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Thread: Anybody Using Linux For DJing?

  1. #1
    Moderator DJ Bobcat's Avatar
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    Anybody Using Linux For DJing?

    I have been wanting to use Linux on a DJ computer for quite some time, but have never gotten past installing the DJ software. However, I think Iím going to give it another go, and this time Iím gonna spend the time required to get it working.

    Iím really getting fed up with Microsoft (Windows), and Iím not so thrilled with Apple either. Android is still too limited IMO, so perhaps itís time to give Linux a shot.

    I have a laptop with the Zorin (Linux) distribution installed. It has an Intel i3 CPU and 4GB of RAM, so itís a pretty low end computer, but it should be up to the task if I donít try to use it for more than mixing music. I also have an American Audio VMS 4.1 that I LOVED, but itís relegated to the storage bin since being replace by my current Denon MC6000MK2ís. This will be my basic setup, and I can add an additional mixer to the setup if need be.

    For software... thereís not a lot of choices. Iím gonna use Mixxx. Itís an Open Source application, so trying it costs nothing, and if it works out it still costs nothing. I tried an older version of Mixxx on this computer a while ago, and it wasnít the best experience. Hopefully the new version will work out better.

    If anybody is currently using a Linux platform for DJing, Iíd be VERY interested to hear your experiences? Post about your Linux DJ setup!
    Last edited by DJ Bobcat; 08-05-2019 at 09:31 PM.

  2. #2
    I have tried Mixxx and works and is pretty cool, having a good controller mapping is critical (you can map almost any controller but some of them require programming knowledge, which obviously not every dj wants to get into). I had some issues getting it to work with my Novation Twitch.. but that is a pretty odd controller. But I did get it to work somewhat decently. Luckily your VMS 4.1 is one which is officially supported (Mixxx Certified) so you are good to go and should definitely try it.

    https://www.mixxx.org/wiki/doku.php/..._compatibility

  3. #3
    Moderator DJ Bobcat's Avatar
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    Anybody Using Linux For DJing?

    Quote Originally Posted by light-o-matic View Post
    ... Luckily your VMS 4.1 is one which is officially supported (Mixxx Certified) so you are good to go and should definitely try it.
    Yep... I had already looked at the hardware compatibility list before I ever started down this road. They even have documentation for the installation and use of the MIDI map, which will be extremely helpful.

    I installed the latest version of Mixxx from their site last night. It didnít even require any command line entries like it used to. Linux is getting a little easier to use. I used to be a command line guy, but in my old age my memory ainít what it used to be (and it was never very good), so I end up having to look up the syntax every time I want to do anything. Now the GUI is not too bad.

    The new version of Mixxx works pretty good. There have been a TON of improvements over the last version I used. I havenít hooked my controller up yet. I hope to do that today, but I did a little mixing with it and everything but the KEY change worked as youíd expect it should. Changing the key on a track totally messed it up, and I had to restart Mixxx to get tracks to play correctly again. I donít know if the problem is due to having an underpowered computer, or whether itís a software issue. Everything else seems to work. I remember the reason I ditched this project the last time was because there were frequent pauses and skips when playing tracks, which made it essentially useless. I experienced none of that last night. Now, last night was not the best test because Mixxx found all the crates, playlists, and tracks from my previous installation, even though I had removed the old version before installing the new one. All my tracks were already analyzed from before. Iíll need to add some new tracks that have not been analyzed to see if it will analyze a track as itís loaded in one deck while playing another track without skipping. Iíll also need to try building a new crate and playlist while a track is playing. I used the Auto DJ function last night and it worked flawlessly.

    I have another more powerful Linux computer I can use to see if the Key change issue is a computer problem or a software problem. Itís actually a 1U rack-mounted computer I used to DJ with, but it had Windows 7 on it back then. Iíve been using it as a Linux computer in my Art Studio because I wanted to use some Linux tools that are not available for Windows.

    Not sure how much time Iíll have for this project today. I have other projects Iím working on at the same time. This one has me intrigued though.😊
    Last edited by DJ Bobcat; 08-06-2019 at 07:09 AM.

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    Moderator DJ Bobcat's Avatar
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    If Mixxx does not work out, thereís always the option of installing Traktor on my Linux laptop using Wine. Iíve read on the Native Instruments forum that others have had success with it, so it could be a viable alternative. Virtual DJ works on Wine as well, but Iím a Traktor user, so that would be my first choice. It looks like Traktor works up to Version 2.6, but nobody Iíve found has tried version 3 with Linux. I might just give it a try.😊


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  5. #5
    Moderator DJ Bobcat's Avatar
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    Anybody Using Linux For DJing?

    OK... Traktor did not work. I installed Traktor Pro 2.2 and it installed but the application would not run. Then I tried installing version 2.7, but it would not even install; said it needed Windows 7. The Native Access Installer would not install either; same error message. So it looks like itís Mixxx or maybe Virtual DJ. I do own a copy of Virtual DJ that I tried for a short time a couple of years ago. Maybe Iíll give it a try. I might also try updating Wine.

  6. #6
    I've only used Mixx and the free version of VDJ. But I would think a full version of VDJ would be a lot better than Mixx. I personally don't think Mixx is as user friendly as most othe DJ programs.

    I use SSL and Abelton Live most often.
    I used to use Serato DJ and MixMeister Fusion but that was mainly because of my controllers (Pioneer DDJ-SR & Numark MixMeister).

    I find that I prefer Serato Scratch Live over Serato DJ and Ableton Live over MixMeister Fusion.
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  7. #7
    Moderator DJ Bobcat's Avatar
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    Anybody Using Linux For DJing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Windows 95 View Post
    I've only used Mixx and the free version of VDJ... I personally don't think Mixx is as user friendly as most othe DJ programs...
    Have you tried the latest version of Mixxx??? It's actually quite good. The UI is pretty intuitive and the setup with my American Audio VMS 4.1 was VERY simple... easier than Traktor by far. Here’s a pic of my little experimental setup...



    ... Ignore the little AKAI AMX and Alto mixer on the left. That's a DIFFERENT experiment.
    Last edited by DJ Bobcat; 08-06-2019 at 01:46 PM.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Bobcat View Post
    ... Ignore the little AKAI AMX
    I forgot what it was called but it looks kind of like the controller for Torq. Which was sort of popular back when almost everybody was using SSL & Traktor Scratch.

    I think M-Audio made the Torq controller.
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  9. #9
    Moderator DJ Bobcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Windows 95 View Post
    I forgot what it was called but it looks kind of like the controller for Torq...
    The AKAI AMX is a nice little mixer/midi controller, with built-in sound card. It comes with DJay Pro and Serato Lite, but Iím using it with Traktor and it works GREAT!!!... I had no backup for the controller in my Large (rack) System, so thatís what this will be used for. The only drawback is it has no microphone input, thus the Alto 5 channel mixer. The Alto provides a wired mic input as a backup for the one in my controller. Both mixers were sitting on my table when I took the picture of my Linux/VMS 4.1 system.

  10. #10
    Moderator DJ Bobcat's Avatar
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    Anybody Using Linux For DJing?

    It looks like the Acer laptop is just not gonna work. Even though it runs better with Mixxx 2 than with the previous version, it still has annoying blips when loading a track on one deck as the other plays, and it does the same thing when itís analyzing a track while one is playing. Itís better, but not good enough to use for a real event.

    I did however prove the concept, and I was able to configure and use my American Audio VMS 4.1 with it. I actually like it. So whatís the next step???... I have another laptop I could try. Itís running Windows 10 at the moment, but I could just pull the disk drive out a put a new one in, and load Linux on it. Or... I could put a Nano computer in my controller case and use a monitor with it. I donít use laptop computers with my other systems because I donít like the screen size. My monitors are much larger. I also have an AIO computer Iím not currently using. Thereís options.😊
    Last edited by DJ Bobcat; 08-06-2019 at 09:10 PM.

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