Mixxx is a free, open-source DJ mixing console that turns your digital music collection into the source for a full range of mixing, programming, and effects for recording or live presentation. While all you need is a PC or laptop to use Mixxx, it can also control two turntables, even analog turntables, with special time-synched media. By using Mixxx's Vinyl Control with one of several time-synched records, you can control your digital music just like your analog records. Mixxx enables scratching, hot cues, looping, and other effects, in addition to its core mixing and equalization features.
Mixxx's stylish light-on-dark interface has identical controls for Channel 1 and Channel 2 on either side of a central window that is itself divided into dual players above, and library and playlist features below. Each identical Channel has cueing controls, including four HotCue buttons, In, Out, and Reverse buttons, a button to exit reloops, and a sample rate slider alongside a pair of Up and Down arrows for making temporary and permanent changes. There's also a slider for volume levels as well as rotary buttons for High, Mid, and Low levels as well as Gain, Synch and Key buttons, and other controls. Most of Mixxx's library and playlist features will be familiar to anyone who has used an MP3 player; likewise, loading songs in the two players is easy, as is playing them, adjusting the levels, and other basic controls, though we're glad Mixxx offers such extensive and detailed assistance, too. Clicking Help offered two choices, Community Support and About, neither of which sounded promising. But Community Support linked to a page full of resources, including an extensive manual with a Beginner's Guide as well as a wiki, a forum, and more.
That's how we learned about how Mixxx can interact with real analog turntables via its Vinyl Control feature. To use this feature, you must have at least one turntable and a special vinyl disk that contains digital time codes that Mixxx can read. It's complex, but it enables DJs to use their favorite turntables and control digital music using familiar gestures. Bottom line: Mixxx kicks. Get it!