Professionals know that low grade, simple software is not something we’d like to waste our time on. As a video editor, I have very few uses for programs like iMovie, and Vegas, and won’t even look at free online tools or heaven forbid, Windows *gulp* movie maker. No, I’m using Final Cut Studio… because those are the tools that allow me to get the job done in the best way possible. The software is one of the most expensive, but it provides an unparalleled experience and feature set for me to give the client what they expect and more.
What makes professional applications successful is their innovative design, and elegant interfaces that provide the user with the features they need, when they need them. Graphic Designers aren’t using “Paint” you know. They use Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and more. Yes, these cost more money then we’d like to pay, but if your profession requires it, you’ll make enough quickly, and the software will pay for itself in no time.
Disc Jockeys, as hip and cool as they may look, are still professionals (for the most part). They have clients that they provide a service to and, if they have been in business for a while, do their job well. To perform to their clients expectations, they need the right equipment. This includes the proper speakers, amps, microphones, and in most cases a good light and effect rack too. If they are using a computer driven system, they’ll need good software as well. You won’t normally find a DJ that makes it big time just playing music tracks through iTunes (because, it’s just as easy for the host to do that!).
Professional DJ software is just like video and graphic software. It needs to supply the DJ with the proper tools necessary to provide their clients with an amazing experience, and it needs to do it easily. There are a ton of tools out there, but if you own a Mac running OS X 10.6.6 or later… you won’t be paying the price that most DJs pay. That’s because there is one tool on the Mac App Store that is unbelievably free, and it has all the features of your normal professional applications, and perhaps… a few extras. Introducing, “Mixxx” from the Mac App Store.
Normally, this would be just a “great” tool that competes with others on the market today. What makes this standout though, is the 100% FREE pricetag that it has. I’m not sure what the developers were thinking when deciding on a price, but it’s certainly not “Ad-Supported” like you’d think it is. This tool packs a ton of features in a variety of simple and effective layouts that make it super attractive. If you are looking for software, or even if you aren’t, trying out Mixxx as a free app is a no-brainer!
The app features BPM detection with auto-sync, coming in handy if you want your next song, and your current song, to run at the same tempo (or when wanting to mix the songs manually while keeping the people dancing). It also enables “Crates” so that you can keep certain songs for different types of shows grouped together, much like a playlist. The thing I found useful was it’s ability to memorize your settings, and simply do the work for me. set the point you want all your songs to stop and start from for your crate, and then enable the “AutoDJ,” allowing the computer to fade songs together base on your presets, automatically. Key-Lock your music for adjusting the speed of your songs, without changing the pitch, which is great when mixing songs together in a seamless, unnoticeable way. As you can see from the features list in the photo above, it also supports live broadcasts.
The program also supports Headphone cueing! If you are using a USB sound card, and are playing your music externally this way, you can set your headphone output to give you a preview of the next song, and allow you to cue the music right where you want, without it ever playing on the speakers! Simply click the little headphone button on the track you wish to listen to, and put your headphones on! Nice!
Another thing that caught my attention is it’s support for so many different interface layouts, at a wide variety of resolutions. Each user can have his or her own experience with this application, and use it within the interface that best suites them. Have a look at a Few of these different layouts (not all, just some!). If you want to see them larger, just click on them.
Mixxx also has support for over a dozen MIDI controllers, so if you feel like putting your your own twists, it’ll let you do it. No creativity stifling with this free application. It is now the TOP FREE APP on the Mac App Store… and yes, that means it’s FREE. No telling how long that will be, but I’m thinking it will stay that way (no promises though). Click the photo below to go to the App Store and get it!
Also, Check out the developer Website HERE.
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