An Interview With DJ.Studio’s Creator
I recently spoke with Siebrand Dijkstra, serial entrepreneur and the creator and mastermind behind DJ.Studio to find out his inspiration behind the software.
This conversation revealed interesting details about the foundations of DJ.Studio - why he felt compelled to make it, the journey so far, and how he plans on advancing the software.
We also cover exactly what DJ.Studio is and how it works, as well as exploring the broad range of situations where it's super helpful.
What is DJ.Studio?#
DJ.Studio is a new powerful tool that changes the way that DJ software works. Unlike most DJ software like Serato DJ, rekordbox, and virtual DJ, DJ.Studio doesn't use the typical system of two decks and a mixer.
Instead, it uses a timeline-based approach, which is more similar to DAW like Ableton or Logic.
DJ.Studio offers a new approach to creating studio DJ mixes with a range of revolutionary smart features that can decrease massively the amount of time it takes to produce a DJ set and create more high quality DJ sets.
Here are some of the DJ.Studio's unique features.
Import and stream music from almost anywhere.
An automix feature that instantly creates the optimal mix sequence.
A powerful timeline and transition editor.
Export your mixes to a range of places.
This set of features has been designed to make the mix creation process as fast and creative as possible. This system provides a range of advantages over traditional DJ software that will be beneficial for new DJs and seasoned professionals alike.
Here are some of the advantages created by DJ.Studios unique workflow:
Saves Time - The speedy recording and automix function can turn days of mix preparation, creation, and recording into minutes of work.
Create Perfect Mixes - DJ.Studio's key and tempo detecting automix algorithm ensures your mixes are harmonic and beat-matched - resulting in seamless, cohesive, and professional sounding mixes with ease.
Expands Creativity - By enabling automation over all transition parameters, you have more expressive potential, because you can create mixes in more detail and precision than you would be able to with two hands when mixing live.
Streamlines The Mix Process - From discovery to distribution, DJ.Studio facilitates the entire mix creation process. You can find music, create a playlist, craft a mix, and share your creations online - all from within DJ.Studio.
These are just some of the advantages offered by DJ.Studio. As soon as you try the software out and see how it improves the mix creation workflow, you'll be able to create and release professional sounding mixes quicker than ever before.
It's been designed, at every stage, to improve workflow speed, while also opening up more creative options for DJs. It's no longer stuck using an old fashioned mixing system but takes a new approach that brings DJing up to date with the possibilities of modern technology.
When did you come up with the idea for DJ.Studio?#
"Several combined elements inspired me for the idea of DJ.Studio. It was something I had always needed, although I didn’t know exactly what it was going to look like, or how it would be possible."
Siebrand Dijkstra used MixMeister a lot back in the day. This was a type of DJ Software with timeline functionality that was somewhere in-between a DAW-style workflow, and the traditional live mixing approach. It was a DAW for DJs, but it hasn't been updated in the past few years.
One of the developers of Dijkstra's development team worked during COVID on a synthesizer that ran in a web browser, which used the GPU to do some cool stuff. He wanted people to build musical instruments for his new browser-based audio engine.
This was the moment Siebrand Dijkstra had his epiphany: if you could create digital music in the browser, then surely you could also mix music in the browser too?
Siebrand Dijkstra is a serial software entrepreneur with a lot of experience in building software. "In my life, I’ve gone through countless product life cycles. Success is all about execution. If you have a good idea, Google it. Google how other people execute it, learn from it, and come up with a better plan of execution. It's not just about good ideas; it's about execution.
Before I started building DJ.Studio, I Googled and Googled and Googled. When you Google "DAW for DJs", you'll find Ableton, Fruity Loops, and Logic. You'll find all the usual suspects - but they are not DAWs for DJ mixes, they're DAWs for music production.
I could only find MixMeister. I used that software for years, but it has been deprecated for a few years now. "
That's when Dijkstra decided to start building a DAW for DJs with his own developers.
"We're still using the same DJ tools and systems as 1977..."#
The interesting thing is that today DJs are using the same paradigm as in 1977: two decks, two volume faders, and three EQ knobs. Sure, back then it was vinyl turntables instead of digital tools, but even 50 years on we still use this system. Even all the supposed best DJ mixing software of today still emulates this setup.
"I find this crazy given all the technical evolution of the last 50 years. Technology has come so far - we have AIs that can control the lights and heating in our house, but DJs only got more knobs and more effects. Most popular DJ software uses the exact same format - whether it's basic free software or expensive gear for experienced DJs, the industry standard has been stuck on this setup"
If you use live DJ mix software, you have the record button which takes an hour to record an hour-long mix. If you want to do it on a computer, then you have to go into a DAW. But a DAW is made for creating music and not for creating mixes.
In this current landscape, DJs who want to mix songs, need a DAW or use the live DJ mix software. No matter what your DJ style is, all the "best" software for DJs work in the exact same way as a mixing setup in 1977.
And that's where Siebrand Dijkstra set out to reinvent the way DJ mixes are being created.
What’s the journey of DJ.Studio so far?#
In 2021 Siebrand Dijkstra had the opportunity to allocate his team of skilled developers from his previous company AppMachine, to realize his ideas for DJ.Studio. He started coding with one genius, a mastermind, who was able to synthesize music using the GPU. His technology made it possible for DJ.Studio to run in a web browser.
"We first worked on tempo and key detection algorithms, and the system for mixing music . These are relatively heavy processes, but the browser nowadays is fast enough to do this kind of magic. By 2022, we had a solid foundation with the basic functionality, which was ready to be tested and shared around in private for feedback. "
At that moment, Siebrand Dijkstra scaled up the team to four developers at first, to create the underlying technology and systems. They started building integrations and connections with other DJ software like rekordbox and Serato. And because they also wanted to make the tool available for people who never bought tracks, the team also added integrations for Apple Music and streaming services like YouTube, Beatport and Soundcloud.
The team focussed on various ways how to share your finished DJ set. "We know a lot of DJs, so it's important for us that the original musicians get paid whenever their music gets listened to. That's why we build an option to upload it directly to Mixcloud and Youtube. Those platforms make sure the original producer gets paid for the listening streams."
You can export a mix as a Mixcloud mix or a YouTube video at the click of a single button. This includes all the time stamps, name of the songs and the producers. This makes it easy for listeners to identify the tracks in a mix.
Siebrand Dijkstra is really happy with the generated YouTube videos, as it includes a moving visualizer with the artwork and all the information anyone needs. It’s a complete package!
"I can really see this changing the way that people share music and “mixtapes”. Even if they’ve never touched a pair of DJ decks or professional DJ software in their life, people can make and share cool mixes of their favorite tracks really easily. At the same time, it has a lot on offer for professional DJs too!"
Who will benefit from using DJ.Studio?#
" I would like , everybody, everybody to start using DJ.Studio .... From the playlist lovers to the divine performing DJs: DJ.Studio is great for all of them!"
There are so many use cases where DJ.Studio will be the best DJ software to use: From the beginner who has never even touched a DJ controller, to the long-time professional DJ mixer, DJ.Studio can help throughout the whole mix creation process. If you want to find music, create playlists, blend tracks, create mixes, and share your work - DJ.Studio has all the features you need and more!
Siebrand Dijkstra is a Cool mix lover, not a bedroom DJ: " I wanted to make DJ mixes but I'm not a pro DJ, and I didn't want to get into the DJ booth, but I do want to share my mixes. I want to share my favorite tracks in a mix and I want it to sound good".
With DJ.Studio mixing becomes much more fun and less time consuming. "I also believe that it's also really interesting for playlist lovers (people who aren’t DJs). We open up mixing songs for a new audience - anybody can now enjoy superior sound quality and simplicity in the process of the mixes they create!"
"I actually spoke to somebody recently who makes radio shows for one of the biggest DJs. He has to produce radio shows every week, which can be a tedious process. When we showed him DJ.Studio it blew his mind, he was shocked at how much time it could save him, while still achieving results with the same quality."
Radio show makers spend days to compile sets of their label's recent releases, but now with DJ.Studio they can create the optimal sequence at the click of an (automix) button! It can do both BPM and harmonic mixing - so it creates something close to perfection in an instant. He can then use all of his time to perfect all of the transitions, the fun stuf where he can be creative.
Another pro feature is the ability to export DJ.Studio projects to an Ableton Live project file. This is a revolutionary and unique feature. It copies all the tracks and automation across so that you can add voiceovers, and jingles, and perform a professional mixdown and mastering. " "I believe that DJ.Studio is the only DJ software in the world that generates an Ableton Live project."
They throw in their audio files, press automix and test it out. They can then use this on stage.
I think there are so many different uses for a DJ. I think the planning element will be super useful, especially for live DJs, being able to find out the optimal sequence based on BPM and key, which otherwise would take hours to work out.
Performing DJs can use DJ.studio in the same hybrid way to help them prepare a live set : select the tracks you want to play live, let DJ.Studio find the best order of your tracks, try out different options to quickly hear how two tracks will sound together.
DJ.Studio makes it super easy for performing DJs to test out their ideas and playlists.
This will help you to figure out the best tracklist. You can export your tracklist, so you will know what to play.
With DJ.Studio it is possible to create great mixes without the steep learning curve of beat matching, learning cue points, understanding mixers, or even buying a midi controller.
That's why Dijkstra is also targeting playlist lovers, who can learn how to make cool mixes with DJ.Studio. There will be people saying "Oh, can you play at my wedding?" So I think it will be a logical next step that those people become more enthusiastic and start playing with hardware controllers."
DJ.Studio is a stepping stone for less experienced music lovers into the world of DJing.
Where do you see the future of DJ.Studio?#
"Well, DJ.Studio is filling a gap in the market. The gap between live DJ software, and DAWs. I strongly believe that DJ.Studio will bring DJ mixing into the hands of a larger group of people and will save the performers and professionals a lot of time."
These days, DJing is something completely different than just being able to make a DJ mix. If you want to share things online, DJ.Studio is a powerhouse. As a DJ, if you want to get anywhere, you have to constantly create new sets to show people and share with promoters or on social media. DJ.Studio makes that process so much quicker.
DJ.Studio is not competing with the DAWs - that’s important to understand. And we're not competing with popular DJ software like Serato DJ Pro, Pioneer DJ rekordbox, or any other paid or free version of this software. Nor is it a total replacement for today's hottest DJ controllers. It’s a new type of DJ software that fits in between. It’s a bridge for DJs to move between live mixing and long-form production. It’s a hybrid tool for DJs - it sits in between music production and live mixing DJ software.
"It's a DAW for DJs and DJ mixes."
So I do think we deserve our own spot in the markets somewhere between live mixing and using a more complicated DAW for producing music.
What new features will you add to DJ.Studio?#
We have a lot of additional plans. For starters, we’re working on the video integrations for DJ.Studio makes it even more powerful and more creative if you want to add visuals alongside your music. The option to add samples is also on our feature list.
We are also planning on adding more integrations with social media sites, even YouTube Shorts! Could you imagine a 30-second mix - each song a few seconds?
We want the DJ.Studio community to be as involved with the development as possible. We want to know from the DJs out there what features you think are most important to add. all users can add new feature requests or vote on new features to be implemented - essentially creating communally guided progression.
It’s going to be a powerful tool for a lot of people. From discovery to production and publishing, DJ.Studio covers it all. At least that’s where we are now, but the future will see even more progression.
This conversation with Siebrand Dijkstra about his revolutionary DJ software with timeline functionality was fascinating. It was inspiring to see his passion and energy for the project, as well as how motivated he is to create a super-powerful tool for DJs, radio hosts, and anybody else who needs or wants to create DJ mixes.
DJ.Studio is an exciting new prospect in the world of DJ and music tech. This software is now finally possible thanks to advances in technology and programming. It goes without saying, that having a tool like this will completely change the way DJs work while opening up huge new creative doors for beginners and pros alike.
Is there anything else you want to tell our readers?#
"I created DJ.Studio purely because I needed it, and I couldn't find it. It wasn't out there.
We automated my workflow - starting with building a playlist, then ordering by BPM and key. We now do a gazillion calculations for you to come up with the ideal playlist.
Back in the days when I would make mixes on MixMeister, I’d spend a night buying music off Beatport, it took me another night in ordering the music. It would then take me two more nights to tweak the order, and fine-tune the transitions.
Now I can buy songs, throw them into DJ Studio, press automix, and start playing with the position of the transition and selecting a few presets. So I can now make my DJ set in a single night instead of in a week."
FAQs About DJ Software with Timeline Functionality
- Is there a DJ program that mixes music on its own?
- What software do DJs use on stage?
- What software do DJs use on stage?
- What DAW do DJs use?
DJ.Studio and Amsterdam Dance Event
The DJ.Studio team was happy to present the first version of the software during the most important music event for electronic music: Amsterdam Dance Event.