If you intend to get into serious DJing, you will definitely face the issue of choosing equipment and software for your work.
Users have a huge selection of at least a dozen different apps for macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android. And every day the choice of a beginner becomes more and more difficult, because these applications are constantly evolving, acquiring new functions and in many ways becoming indistinguishable from each other in terms of functionality.
Some of the most popular DJing apps are Serato DJ and Recordbox DJ. This software is convenient and effective for both beginner DJs and professionals in this field.
Serato DJ is compatible with a lot more controllers due to two things: longevity and third party licenses. Let’s start with longevity, Serato has been on the market for more than a decade (if you start from Serato Scratch Live and Serato Itch), and during this time a huge variety of different equipment has been released for it in the form of controllers, mixers and sound cards.
With Rekordbox DJ, things are a little more complicated, since at the moment it is a relatively new player in the market, and Pioneer simply did not have time to develop so many devices with its support. The second point, as we said above, is third-party licensing. Pioneer does not have it, since their software, unlike Serato, only runs on proprietary equipment released by Pioneer itself.
In terms of the number of effects available, Serato DJ takes the lead: it comes with 22 basic effects and can be expanded with add-on packs (42 add-on effects in total). With so many effects, it’s just a matter of finding enough knobs to control them all.
Rekordbox, unfortunately, carries a slightly smaller pool of effects, only 17, and has only one extension that carries 9 additional effects.
Age plays into the hands of Serato, especially in matters of DVS. While Rekordbox DVS debuted as an add-on to the app last year, Serato DVS has already celebrated its 15th year on the market. This means that Serato’s technology is more advanced, with fewer bugs, and compatible with more mixers and DVS boxes than Rekordbox. But Pioneer isn’t sleeping either, releasing updates at a frenetic pace, each time adding DVS support for new DJ controllers and mixers.
The developers of Serato have recently added a new feature called Pitch Play, which allows you to change the key of hot spots to create your own melodic parts. Also, Serato has a Flip function, with which you can record a series of taps on hot spots, which makes it very convenient to play these very melodic parts.
Rekordbox boasts an excellent sequencer as well as the aforementioned Pad FX feature. Many DJs find it very handy and use it a lot more than the basic effects.
In conclusion, let’s take a look at the cost of the basic versions of both programs:
- Serato DJ has almost a hundred US dollars.
- Pioneer has a basic version for $130.
- Also, both solutions are offered on a subscription basis, which costs both companies $10.
You need to understand that if you want to use additional features, such as Lyrics or Serato Video, you will also have to subscribe to them.