DJ Software: MAGIX Digital DJ

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If you have a lot of parties, or just really enjoy your music then you may have at sometime considered having a go at spinning the decks yourself.  Unless you are desparate to go down the vinyl route, then the logical route is using your mp3 collection and a software based mixer to devise your playlists and mix the tracks effectively.

MAGIX Digital DJ is one such piece of software that acts a digital mixer for your music collection, aimed at beginners who just want an automated mixer to more ambitious wannabe DJs who want to manually mix their tracks themselves.  Digital DJ scans your music library (either directly from the hard drive or through your iTunes library) and imports them into the software, analysing each of them to get information on bpm, alongside the mufin application that recommends complementary tracks in your library.  The software has an automatic setting that uses these two facilities to automatically mix tracks (Automix function) in a playlist to match bpm etc. which does a very good job as long as you don't try to mix two totally disimilar tracks. All of the common digital music formats are supported (MP3, WAV, AIF, WMA, FLAC, an OGG).

If you fancy mixing tracks manually, the software provides mixing effects like a low pass, band pass, notch or comb filters and also has a a 3 band graphic equalizer with a kill function for fading across bass, mid and high sounds. There is a built-in sampler that lets you record and play your own samples, whilst also providing a selection of preloaded samples. You can change the playback tempo and pitch (with the pitch-lock function), cue up songs, match beats with a visual beat analyzer and preview a mix on headphones (if you have a sound card with two headphone outputs) so that you can get a good transition between tracks.

MAGIX Digital DJ screenshot

The Digital DJ software is based on the Deckadance software engine, so if you have used Deckadance in any form, you should be able to jump straight in and use Digital DJ without much help.   However, if you are new to DJing and mixing software you can expect to have to spend a couple of days orientation before you start manually mixing tracks effectively and using the sampling features (well worth it if you really want to DJ).  The included manual is really more of a quick start guide, but a more detailed pdf manual comes on the installation CD and there are plenty of tutorials online on how to use the related deckadance software.

If you want to try your hand at mixing your tracks and creating transitions, then Digital DJ is a very cheap (~£30 at the time of writing) way of getting into it, and being based on Deckadance you can always progress and migrate to the full blown software (and associate gear) if you want to get serious!