The first incarnation of the Virtual DJ software launched in 2003 and since then it’s grown into the world’s leading DJ software with more than 122 million downloads. Free to use for bedroom DJs, it’s provided an essential starting point for aspiring DJs to learn the ropes and then progress their skills with its range of nifty features. Pro DJs can also license the software and employ it to full effect in clubs and at festivals.
The newest update Virtual DJ 2021 marks the software’s most exciting instalment yet, with the company promising it “will change digital DJing forever”.
Its finest feature is the ability to separate stems from individual tracks, giving users the ability to isolate or remove different sections such as the vocals, instruments, kicks, hi hats and bass. This new world of interactivity for VirtualDJ works well and is a lot of fun to play around with, helping you to make your sets stand out by manipulating tracks in unique ways. We had Pusha T rapping over a J Dilla beat and a Diana Ross vocal soaring above rolling house production from Move D, with both sounding slick together without interference from other sections of the tracks with vocals. Being able to isolate the booming kick from a techno banger to bolster other tracks is another entertaining option to enliven your sets.
It’s also only getting better, as VirtualDJ has been tweaking the software to improve it since launching. CEO Stephane Clavel said: “The release of this new technology has really put us in the spotlight, and we saw an incredible number of customers switching over from competitors. That gave all the team a boost of energy and pride, and got us to work double-time to improve on this already amazing feature. And we’re not going to stop there.”
Further improvements include new waveforms on the beat grid to give a clearer visual analysis of the track, and updated EQs that better separate frequencies to aid transitions.
Turntablist specialist DJ Qbert is fan, saying: "If you are a scratcher, a technical scratcher.. you gonna love this! Advanced & accurate. VirtualDJ... right on!".
VirtualDJ can be used in the box on your computer or connected to hardware such as controllers. Its functionality is smooth and intuitive, with all the key functions laid out and labelled clearly. Primary features like the cue, filter, gain, BPM control, effects tools, sync, crossfade, loops all work perfectly, and the ability to analyse all your tracks for BPM and key is useful for categorising banks of music.
Smart tools from previous editions remain included, such as LiveFeedback, which recommends tracks that would mix well with what is currently playing on a deck and allows you to access them with an iDJPool subscription, and Key Changer, which shifts tracks a semitone to make them more compatible with mixing.
Whether you’re starting out or a pro DJ looking to take your sets to the next level, VirtualDJ has everything you need. 122 million downloads can’t be wrong.
Download VirtualDJ 2021 for free here
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