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DJ.Studio VS Mixxx - Battle of the DJ Software

Noah Feasey-Kemp

Noah Feasey-Kemp

Mixxx and DJ.Studio are two popular types of DJ software - both designed with different features and functions in mind.

Mixxx is a free, open-source DJ program designed to give DJs a way to mix live with a controller of some kind. It has a similar workflow and interface to most live DJ software like rekordbox, Virtual DJ, Traktor, and others.

On the other hand, DJ.Studio is a unique DJ app that offers a new way to create DJ mixes. Rather than revolving around the traditional 'mixer and decks' emulation method, it uses a timeline-based approach to mix creation - which is why it's got the reputation of being a 'DAW for DJs'.

Both of these DJ software options have their own strengths and weaknesses - and offer completely different workflows, meaning that you can, in fact, use both of them together for top-notch, 'hybrid' dj workflow.

This article compares both of these DJ apps and gives you information about which is best for your situation.

TL;DR - DJ.Studio vs Mixxx#

  • Mixxx is a free live DJ mixing app, DJ.Studio offers a timeline-based approach.

  • Both can achieve the same final results (a DJ mix) but they differ in their creation methods.

  • Mixxx is better for live performance, while DJ.Studio is better at creating mixes in your studio, and preparing live sets.

  • DJs can use both of these types of software in their workflow, for the most efficient mix creation and DJing process.

The Core Difference - Live vs Studio DJing#

dj studio carousel

Before getting into the specifics of these two DJ software choices, you first need to understand the main difference between them.

Mixxx is a traditional piece of 'Live DJing Software', comparable to rekordbox, Virtual DJ, Traktor, Serato, and others. This means it's purpose is generally to facilitate live DJ mixing and performances. The DJ loads up their tracks, plugs in a controller, and mixes through their library - generally for a live audience.

In contrast, DJ.Studio is a leading piece of 'Studio DJing Software'. Rather than focusing on live mixing with a controller, this is designed to be used in your studio (or just on a laptop) with a keyboard and mouse. This type of workflow has a range of advantages over live mixing - particularly when it comes to producing new mixes.

In essence, rather than needing to rehearse and record mixes live, a DJ can craft the perfect mix on an audio editing timeline - and refine the mix over time. The advantages of this workflow will become more apparent as we go further into the comparison.

However, it's worth knowing that here, it's not necessarily a case of "one is better than the other", but simply that they tackle different approaches to mix creation. In reality, by combining both Live and Studio DJing software, DJs can harness the best of both worlds and employ the most powerful and versatile DJing methodology. (More on this later.)

Now, let's get into the comparison!

Mixxx Overview#

mixxx overview

Mixxx is a popular free and open-source DJ app. This means that anybody can download and use the software and that development is community-driven, rather than centralized by a company.

This freeware approach has upsides and downsides - of course, it's free for everybody, but sometimes the development can be a bit unguided, unstable, and not particularly clean or innovative.

Mixxx Main Features#

mixxx

Mixxx has all the features you would expect in live DJing software, including:

  • Connect DJ and MIDI controllers to control live.

  • A range of assignable sound effects.

  • BPM and key detection, with auto sync.

  • All the controls you need for mixing, like EQ, volume, pitch, cue, play, looping, and more.

  • A flexible user interface offers a good amount of customization.

One notable advantage of this software is that it works with pretty much any MIDI and DJ controllers. Thanks to the mapping features, you can connect any controller and assign the buttons and controls to interact with the software however you choose. For instance, you could assign multiple effects to the same knob.

This means that you can even DJ using unconventional, non-DJ MIDI controllers.

mixx keybindings

Additionally, because the source code is so well shared, it works on multiple operating systems (Windows, Mac, Linux), and users can submit new features to be added to the software through the community pages.

I've been a Mixxx user before, and it's pretty good for the price - you really can't complain much given that this is completely free. However, I think that it (understandably) doesn't quite compete with some of the other live DJ apps on the market, like rekordbox, Traktor, and Serato - even their more limited free versions.

The interface is a bit old-fashioned and clunky, and it lacks that professional feeling that you get with the other options. That said, it's still a great starting point and will be appealing to DJs with a software-hacking mindset, who might be interested in modding the software themselves.

Mixxx Pros#

  • Completely free and open source!

  • Works with most DJ controllers, and can make custom control mappings

  • Has all the features you need to make DJ mixes

  • Can even work with Digital Vinyl Systems

  • A wide range of effects and mixer controls

  • Decent beatgrid adjustment

Mixxx Cons#

  • Limited quality compared to professional options

  • Some instabilities

  • Ugly interface

  • Complicated and convoluted MIDI controller mapping process

  • Limited to two decks.

DJ.Studio Overview#

dj studio carousel new

As explained earlier, DJ.Studio offers a completely different approach to DJing and mix creation and comes with a bunch of tools that help to enhance the DJ workflow across all stages - from discovery to distribution.

This feature-rich software is being developed by a large team of passionate engineers - and while the software isn't free (although there is a 14-day trial), it is still one of the more affordable options on the market, and offers incredible value for money.

Because this software is so radically different from traditional live DJing options, it can take a bit of research to fully understand why it's so powerful. It has a wide range of features, connections, and functions, all making it one of the most powerful pieces of DJ mix creation software available today.

DJ.Studio Main Features#

dj studio timeline transtion

DJ.Studio is a very feature-rich app and gives users a wide range of tools for enhancing their craft.

Let's have a look at the main features

  • A unique timeline editing DJ interface - edit your mix over time, in as much detail and precision as you want - no rehearsal or recording required. DJ.Studio has multiple interface modes: use carousel for a streamlined, beginner-friendly experience, or Studio view for a more advanced and deeper interface into the software.

  • AI Automix -

    dj studio automix

    The smart assistance tool helps to harmonically mix and beat-match your tracks, helping you to go from an unorganized list of songs to a perfectly arranged, flowing, seamless mix in less than 30 seconds.

  • Integrate with other software - DJ.Studio connects with all other major DJ software, including rekordbox, Virtual DJ, Traktor, Serato, and more. This makes it the perfect tool for planning and perfecting your live DJ mixes ahead of time.

  • Fast and Versatile Export - Kiss goodbye to grinding away with rehearsals and fixing your bad recordings, and say hello to DJ.Studio's rapid and diverse export engine. You can quickly render finished mixes to WAV/MP3/Videos (up to 10x speed), export your set to an Ableton Live project, and even send it as a prepared set into your main live DJ software to drop on the dancefloor.

  • Video creator -

    video editor dj studio

    Fitted with a unique visual engine, DJ.Studio can quickly create audio-reactive animations and videos to accompany your mix - no video skills required! Access over 30,000 3D animates with the trippy Shadertoy integration.

  • Experiment with YouTube, Spotify, and Beatport - DJ.Studio connects to a range of streaming services to give you infinite inspiration and experimentation. Try out any song in a mix from these platforms to help you discover the best new setlist for your next show or mix. Learn how to DJ with YouTube!

  • Active and dedicated development team - Constantly receiving new updates, DJ.Studio is one of the most rapidly developed and evolving DJ apps to date. You can even submit your own ideas through the feature request hub, and have your say on the future of the software!

  • Online Community - You can upload your mixes to the online DJ.Studio community pages. Here, you can get feedback on your mix, interact with other DJs, and find inspiration for new mixes!

This is only a rough overview of the features offered by DJ.Studio - so make sure you have a look around the rest of this website and watch some videos.

dj transition editor

To get a better sense of how this software works, it's worth having a look at the general workflow process used to create mixes with it.

  1. Open DJ.Studio (You can install it, or run it in your browser)

  2. Connect Libraries -

    dj studio connections

    If you use other DJ software (or iTunes/Apple Music) you can connect your libraries to access them directly in the app. Otherwise, you can easily drag and drop files to import them.

  3. Start a Playlist - Build your mix by adding tracks to the playlist. You can use local file projects, or use YouTube or Beatport projects if you want to mix with online sources.

  4. Order or Automix -

    Now you can start to manually order your playlist, or if you want a bit of assistance, use the AI automixer to help suggest orders. This works by analyzing the key and BPM of your tracks, and harmonically mixes (and beatmatches) the playlist, ensuring a clash-free and seamless mix.

  5. Edit and Refine - Next, you can start to really get deeper into the mix crafting process. You can edit the mix in as much detail as you can imagine. Automate any parameters simultaneously, loop sections, add samples, move tracks around, make cuts and edits, use transition presets, or make them manually. The choice is yours, get creative!

  6. Export and Share - When the mix is ready, you can render it to a wav/mp3, or even a video. This takes much less time than manually recording it. You can also use our online mix player site to share your YouTube mixes, where anybody can listen to them with a link. If you want to mix your set live, export it as a DJ set file, which can be imported into your DJ controller software as an ordered playlist (with transition indicating hot-cues if you're using rekordbox).

This shows you one possible workflow offered by DJ.Studio, and gives you an idea of how it can enhance your DJing process.

dj studio beatport streaming process

DJ.Studio Pros#

  • Enhance your DJ workflow with a unique and powerful tool

  • Mix with any track on YouTube, Spotify, or Beatport

  • Speed up mix production times, increase experimentation, and refine mixes over time

  • Create cool videos and animations to promote your mixes

  • Connects to most music and DJ libraries to import and share files

  • Great support and documentation

DJ.Studio Cons#

  • Not directly able to mix live for shows

  • Maybe an unfamiliar interface for people who haven't used audio editing software

The Final Verdict: DJ.Studio vs Mixxx#

mixxx final

In summary, these are two drastically different pieces of DJ software that tackle the mix creation process from two opposing angles - live and studio.

Both of them are fantastic in their own right: Mixxx is one of the best free DJ software apps out there and has a dedicated and inspiring community. DJ.Studio is a unique DAW-style approach to mix creation, which gives DJs a new, more efficient method of making mixes.

It's hard to say which is best - as it's like comparing apples and oranges. They both offer two different tastes of DJing - Mixxx is better for live mixing, but DJ.Studio is better at crafting mixes with a mouse and keyboard.

Ultimately the best workflow would involve using both types of software - live and studio. This gives you the best of both worlds - and DJ.Studio is equipped to connect with all the best DJ software choices.

I will say that perhaps I prefer rekordbox over Mixxx in terms of live software, but its still not a bad choice.

Try DJ.Studio yourself with the free 14-day trial!

Check out our DJ.Studio comparisons with other popular DJ software:

FAQs About DJ.Studio vs Mixxx

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Excited to start mixing?