Long-time reader Nik writes: “I have loved music all my life, although I’ve only really been into DJing more seriously for the last year or so. I have also worked in a bar in Ibiza and played a bit on CDJs, mixers, etc. I mainly just love playing music, putting on own parties and never intend for DJing to be anything more than a hobby.
“I bought a basic controller that came with djay LE for Mac and Virtual DJ LE, I preferred djay and as it was cheaper to upgrade I settled on that. Quite fast I upgraded to a Mixtrack Pro 2, then I was using Serato DJ Intro. I was hearing good things about Mixvibes Cross DJ so bought that, but have also tried the full Serato.
“I keep playing with Traktor demo, though I miss djay a bit (and this keeps improving, especially since there is now an official Mixtrack Pro 2 mapping but it is a bit limited on hot cues, waveforms, etc). I play a lot of music from Spotify and also use djay for iOS on iPhone/iPad quite a bit (which with Spotify is great).
“My dilemma… I want to settle on one piece of software and my gut says this should be Serato or Traktor, as the most popular software, the support, training, forums, YouTube vids, updates, etc as well as web articles are all much better than for any others. But to be honest I am a bit confused / lost, and I’m after a bit of advice…”
Digital DJ Tips says:
I think you’re a spoiled for choice, to be honest! Here are a few thoughts. Firstly, most long-time DJs will DJ on anything that’s put in front of them. I guess I’m questioning your impulse to become a “single software” type of DJ in the first place. Have a preferred platform, maybe, but I’d say expand, don’t contract, your options. You’ve played on CDJs before, try and get the chance to do so again. Experiment with vinyl, smartphone DJing, everything in-between. It’s your hobby so why restrict yourself?
Secondly, again as this is a hobby, going for some kid of “industry standard” is less important that it otherwise might be. djay, Cross DJ, Serato, Traktor, Virtual DJ… all great platforms.
To get to specifics though, you say you love DJing with Spotify on djay for iOS. I have no crystal ball, but I’d be surprised if djay for Mac doesn’t get an upgrade to bring the feature set in line with the iOS version at some point. Also bear in mind that Virtual DJ has “Content Unlimited”, a similar service, also available within the software (they’ve had it for a few years); if streaming music for DJingis important to you and you can’t wait, there’s another option.
The final thought I have is that if you want to DJ with Traktor, you really also want to go for a Traktor controller (ie not the Mixtrack Pro 2 you have); jogwheel performance just isn’t up to it on anything not made by Native Instruments, so that means a Kontrol S2 or S4. Serato, on the other hand, is rock solid jogwheel-wise on the Mixtrack Pro 2.
Hope these thoughts help, but I’ll also throw this over to the audience to see if anyone else who’s found themselves in a similar dilemma can help.
So, over to you! How would you advise Nik? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.