I’ve noticed lately that as DJing tools get deeper and deeper in features, what was once mid-to-high level is now available for really low dough.
Example 1. You could spend $500-2000 on Serato or you could just spend 100 bucks on this combo:
Mixxx (free and open source) + Ebox-44 ($100) will give you just about all the functionality of the original version of Serato Scratch Live. The Ebox has been getting good reviews and the Mixxx software has really come of age. All you have to do is add turntables,mixer, and 2 Serato records. Speaking of Serato…
2. If you’d rather use a midi controller and not mess the added expense and weight of a vinyl setup you could easily use Mixxx with a midi controller. Perhaps an even better solution would be to grab a Numark Mixtrack Pro for $150-250 and use Serato’s DJ Intro (which trumps the LE versions of Virtual DJ and Traktor in terms of FX and jog wheel performance).
3. Given the dominance of Serato Scratch Live (and on the controller-front Traktor Pro) you can often find good deals online or in music shops on other lesser known DJ software that didn’t really catch on. I’ve seen M-Audio Torq. Cross,and Mixvibes packages sell for dirt cheap on clearance and second-hand. All of those are actually usable solutions. I still use Torq every weekend without a crash and Torq 1.5 works great on my backup netbook (more on that later). Even if you don’t like any of those softwares you can just use the bundled audio interface with Mixxx.