Best DJ Software of 2024: Free & Subscription Downloads

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DJing from your laptop or PC is just a click away. These software pieces are a mix of free and subscription-based options for many devices like Mac, PC, and iPad.

When shopping for software, consider what type of computer you'll be using (some may only work with a Mac, and some may only work with a PC). The next thing you'll want to do is make sure you have enough memory on your computer. 8GB will do, but if you have more, even better.

Once you have a laptop, desktop, or iPad with enough memory, consider your budget. Some beginners opt for free software and some jump straight to paid subscription options. They can range between $50 to hundreds of dollars depending on the service and specs.

We went through the pros and cons of each software to help you figure out what you needed. Our favorite is Traktor DJ 2. DJs can source music from DJ pools such as DJ City or CD Pool, but you'll be able to stream from SoundCloud with this software.

Here are 4 of the best DJ software options for beginners.

Quick Summary of the Best DJ Software

  1. Traktor DJ 2 (Best Overall DJ Software for Beginners)
  2. Mixxx (Runner-Up DJ Software for Beginners)
  3. Serato DJ Pro Digital DJ Software (A Professional DJ Software Favorite)
  4. TRAKTOR PRO 3 (Best DJ Software for Club Gigs)

Best Free Software for Beginners

1. Best Overall DJ Software for Beginners – Traktor DJ 2

best dj software

Picking out software can be tricky. We recommend starting with free software if you're completely new to DJing. Traktor's free software is great if you think you'd want to give Traktor Pro 3 a go eventually. Traktor DJ 2 is completely free and a great starter software for beginners.

Traktor allows you to record your mix and save it with a tap, thanks to the built-in mix recorder. Overall, it's a great option if you're looking to mix some of your favorite songs

DJs can source music from DJ pools such as DJ City or CD Pool, but you'll be able to stream from SoundCloud with this software. Traktor teamed up with DJs to create SoundCloud playlists based on their real mixes. Give these expert picks a spin.

Pros:

  • Free
  • Available on desktop & iPad
  • Great for SoundCloud Users

Cons:

  • Only 2 decks
  • No Tag/Metadata Editing
  • No Fade-in/Fade-out cue points

2. Runner-Up DJ Software for Beginners – Mixxx

best dj software

Mixxx is another popular DJ software for beginners, by professional DJs. Yep, it's made by DJs and programmers at no cost to you. It'll always be free, thanks to the passionate people behind Mixxx. See what this award-winning software is all about.

This free DJ software allows you to drop a song onto a deck and start playing. (You'll get 4 decks here, the free version of Traktor allows 2.)

The BPM and musical key detection help you find the next track in your library and you can use the master sync to match the tempo and beats of up to 4 songs for mixing!

Use any MIDI controller or HID device for hands-on control of Mixxx's features. (We rounded up some of our favorite MIDIs here.)

Adding sound effects will be the best part, get creative with all the knobs and use turntables with timecode vinyl records to scratch digital music. It'll sound like they were pressed on vinyl.

Pros:

  • Free
  • 4 decks
  • Windows, Linux, & Mac Compatible

Cons:

  • MIDI mapping can be complicated

3. A Professional DJ Software Favorite – Serato DJ Pro Digital DJ Software

best dj software

When you think of industry-standard DJ software, Serato is a top pick. It's very reliable, which is why artists will never turn their back on the software. Serato is loved by music producers, DJs, and musicians worldwide.

Whether they're making music at home or in the studio, Serato is their go-to. You'll also love Serato.

Serato DJ Pro's software is known for its organized song library and easy-to-use effects. Cues, loops, sync, and quantize are a few.

SP-6 sample player provides you with 24 sample slots you can use to spice up your mix and the best part is that it's super easy to use and keeps your display-clutter free.

Whether you're at the club or spinning from home, this software is fantastic for performances. It's probably the most popular DJ software used by professional DJs.

Pros

  • Compatible with Mac & Windows
  • Users Love This Upgrade
  • Full set of iZotope effects

Cons

  • $249
  • Serato DJ Pro requires compatible hardware in order to function. (Rane, Pioneer, Numark, Novation, & Vestax)

4. Best DJ Software for Club Gigs – TRAKTOR PRO 3

best dj software

If you like Traktor's free software, consider giving Traktor Pro 3 a shot. This user-friendly DJ software lets you blend genre and BPMs. Push sync to get your tracks beat-matched so you can experiment with your mix.

Some features you'll enjoy: The stems audio format splits tracks into 4—drum bass, vocals, and melody so they can all be mixed separately.

This is great for edits during live performances. The one-shot samples and loops on Remix decks allow you to insert samples and effects and trigger them in sync with your mix.

If you like a loop from another deck you can keep it playing in your remix deck for extended mixes.

Pros

  • 4-decks
  • Under $100
  • Sounds.com for royalty-free hits & loops

Cons

  • Not integrated with Spotify yet
  • No track recommendations

Best DJ Software Buyer's Guide

Before you download DJ software, you'll want to make sure you have a laptop that can handle the demands of DJing. See our favorite laptops for DJs here.

Next, you'll want to consider features and functionality, so think mixing, looping, effects, and more. Consider your usage and select software that caters to it. We'll also cover the cost and more.

Compatibility

Making sure your software is compatible with your operating system is very important. Windows, macOS, and Linux have specific requirements or limitations, so make sure your laptop is updated.

Features and Functionality

Check out different programs and see if your favorite software has features such as looping, mixing, beatmatching, and more, and see if it also has easy integration with external hardware. Make sure it's going to provide what you need.

User Interface

For the user interface, make sure it's intuitive and user-friendly. You want software that's easy to navigate, it shouldn't stress you out. If there's a chance you can customize the layout for your needs or workflow, that's a plus.

Stability and Performance

Make sure the DJ software has good reviews and a good brand rap. If there are frequent glitches, your community will make note of it. Speaking of, make sure there is an up-to-date community and support for your software. Consider forums, tutorials, and other help for your software.

Cost and Licensing

Lots of software options out there are free. Some require a one-time fee though with lifetime access. Make sure you're getting all the features you want if you're not downloading a free version.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is the DJ software compatible with my DJ controller or hardware?

Make sure the software has a compatibility list and see if your hardware is compatible, especially if you're not downloading a free version.

What are the system requirements for the DJ software?

Make sure you have enough RAM and storage. We recommend 8GB of RAM (16 is great though) and 1TB of storage.

What is the learning curve for the DJ software?

Many are intuitive and beginner-friendly, we recommend checking out tutorials and also taking time to learn the software by playing around with features. You'll get used to using it.

Where do DJs find music?

DJ pools are where DJs get music. Some are able to pull music from iTunes, Tidal, and even SoundCloud, but typically DJs will find music from DJ City and Bandport.

These streaming services offer DJs some peace of mind when it comes to copyright. No one wants to get in trouble for mixing songs they're not supposed to. It can be tricky at first, but if you're paying to use a pool, make sure you're okay with the monthly or yearly subscription first, especially as a newbie.

DJ City

DJ City allows you to download music, exclusive remixes, DJ intros, a capella, and more. DJs love it because you can automatically download multiple songs at once using your phone or browser, have access to curated playlists, and use day and night mode (perfect for switching environments if you gig often).

And of course, an enhanced search feature makes work so much easier when it's time to find a certain song.

SoundCloud Go+ vs. SoundCloud DJ

SoundCloud DJ is the best bang for the buck for saving unlimited tracks for offline playback.

SoundCloud Go+ ($9.99/Month)SoundCloud DJ ($19.99/Month)
Mix SoundCloud tracks within select DJ appsMix SoundCloud tracks within select DJ apps
Get ad-free listening on every track

Get ad-free listening on every track
Stream in high-quality audio
Stream in high-quality audio
Save unlimited tracks for offline playback within select DJ apps

BPM

DJs love BPM Supreme. You'll find Radio edits, a capella, instrumentals, and more. If you're curious, you can browse for free.

Beatport

Beatport's preview mode is a great way to browse genres in playlists for a few minutes. With over 25 genres, you'll be ready to subscribe and get to playing.

DJ Controller

You may have noticed DJ bundles online. So your setup is a laptop and DJ software of your choice and a compatible controller. Some will be limited to compatible controllers (take the Serato for example) and some are compatible with just about any MIDI on the market.

This is something to consider, but you can always play it safe with Serato's expansion packs. Serato Play is a fully-featured Expansion Pack that lets you DJ using only your laptop!

Hardware can be pricey. Expect to pay anywhere between $200-$1800 for a DJ controller. Of course, you don't have to break the bank on one, but it's more reason to consider free DJ software if you're a newbie.

Pioneer DJ is a great brand to check out for DJ controllers. Their controllers are the industry standard for controllers. Some of your favorite artists definitely use their controllers.

Be on the lookout for them the next time you're at a gig. Kygo, Dan Reynolds, and DJ Ravine have been confirmed users.

Conclusion

The best DJ software to learn on is going to be Traktor DJ 2. Since you'll likely end up using Traktor Pro 3 somewhere down the line, you'll want to get acquainted with this version as a beginner. It's free and intuitive, and you'll get track recommendations. Choose from different on-screen setups for easy navigation.

If you're going to be playing in a club (maybe it's your first gig or you're getting back into DJing) you'll want to consider Traktor Pro 3. The Stems audio format splits tracks into four musical components, such as drums, bass, vocals, and melody, so you can mix them independently.

Overall, it's a great software if you're already familiar with DJ software.

Have fun! Be sure to check out some of our favorite DJ controllers as well.

Photo Courtesy Native Instruments

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