Dj software Interface

Does anyone have any thoughts on using Dj software with vcv rack. Like for a performance, looping and playing samples with a dj controller then cutting to some synth work in VCV. It seems like they would be pretty independent, but then like you might want to sync midi clocks, and well you’ll have to mix the audio some how preferably on the same computer. It seems like there are some DJ software options out there. Serato or Traktor to name two, but its kind of confusing to read the specs, between the various versions.

There are many options. What do you currently DJ with? Do you have an external mixer? Are you already using software, CDJ or vinyl? What type(s) of audio interface(s) do you have?

Most of the DJ software suite have midi sync and external instrument options. You could also just record a click and play in one of the decks, send it over 1 of your channels and have vcv sync to that, for example.

You could probably even use sample players in vcv, map them to a midi controller and use that as your DJ setup.

U can simply dj in ableton and have your vcv in vst , it doesnt have to necessary be traktor…

I am looking doing some DJing, mostly for fun with my kids. I got to thinking though it would be fun to play some synths over the tracks, and mix in sequencers. This is supposedly a common thing to do run a sequencer as part of a DJ mix. How to Send a MIDI Clock Sync Signal in TRAKTOR – Native Instruments (

Unfortunately Serato Lite doesn’t appear to sync, but maybe it does these days? Hard to tell.

yeah, I’d expect most lite versions to not have that functionality, but Ableton Link might be a good option: It is a way to link various apps on various machines that are on the same local network via midi. There’s a VCV module (I think by stoermelder) that links to ableton link, and there are numerous DJ apps for iPad or softwares for laptops that support Link: Rekordbox (which is free, I’m not sure whether the free version supports link too); Algoriddim DJ is free and does multiple platforms I think. Traktor Pro, Serato (full version) and Virtual DJ also support it, but they’re not free.

I’d suggest looking at an iPad app if you have one laying around, because that way you don’t need to buy a DJ midi controller right away. There’s cheap DJ apps that support ableton link that are tons of fun. Just route your output into your soundcard Or, if you do like to buy a controller, maybe go for one of the simple Pioneer controllers with Rekordbox. I think that does also support link, and it probably also supports midi link. Personally, I think ableton link is less of a hassle, since you are not immediately forced to buy a controller and a dedicated audio interface.

o, and in case you were wondering: you do not need to have Ableton Live to use Ableton Link.

Thanks, having played briefly with Ableton I am a bit suspicious about link. Is it bloated? I think for the application I am thinking about, it needs to be light weight.

Link is not a standalone software - it’s an API by Ableton, that developers can use to sync tempo between applications. @MerkDak mentioned a few. There’s more Link info here and a list of products here. The source code lives here.

The VCV module I know of is here.

OK so Link looks pretty good. I can’t help but wonder, if the dj controller is midi, would you be able to get the cue changes from the controller. Say if you want to cue a wav, a sequence and a patch change at the same time?

All of this is probably possible, but not without making the setup exponentially more difficult, which usually means a whole lot of lag or bugs. Your controller can only control 1 piece of software, and the DJ softwares that I know do not allow you to do this. A DAW typically would (control 1 cannel in Ableton Live and let several others channels listen to that channel), but I don’t see that working practically: if you’re going controller, you might as well add a little grid-controller (something like novation launchpad mini?) to launch scenes in a DAW like you describe. I guess VCV could do the trick for that, but you’d have to map it yourself. Ableton Live, Bitwig and propable also Reaper would have ready to go templates for something like that. Much more direct, practical AND fun.

Unless you got hardware sequencers, then VCV plus a dc-coupled audio interface that sends triggers to the start/stop/reset would be the way to go.

Anyway, as I said, a gazillion options, but I’d recommend starting out with one thing at a time. Start with simple cheap elements (iPad DJ software with ableton link and VCV = $20,-) and if you like it scale up (mini DJ controller + interface with Rekordbox, Serato or Traktor and a grid controller + a free or lite version of a DAW = $200/$500), and if any of you are getting gigs/make full songs scale up accordingly (CDJ3000 + technics sl 1200 + Play Differently Model 1, Ableton Live with Push 2 and an audio interface, VCV2 studio, and a full hardware synth setup or eurorack with an Expert Sleepers ES-9 dc-coupled audio interface = $12.000 and up😜).

O yeah, that’s it.

Stellare modules are awesome. Are you porting to V2, @sanderbaancentrum ?

@kodream Did you get any DJ toys? Curious whether you and the kids are go yet. I love jamming with the kids (Pocket Operators, Plinky Synth, a keystep with a virtual instrument, Tech Will Save Us synth and sampler are all favorites), but I haven’t gotten them to DJ yet (they do not have a lot of curated music themselves yet).

Anyway, if you get a nice setup, do let us know what you settled on and share some vids if you like.

Apologies for necroing this thread, but I wanted to add that Mixxx is a pleasant open source DJ software that could fit your use case – it works well with JACK to route audio and you can output MIDI clock.


FWIW, I use Stellare link to sync with my Monome Norns, no Ableton in play, just their protocol. Works over wifi and is way more stable than Midi sync from VCV.

wasn’t mixxx the one with the VST and library sync between rekordbox, serato and traktor?

o no, that’s Cross DJ 4 Pro. But Mixxx seems awesome and fits the bill for the purposes @kodream mentioned originally. Gonna give it a try myself.