Image-Line, the creators of FL Studio, have entered the DJ software market with 'Deckadance' which boasts some features that, if work, would make this the ultimate DJ mixing application.
Most mixing programmes are designed specifically for a particular controller; they usually come bundled when you buy the hardware. Deckadance is slightly different because it works with nearly every midi controller and timecoded vinyl systems available. It can also host any VST compliant effect or softsynth, which it does pretty well when you consider how other dj software has failed. It can be used as a VST itself inside your favourite host... having the ability to control your mp3/wavs, playing your vinyl/cds and mixing it all up with some crazy loop work in Ableton has got to be the complete dj package... heck, anybody not doing this soon is going to get left behind.
Okay, so lets get down to the nitty gritty: The interface is fantastic, it feels as though you're using an expensive mixing unit that's extremely easy to use. Everything is clear and concise, with a help feature that explains every knob in detail when you highlight it... after about half an hour with Deckadance I pretty much had total control of the programme. Setup was easy too, install it, tell it what soundcard to use, what time-coded vinyl/cd controller you're using (or not) and you're good to go. The midi learn feature makes adding any midi controller a breeze too, just click the parameter, twiddle a knob on your hardware and its automatically assigned to it.
The sound quality of the whole Deckadance package is superb, the bundled effects sound great and the onboard EQ is more than adequate with 3 sliders and 3 kill switches. The onboard sampler and Relooper are like something from the expensive Pioneer EFX unit... a feature to allow the user to use EQ and effects on the recorded sample would have been nice though.
Quite an interesting addition to the package is the ability to control DMX (Digital Multiplex) supported lighting equipment such as strobes and smoke-machines with a rather nifty looking DMX Sequencer which is going to be an optional module.
So is this the ultimate DJ mixing application? Nearly, I think they've sacrificed a few technical trick possibilities so they could keep the interface simple though nobody is really going to miss those when they've got it running through another sequencer as a VST amongst their other softsynths and samplers.