The creators of Fruity Loops aka FL Studio (Image Line software) have just announced a new DJ application called DeckaDance, and this thing looks like the answers to our prayers. We here at CDM love applications that don’t tie you into a specific controller/hardware/control vinyl solution. DeckaDance seems to have everything we’ve ever wanted in a DJ application, and not only does it support several different types of control vinyl, it actually has a learn mode to adapt itself to new types! Add the fact that it’s a VST host capable of hosting both effects AND instruments, and is capable of operating as a VST plugin as well, and I think we have something that will truly change the face of DJing (unlike some other recent products). Here’s a run-down of some of the more notable features:

  1. Works as standalone or VSTi plugin
  2. Hosts VSTi soft synths & FX in 8 slots
  3. 8-slot sampler that samples from the decks
  4. 6 inputs & 12 outputs
  5. Supports Final Scratch, Serato Scratch, MixVibes and (our favorite) Ms Pinky vinyl
  6. Capable of learning new vinyl control systems

  7. Auto-sync

Most surprisingly, it says that a Mac / Audio Units version is planned, in addition to the current Windows version. With the availability of Image-Line’s Poizone and Toxic III soft synths for OS X, perhaps it’s not as big a surprise as it would have been a few years ago, but it’s nice to see ImageLine pushing forward with multiple OS support (I’m guessing that a Linux/Jack port is further down the line :-) .

The only glaring omission I see so far is a lack of support for FLAC files (although it does support MP3, WAV and Ogg), but I’m sure we’ll see that in a future version. No release date has been set, although Image-Line says it’s coming “real soon”. If the performance aspect is there, and if this thing has a similarly powerful workflow and rock-solid stability like it’s sequencer brethren Fruity Loops, I think Traktor (and DJ Decks, and Torq, and everything else) is in for some serious competition.

A demo is already available.

DeckaDance Sneak Preview

Ed.: This is just the sort of thing we’ve been waiting for. A full-featured DJ plug-in that works inside other apps means you can add DJ sets to your existing live sets, scratch during a performance … the lines between DJing and performance continue to blur. And an open DJ app could finally free the full-time DJs from reliance on hardware/software platforms, at just the right moment as Final Scratch customers got burned by the Native Instruments – Stanton divorce. We’ll watch this closely, for sure. -PK

  • Funaki

    kinda like djdecks featurewise, but a better gui.got to wait and see how it holds up.any price mention?

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    No price yet. djDecks is also on our A+ list for supporting multiple vinyl control schemes, and it's both cheap and actually tried & tested. But while you can load plug-ins into djDecks, djDecks itself is standalone only. "Wait and see how it holds up" — yep, definitely.

  • http://www.myspace.com/onyxashantisinterstellarribshack onyxashanti

    i have been waiting for just this piece of software since my PC-DJ red, days! proper djing from within fruityloops is too amazing to contemplate and i'm already excited by the beta they released last month!

  • Damon

    The potential here for incorporating a DJ ethic/energy into songs being produced in DAW's is just mouth watering. Imagine what you could do with this in Ableton Live. Mix your own tracks or even half way done tracks into other tracks to generate hybrid moods like never before. Why go with just sound design when you can delve into song design?

  • Oli

    can it re-lock to your host's master tempo after a free-spin "scratch" input?

    (this is pretty damn cool either way).

  • te2rx

    That look-ahead beat-shuffling grid in the demo is the coolest built-in DJ effect ever. The program itself is pretty buggy but the fact that it can run as a VST effect makes it very promising. No silly midi sync / audio loopback tricks like I had to do to get Traktor into Ableton.

  • asger

    ms.pinky has been able to run as a plugin (vst/au) for over a year now, so that feature isn't really that groundbreaking.

  • http://www.corporation.tk corporation

    very interesting…

    might end up using the torq (ms pinky) vinyl and my indigo i/o with this instead of conectiv/torq…

    will have to wait until it's more stable though…

  • http://www.onlyhousemusic.org Nicholas Vegas

    Thas quite Interesting , i like specially the VST & The VST Host Idea , but damn again in dark.

    Is there no developer/designer who trys out if GUI colorus matches after 5 Gin'n'Tonic and if , are they still readable , cause usually the most part of Djs are not literally Catholic Highschool boys ;)

  • Esrom Cole

    I'm curious as to how the VSTi hosting works. Can you sequence from inside the app or is it just geared for playing VSTi's live? hmm.

  • Pingback: DeckaDance: Die Dj-Soft Killerapplication ? - DJ - Deejayforum.de - DJ Equipment - Schallplatten - DJ Tools - Electronic Music

  • nonstatic

    if the vinyl control works solidly, i may switch over from djdecks. at the same time, i have been running djdecks solidly for a year now. yet i am already a FL user. both apps are primarily programmed by 1 person in belgium…i can't decide!

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Asger — big fans here of the Ms. Pinky VST plug-in, as well; that's part of why this caught our interest. But this looks a whole lot more mature.

    As for VST hosting … I don't think it has sequencing capabilities, no. If you wanted a sequencer, you'd probably take something like Live as your host and run DeckaDance as a plug-in.

    Nicholas, I'm surprised you don't like light foreground on back background. I find high-contrast UIs much easier to use live for practical, not aesthetic reasons. I even prefer writing and coding with light text on a dark background; it feels easier on the eyes. (Or maybe I just miss DOS.) But guess that's an argument for skinning; to each his or her own.

  • http://www.myspace.com/thesourpussdjs Grum

    Looks cool – I like ms pinky but the plugin version is pretty basic. I also cant stand the GUI of ms pinky – I know you can change the colours but its still so ugly it puts me off using it.

  • DarkCraft

    Re. question on VST hosting – if this app can host VSTs then it can host EnergyXT – in which case you should be able to sequence from within it.

    Personally I'm far more interested in being able to manhandle my samples through effects and record both the result AND (please god) the motion through midi outflow :o

  • http://www.myspace.com/concencrate ConcenCrate

    the possibility to use it within live as vsti is great, but i still miss a record-movement-to-midi-out function! When will the time come when i can finally fit samples in a sequencer with my turntable? I'm a dj and prefer working with hands on hardware, although i like working with my software like ableton live! This must be eliminated finally, cos it sucks.

    I found about a tool(reactivision) that maybe lets me translate recordmovements into midi with just a simple webcam over the turntable, but i still have to try it.

  • http://www.onlyhousemusic.org Nicholas Vegas

    @ Peter:

    Skins are not really needed , but maybe color schemes definitivly would be a nice idea,

    i still prefer the metallic eye friendly Traktor 2.6 Look in a (as usual) dark booth.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Oh, yeah, I should have said color schemes… I was thinking Live-like skins, which are really schemes. I think everyone's vision is wired differently. Jaymis, for instance, loves looking at tiny type, which I can't stand. ;)

    ConcenCrate, Ms. Pinky can translate vinyl movement to data, which people have hooked up to various unusual things (video, instruments, vibrating furniture). MIDI isn't ideal for translating the output data from vinyl, though. What are you trying to control; maybe I don't understand?

  • http://www.myspace.com/concencrate ConcenCrate

    @Peter: I just want to control Ableton Live with a turntable. Like one would use Ms Pinky or Deckadance i would like to control every single track in live by record movements. Example: When i try to beatmatch a accapella copied from a record to a selfmade beat i need to warp, but instead of warping by hand i want to syncronize the beats like when mixing and fading from one beat to another in total sync.

    If one record is playing ahead like a few miliseconds i tap on the record and correct it.

    I want to do the same on Abelton Live or any other sequencer! I takes time to manually correct things by mouse! I hope you get what i mean… Its a lil bit hard to describe, cos i have to translate.

    Basically i just want to control the tracks(wether it be samples or beats) in Ableton Live just like i control records on turntables and i want to beatmatch them by records! Now if the DJ-Tool would be sending midi out i could e.g. correct the bpm by records instead with a mouse. i got almost unlimited ideas about controlling things with records.

  • http://sonsofjob.blogspot.com Augmentalist

    ConcenCrate, if you look into Ms. Pinky you can see

    that the Max/MSP plugin would allow you to map the

    control signals to any midi event, at least in regards

    to:

    "unlimited ideas about controlling things with

    records"

    A proper Max setup and Pinky can do most anything

    from a control signal. Also note the use of Jitter

    and Pinky for video

    One of the thing I got good with is opening

    multiple Ms. Pinky's and using a control surface

    to quick map inputs to the record player.

  • http://www.myspace.com/concencrate ConcenCrate

    @Augmentalist: For some time i try to get it here in germany, but it's not available anywhere. Its not distributed anywhere it seems. i know that it allows me to use the record and i've read before that it sends out midi, but as i already had mixvibes and still own a vinyl, it would be great if deckadance could do it, so i don't need to import it. the availability is the main problem for me. its not even available on ebay…

  • http://sonsofjob.blogspot.com Augmentalist

    I know Scott from Ms. Pinky and I know he has shipped

    overseas.

  • http://www.myspace.com/concencrate ConcenCrate

    i know its available for overseas, but i want to buy it here localy. Its too much hassle for me to order it and fetch it from and pay the customs.

  • http://www.spusps.com Alan D. (Lurker Extr

    You know, I'm not a DJ…. just into 'cool' stuff. But I gotta say that I just tried the Demo and this seems like the thing that could get me into DJing! (If the price is right, that is) I've been using Ableton (Lite, came with my Axiom 49) and I REALLY like how you can set the range of sliders/knobs that correspond to full ranges from your midi device. I suppose I'd like to see some more flexibility in the midi assignment department. Also, the idea of plugging in Glitch (since it's free!!!) is just too exciting. I see a dual screen Live/Deckadance + Glitch Threesome happening in the future (neither near nor far.)

  • DarkCraft

    DEMO! wheredemo :o

    From what's been said above about midi not being a particularly good medium to capture turntable movement for sequencing, agreed it's all a bit crude but what's the answer then?

    (lets say I wanted to record a turntable performance and tweak it later to get it sounding perfect, or apply the same scratch to a different sample.)

  • http://selfdestroyer.com Selfdestroyer

    I hope it supports Final Scratch 1.5 hardware.. I have it just sitting around and it would be nice to use it again.

  • http://kief.net/ Valis

    Depending on how this is setup, using midi doesn't necessarily constrain you to 128bits.

    I use traktor3 with fs input & a midi controller. Often in the studio, especially when I am mixing material that is "off the beaten path", I just use a midi controller with 8 faders & knobs. 4 knobs for each channel's eq, the far left 2 & far right 2 faders for coarse & fine pitch, and the center faders for the volume controler. For the coarse & fine pitch controls I use PITCH data, which is 14bit resolution and usually accurate to 3/100ths of a % (.02 > .04 or .05) when I constrain the fine pitch range to +/- 4%. The coarse adjustment gets me 'in the ballpark' then I use the fine pitch to dial it in, so to speak, completely avoiding any need to have proper beat grid markers for my tunes. Nudge is assigned to momentary switches and different encoder groups allow access to the fx, the crossfader etc. I actually use 3 knobs for the crossfader to facilitate interesting crossfader moves (one for left position, one for center and one for right position).

    Also, I would imagine that this pitch data is quite easily recorded in a main sequencer, as well as any midi data, since as a vst plugin it won't matter how the data reaches the track that this is inserted on. How you record it & then route it back later is going to depend on the sequencer (and won't work at all for Logic 5.x users =p ).

    I can really see using this in live to get past my main complaint about integrating dj material into Ableton Live sets. Grid aligned (timestretched) mixing of dj tunes is quite boring for me to do, even with extra material flown in. If I go that route presently I usually chop a tune into a variety of shorter sections & do live on the fly remixing. Or of course I use final scratch/traktor. I can also see using this in Bidule for other types of fun, and creative control mapping or generating.

  • http://www.myspace.com/thesourpussdjs Grum

    Surely with only 127 steps MIDI isn't detailed enough to properly represent scratching or fine-tune beatmatching.

  • yermo

    whooa. must have. i'm ļooking forward to try it with my xone3D and ableton.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Hey, Fred, I get easily distracted, it's true. But why shouldn't a truly creative DJ be a musician? We're here to look at the tools, not because they have inherent value, but on the contrary — because in the hands of someone who masters them, they can be real musical instruments, period. I've heard my share of DJs who are basically operating a CD player, but it's worth it to me just for that occasional master turntablist — not like there aren't boring pianists and guitarists, too. Think whatever you like about the site, but it's not fair to say DJing isn't music.

  • DarkCraft

    re. fred's comment – consider the potential advantages of taking a tactile hold over recorded sound of any sort, from the merest fingerstroke up; it's a potential potter's wheel of audio synthesis.

  • Selfdestroyer

    Well I played with this for about 2 hours lastnight and I really like it. I am a Final Scratch user and can deffinetly see myself upgrading to this. I loaded a few glitch and bitcrunching VSTs in and it worked great. I will definetly keep my eye on this.

  • wallace winfrey

    The paper models made it onto several music sites, including matrixsynth.blogspot.com. CDM is a blog, not Computer Music Journal. Lighten up a little. You don't have to like every post that comes along. Also, you're being a bit disingenuous when it comes to your snark about DJ software. You were definitely implying that DJ software articles had no place on CDM. How DJ software is out of place on a blog called Create Digital Music is beyond me anyway. Maybe you hadn't noticed, but a lot of producers use DJ software these days for on-the-fly remixes of their tracks in live performances.

  • wallace winfrey

    Fred, maybe we wouldn't have to infer so much from your statements if you'd just clearly explain what it is you're upset about, and clearly, you are upset about something. You don't like paper models and DJ software blog posts on CDM. Why, I'm not exactly sure. Something to do with arts & crafts and Pro Tools, best I can guess. Perhaps you should go "have a career in music" on some other site with higher standards instead of trolling in the comments section of such an inferior blog. I mean, weren't you supposed to not come back about 3 posts ago?

  • nOah

    i've been playing around with deckadance and the BCD2000 (for which it is supposed to have native support). after finding the little graphic that lets you choose the controller, i immediately went for the jog wheels and pitch bends to see how they perform. not too good, and not really at all – at least not in a practical way. midi-learn didn't make a difference either. i wonder how many other devices will or will not work with it… perhaps they need to update the demo before a full version is unleashed…. although i realize they most likely have a lot more work to do.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Noah, what did the jog/pitch functions do specifically that was unsatisfying? As you say, possible it's just not implemented yet. What happens when you use the mouse instead? (That would indicate software / hardware support as the issue …)

  • Eric_s

    I hav djDecks…

    M-Audio Quattro w/ Serato Vinyls.

    Deckadence is so much more responsive DjDecks for sum reason.

    It feels more tighter, i cant believe it.

    the only thing that sux is the library/playlist layout.

    …it doesnt read the tags BPMs or Lengths

  • Luxgud

    Does it use the Z[lane algorithm as per FL Studio, Tracktor & Ableton Live ?

  • nOah

    Peter Kirn: the BCD and Deckadance don't play nice in the pitch bending category mostly with regard to the jog wheels. there is no response from them unless i hold down on the 'scratch' button on the controller and then move the wheel. what happens then is something that tries to resemble a piece of vinyl being slowed down and sped up… only it is overly sensitive and won't back-spin, just slows down and then speeds way way up when spun forward (out of proportion compared to the back-spin).

    the pitch bends, both plus and minus, are not as sensitive as they could be but i think this is personal preference. although if the jog wheel worked for pitch bending plus or minus, like it probably ought to, then i could live with the pitch bend buttons as they are.

    but somehow, the Xylio company nailed this with their humble dj app (B-DJ) that comes natively with the BCD2000 out of the box. which, like djdecks and deckadance, can use vst effects. it is also skinnable… but does not respond to any timecode.

    i think in reality these apps and the controllers that operate them (especially the controllers with wheels) should mimick CDj players if they really want to impress anyone looking for something to 'take the place' of CDs or vinyl… but i think this is a long way off if at all. unless we use something other than MIDI as the standard perhaps.

    which of course leads us to the limitations of the 128 control signals going to the pitch sliders. in the meantime, the external pitch control via CD or vinyl timecodes are the only real option if someone wants to dj their digital audio files… in my opinion.

  • nOah

    oh, forgot to mention that the mouse behaves the same way with regard to the wheel/pitch bending, with just a slightly different sensitivity and 'feel' to it all.

  • XQ28

    Yes Yes!

    Liking the killing of the exclusives!

    Question…Will deckadance work with NI's audio kontrol 1, and time encoded records (FS)…Audio kontrol has 2 inputs both mono, does the time encoding rely on stereo interpretation by the soundcard or can we go 2 rca to one 1/4??

  • http://www.d-jam.com D-Jam

    I tried the Deckadance demo with Final Scratch 2.0. It works even better than Traktor DJ Studio 3. Such a tight accuracy in the control with the FS Timecode. Great work…but when is the full release? According to the web site, which only has a coming soon and what looks like a date in the title bar…are we going to have to wait til OCTOBER?

  • nOah

    D-Jam, do you use vinyl or CD timecode?

  • Felix

    I cant get it to play. I click on the play button but the song doesnt start. I dont have an interface, do i need one?

  • http://www.myspace.com/euphonictk djmoya

    This looks really promising but still not a final release yet. I hope it gets support for virtualdj vinyls. Seems like a nice alternative to most popular dj software.

  • bleep

    Looks cool. Been a huge fan of FL for years, so hopefully this will be equally straightforward and fun to use.

  • seena

    guys .. um im a noob, and when i press the play button on deckadance nothing plays..

  • ezflow

    What a fuzz about being happy or not with a site and its' articles… If they don't like i9t.. Then just leave and don't take the effort anymore to post your childish comments on something you clearly don't have any opinion about…

    First nagging about and against dj-software… Then totally contrary stating otherwise…

    Put that time in making music and shut the f*** up if you haven't got anything better to do than whine about something you are not capable of yourself… Pussies

  • http://www.myspace.com/lucesybotones Mudo

    Maybe (if they make it hardware)