Ever dream of becoming a club DJ, or of creating a mix to jump start a party? Cimio, software developed by the Scratch Academy (founded by the late Jam Master Jay), claims to make anyone a DJ in minutes.
In other words, the program helps users create their own non-stop mixes, just like club DJs. The difference here is that Cimio does much of the work: it analyzes individual songs' beats per minute (BPM) and allows visual mixing simply by dragging and dropping. While the result pales in comparison to a professional DJ, it serves as an easy way of creating party mixes or CDs to impress your friends.
First, users should visit Cimio's video site to view short instructional videos, hosted by Scratch Academy DJs. They guide you through the software's three-step process: importing music, creating a playlist, and mixing the songs within that list. These clips provide useful overviews for how Cimio functions, and they make the process look easy. I then tested the Windows version (it is also available for Macs), which boasts an easy-to-use, no-clutter interface organized around these three steps.
Because I have a large MP3 library, I decided to import only a fraction of my collection. Cimio only allows the user to import 200 songs at a time, and only non-DRM files may be used. The software supports all major file formats, including MP3, WAV, WMA, and AAC. Cimio analyzes each song's length, waveform, and BPM, so the importing process can be lengthy. I imported Michael Jackson tracks from my library, as they contain strong, easily mixable beats.
Step two involves selecting the tracks for your mix. The software simplifies this process by listing the BPM of each song. A DJ should select songs containing similar tempos; this makes for seamless transitions between tracks. Again, the software does much of the work for you. Simply click and drag a desired track to the "Playlist" box, and Cimio will suggest other tracks that would mix well with it. Look for the songs highlighted in blue, then click and drag those tracks into the list. For example, I first chose "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough," and Cimio immediately highlighted several songs that would mix together well.