MP3, WAV, FLAC
SECURE SHOPPING
Juno Download offers over 3 million dance tracks in MP3, WAV & FLAC formats, featuring genre pages, advanced audioplayer, super-fast download speeds.
Visit Juno Download
DJ & STUDIO EQUIPMENT
SECURE SHOPPING
Massive range of equipment and accessories for DJs and studio use.
Visit Juno DJ
VINYL & CDs
SECURE SHOPPING
The world's largest dance music store featuring the most comprehensive selection of new and back catalogue dance music Vinyl and CDs online.
Visit Juno Records

5 Best DJ Software

The future of DJing has never been so uncertain: with the death knell sounding for the once mighty Technics turntables, the concept of digital DJing is now in the spotlight like never before. New forms of software are appearing all the time, offering ambitious and creative DJs opportunities to turn their sets into unique performances.

Some software allows the user to experience feel of vinyl without lugging hundreds of records from club to club; others allow for music to be manipulated on the fly: live remixing if you will. With so many options at your disposal, the Juno experts tried and tested all of the major options on the market before coming up with this shortlist of the five best DJ software packages available. Read on to discover our recommendations…

1. Rane Serato Scratch Live SL3


Serato were early leaders in the digital mixing revolution, and despite increasing competition they have maintained their formidable reputation. The combination of the SL3 hardware and the Serato Scratch Live DJ software allows you to connect up to three regular vinyl turntables, CD players and a mixer to their computer to mix and scratch audio files. It’s sold as a complete package consisting of the SL3 audio interface, two control vinyls/CDs, four RCA cables, one USB cable, international power supply, Serato Scratch Live software and a carrying case.

The included control CDs and vinyl have Serato’s control signal which Scratch Live uses to track and simulate the same movement within the software. Users coming from a vinyl background will have no difficulty adjusting to this system which, with the Serato timecode, is indistinguishable from playing on vinyl. 24bit/48kHz convertors, USB 2.0 connection and studio grade phono pre-amps ensure high sound quality and an auxiliary input/output lets you get creative by hooking up a sampler, live feed or recording a live mix. The solid build, upgraded audio and hot outputs make the SL3 a regular fixture on the professional DJ circuit, and ensures it justifies its premium price tag.

The Serato Scratch Live software is well laid out with a simple interface split into three main sections. You’ll see two decks with waveforms, cue points and loops on the top, effects in the middle and below that the filebrowser. Scratch Live 2.1.1 also has support for the Pioneer CDJ-2000 & CDJ-900s “advanced HID mode” including library navigation, album art, overview display and highly responsive platter control. Support for The Bridge also means that you can play back your Ableton Live sets through Scratch Live and trigger clips from the Ableton Player as well as record your mixtapes as a multitrack Ableton file. [Find out more at Juno]

Specifications:
Supported audio formats Fixed and Variable Bit Rate MP3, AIFF, AAC, ALAC, WAV, OGG Vorbis, CD Audio
Bit Rate 24
Sample Rate (kHz) 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz
Inputs 3 x Pairs of Stereo RCA. All Inputs Switch Between Phono & Line-Level
Outputs 3 x Pairs of Stereo RCA
Connection USB 1.1 / USB 2.0 USB 2.0 High Speed
Soundcard No
Effects Yes
iTunes integration Yes
Maximum Audio Output 3 Vrms
Frequency Response 20 Hz to 20 kHz +0, -3 dB
Mic or Aux input Aux Input for Live Mix Recording, LiveFeed or a third deck.
Control For CD & Vinyl Yes
Power supply optional/necessary/included External universal power supply with country adaptors & all leads included
System Requirements (PC) XP (SP2 or Higher), Vista (SP1 or Higher), Pentium 4, 1.5 GHz (Intel Processor)
System Requirements (Mac) OSX 10.4 or Higher, G4, 1 GHz

2. Native Instruments Traktor Scratch A10


Having control of up to four decks of digital music using Native Instruments award winning, super tight vinyl control system is here. Including Traktor’s latest Pro 2.5 software that has all the looping, FX and sample deck features of previous versions, it now has a remix section that allows the DJ to seamlessly cross into the world of live performance. Expand your set up with the Kontrol F1 to get more hands on interaction and unleash your creativity.

At the heart of this system is the powerful Audio 10 interface that allows you tight control over your music using the time coded 12” vinyl or CD’s included. Setting up is simple and quick thanks to Native Instruments auto detection technology. This system caters for those that like the feel of vinyl but also want the flexibility offered in the digital age. Or use the CD timecode in relative mode, using all the benefits of Traktor Pro 2.5’s loop, cue and sampling functions. This system offers you the best of both worlds.

[Find out more at Juno]

Specifications:
Supported audio formats MP3, WAV, AIFF, Audio-CD, FLAC, Ogg Vorbis, non-DRM WMA**, non-DRM AAC
Bit Rate 16, 24
Sample Rate (kHz) 44.1, 48, 96 kHz
Inputs 10 x Line, phono
Outputs 10 x Line/headphone
Connection USB 1.1 / USB 2.0 USB 2.0
Soundcard Yes
Effects Yes
iTunes integration Yes
Maximum Audio Output 9,6 dBu
Frequency Response 10 – 40kHz ±0.5 dB
Mic or Aux input Yes
Control For CD & Vinyl Yes
Power supply optional/necessary/included No power supply necessary, all leads included
System Requirements (PC) Windows XP (latest SP 32bit)/Windows Vista/Windows 7 (latest SP 32/64bit), Intel Pentium 4 2.4 GHz or Intel core duo or AMD Athlon 64, 2GB RAM
System Requirements (Mac) Mac OS X 10.5 or 10.6 (latest update), Intel core duo, 2GB RAM

3. Ableton Live Suite 8 v2


Suite 8 is the flagship of Ableton’s award winning Live Range, and as such is much more than a digital mixing tool. The four-DVD boxed set contains Live 8 itself, a core library of samples and presets, the full set of Ableton’s software instruments, a collection of loops and samples from Cycling 74 and Zero-G, a library of Latin percussion instruments and samples, version 2 of the Essential Instruments Collection (EIC), and two DVDs dedicated to session drums. In total there’s a possible 48GB to install so it’s worth making sure that you’ve got sufficient hard disk space.

The options for DJing give the user the ability to mix tracks of completely different genres and tempos seamlessly. Being able to mix an old disco track (originally played using live instruments with variable timing) seamlessly into a dubstep track with total accuracy is mind-blowing. Live sets can also be shared and synchronised with other Ableton users over the internet, via the dedicated file-browser pane.

The creative possibilities for on the fly remixing make Suite 8 unique in its class. You can re-sample in real time or overdub jam using Live’s comprehensive range of VST instruments and sound libraries, making it the perfect tool to add improvised tracks to your DJ set, or to add edits of your favourite records to your live set.

It doesn’t stop there though – Live 8 offers numerous hi-specification features such as powerful MIDI sequencing of software and hardware instruments, 32-bit/192 kHz multitrack recording, and effect racks for professional-grade mixing and mastering.  Combine all this with Ableton’s completely unique warping and real-time time-stretching capabilities, high grade synthesis generators, instrument and drum racks, and effectively you’ve got a both a digital DJ set-up and a complete studio in one. [Find out more at Juno]

Specifications:
Supported audio formats WAV, AIFF, MP3, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, REX file support
Bit Rate 32-bit
Sample Rate (kHz) 192kHz
Inputs Dependent on user’s soundcard
Outputs Dependent on user’s soundcard
Connection USB 1.1 / USB 2.0 N/A
Soundcard N/A
Effects Yes
iTunes integration No
Maximum Audio Output N/A
Frequency Response N/A
Mic or Aux input Dependent on user’s soundcard
Control For CD & Vinyl No
Power supply optional/necessary/included N/A
System Requirements (PC) 1.5 GHz Pentium 4 or Celeron compatible CPU or faster (multicore CPU recommended). 1 GB RAM (2GB recommended), Windows XP or Vista, Windows compatible sound card (ASIO driver support recommended), DVD-ROM drive, QuickTime (recommended). The installation size of the boxed version of Ableton Suite 8 is 48 GB. The downloadable version requires 4.6 GB of hard drive space.
System Requirements (Mac) 1.25 GHz G4/G5 or faster (Intel Mac recommended), 1GB RAM (2GB recommended), Mac OS X 10.4.11 (10.5 or later recommended), DVD-ROM drive. The installation size of the boxed version of Ableton Suite 8 is 48 GB. The downloadable version requires 4.6 GB of hard drive space.

4. M Audio Torq Conectiv Vinyl/CD Pack


After a 12 year run of gracing the pro audio market with high performance interfaces and controllers, M Audio have entered the digital DJ software space-race. It’s a somewhat surprising entry, especially when you take in to account the recent technological advances made by the likes of Rane & Native Instruments alongside the increasing number of budget imitations. A quick look at the impressive list of features and specifications quickly reassures you that this system does not fit into the latter category.

Out of the box the Conectiv USB interface connects with two pairs of RCA stereo inputs and outputs. It contains a pre-amp for connecting to turntables, a ¼” TRS microphone input and headphone out. The top panel boasts two large, firm knobs which allow you to seamlessly mix between the incoming analog audio from a turntable or CD player and the digital output of a connected Mac or PC. There are also line switches and a mic/monitor control room. Although the unit is made from plastic it doesn’t feel too cheap.

Once installed, the software appears to be intuitively laid out, although the small function icons take a little while to get used to. Just like its counterparts, you can mix with control vinyl, CD or internally if you choose. Torq’s browser will scan your computer’s iTunes database and supports Apple Lossless files alongside the usual WAV, MP3, WMA, AAC file formats. The waveform display is not to everyone’s liking as it is split in half, making the peaks the only real point of reference. However its large size and zoom features make this manageable and the addition of a second, smaller full waveform on each deck make adding up to six cue points per track easy enough.  There’s an impressive amount of on-screen knobs and buttons which can be controlled by mouse, keyboard or MIDI controller. The centre-piece of these is the effects module, which aside from being bundled with ten basic effects will also load third party VST plug-ins. The tempo-synced sampler is a tasty feature which allows loaded samples to be manipulated on the fly and you can route the output of Torq to any ReWire-compatible host application (like Pro Tools M-Powered 7.3 or later) and share synchronization information between the programs. Some users may gripe about the fact that Torq only supports two decks overall, but somehow you get the sense that any more would over complicate this already feature packed little system. [Find out more at Juno]

Specifications:
Supported audio formats MP3, AIFF, WAV, WMA and AAC
Bit Rate 16
Sample Rate (kHz) 48
Inputs 4 RCA inputs configurable for line-level or phono signals
Outputs 4 RCA line outputs with +2dBV peak output level
Connection USB 1.1 / USB 2.0 USB 1.1
Soundcard Yes
Effects Yes
iTunes integration Yes
Maximum Audio Output Not specified
Frequency Response Not specified
Mic or Aux input ¼” TS microphone input
Control For CD & Vinyl 2 Torq Control Vinyl disks and 2 Torq Control CDs
Power supply optional/necessary/included No
System Requirements (PC) Windows XP (SP2) / Pentium III 500MHz / 256MB RAM / Available USB port
System Requirements (Mac) OS X 10.3.9/ G3 500 MHz / 256MB RAM / Available USB port

5. MixVibes CROSS Pack


The Mixvibes Cross Pack can be safely filed in the ‘lesser known DJ software’ category, but is well worth investigating. It boasts an impressive audio interface, which comes with a 4-In/6-Out soundcard that allows you to use it with the included timecode CDs and records. Earlier scratch systems had teething problems – losing the loop – because of the timecode quality, prompting Mixvibes to invent the quote-unquote ‘Ultimate Timecode CD’. Alternatively you can use Cross with your preferred MIDI controller.

Beneath the essential channel equalizers Cross lets you loop tracks in different steps from 16 to 1/8 bars. You can set locators that you can jump to, play the track in reverse mode or use the match and sync options. While using timecode media the smart anti-skip feature is very handy: if you are scratching and the needle bounces there is no interrupted sound in relative mode. Those who are looking for breakdowns can see the waveform of both tracks in the player and can zoom in or out to find a view that suits your needs.

There are several different ways to manage your media. The master media library allows you to add all your tracks and organise them by BPM, or you can use the media explorer if your tracks are stored in a clear structure on your computer. The iTunes integration allows you to import your whole iTunes library into Cross, playlists and all. If you mark a track in the collection, playlist or explorer you can see its cover and all information from the id3 tags.

Mixvibes deserve credit for implementing user feedback into new versions of Cross (in the upcoming update, for example, there will be three different effects voted by Mixvibes users). The popular Mixvibes forum is also a handy resource if you have trouble setting up your Cross Pack. [Find out more at Juno]

Specifications:
Supported audio formats AIFF, WAV, MP3, FLAC, OGG, AAC
Bit Rate 24
Sample Rate (kHz) 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz
Inputs 2 RCA inputs.
Outputs 4 RCA outputs
Connection USB 1.1 / USB 2.0 USB 1.1
Soundcard Yes
Effects Upcoming
iTunes integration Yes
Maximum Audio Output Not specified
Frequency Response Not Specified
Mic or Aux input MIC +48V phantom power & Aux input with gain control
Control For CD & Vinyl 7″ vinyl & CDs
Power supply optional/necessary/included Power adaptor & cables included
Dimensions Not specified
Weight Not specified
System Requirements (PC) Windows XP SP2 or Windows Vista SP2 or Windows 7 – We recommend Windows 7 or XP over Vista, Intel Core 2 Duo / 1.8 GHz or equivalent, 1 GB RAM, One available USB port, Hard drive space for music
System Requirements (Mac) Mac OS X 10.4, Intel Core 2 Duo / 1.8 GHz or higher, 1 GB RAM, One available USB port, Hard drive space for music

Reviews: Dicken Lean, Stefan Balluff, Ben Daly.