Whether you’re a seasoned pro or you’re just getting started, these five top-rated DJ apps and software programs will help you make your gigs more fun and more profitable.
Dexed FM VST instrument by Digital Suburban
The best free synthesizer plugin is Dexed FM. It emulates the classic Yamaha DX7 synth and has 6 knobs and faders that capture the essence of the synth. It features a comprehensive user interface, and it can be used to create bright keys and bold plucked sounds. It fully supports MIDI and DX7 input and output Sysex messages, meaning that you can use a real DX7 or TX7 as a patch editor.
The Diva is a must-have for all electronic producers. It emulates the sounds of “real” analogue synthesizers so well you won’t believe it. It has many extra features and is easy to use. You can start with one of five oscillator models, and then create any sound you want for your house, techno, or electronic music. There are dozens of new models with three or more modulation slots, LFOs, and various other sonic options. Create any sound you want for your house, techno, or electronic music.
Diva is one of the best digital synth out there. You can load up your favorite preset, or start from scratch. It’s easy to set up and use, and the LFO section (Low Frequency Oscillators) on the rear panel are great for adding “breathing” to your bass lines, or other low frequency elements to your music.
See our list of the 5 Best Synth VST Plugins
Native Instruments Kontakt
The undisputed champion of software samplers is Native Instruments Kontakt 6. It’s a deep and powerful sampler with a huge library of banks and sample sets, and an enormous amount of built-in sounds and instrument-building tools. But you can always add your own samples or create your own instruments using its powerful sample-editing and instrument-building tools. Komplete 13 comes bundled with Kontakt 6 if you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck!
The closest thing you can get to having your own unique DAW is the new Geist2 from FXpansion. It’s the fastest, most feature-rich drum machine for DAW users, complete with an incredibly deep sample library.
With an easy to use UI and amazing sequencing, arranging and modulation features, this plugin gives you everything you need to make killer drum tracks. There’s a learning curve, but once you learn this technique, you’ll never forget it. It will forever change the way you create drum-heavy tracks such as Hip Hop, Trap, or Drum n Bass.
Start by making the most popular plug-in for live effects—it’s almost always on the top 10 in KVR’s plug-in ranks. It gives you the flexibility to mangle your inputs inside and out, and, with it, you get a great ‘tape stop’ feature, bit crusher, gater, delay, chorus, shuffler (kind of like Ableton Live’s Beat Repeat effect), and a stretcher.
Where to Use the Plugins
Native Instruments Traktor Pro 3
Traktor’s appeal lies in the fact that its well designed interface is approachable and easy to use without too much hassle. However, it still packs a lot of depth and features allowing advanced users to do some seriously creative things with it.
It comes with a variety of Sample Decks, Remix Decks and Loop Recorder, and includes a variety of quality effects as well as a solid beat and key analysis algorithms, making Traktor the ultimate DJ tool with plenty of potential for both beginners and advanced users alike. A digital vinyl system is also available, in the form of the Traktor Scratch upgrade.
NI have done a fantastic job bringing some real innovation to their DJ controllers. The Stems format offered in this edition means that you can break a song up into four or more sections, each with its own character and play style, for the DJ to build up in the same way they would with a DJ set.
The Traktor controller is well supported by hardware, too, with NI’s extensive range of controllers, plus several third-party options, meaning that you can pick up the Traktor controllers you like the look of best.
Adding these great DJ plugins to your arsenal is sure to take your performance to the next level. We listed some of our favorite synth, sampler and drumming plugins that not only offer top notch sound creation but are intuitive and easy to use. Let us know some of your favorite DJ plugins in the comments below.