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DJ.Studio vs Traktor Pro - DJ Software Comparison

Traktor and DJ.Studio are two promising options in the DJ software market. However, they both differ in features functionality, and purpose.

While Traktor is more suited to live performance, DJ.Studio is much better at producing mixes with the keyboard and mouse alone.

Of course, it doesn't have to be a case of 'one of the other', as both of these pieces of software can be connected for the best experience.

But is Traktor Pro the best live DJ so for out there or are there other better options?

This comparison will explore the differences between Traktor Pro and DJ.Studio and highlight the situations where one performs better than the other.

TL;DR - DJ.Studio vs Traktor Pro#

  • DJ.Studio and Traktor Pro are two pieces of professional software for DJs, with a different approach

  • Traktor is better for live performances, while DJ.Studio is better for making DJ mixes at your desk.

  • Traktor is more similar to other existing DJ software options, but DJ.Studio is a unique offering

  • DJ.Studio connects to other live software to expand and enhance a DJ's workflow.

The Main Difference - Studio vs Live Performance Workflows#

Before getting into the specifics, it's worth understanding the key difference between these two pieces of DJ software - as they are both sitting on completely different ends of the DJ software market.

Traktor Pro is a traditional piece of live DJ software, just like rekordbox, Serato DJ Pro, and Virtual DJ - it's designed to mix live using DJ controllers.

In comparison DJ.Studio is a piece of 'Studio' DJ software. Rather than being used with controllers or for live performance, this software is designed to make mixes with a keyboard and mouse alone. It has a workflow and interface closer to audio editing software (but packed with features for DJs.)

Therefore, these are relatively hard to compare, as they cover different ends of a DJ's needs - and ultimately you would want to use both types.

DJ.Studio is also designed to integrate with live DJ software - giving you a 'hybrid' workflow letting you take advantage of the benefits of both software styles.

In the rest of this article, I'll show you exactly how these two options are different, where they're strong and weak, and assess which is the best DJ software.

DJ.Studio Overview#

DJ.Studio is a relatively new piece of DJ software that was launched in mid-2023. Unlike all the other DJ software on the market, it isn't designed to be used live and instead offers a studio-based workflow.

Taking inspiration from the flexibility and precision of DAWs (digital audio workstations), DJ.Studio gives users a range of cutting-edge tools for crafting their DJ mixes.

It revolves around an editing timeline, paired with both basic and advanced features, allowing users to sculpt their mixes.

The easiest way to understand why DJ.Studio is so uniquely powerful is to take a look through its workflow:

  1. Open DJ.Studio - this can be via the installed app, or even in your browser for a streamlined version.

  2. Create a New Project - there are three set types:

    1. Local File - This set uses tracks that you have downloaded and can connect to your other music libraries. This mode enables you to export the finished mixes as a wav, mp3, and more.

    2. YouTube - This connects with YouTube and Spotify, allowing users to mix music from either streaming source for free. This is the perfect tool for experimenting with music before buying it. You can export finished mixes to the DJ.Studio community mix player, which can be listened to by anybody from their browser (even on mobile).

    3. Beatport - This lets you connect with the Beatport Streaming library, giving you access to their entire catalog. You can make mixes with any tracks, and then export them to the Beatport community page, or use the Legalize function to create a downloadable and sharable version of the mix.

  3. In this example, we'll make a local file mix.

  4. Import Music - you can manually import music into DJ.Studio by dragging and dropping files, or you can connect to your live DJ software ( for example Traktor Pro), to automatically locate your library, and import music from there.

  5. Build a Setlist - Start by making the setlist for your mix. You can manually order the playlist, or...

  6. Use the Automix -

    DJ.Studio is fitted with a powerful automix AI, which helps to construct the best DJ set. It analyses the music, works out the best order based on key and tempo, and then applies automatic transitions between each song. This is a great way to get your mix started and helps you to use advanced features like harmonic mixing and beatmatching.

  7. Edit Your Mix - Now jump over to the studio view, where you can start to edit and refine your mix. The intuitive user interface lets you slice and dice your mix however you choose. You can change the track order, and positions, cut tracks up, and loops, samples, and effects.

    The automation lanes let you customize parameters over time, allowing you to create expressive and creative mixes. The transition editor provides you with a bunch of quick presets, or you can dive deeper into the manual mode and customize the transitions in as much detail as you want.

  8. Export Your Mix - When you're happy with your mix, it's time to send it to one of many locations. In local file mode, you can:

    1. Export to WAV/MP3 - Record your mix to a single audio file at up to 10x the speed, saving a huge amount of time and effort compared to manual recording. This also means that you don't need to worry about rehearsing a mix or making any mistakes.

    2. Export as a DJ Set - You can convert your mix into an M3U8 file, which contains the playlist order and tracks that you can import for example in Traktor Pro. For some software like rekordbox and Serato, you can choose to generate hot cues to indicate the transition windows you made in DJ.Studio. This means that you can use DJ.Studio to perfectly prepare a DJ mix for a live show, and then easily see how you need to perform the transitions directly in your live DJ software.

    3. Export to Ableton Live - Pro users can export their mix to an Ableton Live Project, retaining all the automation and transition data, as well as any sample lanes used. This lets you master your mixes and add a voiceover.

    4. Export as a YouTube Video - DJ.Studio is fitted with a cutting-edge video creation engine. This lets users create custom videos featuring animations, album artwork, and audio spectrums, and text. Thanks to the Shadertoy integration, you can access over 30,000 custom audio-reactive 2D and 3D animations - with incredible quality. These videos are the perfect promotional material for your mixes and help you engage your audience and grow your reach. You're also given the option of exporting a YouTube description which automatically creates the timeline chapter dividers.

  9. YouTube and Beatport projects offer different export options, but they all have some way of enabling the user to share their mixes with their fans.

This just shows one of the most common workflows offered by DJ.Studio, and thanks to its flexibility, it slots into DJ's workflows in a range of other ways.

It's a very powerful tool, and while it's not enough on its own for club DJs in the DJ booth, it provides a set of features that DJs need to take advantage of to maximize their time and effort and help them grow faster.

Pros#

  • Integrates with a range of other DJ and music library software, like Traktor Pro, rekordbox, Virtual DJ, iTunes, and many more.

  • Is faster and cleaner for creating DJ mixes.

  • Offers a unique workflow and features, like automix, an editing timeline, and rapid rendering.

  • Connects with a bunch of streaming services like YouTube, Spotify, and Beatport Streaming to allow more experimentation, creativity, and seamless music discovery.

  • Can export finished mixes to YouTube, MP3/WAV, or as DJ sets to live DJ software.

Cons#

  • Can't be used for live performances with a DJ controller.

  • May be unfamiliar to DJs who haven't used audio editing software and DAWs

Traktor Pro Overview#

traktor pro 3 overview

Traktor Pro is Native Instrument's main DJ software. Coming in around $100 it's cheaper than a lot of 'Pro' version live DJ software like rekordbox and Serato, but it doesn't cut down on the feature set.

This DJ software has all the features you need to mix live and create expressive and dynamic performances.

Hardware Connections#

One noticeably nice feature is the fact that it isn't restricted to working with only Native Instruments hardware, meaning you can use it with a pioneer DJ controller and many others.

There is a lot of great Traktor hardware on the market, including their digital vinyl system which scratch DJs love.

Compared to Other Live DJ Software?#

As far as live DJ software applications go, Traktor Pro isn't my favorite by any means, and I would suggest that most users instead look at rekordbox - which I think has the best feature set and value for money.

Rekordbox gear is used in most clubs and venues too, and is widely regarded as the industry standard - so you can be prepped for when your DJ career picks up!

That said, Traktor is still a great option and is loved by many users.

Traktor Pro's Main Features#

In terms of features, Traktor Pro is a more expensive and more functional than the basic and earlier versions of Traktor. This gives you more functionality than other basic live software, like the free version of Pioneer DJ rekordbox, Serato DJ lite, or the open-source DJ software Mixxx.

It has all the tools you need to mix live - a good music library, a decent selection of effects, hot cues and beat jumps for live remixing, and the ability to record your DJ sets internally.

Compared to other DJ software, Traktor Pro offers a bunch of cool features for layering in extra sounds and loops, making it more expressive when it comes to live remixing - although this isn't something everyone will be interested in.

I will say that Traktor can feel a little clunky in comparison to other live DJ software, and doesn't have the slick response and interactivity of apps like rekordbox and Serato.

However, I think the pricing model will be more appealing to some users, as you can buy the license outright, unlike the subscription models used by rekordbox and other competitors.

Pros#

  • Works with a wide range of DJ controllers - not limited to Traktor DJ equipment.

  • Has a range of more advanced features which are nice for more experienced DJs.

  • Comes with a wide range of effects and a powerful music library manager.

Cons#

  • Clunky user experiences

  • Sometimes feels unresponsive

  • Not an industry standard like rekordbox

  • Often the BPM detection isn't spot-on

DJ.Studio vs. Traktor Pro: Key Features Comparison#

Now, let's have a final side-by-side comparison of these apps before making our conclusions.

Interface Design#

DJ.Studio focuses on a timeline/DAW-style interface, which is smooth and responsive, and allows for detailed editing of mixes. Traktor favors a traditional live interface, which can be a bit clunky and over-complex at times.

Integration#

Traktor supports a wide range of hardware integration, including MIDI and Ableton Link, but is limited in terms of software connections, only offering streaming services from Soundcloud GO+ and Beatport Streaming.

DJ.Studio doesn't currently have hardware integration but has a much wider range of software connections. It integrates with all major DJ software and can connect to a range of streaming sites including YouTube, Spotify, Beatport Streaming, and 1001Tracklists.

Effects#

Traktor Pro boasts over 40 deck FX, and enables you to layer in extra sounds. 

DJ.Studio has less effects, however, you can program them with more detailed control, and they can be used simultaneously, giving you more expressive mixes.

Library Management#

Both software have decent library management features, although DJ.Studio seamlessly integrates with a wider range of external libraries. 

DJ.Studio even integrates with your Traktor library database, so you can use your Traktor music library in DJ.Studio 

Sound Quality#

Traktor Pro features Elastique 3 time-stretching with high quality, although the output can be a bit crackly at lower buffer times. DJ.Studio has a wider range of audio performance options, so you can tune the CPU usage to work smoothly on your machine.

Recording#

dj studio recording export

Traktor Pro features internal recording, but DJ.Studio can render your mixes without you needing to do it manually, saving you time and energy.

Ease of Use#

DJ.Studio is designed for accessibility and will be just as intuitive in the hands of a total beginner as it is with a seasoned professional. Traktor caters to professionals with advanced features and customization, which may be overwhelming to a beginner.

Output Quality#

In terms of the quality you can achieve when making DJ mixes, it is quite different between the two.

With Traktor, when you make mixes you have to record them live, which is arguably more expressive, however, you're prone to making mistakes and needing to re-record - you'll also need to rehearse your mix several times if you're a perfectionist. You can only use two hands at a time to express your mixes and transitions.

Alternatively, DJ.Studio can arguably achieve higher quality more precise results because you can refine your mixes over time and constantly come back to them - make tweaks and improvements.

Because of the way the automation works, you can also manipulate more parameters simultaneously. For example, rather than being limited to what you can do with two hands in real time, you can edit all the effects simultaneously, letting you achieve more complex, dynamic, and unique transitions.

Final Verdict...#

Now for the final comparison.

Overall it's pretty hard to make a direct comparison between these types of software as they are not exactly designed for the same tasks.

As you now know, Traktor is a piece of live DJ software, that is best used for mixing live in a performance at the club, a venue, an event, or a live stream - anywhere where you need to perform live.

In contrast, DJ.Studio is 'studio' DJ software. This means that it's better for making mixes at your desk with the keyboard and mouse and isn't suitable for live performance. However, live DJs still get a lot of functionality and advantages from using DJ.Studio because of how it connects with other DJ software and enhances their workflow.

Ultimately the best choice for you depends on your immediate needs.

If you're planning on mixing live and a club then you should first get a live piece of software like Traktor. (Personally, I prefer rekordbox over Traktor).

However, if you are just looking to produce DJ mixes and don't need to record them in real-time DJ.Studio is by far the best option.

If you're on the more serious end of DJing you would consider getting both types of software as this will give you the best and most flexible workflow.

Whether you're a beginner or a professional, thanks to the smart features offered by DJ.Studio you can maximize your output and the creativity of your mixes.

DJ.Studio allows you to experiment with a wider range of songs thanks to the Beatport, Spotify, and YouTube integration. It can help you to create better DJ mixes overall even when you're mixing live because you can take advantage of the harmonic mixing AI, and refine your mixes over time.

Make your own verdict with DJ.Studio's free 14-day trial version!

Noah Feasey-Kemp
DJ/Producer
I started DJing when I was 15. Started a record label, residency by a club in Bristol. I’ve played at all the biggest clubs in Bristol (and the small ones) and have entertained thousands of dancers! I love writing about music, DJing, and technology. I've been blogging for DJ.Studio since the start of the project, and am always happy to answer questions and help fellow DJs out!

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