Becoming a DJ is more accessible than ever nowadays. The first step is getting a DJ controller such as the Pioneer DDJ-200, or Numark DJGO2. These controllers are entry-level controllers where you can start to learn the basics to get you started on your DJ career.
Not only are these controllers excellent for learning the fundamentals of DJing, but these controllers are also capable of doing live performances. Soon you can perform at events such as weddings, bar mitzvahs, birthday parties, house parties, and even clubs.
Assuming you already have a laptop or mobile device, the second step is finding the right DJ software that is compatible with your controller. Since you are probably just beginning to learn, you will probably look for something within the budget or something that you can download for free.
Fortunately, there are tons of free DJ software you can download. The only problem is finding which one suits you and your controller.
In this article, I will show you various DJ software platforms with different features and compatibility. These choices are suitable for beginners and pros alike.
Best DJ Software Applications
Now that you are up to speed let's dive into the list of the best free DJ software, you can download and enjoy right away:
Serato DJ Lite
Serato Lite is an excellent free DJ software. Because it is built with the same technology Serato Pro is using, expect a powerful software that both beginner and pro DJs can enjoy. Even without a hardware DJ controller, you can use the Serato DJ Lite to mix music with just your computer or laptop.
The Serato DJ lite comes with features such as a 2-deck practice mode. In this mode, you can practice your transitions to get better at transitioning from one song to another.
The user interface on this DJ software is refreshing to look at. It has support from 64-bit high-resolution screens, which makes DJing on this software more stable performance-wise.
Some of the compatible DJ controllers you can use with the Serato DJ Lite is the Numark Mixtrack Pro 3, the Numark DJ2GO2, The Numark PartyMix, and many more.
Serato DJ Intro
Another iteration of the Serato DJ Lite is the Serato DJ Intro. This software is suitable for practicing, and you can also use it for your early gigs. It does not have the full features of the Serato DJ Pro, but it has some of the essential features you need to start DJing. This version includes:
- Four complete decks with full-color waveforms
- High-quality mixer
- Flexible music integration with music sources such as Apple Music
- Sample player
The software is easy to use. With the four decks, you can arm them and mix them together. You can also use the sample player where you can load four additional samples that you can mix on top of the four playing decks. It is an outstanding software where you can hone your mixing skills without paying the premium.
The most notable feature of the Serato DJ intro is the “Smart Crate” feature. It allows you to create track playlists by keyword, genre, and tempo, making mixing songs much more comfortable.
This next DJ software is perfect for beginners who just want a simple DJ software to start with. It has an intuitive interface that is easy to navigate. For a free software, you get to mix two decks and apply real-time effects to make transitions more exciting. You can also adjust pitch and tempo to make tracks more coherent. If you need more tools and effects, the Zulu DJ has full VST support.
DJ Mix Lite
The DJ Mix Lite is designed to play music continuously for hours. It has some automated features that are perfect if you need a reliable DJ software you can use for weddings and birthday parties. It features a fantastic beat-lock technology where the software analyzes your playlist and plays the next song for you.
If you are looking to learn how to do transitions yourself, maybe the DJ Mix Lite is not for you. However, you can still learn a thing or two from its automated beat-lock technology, and apply them to your own DJ sets.
DJ PRODECKS is a free DJ software that supports a wide range of audio formats such as WMA, FLA, AAC, MP3, and WAV. It also supports most DJ controllers, which is rare for most free DJ software.
You can use up to three effects at the same time and get three memory banks for assigning cue points and loops. Overall, DJ PRODECKS has the essential features of a complete DJ software which you can use for gigs.
Up next is the CuteDJ Pro. With this DJ Software, you can play all of the songs you have stored on your computer or hard drive using a hardware or software DJ controller. It works on both Windows and MAC, and it offers a 30-day free trial.
This computer DJ app is a traditional DJ tool that can mix audio and video. It supports a wide range of audio and video files, VST effects, and most DJ controllers. The overall design looks elegant and pleasing to look at when you are mixing.
The YOU.DJ app can be used with your browser. You do not have to download the software, and you can use it for free. If you do not have a lot of music to mix with, YOU.DJ has got you. Upon entering the website, you will find a vast collection of pre-loaded songs that you can use.
But wait, there is more. You can also load songs from SoundCloud and YouTube. Whenever you get a request from the crowd, you don't need to worry about not having the song in your library. For a free cloud-based software, the features and functions are beneficial when DJing small gigs or house parties.
Mixxx is a Free DJ software that offers most of its features from its premium version. Some people might not enjoy the limited features, but once you try this DJ software, you’ll understand why it deserves a spot on this list.
One advantage of this software is that you can use it on Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. Some of the other features available in the free version are:
- 4 decks
- FX change
- RGB waveforms
- Harmonic mixing and key detection
The output of this software sounds incredible. It is suitable enough to use for DJing at clubs with high-quality audio. You don't need a DJ controller to mix with this software, which is suitable for people who want to mix on the go.
Virtual DJ Home
Virtual DJ Home has been out for a while, and it has been continually improving ever since. There is a free and paid version of this DJ software. However, I will only talk about the free version in this article.
This DJ software supports a total of 99 decks, making DJing and transitioning tracks more comfortable. You can also use streaming apps to play music, making your playlist endless.
The Virtual DJ Home also supports video mixing, which can make for a much more extensive playlist. You can also take advantage of other cool features like full browser and library management, making your songs easier to find when making impromptu playlists.
The only downside of this almost perfect software is that it does not support any MIDI or DJ controllers.
UltraMixer is not exactly free, but it lets you try the software for a limited time. However, you can still use it by rebooting the software app every hour, which can be an inconvenience to some people.
You can use it for both Windows and Mac operating systems, but you cannot connect a MIDI controller with the free trial. I am pretty sure that some of you would end up buying this DJ software once you get to try it.
It is a fully-fledged DJ software designed for intermediate DJs that want to mix audio and videos alike. The interface is somewhat modern and appealing. You also have the option to change different skins depending on your preference. Some of the most notable features of the UltraMixer are:
- Live text function
- 16-channel sampler
- 31-band EQ
- Smart looping
- 8 hot cue buttons
You can start mixing with the use of the keyboard and mouse. However, you can make things easier by using a DJ controller or an integrated smartphone app.
MixVibes Cross DJ
The MixVibes Cross DJ is designed with beginner DJs in mind. It is an excellent app for practicing your DJ transition skills at home before moving it to the clubs.
It has two decks, beat detection, EQ, and a selection of real-time audio effects. For a free software, the MixVibes has complete DJ software functions you will find on premium versions. Other notable features included in this fantastic free software are:
- Audio/ video player
- Audio/ video samplers
- Video effects
- Beat grid editing
- Head-up display
- Master out limiter
- Interface customization
- MIDI support and MIDI mapping
Wow, it is surprising that you get all of these amazing features for free. Because of all the features, make sure your computer has all the suitable requirements to run this app smoothly. Despite all the strengths of the MixVibes Cross DJ, the only drawback is that it does not support new controllers with the mapping feature.
The KraMixer is a basic DJ software with professional features that play high-quality audio. It does not have a whole lot of features, but it has a robust algorithm that makes for a decent audio performance. The KraMixer does not focus much on the interface's aesthetic. However, it makes up for it with its powerful FMOD sound engine. It is a fast sound engine that performs well.
The KraMixer is also equipped with an automatic BPM feature that works well with the other effects. Overall, this DJ software is for people who want a basic application with a crazy-powerful sound engine. Unfortunately for Mac users, the KraMixer only works for Windows at the moment.
DJ Apps for Mobile Devices
Because of technology, you can now practice and hone your mixing skills with the use of a smartphone. Here are some of the best free mobile DJ apps.
DJing with your mobile device is slowly becoming an art, and one of the best mobile DJ apps is the DJAY by Algoriddim. Aside from its mobile app, DJAY can also be downloaded on your computer and laptop. The free version of DJAY on your mobile device works really great for a mobile DJ app.
You can use it with a DJ controller, plus, you can use streaming apps such as Spotify to play some tunes. Some notable features from the free version are:
- Play music from Spotify
- 2 decks
- Real-time effects with a touch of your finger
- 4 hot cues
- 4 loops
I really love how responsive this app is when I use it with my Pioneer DDJ-200. It is an excellent mobile DJ app that you can use for scratching, mixing, and almost any DJ features you need for live performances.
WeDJ by Pioneer DJ
One of the first mobile DJ apps I experienced is the WEDJ app by Pioneer DJ. With this app, you can do almost anything you can do with computer DJ software. You get a wide selection of effects such as reverb, delay, flanger, gate effects, and bit crusher. It also has a smart mix feature that you can use to smoothly transition from one track to the next with the use of the crossfader.
You can use your phone's music library as well as streaming apps such as Beatport. It works well with Pioneer DJ controllers.
Finally, we are down to the last item on the list. EDjing is one of the oldest mobile DJ apps for your smartphone. Like the other DJ apps I have mentioned, EDJing also has the essential features you need for mixing tracks on the go. You can use it with a DJ controller or with just the touch screen. It comes with a variety of samples, effects, and hot cues to make your performances fire!
You also have the option of using your sound library or use streaming apps such as SoundCloud.
Overall, mobile DJ apps can be really convenient for practicing or mixing on the go. Technology has paved the way to make things such as DJing much more accessible to beginners and for people on a budget.
- Can you scratch on a DJ controller? Yes, you can definitely scratch using a DJ controller. It would not feel like you are scratching on vinyl, so you will have to adjust the technique to fit the platter of the controller you are using. If you want to scratch on a DJ controller, you will have to change the crossfader settings on the app from a round-cut to a sharp cut so that the volume cuts out completely when you move the fader.
- Can you DJ with SoundCloud, Spotify, or Apple Music? Yes, you can! Some apps, such as the YOU.DJ, Algoriddim DJAY, and EDJing allow you to use SoundCloud, YouTube, and Spotify, making your DJ sets more exciting. You can take requests from the crowd because you have almost every song in your arsenal.
- How do you connect a DJ controller to your mobile device? If you want to connect a DJ controller to a mobile device, make sure that the DJ app on your mobile phone supports the controller you want to connect. To make things much more manageable, you can purchase the Pioneer DDJ-200. This DJ controller is specially designed for mobile devices and links to your phone via Bluetooth.
DJing today is not only getting more popular, but it is also very accessible. Gone are the days where you have to purchase thousands of dollars' worth of gear and collecting mountains of vinyl records just to play an hour-long set.
Today, you can get a controller for less than $200 bucks and use popular streaming apps to play shows. Also, because of beat-syncing and tempo-matching, making transitions are much easier than ever.
However, let’s not forget to be creative and hone our craft. As a challenge to us, let’s not forget to rely on our creativity to get better at the craft.
Last update on 2021-03-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API