By Rachel Lynch:
VirtualDJ has always struggled to sit at the “cool kids” table despite being the most used DJ software in the world. With 113 million downloads, it leads the industry with the lowest crash ratio among all programs and is continually pushing boundaries with innovation. Most agree the brand is plagued with an “amateur” stigma; however, VirtualDJ 2020 has come out with its gloves off and is commanding the respect it deserves. With its recent makeover, DJs who once scoffed at the program are now giving it a harder look. For the past 20 years, no DJ software has come close to the reliability and bold features of VirtualDJ, and this update is bringing it back to the top where it belongs.
Vocal critics felt previous versions were unsophisticated and dated, typecasting it as “mobile DJ only” software. While this couldn’t be farther from the truth, the refined and flatter interface challenges this stereotype head-on. VirtualDJ 2020 has visually matured, addressing one of its most considerable shortcomings. Gone are the gaudy graphics and skeuomorphic designs. Everything now is sexier and elegant with muted iconic red and blue decks along with four streamlined default skins. Users can easily choose to display what is crucial to their workflow by selecting which interface (Starter, Essentials, Pro, and Performance) works best for them. Additionally, a DJ can customize any interface with an abundance of choices to make their experience personalized. The update is like buying a new pair of shoes that already feel broken in. Long term users will feel right at home while the newbies will learn and love the updated look. The modernized skins offer the same utility you have come to expect from VirtualDJ but in a more professional layout.
This update also takes mixing to a new level with its integration of Beatport LINK and Advanced Harmonic Mixing feature. To start, DJs can refine their sets with the ability to play multiple tracks at the same time in compatible harmony. This means the listener won’t have to hear DJ blends that sound like someone is smashing random keys on a piano. VirtualDJ 2020 allows the user to autocorrect the opposing deck (if mismatched) within one semitone (up or down) without distorting or affecting the fidelity of a track in an obvious way. As a result, DJs can expand their creativity and song sections to choices that otherwise wouldn’t be compatible. Also, VirtualDj has expanded its streaming arsenal with the addition of the flagship service Beatport LINK. With over seven million tracks available and curated playlists, DJs now have an additional music platform to rock events from start to finish. Sketchy Wifi? No worry. Beatport LINK PRO ($39.99/mo) and PRO+ (59.99/mo) provide limited offline “locker” storage for tracks to be accessed should the internet connection fail. This integration is an excellent addition for those needing a variety of music on the fly.
It is no secret that VirtualDJ is known for taking risks on unique features before other programs adopt them. In the most recent update, Event DJs now have even more flexibility and freedom to interact with their guests and inject personalization with ease. The Event Scheduler in a revolutionary timeline management tool that allows the user to manually automate VirtualDJ functions in sequential order by writing mini bits of script (sounds scary, but it is super easy). A DJ can now schedule an array of actions to happen at specified times as needed throughout an event. Here are a few examples of how someone might use this new feature. A DJ can schedule a cocktail hour playlist to start 6:00 PM (in a different location) while they are packing up their ceremony rig. There is no need for the DJ to rush over to cocktail hour to start the music since the Event Scheduler starts the music on time every time. A DJ might choose to delay the start of a song while they walk out onto the dance floor to make an announcement, or a business can use a playlist with intermittent scheduled commercials. On New Year’s Eve, a sequenced countdown can be scheduled with complete accuracy. The only limitations are the DJs imagination.
VirtualDJ 2020 is designed to cater to every type of DJ out there and will continue to push boundaries as the leader in innovation. With its sleek interface and abundance of powerful features, its well on its way to winning over the skeptics. The grownup design is intuitive and intelligent. If you haven’t updated yet, make the jump. Their world-class programmers have always focused on the DJ and their individual needs and this 2020 update continues with that tradition in offering features and updates that every DJ should be excited about.
Fun, creative, and ambitious, DJ Rachel is making her mark as one of the top mobile DJs in the tri-state area. Her diversity as a DJ allows her to play at events that include MetLife Stadium (for the New York Jets) and serve as opening act for George Clinton Parliament Funkadelic and Gloria Gaynor. For more info visit: facebook.com/DJRachelRLynch