Having the right cue points lined up on your tracks is crucial to ensure seamless transitions between songs during a performance. Cue points can be used to easily locate specific moments within a track that you can call upon when mixing, this may be a vocal acapella, a euphoric melodic build-up, or a thumping kick drum to mix into your performance. So without a successful store of cue points on your DJ software or a succinct understanding of how to find them, you may lose the unique bursts of flavour that you have been tirelessly working to build. In a live performance situation, nobody wants to be scrambling through a track to find that idealistic vocal lick you heard the day before.
The ability to move cue points between DJ software is paramount to the travelling plug- and-play artist accustomed to bouncing across a multitude of venues and using any available equipment. Fortunately, it is possible to save cue points within your MP3 tracks so that you can access them anywhere. In general, this cannot be achieved across absolutely every software on the market, but it is certainly possible across the most commonly used mixing software, such as Rekordbox, Serato, Virtual DJ and Traktor.
One method of transferring metadata between software (including cues, loops and beatgrids) is to use DJ Conversion Utility, commonly abbreviated to DJCU. For now, this software is only available to MacOS users, but a Windows version is being developed and the converted data is currently Windows compatible.
DJCU is operational across Rekordbox, Serato, Virtual DJ, Traktor, and Algoriddim djay. There is a small fee of around $15 (£12 to £13) to access the software, and online reviews state that the software is perhaps a little clunky to use, but it is especially beneficial for users of Algoriddim djay as you can convert metadata from major DJ software to this one, something that only DJCU offers. Furthermore, there are a number of YouTube videos available online outlining exactly how to convert the metadata between each software. Bear in mind the process is different depending on which software you are using and which software you wish to convert from. DJCU is most commonly used for conversions to djay, or between Traktor Pro and Rekordbox, so it is worth reading online reviews explaining its compatibility with your chosen software.
Rekord Buddy is another software exclusive to MacOS users, unfortunately leaving the Windows clan to their own devices, and costs a slightly steeper $59.99 (roughly £50). However, it is usable across Rekordbox, Serato, and Trakto Pro and is downloadable on up to two devices at no additional cost. This is an appealing addition for the travelling DJ operating two laptop computers, one for in the studio and another for on the road. Rekord Buddy allows users to sync cue points and beatgrids across the listed software, create unique tags to organise playlists, and clone playlists and folders across different software. Similar to the DJCU software, the reviews for Rekord Buddy are varied and the software itself is not always intuitive, so it is certainly a good idea to research its compatibility with your device prior to purchase. It is also not suited to individuals using a mixing software other than Rekordbox, Serato, or Traktor.
Overall, the available options for moving cue points across DJ software are currently limited, hopefully with scope for much improvement in the future. My advice for remembering cue points and being able to pick them out easily as you perform is simply to know your music library inside out. Do not start mixing tracks that you are unfamiliar with as this can lead to rough mixes and amateurish transitions. As a DJ, you should be comfortable with every track that you are using in a performance and instinctively be able to locate the best cue points within the track. If you can understand and connect with your music, then you will be able to deliver professional mixes that prove you know your music, and your audience will recognise that. So, in a sense, the most effective way to move cue points between software - aside from using DJCU or Rekord Buddy – is to have an intensified understanding of your own DJ library.
Know your music and know your cues, this way your mixes will always be on point.