Once you’ve hit ‘download’ on Virtual DJ, the next three hours of your life will disappear into a digital DJ time warp and you won’t get them back. You’ve been warned.
Apps aren’t just for iPhones and iPads – I downloaded my first Mac app yesterday: Virtual DJ Home Version 7 which is also available for PC. Four of us ended up downloading it and got sucked into ‘mixing’ and ‘scratching’. Eat your heart out Alexa Chung/ Agyness Deyn/ other model turned DJ.
And don’t worry, even if you know nothing about the way music works it’s still fun – with this DJ app anyone can stick two tracks and yoink the crossfader between the two. Add a pair of big headphones and you’re living the bedroom DJ dream.
Step One: Download Virtual DJ Home Version for free for Mac or PC.
Step Two: Drag two tracks* from your iTunes library from Virtual DJ’s lower left hand side menu onto your digital turntables. House, electro and dubstep are all good choices, choose a second track with fewer or no lyrics and we found that Daft Punk tracks all seem to have the same BPM (beats per minute) so there’s no need to speed up or slow down anything.
* Or hit ‘CONFIG’ at the very top of the screen to get more decks but I would not recommend this for your first go.
Step Three: In order to sound smooth, both your tracks will have to play at the same BPM so press play on both and then hit ‘Sync’ on your right hand track. The BPM will be in the top right hand corner of each deck on the same line as the title of your track – above it’s 125.20 for both.
Step Four: Use Virtual DJ’s hand tool to move the second track (in red) to the first beat i.e. the line down the middle of the top section. You can drag and choose a place in the second track and press ‘Cue’ to send it to one three ‘Hot Cues’. All this means is that the track will start playing from that point. Obviously, you can set cues for the first track too.
Step Five: Next to your spinning decks are two sliders controlling pitch. Adjust the pitch of the second song to the first song as it’s playing and you’ll get a better mix, but do it in small amounts or else it’ll just sound distorted (which is also fun).
Step Six: Listen to your first track and pick a point in the song to bring the second track in – a break or an outro, something like that. Listen to the second track on its own too and decide where to stick your Cue to bring it in.
Step Seven: At the short break/ drop in track one, slide the crossfader (smack bang in the middle) over from your left hand side track to the right to bring in the second track. And hope for the best. Slide it back once you’re done with the second track or let the second track play out.
Step Eight: Play around with the Effects on both tracks: in the free Home Version of Virtual DJ you can choose from BackSpin, BeatGrind, Brake and more all of which will make you feel like a proper DJ.
Step Nine: Loop a section of one of your tracks with the loop station under effects and sampler. Choose from 1 to 32, depending on how long a section of the track you want to loop. If you click on ‘Sampler’ down the bottom, you can also record samples to playback and use in your mix.
Step Ten: Hit ‘record’ if you dare and listen to you and Virtual DJ murdering two of your favourite songs. Like we did – any tips from non-beginners welcome.