Deckadance screen

Deckadance, from the makers of FL “Fruity Loops” Studio, is now shipping. No word on the Mac version in development, but Windows, at least, is shipping now. We’re excited to try it out for all the reasons we were when we first saw it, and now we have some additional details to flesh in:

  1. It hosts VST plug-ins. One of our big complaints with too many traditional DJ apps: you’re restricted to the included effects. Deckadance wisely allows you to use VST plug-ins. Like many of you, I’m not quite ready to give up Ableton Live, though, so that brings us to our next point:
  2. It will act as a VST plug-in. Drop Deckadance into any host program, and you can take advantage of its vinyl support capabilities and DJ tools while using everything you like about your host.
  3. It has some lovely effects of its own. The Juice Pack is included. I’ve been using these with FL Studio 7 as I test that, and it’s a nice bundle for US$99. $179 with Deckadance is a great deal, too. And since they’re VSTs, you can use them even when you’re not running Deckadance, in case you want some FX love in SONAR or Live.
  4. It’s cheap. US$179, or $149 during an introductory offer for May.
  5. It supports lots of MIDI controllers. Now confirmed: Vestax VCI-100, Behringer BCD2000 & 3000 (though interestingly not Behringer’s DJ controller), Allen & Heath Xone:3D, M-Audio X-Session, the ugly but serviceable Hercules DJ Console MP3 & MK II, and slick EKS XP10 are all supported out of the box.
  6. It supports lots of vinyl control systems. Rather than restricting you to one vinyl system, Deckadance “autolearns” the timecode used by various systems, and “has been tested with timecode vinyls & CDs from msPinky, Stanton FinalScratch, MixVibes, Serato Scratch Live, Virtual DJ & Torq.” Notably absent: NI’s upcoming Traktor Scratch. NI tells us they don’t think Deckadance will be able to reverse-engineer their timecode with support for absolute mode. We have heard, though, that absolute timecode (which allows you to needle-drop, etc.) on at least Ms. Pinky, so we’ll see if Image Line can reverse engineer NI’s system.

There are plenty of big questions here, of course, not the least being how this “autolearn” system will work and if it’s competitive with systems integrated out of the box, like NI’s Traktor Scratch. But after years of relative stagnation in traditional digital DJ systems, things are getting interesting. And, while I don’t expect this will be a huge market, I’m personally interested in ways of bringing vinyl techniques into other live performance setups in tools like Max/MSP, FL Studio, Live, through integration of plug-ins like the Ms. Pinky VST or Deckadance in VST mode.

Deckadance Product Page

  • anon

    "NI tells us they don’t think Deckadance will be able to reverse-engineer their timecode"

    LOL… Meaning:

    NI really hopes Deckadance will not be able to reverse-engineer their timecode


  • Ach, looks like it is two decks only, and I don't see any plans to add more. Very sad, because the feature set is quite nice otherwise.

  • I had to put in the mention of Traktor Scratch, as I believe we implied this was in-progress when the software was in beta based on information we'd received at the time.

    Good point about the deck support, Jack, and there are some reasons why this may not be for everyone — but that's why the competition, at least, is getting interesting.

  • onyxashanti

    deckadance is very cool but it is too little too late. i would have killed for this software before i discovered the holy combination of traktor running into reaper using the included ReaRoute ASIO driver. with that, i can run traktor AND FL studio AND whatever else i have on my harddrive, freely "rearoutable" with reapers patchbay.

    i was able to split traktor into seperate mono outputs to individual channels and put seprate effects on each WHILE playing with FL Studio in another few channels, then multitrack recorded the whole she-bang.

    i did play with deckadance though. nice, but nothing that touches traktor+reaper.


  • Does that give you sync, though, Onyx?

    The other way to go would be JACK or Soundflower on Mac or some other inter-app routing. And that again would give you Traktor, which many will still prefer.

  • onyxashanti

    hmmm…thats a good question. i'm sure it probably does, but i never tried because i only ever just needed them to play together…not in sync. i will try and see and report back

  • yermo

    tried this with my xone3D an got really excited. this gives me more features over tracktor because of the vst support and sampler. together in live this thing is rocking. few glitches as when loading new tracks in it, gui really slows down, but I didn't find any major problems. hope image line will keep developing this piece as i'm buying this. 🙂

  • Behringer BCD2000 & 3000 (though interestingly not Behringer’s DJ controller),

    Aren't those the Behringer DJ controllers?

    I tried the demo and thought it was similar to Traktor but not as nice looking or flexible.

    I would love to try Torq but there is no demo. That looks to be the best of the bunch to me.

    I agree with the to little too late as there are a dozen programs that do most of this. If you really want VSTs and all that then LIVE is a great choice.

    Also, if you put aside rewiring, effects, remixing, and all that, Ableton Live does the absolute best job of beatmatching bar none. With all the extra bling people seem to overlook that it does the smoothest mixes ever. You are mixing with all the beats matched not just the 1s of each bar. Maybe not the sexiest feature but probably the most important for a DJ.

    Just my 2 cents.

  • james

    the smooth beatmatching is exactly what's wrong with ableton for djs.. nothing more illustrative of a dj who's missed the point than the anodyne sound of perfectly matched perfectly quantised computer-music…

  • James, I tend to agree, but then beatmatching is only one DJ technique … so anyone's who's doing a set that's about quantization is probably missing the point, anyway. Ableton is capable of creating some insane sonic mayhem, too, and of making it easier to bring in performance elements, so that's where I think there's lots of potential.

    And I think what McManus is saying is right — but that should be all the more reason, with everything quantized in that way, to extend what's happening musically/sonically from that point.

  • i've tried it out with my vci-100.

    it doesn't seem to have the scratch start up problem that traktor has – but it's vinyl emulation seems too computer/robot/digital like. traktor seems to have deckadance beat in that department.

  • Guys, the degree to which your tracks are quantized is controlled by you. Assign fewer markers and don't use the global quantize function. Let's not get hysterical here.

    I never said you had to squish P-Funk tracks into Kraftwerk, but if you want to you can. Isn't that part of the insane sonic mayhem that Peter was getting at? You can't do that with Deckadance.

    Were talking about DJing software and my point was that in terms of beat matching ability Live has it on all others, hands down. Traktor can't even handle a couple shifts in tempo.

    Yeah, pile on all the extras if you like but I'm saying that Live is rock solid with the foundation, WHEN YOU CHOO-CHOO-CHOOSE TO USE IT. All the flashy extras of vst tempo synced effects, your vocodered mic freestyles, and rewired glitched synth pads aren't gonna add anything if the two tracks you have synced as a base are skittering about slightly out of sync.

    Peace in tha Middle East!

  • Evil Paul

    I've been looking forward to this one beacause of its' potential for computer-based scratching. For an idea of how well the FL studio scratch engine works, check out:

    This guy can really cut it up on the virtual decks, using a laser mouse. With any luck, Deckadance brings even more to the table.

  • I've tried just deckadance – seems worth it, especially the relooper thing, i'm into looping a lot..

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