If you have always fancied trying your hand at becoming a digital DJ or just need to put together a mix at a party you are having then MixVibes new free version of their CrossDJ app could be ideal for you. Let's take a closer look and see if it can get the job done...'¨
It's worth pointing out from the get-go that this app is Windows and Mac Compatible, so everyone can join in the party here. I'm a Mac user so I was directed to the App Store to grab my copy of CrossDJ free.
CrossDJ Free on the App Store.
If you are a Windows user, you can download the app directly from the MixVibes website here... and installation was painless and only took a matter of minutes. This is a pretty light app and even once installed is a clip under 70 MB. It also loads quickly so I was up and running in no time.
When I looked at Serato's Itch, I commented on how streamlined the interface was, I think it's fair to say that CrossDJ's control area is even more minimal. This is ideal for the beginner and offers the most accessible digital DJ experience I've seen yet.
The interface in its entirety.
To the upper left and right hand corner of the main screen you have your '˜decks'. These display areas show you a waveform of the currently loaded track and also show you important information like start, end, cue points and loops.
In between these graphic displays is a simple two channel mixer, with a three band EQ for each channel, two volume faders and a cross fader. There is also a high and low pass filter per channel. The filters and Equalizers could be a little more powerful but other than that everything works well here.
A close up of the decks and mixer area.
Everything below this point is dedicated to file browsing, file management and monitoring. To the left you can browse a number of different areas including your own hard drive, CrossDJ's library and even an iTunes library.
Some of the monitoring preferences make routing pretty flexible.
I found that everything loaded very quickly and played back smoothly. In fact, I saw almost identical performance to that I've experienced in apps such as Traktor and Serato. Pretty impressive for a free app.
Operation And Limitations
I was able to mix together audio files with ease and set up was also a breeze. Whether you are an absolute beginner or a seasoned pro you'll be able to put together a set very quickly, you just won't be able to record the results. This brings me to the subject of the apps limitations.
What the full app offers...
A neat little box pops up when you first open the app to tell you about its shortcomings and suggests you buy the full version. Essentially, you can't record and have no access to MIDI controllers in the free version. You can use basic keyboard shortcuts but they can't be edited. This, of course, maybe enough for some.
Some of the effects are limited in the free version.
Other features that the full version will give you include Snap, Quantize and Slip modes. 8 pad based samplers, a full 4 channel mixer and 15 effects. You do however get a limited set of effects in the free version.
Controller mapping is also limited until you upgrade.
All in all this is a really impressive offering considering it won't cost you anything. In fact, I can safely say this is the best free DJ software I have had on my system to date. If you eventually feel limited by the free features you can always upgrade for a very modest price.