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Turntable software allows disk jockeys (DJs) and music enthusiasts to mix digital music recordings. The software eliminates the need to use the traditional turntable-and-mixer combination. Without needing physical hardware, DJs can create mixes without records. Turntable software gives the DJ more freedom, since he or she can manipulate the digital recordings electronically.
This type of software includes full-use versions available for all types of computers and operating systems as well as limited-function versions available for mobile devices. Full-use versions have an interface that looks similar to what a DJ would see in a booth, with two virtual turntables and a mixer. Within the interface, the DJ can mix, loop and lock digital music tracks together to get the desired effect. The software will then record the newly created mix.
The DJ can access his or her entire music collection through the turntable software. Most music mixing software brands have developed a library for collecting and storing music directly within the interface. The DJ can access tracks from his or her hard drive and add them to the software’s library. Alternatively, many types of turntable software can collaborate with the other software, allowing the user to pull music from and store mixes on an digital music player.
One benefit of using virtual DJ software over using a traditional turntable setting is the ability to visualize a mix as it is recorded. Most software brands include a wavelength processor. The wavelength processor picks up the different pitches and tones from the tracks and shows them visually. Some types of turntable software use color-coded wavelengths for easier viewing.
A few types of turntable software have added functionality, which greatly speeds up the mixing process. Some types allow the DJ to fully customize the look and functionality of the mixing interface. Other types include short keys, which allow the DJ to program one button to perform any function that he or she uses frequently.
A few types of turntable software exist as mobile applications for smartphones or other mobile devices. These mobile apps have the same basic premise of the full software versions but often have a reduced functionality. For example, the DJ can use the mobile app’s interface to mix two digital music files together but might not be able to see the wavelengths for the sounds that are produced.
Mobile app turntable software presents some functionality issues. The DJ might not have access to his or her complete music collection unless several gigabytes of files can be stored on the smartphone or mobile device. The mobile version can also pose some difficulty when mixing. This software has a much smaller interface, so the DJ might have trouble manipulating the mixing software to get the effect he or she wants.