Virtual DJ Software for Linux: Mixxx

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When I was still using Windows, I remembered playing or should I say scratching with the popular audio/video mixing software made by Atomix Productions called VirtualDJ. Though I didn't really enjoyed DJing that much, I missed those days when I finally get to somehow experience what it's like to be a DJ. So I started looking for DJ software program that I could install on my Linux box. Unfortunately, I only found a few and most of them are really old or are poor in quality if compared to VirtualDJ. But there is one Linux-compatible, free and open source DJ software program that is quiet promising, and its name is Mixxx.

Mixxx is described as a complete package for amateur and professional DJs alike, providing everything you need to create and perform live mixes. It can run without connecting turntables and mixers, which makes it a replacement for traditional DJ setup. For professionals, it supports advanced features like comprehensive MIDI controller support, vinyl control, and multi-core CPU support.

It is possible to use your turntables with timecoded vinyl such as Serato, Traktor Scratch, and Final Scratch to control Mixxx, so there's no need to buy additional hardware. Mixxx's vinyl control is compatible with any soundcard that has a stereo line-input jack. Even the high performance 4x4 soundcards like the Echo AudioFire line and most USB and Firewire soundcards are supported. Mixxx is also capable of routing your master and headphone outputs to various soundcards for extreme flexibility.

Talking about flexibility, Mixxx features a customizable EQ shelves that will let you easily adjust the equalizer bands to suite your beat. There's also a crossfader curve control that you can use just like on a hardware DJ mixer. The Mixxx interface can also be customized through its bundled skins, but you can also make your own skins.

Some of the mixing features of Mixxx:

* BPM estimation - Measures the BPM of each song to help you beat match faster.
* Parallel waveform displays - See the beats in songs line up when mixing and quickly spot drift.
* Waveform summaries- Visually see the dynamics of an entire track, just like with vinyl.
* MP3 / OGG / WAVE / FLAC playback - Mix your tracks without converting your collection.
* Pitch-independent time stretch - Change the speed of a song without altering the pitch.
* Vinyl emulation - Adjust the pitch of a song, just like on a real turntable.
* Wave Recording - Save your mixes on-the-fly.

Although there are plenty of excellent digital audio editors available for Linux, it badly needs high-quality DJ software. However, I'm hopeful when I found Mixxx even though it is not as good as VirtualDJ. So if there's anyone out there who is using other capable DJ software program that will run native on Linux, please let me know via comment.

1 comment

  1. I'm currently using bpmdj. User-friendliness is still an issue, and some parts are still under development, but I love it. Recently I also started to help on some developments like adding a jack driver and some midi bindings...