Getting started - software vs hardware

Helder Pinto

Dec 24, 2014
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Hi there guys, i feel bad to have just registered an account and start posting a new thread, but I hope my question is still valid.

I have no intention to make a career out of this, I'm just looking for a hobby something to sink a few hours of my weeks and sink my brain in some good tunes, i'm sure you share the feeling. :)

So, yeah, i'm seriously considering getting into DJ's and/or producing, I have time so I want to start slowly.
I'd say, I probably want to start by making sets, put them out there, have fun, get feedback on them and get a feel for what key different tracks are (i don't even technically know what this means, i just read a lot about the importance of keys, just as much as beat matching).
So I was thinking about either get a really cheap controller and start with that, or just start making a few sets using software, and with that my first question, what software would you recommend to get started knowing one has no controller/decks?
I hear Mixmeister is really good, so is mixxx?
I've tried Traktor for a bit, but it's way too complex for my level of entry so I wanna bring it down a notch and start out with something easier. Any ideas?

I know you guys must get these kind of questions all the time to the point of being frustrating, i've made my research I just need an honest opinion on a good way to get started, and i think starting with software first is prolly a good call.

Thanks a lot guys!
Hi Helder Pinto, welcome to AH.FM

About the software vs controller question, I would say initially use what you prefer most. However it is not so easy in the beginning, you will notice that controllers themselves will (only) support specific software like traktor, itch, virtualDJ, mixmeister, ...

It's all a bit dependent of which you like most, which you find easier and which software supports which controller. Best to check that before beginning.

Personally for mixing I am use Traktor (shareware) but tastes and colors are personal. :wink:

For producing, that is seperate topic. Here we have a large number of softwares again, even freewares will help you; but I would look more in products like Ableton or maybe reason, flstudio, ... It's mostly about what possibilities they offer, which vst addons, how much does it cost and do you want to spend.

The rest is being original in your mind.
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Hi Helder!

The beginnings are always difficult. I found it difficult too. :)
I never had the intention for creating or producing only for mixing. I started with VDJ and after a while I felt I need some kind of equipment because you can't move your mouse as fast as you need if you know what I mean. :) To try and after make things right I think the most important is to have the background knowledge what and how to do, but the best way to get it is trying out almost everything that come to your mind. Now, I prefer a basic equipment.
Anyway, I'm looking for a simple two channels MIDI for my VDJ... :)
It is better to contact a company that will help you with this. It would be better to create some application with the help of which even beginners could easily create melodies. It will be very good for those who want to understand how it works and speeds up the learning process. Then, from a simpler application, you can move on to a complex one, here the functionality is much more.
I think that even the best music software will not replace hardware in terms of sound quality and capabilities. But if you are a hobbyist and making music is like a hobby for you, then it might be better to invest in good software and a powerful computer.