI suggestions, and more.
So, VirtualDJ is powerful as well as beginner-friendly.
But what catapulted this DJ app into stardom is the option to use it at home for free.
And if you want to use it professionally, you need to opt for a PRO license which costs $19 per month, which is also quite affordable.
3. Ableton Live – Best for versatility
When thinking about the best DJ apps, Ableton Live also immediately comes to mind.
In fact, Ableton Live is best known as a DAW – but the one that you can use for DJing.
This versatile program is truly amazing, and it’s a great choice for beginners as well as more experienced DJs.
Its Session View allows you to launch synced audio samples, MIDI clips, and tracks in a smooth way.
And with a variety of built-in instruments and effects, it’s an ideal tool for electronic music production.
Plus, you can use it with an array of controllers.
All things considered, Ableton Live is a fantastic tool for playing, performing, and producing music.
It’s a superstar among DJing programs and apps for a good reason, and it gets better with each new version.
The latest Live version feels superior to its previous version, especially if you appreciate specs and upgrades such as support for Push 3, a new compact subtractive synthesizer instrument, and so on.
You can get Ableton Live 11 essentials for a smaller price, but if you want to gain access to full features and extras or get Live 11 Suite, you’ll have to invest an extra buck.
4. Serato DJ Pro – Best for DJ scratch and turntablists
When it comes to top professional DJ programs, Serato DJ Pro is hard to beat.
Serato DJ Pro is used among DJs around the world, and it’s perfect for all genres, from hip-hop to electronic music.
This popular DJ program is widely used because of its controller compatibility – Serato doesn’t produce any hardware of its own, so it can be used with a wide range of gear.
To be more precise, Serato DJ Pro officially supports over 90 pieces of hardware by industry leaders.
But DJs also love Serato DJ Pro for its reliability and amazing performance.
The program has basic features ideal for newcomers as well as advanced features like DVS support, remix effects, and visual mixing control.
Its new feature Serato Stems is also great as it allows you to create acapella and instrumentals or deliver smooth transitions and mashups by isolating the Vocals, Melodies, Bass, or Drums.
And you can access millions of tracks thanks to its compatibility with Beatsource, Beatport, Soundcloud, and Tidal.
All things considered, if you’re looking for a professional DJ program to step up your game, you can’t go wrong with Serato DJ Pro.
5. Native Instruments Traktor Pro – Long-standing reputation
Traktor is another famous name in the DJ realm.
It’s also one of the oldest DJ applications out there, and it’s still standing strong.
Developed by Native Instruments, a leading manufacturer of software and hardware for audio production and DJing, Traktor Pro stands out from the crowd for its reliability and ease of use.
Its interface is clean and very easy to navigate, but there’s also a variety of features and upgrades to take advantage of.
For instance, Traktor Pro 3 has a Sync button that rapidly gets your tracks beat-matched.
It also allows you to modulate your tracks with over 40 intuitive, high-grade effects.
That said, this reputable DJ application is ideal for casual DJing as well as more ambitious music projects.
You can get lifetime access to Traktor Pro with a single payment, so it’s also a good choice for anyone who wants to avoid subscription models.
6. Algoriddim djay Pro AI – Best for Apple users
Algoriddim djay Pro AI is another great option for DJing, especially for users of Apple devices.
It’s a convenient app that you can easily use across all your Mac and iOS devices.
And as the name suggests, Algoriddim djay Pro AI features the intelligent Neural Mix Pro technology to play and remix individual elements from multiple tracks in real-time; similar to VirtualDJ’s feature.
You can also apply audio effects to individual components of the music and use AI multi-crossfading to swap drums, bass lines, or vocals of any two tracks.
The app also provides useful Sequencer and Looper tools, ideal for recording and sequencing loops during your mix.
Moreover, Algoriddim djay Pro AI has an advanced library management system so you can find and manage your tracks without hassle.
It’s an innovative and well-rounded DJing app for sure, especially if you prioritize AI tools.
7. FL Studio – Best for creative DJing
Just like Ableton Live, FL Studio is a digital audio workstation that can be used for DJing.
FL Studio is available in four different editions for Microsoft Windows and macOS, and it’s a great choice for those who want to play as well as produce music.
The program features a powerful performance mode, and it comes with support for all kinds of hardware.
That said, FL Studio is a very flexible app, and it can be used in all kinds of environments.
It’s a great tool for DJs who want to get more creative, and it offers a ton of effects and loops that can enrich your mixes.
After all, FL Studio is one of the best DAWs out there, so whether you want to use it to make or play music, it will meet your needs.
8. Beatport DJ/Beatsource DJ – Best for exploring new tracks
Beatport DJ and Beatsource DJ are subscription-based DJ apps perfect for experimenting with new tracks.
Both Beatport and Beatsource provide access to huge libraries of music available for streaming.
However, these DJ programs are browser-only.
But if you’re looking for useful DJ tools to expand your catalog and enrich your DJing sessions, Beatport DJ and Beatsource DJ might be the perfect solutions.
They are free to use, so you have nothing to lose if it doesn’t work out.
But you probably won’t be disappointed, and you might even want to subscribe.
Both DJ apps have everything DJs need, including decks with EQs, a filter, hot cues, a looper, and XY effect pad.
They’re also equipped with MIDI, so you can easily connect them to your controller.
9. Mixxx – Best free DJ app
If you’re looking for a free DJ mixing software app, you should take a closer look at Mixxx.
This popular DJ app is packed with useful features and options that will make your DJ sessions more appealing and enjoyable.
For instance, the app has an open controller integration and includes DVS.
You can use a programmable mapping system to customize your workflow
And of course, there are fundamental DJ tools such as EQs and effects, loops, and hot cues.
It also features BPM and musical key detection to help you find the perfect next track from your library.
All in all, Mixxx is a great DJing platform that will allow you to perform creative live mixes.
And you don’t have to worry about any pricing plans or purchases – since it’s open-source and entirely community-driven software, Mixxx is and always will be free.
10. UltraMixer – Best for mobile DJs
UltraMixer is made with mobile DJs and dancing schools in mind.
The program is easy to use, and it has a customizable user interface.
You can play music all over your devices, including a MIDI controller, headphones, and speakers.
It comes with many useful features, such as Waitlist and Wishlist feature, a pre-listening option, and an Auto DJ option.
And it features all the DJing tools you might need, including Sampler, Special Effects, Crossfader, and Equalizer.
But the best thing about UltraMixer is its entertainment features – you can put on a memorable show with its Videos, Slideshows, Visual Effects, and Live-Text.
On top of that, the app allows you to prepare your tracks using the unique 4-player mode.
So, regardless of what you intend to use it for, UltraMixer will meet your expectations.
Depending on your needs and budget, you can choose from several pricing plans: UltraMixer Home, Basic, and Entertain.
How to Choose the Right DJ Software Program
As you can see, there are many top-rated DJ software programs to choose from.
All the apps we mentioned today have the basic features and tools that every DJ needs sooner or later, such as:
- Two (or more) decks
- Sampling and looping options
And some DJing apps provide more advanced features: lighting or visual control, AI-powered tools and algorithmic processes, and on.
You should opt for a program that meets your needs – it all comes down to your priorities and goals.
If you want to buy a DJ software program to advance your career, you should search for professional DJ programs suitable for clubs and professional projects.
And if you’re just starting out with DJing and you want to learn the basics, you should opt for beginner-friendly apps and DAWs.
Also, some DJ software is designed for a computer only, while other DJ software may integrate with DVS (Digital Vinyl System) and turntables.
Your goals and preferences aside, there are some other elements of DJing apps that you should be aware of when choosing an app, so let us quickly explain why they’re important.
When it comes to professional DJing, good organization is a must, and that includes correctly labeling and naming your tracks.
And that’s why library management is so important – it allows you to organize and sort your tracks.
With a good library management system, you can quickly search and manage your tracks, so you can make your DJ set a whole lot easier.
Luckily, all the best DJ software programs have a good library management system that will allow you to play music smoothly and effortlessly.
Another thing we want to clarify is the importance of DJ controllers.
While getting a DJ controller isn’t crucial, and it’s absolutely possible to play music using your mouse and keyboards, we strongly suggest you consider getting a good DJ controller, especially if you want to do live shows.
So what exactly are DJ controllers used for?
First and foremost, DJ controllers have knobs, encoders, jog wheels, faders, and all sorts of buttons that will give you complete hands-on control over your DJ software.
A DJ controller works by being connected to a DJ’s laptop computer, so you can easily connect it to your software and use it for mixing, scratching, and so on.
Now, DJ controllers come in different shapes and sizes, so you should do your research and choose a controller that fits your budget, style, and preferences.
Either way, you should review different brands (Pioneer, Native Instruments, and Roland are some of the most popular ones), check each product’s features, and try it out if possible.
When browsing different DJ controllers and software programs, you’ll probably come across the term DVS.
DVS stands for Digital Vinyl Systems, and it generally refers to systems that allow DJs to control their software with timecode CDs or vinyl records.
DVS Software Setup requires you to install the software, although some apps like Mixxx include it as a part of their program.
In any case, this kind of software is usually easy to use, and most of them are based on a drag-and-drop music system.
How do DJ software subscriptions work?
Another thing you should take into account when choosing the best DJ software for you is the subscription model.
Many popular DJ apps provide free plans – and that’s great.
Although there are exceptions, these free versions usually have limited options, and you’re required to subscribe if you want to access the full set of features.
And in most cases, there are several subscription plans to choose from – cheaper plans are suitable for beginners who need basic features, and advanced DJ programs designed with professionals in mind come with a higher price tag.
But there’s also a form of subscription that offers access to a streamable library of music.
These libraries work in a similar way as Spotify or Tidal subscriptions, but they are integrated into DJ software.
Furthermore, there’s a possibility to buy a DJ program as a one-time purchase, and this is ideal for people who know exactly what they’re looking for and why.
Best DJ Software Programs – Final Thoughts
With so many amazing DJ apps and DAWs, you probably feel a bit overwhelmed.
But hopefully, our list of the best DJ software programs helped you find a program that suits you best.
You can’t go wrong with any of these options, so you just need to make a decision based on your needs, preferences, and budget.
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