I'm not DJing a lot. But since I've given up on Windows some 10 years ago, I obviously also use Linux for DJing. (Windows is not exactly what you'd switch to for stability, would you?)
There is a DJ app included with many distributions called "mixxx
", from http:/www.mixxx.org/
I havn't really used it yet though. But you should give it a try!
The studio I'm usually at has a mixer with USB inputs, and that works like a charm. It gives the best sound quality, as it goes digital into the mixing circuits, even ignoring the computers volume control in favor of the actual mixers control AFAICT.
Last time I DJed, I had built a small search app myself for searching and preview, and I can drag and drop songs over to the actual playlist from there. I was very happy with this setup, because the search is really powerful:
- search history, I can go back to previous searches
- partial matches, so "flying home" will apart from the obvious also return "flying down to rio" further down.
- Must-matches: "+flying +home" will only return the obvious songs.
- negation: "flying -home"
- stemming, so "flying" and "fly" are the same (optional)
- fields: "title:ella" does not find Ella Fitzgerald.
This is a great source for inspiration, typing in some random words ... I also love to use this for browsing my own music collection.
I do not
like the usual DJ mixer apps that come crowded with redundant controls. For example, I don't need audio controls, because they are on the hardware mixer. And I don't need beat matching also, because I'm not doing house mixes... what I really need is a powerful search function
Right now (since I'll be DJing a small set on new years eve) I've picked up my search app again, and I've added a full playlist function. It works with multiple sound cards, and so far I wasn't able to crash it either ...
The following screenshot is fullscreen on my netbook. The playlist is on the left, the search window is on the right (I've typed "Flying Home" into the search bar). The main player is on top, preview at the bottom.
I've kept the UI spartanic to have more space for playlist management and searching. The dark color scheme is useful in dark rooms (as most dancing places). Gives less eerie light to the DJ ...
Depending on the width split, additional columns such as "BPM" and "search match quality" will show up (or disappear)
Oh, and of course I tried to make it hard to misuse it - the only actions that affect the main playback are the controls on the main player and double-clicking a song in the playlist; reordering will not.
I have more functions in my add queue - for example, I have a function that allows me to import just about any playlist (from other computers!). If I have the song, it will usually come up as best match, and match quality is a good indicator. (I've tried this repeatedly with playlists from random web sites and it worked great!)
When I get to it, I will add some tabs for the search window, that can be loaded with "stock playlists", because that is my favourite way of organizing things (and tags). This will also allow me to load up a playlist from earlier sets played.
On the long run, I also plan to have "negative set lists". For example, when you have a live band, a DJ should obviously avoid any titles the live band also plays. Using the playlist import mentioned above, I want to load their song lists and flag any matching song as "possible conflict".