Comparing DJ Software For Stems
DJs working with stems (more on what they even are in a bit) often wonder what sort of DJ software is best.
As the world of DJing has evolved and progressed over time, the equipment and software have made similar leaps and bounds. With the rise of new and more technology also comes, the rise in confusion and feelings of uncertainty over which software for DJs is best.
Ultimately, it’s essential for all DJs to have software that allows them to mix and manipulate music to the best of their ability and to the fullest creative potential.
Understanding DJ Software
There are different types of software for DJs, but they are all computer programs that help musicians mix music files.
Most software includes a range of different features that allows DJs to create new mixes, remixes and even music mash-ups. From the tempo and pitch of the song to its volume and other additional effects, the possibilities are often limited only by the software itself and the artist’s creativity.
When you’re looking at different DJ software options, bear in mind the tools and features you need. For stem files and general digital DJing, being able to load and play the relevant music files, for example, is a must.
Beyond just the practical features of any given software are the different effects. Familiarise yourself with the effects on offer, from EQ to filers and delay to reverb, to make sure it has what you need.
Every piece of software is slightly different when it comes to the interface. While most are designed to be easy to navigate and user-friendly if you have particular preferences, make sure to look closely at the differences in interfaces.
The right DJ software for you will likely depend on your experience and skill levels, as well as your intended workflow and the type of mixing you plan on doing.
In essence, the term stem refers to a part of a song that has been separated from the rest of the track and exported as an individual file of independent audio.
You can then load these files onto your chosen DJ software.
Stems most commonly consist of four distinct parts:
Depending on what sort of track you’re creating, some sections of a song may be more useful to you personally as a stem than others. So, without further ado, lets begin comparing DJ Software for Stems!
Comparing DJ Software For Stems
Traktor Pro: Traktor Pro is a well-known and widely used DJ program. Designed specifically for using audio files like stem, DJs can easily mix and manipulate the audio as they see fit.
With a variety of built-in effects and useful features, it’s easy to create remixes or play with mash-ups. Moreover, the easy-to-use interface is intuitive and easy for experienced DJs to use.
However, compared to other software for DJs, Traktor can be a bit on the pricier side. Plus, with the many features, it can take some time to learn how to use it all.
Recommendation: If you’re an experienced or professional DJ looking for high-quality DJ software with tons of advanced features, Traktor Pro is for you.
Serato DJ Pro: Serato DJ Pro is a highly popular piece of software that is great for use with stems. Complete with the ability and effects/tools needed to easily mix and match different stems and tracks, DJs of all backgrounds, skill levels and experiences can achieve great musical success with Serato DJ Pro.
This program’s interface has been specifically designed to be easy to use and easy to learn, which makes navigating through its various features a breeze.
Having said all of that, this DJ software is more limited in functionality than other professional and more advanced programs.
Recommendation: If you’re a beginner or intermediate DJ and want very user-friendly DJ software, Serato DJ Pro is a top option.
Ableton Live: Ableton Live is a well-known and ubiquitous DJ software that can be used effectively when mixing stems. With plenty of tools and a variety of features, DJs of all types can and have relied on Ableton Live.
Like the other options on this list, the many effects on offer mean it’s perfectly suitable for more seasoned artists as well. Nevertheless, it still boasts a practical and usable interface.
Ableton Live is not the most affordable software for DJs on this list and the many features can present a learning curve for some.
Recommendation: This software is excellent for professional DJs and those involved in music production.
Virtual DJ: Virtual DJ is extremely popular. This affordable and functional software is used for general track mixing as well as stems and other audio files.
With most of the essential effects, features and tools, the intuitive design is perfect for DJs wanting to get up and start as soon as possible.
The drawback to this fairly priced software is that its functionality may be limited for more advanced users.
Recommendation: Virtual DJ is excellent for beginner DJs and amateur artists who want an accessible and affordable program to get started.
Find the Right Software and Hardware with DJ City
As Australia’s largest provider of DJ equipment, we know a thing or two when it comes to software for DJ (as well as hardware)!
If you’re not sure which equipment or program is right for you and your needs, just give us a call. Our team of enthusiasts and DJ experts are more than happy to help you find your DJ software soul mate!