In-Depth Review of Rekordbox 6: the best dj software!

Powerful music management and DJ performance software solutions are offered in Pioneer DJ’s Rekordbox 6. You can effectively prepare your music files from different devices and synchronize changes in the cloud easily. Furthermore, you can smoothly connect your set’s tracks from an iPhone to CDJs for your performances.

           However, the question remains: Is the subscription price justified? Let us delve into the Rekordbox 6 Creative plan to determine if the pay-to-play model is the path forward.

The Price of Innovation: Pioneer DJ’s Rekordbox 6 Subscription Plans

           Since the world went through a massive lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, DJs coped by turning to live streaming on the internet. About this unexpected shift, Pioneer DJ has presented cloud syncing for music libraries. However, it comes with a price – a needed paid subscription plan.

Currently, there are two paid subscription tiers to choose from:

  1. Core – this is priced at $6.99 per month, usually $9.99.
  2. Creative – available for $9.99 with the offer (usually $14.99).

Both starting offers include a complimentary 30-day trial. A more detailed breakdown of the Rekordbox 6 subscription plan can be found here.

The new Rekordbox 6 ecosystem brings some thrilling features accessible to all with the free plan. For example, the Mobile Library Sync allows playlist syncing to Rekordbox iOS and playing music from an iPhone on a connected CDJ or XDJ. Keep in mind that the VDS control requires the Core subscription.

If you are curious about the top-tier Creative subscription, standout features can be found exclusively such as RMX effects, sequencer, video, Cloud Library Syncing to Dropbox, RMX effects, and lyric functions.

Timing aside, shifting towards subscription models is inevitable in the landscape of digital DJing. This trend includes the blooming integration of subscription music services into DJ software. Moreover, Rekordbox 6 now welcomes the Inflyte music promo service and Beatsource Link. This is in addition to prior support for SoundCloud Go+ and Beatport Link.

These streaming services offer the potential for auto-uploading offline tracks to Dropbox. However, all of these depend on your subscription level and you must use the new Cloud Library Sync feature.

Cloud Library Sync

           The library’s ability to synch across various devices is the core concept behind the Rekordbox 6 upgrade. This allows DJs to easily manage and prepare their tracks and playlists from any chosen device. Potential use of iOS devices for performances on compatible CDJ/XDJ equipment can be achieved.

           As of the moment, Cloud Library Syncing exclusively functions with Dropbox cloud storage. You can make use of the 2GB Dropbox plan or upgrade to the 2TB Dropbox Plus or 3TB Dropbox Professional.

           Once your Dropbox account is merged with Rekordbox 6, you can prepare and analyze your tracks as usual within Rekordbox. To upload individual tracks, playlists, or your entire collection to Dropbox, you can use the Cloud Library Sync option in the browser’s contextual menus.

           Furthermore, automatic synchronization of newly added songs to Dropbox can be guaranteed due to the Auto Upload feature. The synched audio files are kept on Dropbox. This permits you to either move or copy them to save storage space on your device.

           Rekordbox servers are the ones that store all track metadata, including playlists, grid information, cues, loops, BPM, and more. These servers sync any new metadata changes automatically approximately every 30 seconds.

           Cloud synching among up to four devices is made possible by the Creative subscription. This includes Mac and Windows computers and iOS devices. However, Rekordbox for Android does not yet support Cloud Library Sync.

           Whether you choose the free Mobile Library Sync or the Clous Library Sync, you still need the newly redesigned iOS app, currently formatted for iPhones. Although it functions on iPads as well, it provides an interface designed for iPhones.

Mobile Library Sync

           To make use of the Mobile Library Sync, your computer and iOS device must be connected to the same internet network. You can start this connection by clicking the Mobile Sync button within the Rekordbox desktop’s browser or from the app’s Settings.

           The updated Rekordbox for iOS integrates track preparation, simplifying tasks such as setting hot cues, loops, and memory cues. As well as editing grid information. The app showed exceptional speed and responsiveness even on a three-year-old iPad Pro.

           Moreover, you can use music synced from a computer or Dropbox. Importing songs directly from your iOS device’s storage into the Rekordbox app is also possible. After all these preparations within the app are achieved, you can sync tracks and playlists back to your computer and/or Dropbox.

           One note-worthy benefit of this new system is the ability to use your prepared and synced playlists and tracks to a gig using your iOS device. All you need to do is connect it via USB-supported CDJ players or XDJ systems.

           Furthermore, the seamless and speedy performance of the redesigned Rekordbox for iOS app is pretty impressive. Further enhancement of the ecosystem can be achieved due to the addition of an iPad version and an Android release.

3-Band Waveform & Vocal Position Detection

           Rekordbox 6 presents a 3-Band waveform option for visualizing audio waveforms in the browser Preview, along with the decks’ full and scrolling waveforms. This 3-band view symbolizes the audio’s low (blue), mid (orange), and high (white) frequencies.

           You can switch to the 3-Band waveform view within Preferences > View > Waveform, along with the existing options of Blue or RGB waveforms. The 3-Band waveform provides a systematic means of quickly assessing a track’s characteristics, specifically its bass-heavy sections.

Personal preferences may still prefer the multi-color RGB waveforms. However, the 3-Band waveform offers a genuinely novel and practical visual aid for understanding your music’s audio content.

Rekordbox now incorporates vocal content analysis for every track with the v6.0.1 update. However, this feature is limited to the Creative subscription. You must choose the Vocal option in Analysis Settings to analyze tracks. Meanwhile, you can choose the ‘Add New Analysis Data’ option from the contextual browser menu to access previously analyzed tracks in your browser.

Shaded blue segments alongside the audio’s full view and scrolling waveform will be displayed when vocals are detected in tracks. This feature allows fast identification of vocal sections within each track, preventing unintentional mixing of vocals.

As previously reported, vocal detection is reasonably precise but not perfect. Some blue vocal sections even when no vocals were present were found in approximately 20% of the tracks tested for vocal detection. Most of these errors could be credited to synthesizer sounds or samples that mimic autotuned or vocoded vocals but were not. However, these errors were generally delicate and improbable to lead to mixing vocal tracks. This is the primary purpose of vocal detection.

The more important but less recurring error occurred in about 10% of cases, where the vocal analysis was unsuccessful in detecting vocals in a track. This AI-based vocal detection likely depends on frequency and may miss vocals when instrumental frequencies are too similar. we can expect more improvements in accuracy with future updates because of its deep-learning nature.

Other New Features

Rekordbox 6 introduces a range of additional features worth exploring:

Ableton Link

           Ableton Link support in Rekordbox 6 can be enjoyed without needing Ableton Live music production software. This feature provides smooth synchronization of tempo and start/stop commands across various music systems over a wireless network.

Light UI Theme Option

           The new Light theme, available via the Menu bar (View > Skin > Light), changes the black motif with a white one. This change elevates visibility, particularly in bright conditions.

Auto Relocate

           Missing audio files in your collection can be searched using this option. To utilize Auto Relocate, you should first add potential audio folders to Preferences > Advanced > Database > Auto Relocate Search Folders. After it is configured, you can use File > Display All Missing Files and then click Auto Relocate in the resulting Missing File Manager box.

Lighting Mode Features

           Lighting mode is available via the Free plan and brings several new perks. This is in contrast with the DVS control, Video function, and Lyric function as they require paid subscriptions. The Lighting panel now provides three slots for DMX Direct Control settings and Ambient mode. Ambient mode highlights six selectable “Interludes”. It provides independent lighting effects regardless of track playback.

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           Just like us, you might still be wondering if you need the new features offered by Rekordbox 6. DJs have different needs, and it seems that many of these new features fall into the grandeur category rather than essential tools. Nonetheless, cloud storage for a DJ’s music and track metadata is undeniably beneficial. Especially for full-time and semi-pro DJs using Pioneer DJ’s advanced technology.

           Having an easily accessible and securely stored music and metadata collection can provide significant convenience and peace of mind. It is important to note that installing Rekordbox 6 will not replace Rekordbox 5 on your device. This will allow you to try version 6 without losing version 5. Moreover, 30-day trials are available for the paid subscriptions.

           If you’re uncertain about the required paid subscriptions, we understand your concerns. However, the outlook of DJing and technology is evolving towards monthly subscriptions and cloud connectivity and AI analysis symbolize the high-tech convenience of this shift.

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