I'm at a bit of a crossroads... but I think djay is too

I’m changing how I’m doing a few things with my Djaying. I’ve been a big advocate for algoriddm djay for a number of years and I particularly loved using the Numark iDJ Pro with iPads docked as a great way to be a mobile djay.

I’ve upgraded my hardware (in terms of iPads to the Pro, But actually djaying more from a MacBook and moved to Reloop Mixon 4) and have started to work on other elements of my performance such as as visuals and lighting.

I bought a soundswitch control one which is an incredible bit of kit - and it’s really ramped up the look and feel of the lighting. However, what it highlights is areas where the grid isn’t always 100%. The music I djay, I do it mostly by ear than using the beat grid so was finding the lights weren’t working to the same 4 beats as the music was playing (must add I was using the ableton link way of using soundswitch). A lot of my music would change tempo and sometimes even time signature mid track, and for these instances the beat grid not being adjustable across a track is now a big issue as any lighting integrations are fixed to the beat grid which is way off what is happening in the track.

I also found to my huge surprise, that despite the capability of my M2 MacBook Pro, the video output on djay is limited to 720p?? The idea of having a big 4k 8m screen behind me, and the visuals being at 720p is mad - it’s well short of where it needs to be.

With these concerns in mind, I’ve invested in licences to Serato and Virtual DJ to see if either can sort my issues and be better for my overall use. And my result has been very much a mixed bag. To be honest Virtual DJ (surprisingly) has been the closest to sorting out my issues, the beat grid is fully adjustable and can be varied across a track, the output for video is 4k and the software integrates fully with soundswitch without having to go through ableton so there its actually a bonus. However, the virtual DJ user interface is extremely clunky and even with the various user made skins available, nothing has a layout that suits me the way djay does.

Serato has good beat grid adaptability and again the integration with soundswitch out of the box which is great, and the video output is also full HD, however, the stems functionality on Serato is very poor compared to both djay and virtual dj.

I’ve got a lot of big gigs coming up towards the end of the summer and in to end of the year, I’m looking to have everything tip-top soon - I guess what I’m wondering is - do we think djay are likely to address the 3 issues I have in a future (soon to be released) update, or am I going to have to bite the bullet and move to virtual DJ?

Its frustrating as I love djay, its interface is really clean, I know it inside out and it works well, however, the basic requirements for me (and many dj’s) has moved on and whist the others don’t have the user interface as well refined as djay, the functionality trumps that.

I just don’t know what to do. I don’t want to spend my time getting familiar with djay and adjusting all my tracks to their beatgrid setup to then find djay adds all this and I’d come running back, but at the same time, if djay isn’t going to add these features I have to?

Any thoughts, or alternative ideas are welcomed! As you can probably tell by this post, I’m all over the place with this - its left me really unsettled


Alright, train of thought incoming:

First, I would always base my decision on what is currently there. Even if Algoriddim would promise us that things get fixed in the next update, we can’t know when this will come and whether this truly fixes the issues that you face as there might be bugs with new functionality or shortcomings of adjacent features that you would have expected to be there.

Second, switching DJ software is a huge hassle. DJCU and similar software makes this a lot easier for transporting cue points but especially adjusting beat grids just takes forever. I’m currently experimenting with rekordbox and have spent countless hours on doing just that, even though it’s reportedly better at this than Serato and Virtual DJ. I’m at least 40+ hours into it and there’s still loads to come for my small-ish collection of around 1600 tracks. Especially live played music like rock, jazz or basically anything produced before the 2000s will be tough for you and just takes a lot longer than you would expect at first. I wouldn’t say it’s unreasonable to expect around a month of work for around 2000 tracks. Yes, you will get faster along the way but it’s also strenuous work that you can’t do back to back of a lot of.

Side note: Beat grids in my eyes is actually an area in which djay excels up to the part where it fails. You spend so little time on it when using djay because you can only shrug your shoulders at it when it gets stuff wrong. But this only happens in like 5% of my music collection. The rest is pristine, even with those live played tracks and even for devilishly difficult songs like Metallica’s Master of Puppets.

Lastly, while you’re looking at alternatives, you might want to consider Engine (from Denon DJ) and rekordbox as well as they have great standalone hardware which is a big upgrade for your way of DJing and not possible with the brands you mentioned. You would have to change your controller as well, though, for the best experience, even if you want to stick to playing with a computer attached, as Reloop’s Mixon 4 is not compatible with either of the two (rekordbox allows you to MIDI map but only if you subscribe while using their software with “official” Pioneer hardware is free).

PS: I’m surprised you found Serato’s stems to be lacking as they have repeatedly come out on top in comparisons between different stems implementations, especially in terms of quality. But yes, you lose the EQ-like functionality from djay.


This is such an interesting topic, and I share so many of your sentiments. I am an avid djay user because of its screen reader capabilities, and it would be very difficult for me to switch to anything else.

Saying this, however, I still run into some annoying difficulties that seem to never get fixed. We remain Hopeful that the next update will sort one thing out. However, it seems to break something else.

Overall tho this app does the job and I love the user interface. Let’s wait patiently for the next update.

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I’m of the mind that Algoriddim’s devs have been holding back somewhat in the face of a few changes coming from some of their technology partners:

Apple is rolling out their silicon like a Casey Jones and his freight train, which puts users of Intel-based Macs (such as myself) in jeopardy of being unsupported by djay sooner than later…but with Apple’s DAW Logic (and their video editing suite Final Cut…I forgot this one because I’ve been more focused on DaVinci Resolve from Blackmagic, which has been on ipad since the beginning of the year) for iPad, the MIDI and video integrations in djay may be able to take the leap forward people here are looking for in terms of lighting control and video resolution. Stay tuned on this one folks: this is the biggie.

Second, MQA has declared bankruptcy, so Tidal is pivoting to 24bit/192kHz Master Quality files. This is awesome in that CoreAudio already supports this resolution; so again, stay tuned for Tidal and djay to resolve the partial track load/playback freezing issues some have had. (If anyone is participating in Tidal’s EAP, I’d love to hear if you already have access through djay and can use “highest” resolution in your settings…for all anyone knows, the API may already work)

So, for folks wanting the highest resolutions for audio AND video in djay, let me ask this: Are you building RAID arrays to carry with you to your shows, loaded with your libraries? We’re getting into “mobile speeds and venue wifi may no longer be sufficient” territory…


Just to put some more weight behind this argument, here’s Phil from Digital DJ Tips talking about this: Switching DJ software, using FX, streaming [Live DJing Q&A with Phil Morse] - YouTube. He first talks about the pure “how to get this done” and then talks about why you only should do this if you’re very sure about why you’re doing it. Another thing he mentions is also to look at the controllers that are supported with your new DJ software of choice as your DJ software controls what kind of DJ hardware you can use.


as a follow-up to my last post in this thread, I completely disregarded the “impending” or upcoming iOS 17 release that may take a number of things I mentioned into account, notably CoreAudio and CoreVideo improvements tailored to make for better/more efficient functioning and battery life. These will affect Tidal and djay undoubtedly, but we’ll have to wait to see what they end up being and decide how pleased we are with them, as usual.

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Thanks for these links, both really interesting. I hadn’t heard MQA went under, I cancelled my Tidal due to their snake oil, but would be tempted back for full flac.

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Early Access is available to Tidal subscribers to help them beta test before full release, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if djay works with 24bit/192kHz files because…well, CoreAudio has been able to for quite some time now (iPhone 4 era, IIRC…jeepers, that’s 10 years ago now; my current phone is a 14+ and I had a 4 or 4s back then, when I looked into it. LTE was just rolling, and now we’re doing 5G…I wonder if this is how my parents felt switching from a dial phone to touch tone on their landline?)

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Oh I hear you big time - this isn’t something I’m taking lightly which I guess prompted the post in the first place. I actually don’t want to move to a new platform and quite frankly dreading the thought of it, however, if I’m not getting the functionality that is required, and that’s available elsewhere then I’d be mad to not move?

Traditionally speaking algoriddm have released a big summer update. I was sort of waiting for that to see if anything had been addressed within that but as time goes on, and no update, it’s rolling me closer to the point where I need to be getting on with things and absolutely getting more familiar with a different platform.

Any transition is going to be scary - I DJ instinctively with djay, that won’t be the case with a new platform at least for the first few gigs - but when looking at the overall performance and experience from the crowd perspective, the results will be far and a way better


I unfortunately cannot make the switch so easily due to the fact that djay and virtual DJ are the only apps that support screen readers. Djays integration is a lot better than anyone else’s.

It would be really nice if they just could give us an update as to what their upcoming plans are.


I understand the plight indeed. DJay is dope but lacks the functionality. I held on as long as I could. I use it as a 3rd and 4th deck complimenting my 2 deck setup with Rane One and Serato. I use it for samples and drops. It’s really really dope using it this way until they open the floodgates. It seems like they should be dropping something really soon. Hopefully it’s the answer.

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Cool idea i would be interested in how you implememt this. Do you run DJ Pro and Serato on the same laptop?

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Patience is going to pay off in a big way…and in the not too distant future, either, I think:
Tidal is busy de-MQAing itself, Apple is tweaking iOS 17 for all devices (but it will shine on their silicon), and I’m sure algoriddim devs are quietly but diligently working away in relative obscurity to take advantage of all of this (see my earlier post in this thread) for djay users.


Anybody notice djay and Tidal apps both updated (for me, at least, on my iPhone) in the past 12-18h?
Tidal was clear about it being related to “6M+ 24/192 HiRes FLAC” but djay was more understated with “bugfixes and improvements”…
iOS17 is now in Public beta 2, and that generally means they’re within 4-6 weeks of release (unless something major pops up).
Anybody having any MAJOR issues so far, if you’ve done the app upgrades?

So, I use an iPad (the one I bought to use Djay Pro and ditch the laptop) connected to a Yamaha USB mixer. I use Serato, with Rane One controller, on the laptop and use DJay on the iPad as a standalone app. Both audio outputs are connected to the Yamaha. This setup gives me the best of both worlds…sort of. Trying to figure out how to implement Ableton Link and have everything synced up. Hope I was clear. lol

I’m surprised you say Serato’s stem integration is not as good as DJay Pro’s. From my experience, and what I’ve also heard from people like Mojaxx, is that Serato has one of the best stems functionality on the market. For example on the song Peter Piper by Run DMC, I can beat juggle the first kick and few bars without hearing any vocals on Serato 3.0 . With DJay Pro, I hear the faint sound of their voices in the background which is annoying. I haven’t messed with Virtual DJ as, like you, I didn’t like the UI. I hope you find what you’re looking for in a DJ software. Good luck!

I agree with this VDJ and Serato are leading the way for now when it comes to stems. Djay Pro AI will catch up and perhaps go even better, with new algorithms but of course we will all need higher spec iPad, iPhone, PCs to use. Which is why I just bought a iPad Pro 5th edition which I think has M1 chipset. Hopefully will be good for years to come. I do have a MacBook Air M2 for sale if anyone interested, UK only.