Which DJ software is downloaded over 1 million times a year, has been available for nearly 10 years, is jointly developed by over 30 developers and artists, and has just got an exciting new version release under its belt?
Traktor? Virtual DJ? PCDJ, maybe? Deckadance? Mixvibes? Nope. It’s actually the best kept secret of open-source DJing, Mixxx, which has now reached v1.8. And Mixxx 1.8, if the penny hasn’t dropped yet, is also entirely free of charge. Zilch. Nothing. So is it a contender to the big paid-for packages? Let’s find out…
The first thing to note in any comparison is just how expensive DJ software is. Decent versions of all the top packages will set you back a couple of hundred big ones, and this can do the job for free. For that reason alone it has to be worth serious consideration.
Do the new features make Mixxx a contender?
Mixxx had, until now, lacked a few features which for me at least meant it didn’t really get its foot in the door. But nearly all of those quibbles have been addressed in this new release, including:
- Full looping capability
- 32 hot cues (with most skins supporting 4)
- iTunes library and playlist access
- Bulk analyse
- User-arrangeable / hideable columns in the library
- Midi mappings for Hercules DJ Controllers, DJ TechTools MIDI Fighter, Reloop Digital Jockey 2, Stanton SCS.3d & SCS.3m, M-Audio Xponent, Behringer BCD3000, Vestax VCI-100, MixMan DM2
- Support for multiple Midi devices
While it’s undeniably still lacking some of the polish of commercial packages (then again, Traktor doesn’t exactly have the shiniest of interfaces), Mixxx looks like it’s really arrived at the party this time.
What’s more, there are PC, Mac and Linux versions available, meaning that it is certainly the most universal DJ program out there.
So, all good on paper – but what about the reality? We’ll have a full review of the software and an interview with the founders after we’ve put it through its paces, but meanwhile, why not download and install it to see if you feel it’s up there with the big boys? You can get it from the Mixxx website.
Don’t forget to come back and tell us what you made of Mixxx. Is it ready for the big time or are there still features you need before considering a free alternative to one of the big packages? Comments are open…