We hear a lot about “the future of DJing”, but what functions will DJ software like Traktor, Serato, Rekordbox and Virtual DJ actually have in the near future? In today’s article, we summarize the most likely features that will appear in upcoming software releases. together with which companies are already doing something similar.

Here’s what we expect in the world of DJ software in the near future:

Mixed / Augmented Reality DJ setups

A concept photo of Bentley’s mixed reality construction app with the Microsoft HoloLens 2

We’re starting with the idea that perhaps seems the most absurd on this list, largely because it’s a technology that isn’t quite mainstream yet: augmented reality. There has been a lot of talk about AR in the last month as both Microsoft and Apple plan to make dramatic forays into the space this year.

Microsoft just announced its HoloLens 2, a new headset that superimposes apps and information into the real world. Well worth reading a little about this new product and imagining the impact it has on the DJ world. Here is a short excerpt from a report on ZDnet:

“… almost everything I did in the HoloLens 2 experience could have been done in virtual reality. But the demo didn’t require me to focus, for example, on troubleshooting an actual machine part – something that would require me to interoperate with physical objects. Even without such a task, it is simply less confusing and reassuring to experience digital objects when you can see them in the context of the real world. “

There’s a really good chance that we’ll move past the VR capabilities for mainstream DJ apps and into AR capabilities. Imagine a DJ software user interface that doesn’t end with the laptop screen or the edge of the hardware. In contrast to VR, an AR device would allow the performers to stay present in the moment while using additional interface elements and information.

No more track analysis for 99% of the tracks

Track analysis in RekordboxAre you waiting for the tracks to be analyzed? It will soon be a thing of the past.

The route analysis is for the most part a solved game. There is a “right” beat grid, key, and tempo for every single track ever made, and once a statistical majority of DJs agree on it, there’s no need to repeat that analysis. We assume that the track analysis, apart from original / unreleased / white label tracks, will be largely eliminated in future DJ software.

Also, keep in mind that Beatport’s entire library (as well as Beatsource’s open-format relaunch) will soon be built right into DJ software. So that DJs can benefit even more from these integrations, it would make sense to have all metadata and analysis information already attached to the tracks when they are streamed from the cloud.

Who’s doing it anyway? In a recent beta version of Rekordbox, Pioneer DJ added a feature that uploads all of your track analysis results to the cloud and confirms that this will be used to speed up analysis data in the future.

Share libraries + track data between any software

Instead of using tools to synchronize your software libraries on a regular basis, you can expect future DJ software to share common data. Waveforms, beatgrids, cue points, playlists, key dates – all of this is currently locked in the collection of every software.

In the short term, it’s only up to manufacturers like Pioneer DJ to keep their metadata locked – why should they make it easy for people to switch to another platform? But in the long term, every DJ would be better off if every manufacturer removed these unnecessary information monasteries and allowed DJs to move their libraries quickly and freely. That would mean more DJs would try Rekordbox DJ, more DJs could try Denon’s standalone gear, more DJs could try advanced Serato / Traktor features, and so on.

Who’s doing it anyway? We recently published an article on converting a single USB drive into a drive that works with any software. It uses a tool called the DJ Conversion Utility, a Mac-only app created by Mix Master G, an independent developer and DJ. Rekordbuddy has also been around for years and offers a similar library conversion process. Both work for the time being, but no comparison to a solution built by the manufacturer.

More data is shared with lighting and visualization tables

Working on a visual or lighting desk during a DJ show can be a lot of fun. But it can also be incredibly unpredictable if this is your first time listening to songs or if you are unfamiliar with a DJ’s style. Because of this, we expect DJ software (and hardware) to send even more information to the lighting and visuals software in future versions. This could enable visual and lighting teams to have dynamic reactive lighting that works with performance and not based solely on audio analysis or employee good instincts.

What’s already out there: There’s been a lot of progress on this front, including

  • Soundswitch that allows you to write custom DMX light shows with each track
  • The lighting mode of Rekordbox, which automatically assigns light scenes with automatically recognized phrases in tracks
  • Denon DJ + Resolume’s StageLinq integration (video above), which passes all information from new Denon DJ equipment to Resolume for easy mapping.

Streaming music libraries that you actually use

We’re about to begin a third wave of streaming in DJ software libraries. While earlier iterations were sometimes frustrating in terms of quality (Virtual DJ’s early streaming capabilities) or consistency (Pulselocker’s limited library), this new era of streaming uses high quality sources, incredibly diverse libraries, and contains useful DJ-oriented ones Curations (such as suggested tracks and playlists).

We don’t expect every DJ to start streaming TIDAL, but when Beatport Link launches later this year as well as DJ City / Beatsource, it seems inevitable that the streaming bug will spread to DJs who use the concept as well are more hesitant about it.

The thing that nobody talks about: Will anyone (other than Algoriddim) sign a contract with Spotify for streaming access to their library? The streaming giant has one of the best libraries out there, one of the best recommendation engines, and a huge user base. If any major DJ software could get a legal deal with Spotify for their library, it would be a huge blessing.

Your ideas here!

Some of the best ideas for DJ technology come from you, the global community of DJs who are actually using these tools every day. What would you want in future DJ software, and what do you suspect it is still to come? Do share your thoughts in the comments below and we’ll share the best.


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