Even the most accomplished DJ needs some software aid to refine their skill.
The right DJ app shouldn’t just be easy to use but also intuitive to enable you to quickly set up and get into the groove.
As a DJ, you would also want your software tool to meet all your workflow needs.
Even if you are a master DJ, you will quickly realize that there are certain workflow processes that you need to automate.
It takes a lot of practice and knowledge to be a really good DJ and some aspects of it, whether complex or mundane, would need some app or software tool that will ensure you are giving out your best in the performance.
If you are using a Mac, then you will need quality DJ software for Mac that can help you in your gigs.
There is a constellation of DJ software tools for Mac to pick from for your music production.
Some of these are premium apps while others are entirely free.
It isn’t easy choosing good quality DJ software.
There are countless options available and many appear to accomplish pretty much a similar function.
Besides, some of the best DJing software are unlikely to be free.
Free software does not necessarily mean poor quality.
Besides, if you are inducting yourself into the DJing world, it would be better to hone your skills with the free DJing software before you pay for the premium software tools.
Trying out the various free software versions also gives you an opportunity to do a comparison on the vast spectrum of software tools and see which of these best suits your needs.
In this article, we look at some of the best DJ software for Mac, including what they do and the pros and cons of using these software tools.
We have factored manufacturer opinion as well as reviews from some of the top DJs who have used these software tools before.
Serato DJ Lite
Serato DJ Lite is a relatively new arrival in the DJ software scene but it is already making waves among top DJs.
Besides, it is completely free and can be used with virtually any controller.
Serato is one of the industry leaders in DJing software so you can expect its software product to be of impeccable quality.
The Serato Lite tool ticks all the right boxes.
You can also use it with or without hardware making it the perfect software to test the mixes even if you don’t connect it to the decks or controller.
This feature now brings Serato DJ Lite’s offline mode at par with that of Traktor and RekordBox, two DJ software brands that have excelled in running their DJing software without connecting to the hardware.
The Serato DJ Lite features four decks and a versatile mixer.
The waveforms are spectacular and it also comes with an industry-leading browser.
Serato also features sample players.
In spite of its many solid points, the software tool lacks in certain areas such as in the key-mixing and pitch-shifting.
Its other weak areas include lack of video mixing capabilities as well as the Serato add-ons such as Slip and limited UI customizability.
It has limited loop functionality and it doesn’t include smart crates.
While it lacks some key premium features, it packs up the core elements in abundance so it will work well for both DJs.
Most DJs don’t need these extra features after all so if the core functionalities can work for you, you are good to go.
- You can use it with any controller.
- Has bulletproof stability
- Leverages the Serato pro engine and its core features.
- Includes full mixer, samples, and FX
- It lacks the extras and other advanced features some of which you might need.
Mixxx is a freemium Mac DJ software that gives you the best of both worlds: incredible power and some novel features that will make your DJing a delight.
It supports a variety of platforms including Mac, Windows, and Linux.
Unlike the Serato DJ Lite above, it packs up all the top extras.
Its range of features and functionalities include four decks, access to RGB waveforms, FX as well as sample decks.
It even has a harmonic detection functionality which works flawlessly.
Mixxx has superb optimization for laptop DJing which makes it a good choice for the widest range of DJs, including those with basic equipment.
You won’t need any special equipment to spin your favorite tracks with this DJ software for Mac.
Because it is a freemium software, you can get lots of help for its vast community of helpful developers and users.
It is also compatible with multiple controllers that have a wide selection of pre-made mappings.
You can even map it using timecode vinyls.
Mixxx has a comprehensive interface that will need getting used to but once you have a good grasp of it, it is very enjoyable to use.
The interface might be comprehensive but it offers you superb displays on a widescreen.
- It is a freemium
- Being freemium, it is backed by a vast community of users and developers.
- The features are quite comprehensive and solid.
- Excellent stability.
- The interface is quite comprehensive and clunky which needs some getting used to.
- The interface works best with the widescreens and might not be ideal for smaller laptops.
Virtual DJ Home
Virtual DJ has been an industry workhorse in the DJing world for the past 15 years.
It’s a DJ software that’s often the default choice among DJs ranging from beginners to professionals.
Its features consistently outperform some of the top-choice apps, including premium software packages.
If you are looking for top-grade reliability, then you won’t go wrong with this DJ software option for Mac.
It might be a veteran DJ software option but Virtual DJ Home hasn’t been stuck in the inertia and lack of innovation that has often be the plague of first movers.
Over the years, it has consistently rolled lots of new features and quirky innovations.
It’s currently a big hitter in the standalone DJ software market segment and you can comfortably use it without a controller.
The fuller version of it can be mapped easily onto controllers and you can adequately use its premium version for your ultra-low-budget setups.
However, this functionality is not available in the free edition of the Virtual DJ Home.
It has other quirky features that you will instantly fall in love with.
For example, you can have an impressive 99 decks which enables the mixer to load up to 99 tunes onto different points and cycle between these.
This is a super-convenient feature that will come in handy when you are DJing in functions such as weddings or parties.
The free version of the Virtual DJ Home even allows you to include video-mixing into your sets, a handy feature that you will not find easily in the other free DJ software versions.
It has other useful features that any professional DJ will appreciate such as its top-end browser, FX, samplers along with audio editors.
It also has recording facilities among others.
The Virtual DJ Home can even be connected to streaming services such as Deezer.
However, it doesn’t support Spotify.
It has been around for more than a decade and some of the die-hard veteran DJs still use it to date, harnessing its powerful features for eclectic performances.
- An industry workhorse that has been around for 15 years.
- You can interface it with some streaming services
- Excellent stability
- Get up to 99 decks!
- You can’t connect the Home Edition to hardware
Ultramixer is one of the most innovative pieces of DJ software tools with tons of novel features, functions, and capabilities that make it a cut above the rest.
The free edition of this DJ software tool offers you a rich set of features to get you mixing without much trouble.
If you are DJing on functions such as weddings, anniversaries, or parties, then you will find in this a very handy and convenient DJ software tool.
It works perfectly for DJs who are into gigs which can run for several hours.
It is also great for mixing during events.
Use Ultramixer if you are a one-man DJ show.
It offers the best features for the solo mixing performance including light-show control editing for the video DJing applications, an announcement function as well as a “live-text” function among others.
You will also love its super-customizable interface which looks and feels nice.
It features a 16-channel sampler, hot cues as well as a 31-band EQ which you can use to dial the room settings.
The auto-mix module is super-intelligent and gives you intuitive functions.
Ultramixer is more complex than most of the other free DJ software tools but it will work for a certain type of DJ.
It packs up plenty of features that you won’t have in the more conventional DJ software tools.
The best part is that it is free and the premium version is still affordable and accessible.
- It is a robust software tool with a comprehensive set of features.
- It’s a powerful DJ software tool that will work best for the more experienced DJs.
- Ultramixer has a massive user community
- It’s a bit complex and if you are new to this, there is quite some ground to cover before you become proficient with this tool.
MixVibes Cross DJ
MixVibes Cross DJ is another Mac DJ software that has earned the accolades and top reviews from top professional DJs from across the world.
It is among the top DJ software tools recommended by some of the leading DJing magazines and publications.
MixVibes Cross DJ flawlessly syncs laptop DJing and has some of the most advanced sync algorithms in the industry.
It’s a good choice if you prefer the hands-off DJing approach when mixing in functions such as weddings, parties, anniversaries, and birthdays among others where you will be off the decks for an extended duration of time.
You can also easily interface it with hardware.
It enjoys cross-platform support and as undergone consistent development over the years.
Regularly on the cutting edge of innovation and brimming with plenty of fresh updates, this is a DJ software that will be with us for the long haul.
MixVibes Cross DJ has plenty of desirable and must-have features that you would want incorporated in your DJ software such as the multi-band EQs and mixer, two decks, a cutting-edge sampler and a number of effects.
The package is impressive and offers you the level of functionality and professionalism that you would expect in pro-level software.
It also lends itself easily to advanced recording uses thanks to its master limiter, advanced in-key mixing as well as a UI customization.
You will also love the multi-controller support.
To top it all, it even features bundled video effects along with a video DJ mode.
- It offers something fresh and cutting-edge in the DJing software niche.
- The free version of the software provides you with unlimited sets of features.
- Designed by the same guys behind RekordBox
- Lots of tutorials available to help you master this DJ software tool.
- You need a laptop of sufficient specifications to handle this power-hungry DJ software.
Serato DJ Intro for Mac
Serato DJ Into is another free and professional DJ mixing software that allows you to perform the traditional two- or four-deck mixing of your digital music files.
It supports more than 30 controllers.
The Serato DJ Intro features all the traditional DJ controls that you would want in DJ software including bend, scratch, pitch, EQ and nudge.
It also features the Sync option that enables the DJ to sync the tempo of two different tracks to make them fit together seamlessly.
It has an intuitive and user-friendly interface.
The bass, mid and high frequencies are represented by colored waveforms which can come in handy in live performances.
You will also appreciate the Cue points that enable users to promptly get to specific parts of a song, quantize them to match the beat, and to loop or repeat certain selected parts.
The Serato DJ Intro’s Sample Player is capable of playing up to four short simultaneous samples, sound effects, audio loops, and even full-length tracks along with two tracks the DJ is mixing.
You can accomplish all of this in real-time in the midst of the mixing.
Some of the traditional effects in the Serato DJ Intro include HPF, Echo, Flanger, LPF, Reverb, Flanger, and Phaser.
It also has iTunes integration.
Cross DJ is a fantastic DJ software and it is free! It has both a mobile and a desktop version.
This is particularly a great free DJ software for beginners. It offers support for more than 90 controllers.
Cross DJ is a cross-platform free DJ software and works not only with Mac but also with iOS, Android, and Windows devices.
It packs all the essential features that you will require for your mixing. You can use it for your live mixing or for mixing on the go.
The free version of the Cross DJ software offers you beat matching, a 2-channel mixer, Flanger, Delay, Phaser, two decks, key detection, 8 hit cues, and pitch blend among many others.
Cross DJ can also be integrated with the iTunes playlist to upload songs onto the platform.
It also offers video mixing capabilities.
Zulu DJ is an impressive free DJ software for Mac that supports up to 6 decks.
It has a simple and easy to use interface and will work smoothly for beginners.
The free trial which gives you full access to the software lasts up to 14 days.
Once the free trial elapses, some of the features will be inaccessible but you are still left with enough features to enable you to use the software for your mixing needs.
Every deck in this DJ software features their individual controls.
There is even a timeline of the loaded song that includes the highlighted beats to help with the synchronization of the two decks.
You can use the Zulu DJ app to mix music live and even add effects such as reverb, distortion, delay, compression, and EQ among others in real-time.
There is also tempo-adjustment in addition to real-time pitch control, crossfading, and beat syncing among others.
Zulu DJ also has the autoplay feature that enables the software to mix music and control the transitions by itself.
Additionally, the software supports third-party VST plugins which many DJs will find useful.
You can import both WAV and MP3 files into Zulu DJ and the software will perform the scanning and automatically assign a beat to the files.