Years ago, a DJ uses two turntables to mix the music together. Nowadays it is all digital, computer programs are needed to mix music. Mixing on the computer it is much easier and you can add many effects. One of the best DJ software is VirtualDJ, it is available as a free version for non-commercial use and paid versions. VirtualDJ Home Free provides only the basic functions of a DJ program. For the extended versions must be paid, these are supporting the use of a microphone, broadcasting service and has a MIDI / HIDI Controller / Mixer support. With Virtual DJ you can accelerate / decelerate, scratching and mixing songs, effects and samples can be added. This software has everything what a DJ needs.
The free version has a 2-4 deck mixer, the paid versions has a maximum of 99 decks. Songs can be searched and downloaded straight from the internet and saved in a database. A playlist can be made manually or automatically. Above each deck there is a visual waveform of the track, which is currently playing on the respective deck including detailed information like the track name, playing time of the track and the beats-per-minute (BPM). Each deck has a pitch-control (speed control), this makes it possible to play 2 tracks through each other on the same rhythm. It’s possible to switch the decks from position. There are controls on the deck to start, stop, cue and pause the track. Start, stop and recording music can be done any time, decide by yourself when to start and stop. The recorded sound will be saved in MP3 or WAV format. In the area between the decks is the place where the mixing will be performed. Here you can switch between audio and video tracks and if you want, making a scratch track. Here are also sliders for each deck which you can use for fade in, fade out and cross fading, just move the slider up and down. At the bottom of the screen you can access sound effects, samples and other music that is stored on your computer.
There are a number of effects in the program that can be applied to a part of the music. For example echo, overflow and backspin, these are effects that change the music. These effects have specific settings in the program which can be modified. Also samples can be added in the music, like for example the sound of a jet plane. If this sample is enabled you will hear the sound of a jet plane through the music. With Vitual DJ is you can record also your own sample. Other features are slide shows, strobes and overlay, the visualisation effects are similar to most media players. It’s also possible to start your own internet radio station to broadcast your music and mix. The paid versions of VirtualDj have a feature to record and broadcast it directly to Shoutcast.
For anyone who likes to be a DJ and mixing songs, Virtual DJ is a great piece of software. The interface looks maybe complicated but is easy to use. There is a free version and OEM version with fewer features. For professionals is the VirtualDJ Broadcaster ($49 or €39.11), VirtualDJ Pro Basic ($99 or €79.02) and VirtualDJ Pro Full ($299 or €238.67), each with different features. Supported operating systems are Windows XP with service pack 3, Vista, Windows 7 and Mac OS X . On the website of Virtual DJ are plugins for download such as additional effects, skins, controllers, languages and much more. This makes the program more comprehensive and more fun! It is really worth to give it a try. And if this program is too complicated, try also Audacity and mp3DirectCut.
Basic features Virtual DJ 7:
- up to 99 independent zero-latency players with:
- Standard controls (play, pause, stop, cue)
- Pitch control with Master Tempo (from -100% to +100%)
- 3 band equalizer High, Mid, and Low with Kill and +/-30db gain
- Independent key control
- Resonant filter
- One-click beat matching and synchronization (FAME algorithm).
- BeatLock engine for keeping songs in-sync and in-time.
- Dynamic beat-matching visualizer.
- Automatic beat-matched crossfading.
- Automatic BPM and KEY calculation.
- Automatic pitch matching.
- Automatic audio gain matching.
- Real scratch simulation.
- Automatic seamless and beat-aware LOOP functionality.
- Synchronized sampler with 12 instant record and playback slots.
- Time-Stretch and Master Tempo Pitch algorithms.
- Automatic first beat and last beat detection.
- Automatic 4/4 phase detection.
- Infinite number of cue points per song saved for instant recall each time the song is loaded.
- Beat-aware effect plugins (included: beatgrid, flippin doubles, vocal remover, frequency filter, flanger, backspin, brake, etc…).
- VST effects compatibility (PC version Only).
- Video mix with windowed or FULL SCREEN TV output using 2nd video output.
- Karaoke CDG+MP3 and/or ZIP support.
- FreeFrame and custom video effects.
- Infinite number of video effects applied simultaneously.
- DJ-specific video transition plugins.
- Song database engine with easy-to-use search feature.
- CoverFlow or text-only song browsing.
- Compatible with iTunes playlists (iTunes DRM files not supported).
- MP3 ID3 Tag compatibility.
- User-defined automatic filter folders.
- Automatic Hot-Swap of external hard drives.
- Ready-to-burn recording of a DJ mix to CD.
- Broadcast on the Internet.
- CD to MP3 encoder.
- Multi-channel sound card, dual-sound card or Y-splitter output for real-time monitoring or external mixer use.
- ASIO soundcard compatibility.
- CoreAudio soundcard compatibility.
- Fully customizable skin engine and shortcut macro engine.
- VDJScript: powerful macro language used in skins, shortcuts, or controller mapping.
- Compatibility and customizable mapping with most external MIDI and HID controllers (more than 80 included, many more downloadable).
- Optional automatic playlist mixing: VirtualDJ recognizes the style of the music (techno, hip hop, lounge) and adapts the mix accordingly.
- Netsearch: search and play any song from an online database of more than 8 million tracks.
- MusicGroup: get live recommendations based on what you play and the feedback from millions of other DJs around the world.
- GenuisDJ: automatically fill your folders with the latest hits depending on what you usually play.