Part 2: I want to DJ, where do I start?

This is Part 2 of a 3 Part series. Check out last week’s article here!

Dean Chapman | Crush Radio and Forum Hertfordshire DJ

The first part to this 3 part article compared and contrasted the use of both vinyls and electronic turntables. At this stage, you will have an exciting set of decks and are now wondering what on earth is going on with the ridiculous amount of buttons, let alone what software to use. This part will discuss the computer software that people tend to use and we will see which one is best to work with.

Virtual DJ

This software is most commonly used by beginners. Not only is it extremely user friendly, it can be used for both CDJ, vinyl and most importantly, no controller at all. The fact that it can be used with just a keyboard and a mouse is handy for those who don’t know whether to buy a controller or not. Using the ‘Virtual DJ Home’ software (free to download), you can start messing around with it. You’ll come to notice that it becomes so much easier to purchase a controller, but it’s a great way to start.

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Virtual DJ

Traktor

Once you get familiar with Virtual DJ, you can then decide what kind of music you want to DJ. If you’re an avid house and techno fan, this software is the way to go. It’s more complex to use (but then again, everything is more complex than Virtual DJ), but you are able to see the tracks that you’re playing in more detail. Furthermore, Traktor provides more information on the track itself, such as bass waveforms, melody waveforms and the key of the track. With house and techno music, mixing songs with similar keys is important. This software can be used with both vinyl and electronic turntables. With vinyl, you will need to buy specific Traktor-enabled digital vinyls to be able to use the software.

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Traktor

Serato

This, in my opinion, is the best software to use. Purely because of how ‘manual’ this software is. It can be used for all kinds of music, however it works best for hip hop as you’re able to scratch well with it. DJs tend to scratch with Serato, as it displays different waveforms of different colours, similar to Traktor but displayed better. Most of the popular DJs in the music business use this software and this is free to download, however you do need to authorize your controller, but that’s all given in the instructions with the decks.

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Serato

So…hopefully you will have a good understanding and with your best friend Google, you will decide which software is best for you. And after reading this, I’m sure we will see you at Wireless festival next year!

You’re welcome.

The last part to the 3 part article will discuss how DJs go to the main stage and how (in brief) the best DJs produce their own music, so keep your eyes out!

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Part 2: I want to DJ, where do I start?