Disco tech

Play and mix tunes in the club or studio with this powerful software.

DJ software for portable and personal use has gotten so powerful and capable that it's becoming indistinguishable from expensive pro-level applications. Xylio's FutureDecks Pro is typical of the new breed of DJ software, with all the bells and whistles, but it offers many useful tools that other applications don't. Features like video mixing and vinyl timecode compatibility are pulled together in a single package that can do the job in clubs, live performances, outdoor venues, and even the studio. Its features are too many to list, but some highlights include full compatibility with major external controllers and MIDI interfaces, VST effects, a selectable MasterTempo "KeyLock" feature, ASIO compatibility, vinyl simulation and effects, song preview, beat-matching, and many sampling, syncing, mixing, and looping options.

FutureDecks' interface is sleek and stylishly skinned but crowded with controls. However, it's logically laid out and easy to figure out, thanks to panel-like groupings of related controls. There are duplicate controls for the two decks it can handle, which can be turntables or CD decks, as well as the video controls and a browser/playlist management window. As with most top-level DJ software, FutureDecks performs best in conjunction with a superior sound card with external outputs and turntables, CD decks with DJ-oriented features, or similar audio/video gear.

FutureDecks Pro's free trial version is limited to 20 minutes per session. It leaves folders behind in the program files when it's uninstalled. It's cross-platform capable, running in Windows versions up to Vista and Mac OS X.

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