DJ Software & DVS
DJ software packages allow you to mix and scratch music on your computer with virtual decks.
DVS packages or Digital Vinyl Systems like Traktor and Serato Scratch Live allow you to use your physical CDJs or turntables, and your mixer with software. Using specially time-code CDs and vinyl records, your regular equipment can be used to play music stored on your computer.
Turning practically any PC, Mac or even an iPad into a DJ set-up, software is a more affordable method of DJing. Providing you have a digital music collection, you can experience a virtual world of DJ decks on par with what is found in many leading nightclubs.
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DJ software doesn't necessarily take any of the fun or skill away from DJing. Many of the worlds leading DJs use or have used DVS systems - including the likes of Grandmaster Flash, Ritchie Hawtin & Pete Tong (all Traktor users), as well as DJ Premier, Fatboy Slim and Jazzy Jeff (all Serato users).
Software incorporates many features to make DJing a lot easier than the days of mixing vinyl records. Not least the benefit of being able to use MP3, Wav and AAC files amongst many other digital music file formats. Gone are the days of carrying hundreds of vinyl records to gigs!
Beyond this logistical advantage, software makes use of computer technology to offer auto-beat matching via the contentious 'Sync' abiity - the software essentially analyses your digital music files and will detect tempo, key and structure of the files, so you can let the software do the beat-synchronisation work while you work on effects, looping and even live remixing! Live remixing more now Serato Scratch Live offers 'the Bridge' link up with Ableton Live and Native Instruments Traktor Scratch offers new 'Remix Decks' capabilities
DJ software is rarely used alone. Many digital DJs will also use a USB DJ Controller to take physical control of the DJ software functions. Otherwise known as MIDI controllers, they come in many forms - they can be the complete all-in-one mixer and deck solutions like the Pioneer DDJ SX or Native Instruments Traktor Control S4 MKII. More affordable solutions include the Numark Mixtrack Pro II, one of the best selling controllers ever!
For the purist, more hands on DJ, who really still needs Turntables and CDJs in their life, DVS packages such as Serato Scratch Live SL2, SL3 and SL4 or Traktor Scratch Pro A6 and A10 allow you to remain in firm control of your sets with traditional decks and mixer, but control MP3s or digital music files via specially time-coded vinyl records and CDs. Every move, scratch, pitch bend or spin back performed on your deck will be replicated with the digital music file as you mix on the traditional mixer... no one would ever know that it's not a real vinyl record being played!