Reader Utsav Lama has not one but two questions. He writes: "I am a 19-year-old club DJ from Kathmandu, Nepal. I learned about DJing with a laptop with Virtual DJ 7 and now I am using a Traktor Kontrol S4 (my father who is working in Dubai bought it for me). I want to ask you whether the .dll effects from Virtual DJ can be put to use in Traktor Pro 2, because I miss some of them. Also, I currently produce music with Reason 5 but I want to change, so please can you tell me which is best production software for DJ/producers? You know DJing is very new to our country and only a few from here have made DJing their career (DJ Bickey playing in the top clubs of Europe like Ministry of Sound, for instance) and the gear is often not available in our country."
"Plus most DJs here just play remixes and mixtapes downloaded from the net, which I'm ashamed of, but there are some DJs who are creative too and we're trying to teach others what we've worked out for ourselves and from the internet. Thank you for your tips - they are working for me and I do earn a lot of gigs now."
Digital DJ Tips says:
Thanks for you letter Utsav, it's great to get an insight into the DJ scene in some of the less obvious places around the world. Glad to hear you're flying the flag for quality digital DJing over there!
OK, in answer to your questions: It is not to my knowledge possible to use Virtual DJ's effects in Traktor Pro - VST effects are kind of the standard "plug in" effects for professional music software but Traktor Pro doesn't support them. I guess you'll have to make do with Traktor Pro's effects, which to be fair are high quality and varied enough. It's always annoying when you switch from one piece of software to another though and miss a certain feature, so I feel your pain here!
As far as production software for DJs goes, there's no right or wrong, and lots of people use Reason, but I'm bound to say that Ableton Live is the most popular choice. It has an intuitive workflow and the views available to you encourage improvisation and are also great for loop-based music. Also, lots of DJs perform with Ableton Live, so you could use the same software in your studio and at your gigs - and it is also possible to sync Traktor Pro 2 and Ableton Live so you can really blur the boundaries between DJing and production.
Have you ever switched software and missed something you used to rely on in your previous program? What do you think the best production software for DJs is? And are you reading this in a far-flung location you think we should know about? Let us know in the comments!