DJ software is the most important kit in my bag when I’m gigging. The venue provides a good quality mixer and powerful amps, so all I need is a laptop with good DJ software installed for playing my music. Smooth controls, useful features and the ability to go to the toilet are all important to me when I’m working and the DJ software I use (Rosi DJ) provides me with what I need.
A shift in ‘Spoons can last up to 7 hours nowadays so you do need DJ software that’s going to allow you to automate occasionally. Even the best jocks can’t concentrate solidly for 7 hours at a time, so Rosi DJ could be a good solution. Try the demo for free here: http://www.rosi-systems.com/nsite/products/rosi-dj/
Even if you do a shorter set, it’s still got stuff you’ll find useful.
It has everything you’d expect from DJ software such as the ability to listen to tracks “off air” before you play them out, and vari-speed controls so you can speed up that slightly suicidal Eminem track everyone is asking for, and get away with it! It has BPM counters if you need them too. But the piece’ de resistance with Rosi DJ is that when you import your library (via the separate Rosi DJ Manager tool included) it calculates all the info it needs about each song so that it can automate smoothly. It markers the tracks in such a way as to account for any fade ending, or dull start, and always cue the tracks in to the right place. Automatic playout! Try the demo to see what I mean. I’ve heard Winamp and even iTunes attempting to do this and it just sounds messy, but Rosi DJ is perfect every time.
From the laptop I route the audio to 2 external soundcards (via firewire) and then to two faders on the mixer desk. Players 1 and 3 go to my left fader; 2 and 4 to the right fader. The little headphone icon is handy actually, as that allows you to route audio to a third source for previewing at any time (in my case using the on board sound card in the laptop with a pair of headphones plugged in). If you were a DJ who plays samples over your stuff (like klaxons and air horns etc) you could use the existing sound card in your system for this purpose, whip a line out to the mixer, and have a dedicated playline for playing SFX. That’s a real money saver.
The record box does what it says on the… Well the box. All your songs in one place, separated by different category types if you wish (EG Dance, Cheese, RnB). Nice and easy to flick through at speed and it has full search typing functionality. To the right of that you can store shortcuts. I’d recommend using this for your “get out of jail cards” – Those records that you turn to in times of desperation when the floor has gotten empty and you need a guaranteed floor filler. Within one mouse click your emergency tune is live!
DJ shifts are getting longer and you need DJ software that makes it as easy for the DJ as possible, but still gives you that manual control you want too. I’ve been using Rosi DJ for a few months now and it’s been a relief for both my concentration and my bladder!