When you’ve got a revenue stream, great things happen. And commercial software is held to the highest standard, largely because DJs have forked out directly for it, or had it bundled with hardware. But imagine that you want to create similar software, but have no budget and no plans to charge for it any time soon. That has been the guiding light of the guys at Mixxx, who have just released v2.1, and with it comes some major updates.

Here’s the important stuff from the announcement on the Mixxx forum:

After two years of hard work, we are pleased to announce Mixxx 2.1 beta. We have overhauled the effects system, redesigned the skins, added and improved lots of controller mappings, rewrote the audio file decoders twice, and of course fixed a bunch of bugs. Windows, macOS, and Ubuntu users can download installers here. Updated installers will be available whenever we make changes to the code until the 2.1 release, so keep checking back for new installers. Ubuntu users can also install packages from the PPA and use apt-get to stay up to date. If you want to use 2.1 beta on a GNU/Linux distribution other than Ubuntu, you can compile it from source code.

Here is a quick summary of what is new in Mixxx 2.1:
* Graphical interface scales for high resolution screens
* Overhauled Deere and LateNight skins
* New Tango skin
* Resizable waveforms
* Effects are synchronized to the tempo
* Effects are processed post-fader and post-crossfader and can be previewed in headphones
* One metaknob per effect with customizable parameter control for intuitive use of effect chains
* Nine new effects: Autopan, Biquad Equalizer, Biquad Full Kill Equalizer, Loudness Contour, Metronome, Parametric Equalizer, Phaser, Stereo Balance, Tremolo
* Loaded effects and their parameters are saved and restored when Mixxx restarts
* More transparent sounding equalizers (Biquad Equalizer and Biquad Full Kill Equalizer)
* Improved scratching sounds with jog wheels, vinyl control, and dragging waveforms with the mouse
* Simplified looping and beatjump controls
* Configurable rows of 8 samplers with up to 8 rows available for a total of 64 samplers
* Files loaded to samplers are reloaded when Mixxx restarts
* Improved volume normalization algorithm (EBU-R 128)
* Filter library table by crates
* Sort musical keys in library table by circle of fifths
* Write metadata tags back to audio files
* New JavaScript library for controller mapping
* Configure multiple Internet broadcasting stations and use multiple stations at the same time
* Broadcast and record microphones with direct monitoring and latency compensation
* Broadcast and record from an external mixer
* Booth output with independent gain knob for using sound cards with 6 output channels without an external mixer
* Prevent screensaver from starting while Mixxx is running
* CUP (Cue And Play) cue button mode
* Time remaining and time elapsed now take into account the tempo fader
* Clicking cover art now shows it full size in a separate window
* and of course, lots and lots of bug fixes.

For the whole thing, go check it out here.

Let’s just underline this for you — Mixxx is fully featured DJ software for Mac, Windows, and Linux. It has a full effects engine, controller mapping, and DVS support. And it is completely free.

This is what happens when a group of like-minded people come together to build not only a decent product, but also a strong community who just get what the Mixxx guys are trying to achieve. There was a time when I urged them to think about monetising the project in some way. But in a world of large commercial outfits already extracting money from DJs, we need the little guys doing their own thing. I’m glad that they stuck to their guns, and steadily beaver away at making Mixxx better with every release.

open source DJ software Mixxx 2.1

What I do like about Mixxx is that they’re not restricted by the worry of revenue generation to keep it alive. This gives them the freedom to think a little outside of the established norms in other DJ software. Real innovation happens in projects like this. Granted, it’s not as pretty or polished as the ones that you pay for, but there’s definitely some very neat tricks in there.

Mixxx v2.1 has hit public beta for Mac, Windows, and Linux — download installers here. As a guide, the latest Mac beta (which I suspect are early betas) has crashed for me while analysing tracks, so don’t go using it where your career depends on it.

That said, bloody good work Mixxx people.


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