Everything is going digital, and DJ tools are no exception. Modern DJs no longer tote boxes of vinyl to events, instead opting for digital storage and online platforms for their music collections. DJs can even start their companies with very little equipment by opting to rent larger items, like sound systems, from other rental companies. What DJs do need, however, is legally acquired music and two pieces of software.
Today’s digital DJs need cutting-edge software to organize their libraries and create and remix music. The brands that rule the DJ world are Serato, Traktor, and RekordBox. We spoke with Ricky Hayes from VOX DJs to learn more about the importance of great DJ software and which software is best for your DJ setup.
The biggest determining factor for choosing between the two software is the hardware you’d like to use with the DJ software. From my understanding, Serato DJ is compatible with a wide range of different mixers and controllers, while RekordBox appears to only be compatible with Native Instruments and Pioneer brand hardware. Find the hardware you love, then use the software to pull it all together.
Ricky also backs this up by saying that his company “prefers using Pioneer Hardware combined with Serato DJ Software. A key benefit of combining these is that many Pioneer controllers come integrated with Serato DJ already. Usually, a user would need to pay for the Serato DJ software subscription, but with these specific controllers, it unlocks it for you without needing to pay. It’s much like downloading Microsoft Word. You can get it yourself, but it won’t function without a License. The controllers provide you with that license.” Ricky specifically likes the Pioneer DDJ-SX series of controllers based on their price and range of functionality suitable for a variety of event needs.
On top of having great DJ software, Ricky also noted that when you have your software and hardware, you need to get your music! (Nobody likes a DJ with bad music let alone no music… are they even a DJ anymore?) Ricky recommends subscribing to a record pool for acquiring music.
“Instead of needing to search, find and purchase each track individually, you can subscribe monthly to an online record pool where you can download unlimited tracks already categorized and edited specifically for DJ use. Some of the top ones I recommend are DJ City or BMP Supreme."
Tech tip: Using automatic updates on your computer could be a bad idea. The reason is that operating system update information is not pre-released to software companies, so when changes are made to your computer’s operating system, it can change how software like Serato and RekordBox interact with your computer. In short, updating your computer’s operating system has the potential to make your other software unusable. The good news is that most companies (including Serato and RekordBox) create patches and updates of their own to ensure their software can work alongside your operating system’s updates. Our advice: wait for Serato and RekordBox to release their updates before updating your computer.
Inventory Management / Rental Software
DJ-focused event companies may have less equipment to keep track of than standard event rental companies, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t need inventory management software. As with any technical equipment, you’ll need to monitor how well they function, their serial numbers, items that need repair, and how much to budget for replacements. Add to that your policies, waivers, contracts, quotes, event information...all of this information will quickly become overwhelming to manage in Google Office, so it’s best to invest in good DJ rental software. Sure, we stand behind our software at Goodshuffle Pro, but we’re not the only ones; top DJ companies choose our software to manage their companies, too.
One of our fan-favorite features of Goodshuffle Pro is our Website Integration, which allows potential clients to browse an event company’s inventory right on the company website and pick out items for their event. While this may not seem very useful for DJs at first glance (after all, most of us don’t really understand what a DJ “controller” does), it can be a powerful tool for potential clients in deciding the type of experience they want at their event. For DJs, packages are an invaluable Website Integration tool, as they allow event rental companies to group together inventory items to create pre-made experiences for their clients that can be added to a quote with a single click.
While package customization options are nearly endless, DJ companies will want to consider factors such as event size, location (indoor or outdoor), and event type when building their packages within Goodshuffle Pro. In many cases, you’ll want to have different “tiers” of packages to address these common factors, such as small, medium, and large event packages.
Once they have their hardware, DJs really only need two pieces of software to start and run their companies: DJ software and inventory management software. Both of these tools are essential for organization and business management and will quickly prove to be worth the investment. After the software is purchased and customized, DJs are ready to work their magic and bring any event to life!