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iTM DJ: iPhone MIDI for Djs

Reviewed by: Nico

You may remember this previous article: Controllerism with an Iphone, where Dj Mei Lwun used the iTM Matrix to trigger samples from the dancefloor. Well, looks like the guys at iTM got inspired as they have just put out iTM DJ, a fully fledged controller for Dj software that runs on an iPhone. Check out the screenshots after the jump!

ITM DJ

Setup is really easy. You just have to run the iTouchMIDI client on your laptop (Which is available for mac and windows). Then turn on Wifi in the app and on the iPhone. Finally, you create a wireless network on the Mac, which is done by selecting ‘Create Network’ from the drop down menu from the WiFi widget in the menu bar.

That’s it! iTouchMIDI now appears as a valid MIDI interface in your Dj program, and can receive MIDI messages from the iTM DJ app from the iPhone, wirelessly. Configurable to your liking, you don’t have to follow how the interface is labeled, although the layout really makes sense. You can also download a .tks file for T3 and TPro from the website for instant gratification.

Along with the standard controls shown above, you have access to an additional set of 8 rotating dials by hitting the ‘Fx’ button, and 6 large buttons by hitting ‘Load’. The ‘Gains’ tab give you two more rotating dials. There is a crossfader available as well, which quickly appears and hide when you need it.

Overall, the app feels really solid and stable. The latency feels really, really low too, I had no problem cutting the sound in and out on the rhythm.

You can use as many fingers as you want, once a interface element is grabbed, moving the corresponding finger will do the job (albeit it obviously becomes cramped when you try to use more than 3!). The general knob sensitivity is adjustable. Putting the phone on airplane mode and turning WiFi back on works, and will take care of those pesky calls in the middle of a set.

So, if you are looking for a touch interface, or a first controller for your software, and already have an iPhone, then at 4.99€ this one is a no brainer. It works just fine as a standalone controller, I’ve had a lot of fun mixing with it, and walking around while doing so!

Pretty cool too to have as a backup or just to have a few more knobs available. It would also be lovely to use this as a remote to adjust the sound from the dance floor,  I think you can switch MIDI channels at the computer client level, so dial one channel to use it as a Dj controller, and switch to another to control a Live EQ4, inserted just before the main outs. There is a lot of potential in this. And why not even mix from the bar while you are chatting with that girl at the end of the night, you nerd 🙂

Next time, we’ll review TouchOSC for the iPhone.

  • Ed

    This is pretty cool to use the iPhone as a midi controller for djs. The only thing I wish some of these apps had was the ability to auto-connect. That’s why I like to use this iphone midi app created for dancers. You can program the pitch wheel as a crossfader and use it as a basic dj mixer or clip launcher.

  • Happy Friday

    this some serious stuff…can i get a version for freeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

  • Purefresh

    Can anyone post whether this works with pcdj vj thanks

  • DjDiRtYJerZeY

    cant seem to get it to work with serato? any suggestions

  • devin

    what i’d really like to see is to be able to use the phone as a second output, so you can attach headphones to the iphone for monitoring from wherever in the room you want.

  • ToS

    Now that's a funny thing to say felipe bkz that behaviour can be a consequence of almost anything. Some of the reasons:

    – your laptop is underperformancing the specs

    – your windows is poorly optimised

    – wifi is sharing same IRQ with that USB connector

    – wifi is sharing same power line with that USB connector

    – you are running on very low latencies

    …the list keeps going.

    Can you tell me more about your specs via the PM?

  • Felipe Capri

    [quote comment=""][…] iTM DJ: iPhone MIDI for Djs at djtechtools.com […][/quote]

    It's quiet nice and seems to work fine, but the big issues is the Wi-Fi connection. Already, the recommendation for optimal performance on a laptop is to disable the wi-fi, and by experience soon as you let it open you get glitches and audio stop, specialy with the Audio DJ 8.

  • signaturex

    this might be a sleeper but i had to repost. << someone should figure out how to use the ipod's headphone jack as a sound card output. and the sound from the cue/monitor channel in traktor, streaming to it. then … no more headphone cord attachement!! this is what wireless was made for. if somebodey does this i will actually be impressed.. DO IT 😉

  • signaturex

    The only drawback is that you have only one stereo out on the phone, so no cueing. Guess you can go around that by being able to prep your tracks with cue points, beat gridding and such. Traktor is very much usable without headphones, there is only the occasional track that isn’t well detected that cause trouble.''

    <<<

    or having the I phones headphone out act as a second out put for your cue channel — … sick .. then you wouldn't need a sound card just an

    mbp and an ipod touch. and guess what .. no more headphones cord dragging around behind you. somebodey do this.. and I will actually be impressed

  • nico

    You'[quote comment="16644"] i found it not to be too responsive, but still very much usable[/quote]

    Benny's right, you should connect directly to your laptop, adding another wifi node in between will add latency.

  • BentoSan

    [quote comment="16638"]Can I bome's it? ^_~[/quote]

    If it puts out midi you can bomezify it !

  • [quote comment=""]the clubs that have their own wifi, easy. on windows, setting up a wireless network was hard for me. dhcp was part of the prob. serveral googles and reboots later i got it working.

    i did end up setting up my own .tsi file, similar to the ones on Benny's site.

    im gonna check my settings, i found it not to be too responsive, but still very much usable.

    I found that the "LOAD" screen was really useful. I wish that the load button itself sent a midi message, so I could use it to change the view to a browse view, that would be awesome.[/quote]

    I will give a plug to the Mac Laptops. It's quite easy to create your own local network with the onboard airport card. Select 'create network' from the airport menu and just type in a name. from there, go to your wi-fi setting on the iphone/touch and select this newly created network as your wi-fi point. then boot up iTM DJ. you don't even need to rely on a club/venue having a proper wi-fi setup. as long as your laptop has power and your are in range. you are good to go.

    it's self sufficient. brilliant.

  • dj erik t

    the clubs that have their own wifi, easy. on windows, setting up a wireless network was hard for me. dhcp was part of the prob. serveral googles and reboots later i got it working.

    i did end up setting up my own .tsi file, similar to the ones on Benny's site.

    im gonna check my settings, i found it not to be too responsive, but still very much usable.

    I found that the "LOAD" screen was really useful. I wish that the load button itself sent a midi message, so I could use it to change the view to a browse view, that would be awesome.

  • [quote comment="16638"]Can I bome's it? ^_~[/quote]

    Oh noez, not that Moniker. 😉

  • First the Cubase transport, now this…remind me why I haven't already bought an iTouch?

  • wow. time to take the iphone/itouch plunge i suppose

  • Can I bome's it? ^_~

  • Yes!…we can go & grab a drink at the bar and mix at the same time…sweet

  • ToS

    Props to the touchOSC upcoming-review!

  • The Beat Worx

    As portable devices become more and more powerful, I'm sure apps like this will become more popular. I hope the guys at RIM or other 3rd party devs start developing DJ apps for BlackBerry… I'm not a hater of the iPhone… I just really like my BlackBerry and would hate to invest in another device.

  • Anonymous

    hahaha, that’s all?
    multi pod/phone connection and effects a la chaospad coming your way soon i heard.

  • nico

    [quote comment="16602"]Thats awesome, now someone needs to add a 2 channel mp3 player so you can mix your mp3s and have a totally portable party.

    Like toniums pacemaker.[/quote]

    The only drawback is that you have only one stereo out on the phone, so no cueing. Guess you can go around that by being able to prep your tracks with cue points, beat gridding and such. Traktor is very much usable without headphones, there is only the occasional track that isn't well detected that cause trouble.

  • nico

    He Benny, just read your review of this app, and it is good, much more detailed than mine! Always good to have another point of view before buying something, so if you need more details, go to Benny blog: http://blancodisco.com/2009/02/01/itm-dj-iphone-a

    Thanks to Erik for linking to his video too, looks like I'm the last one on the block to stumble upon this app 🙂

  • de_stilj

    yes it's work on ipod touch!

  • Mat

    Would this run on an iPod touch?

  • djerikt



    here's a link to me using it. it worked really well, even taking calls and text messages during my set.

  • I have GIGS and GIGS of Music, but, I painstakingly go though the process of Tagging/Prepping tracks as best I can. It's really a religion on the Importing process. Set. Embed. Forget.

    I haven't tested the distance factor yet though. and the.. walls. How much distance + obstruction can we get.

    From a design UI, not sure where you can fit in jog/scrub, unless you introduce a new screen.

    Traktor 3.3 should work, grab that midi monitor and re-map!

    Do you see iTM show up as a device in Midi Preferences in Traktor?

    Do you see from the Midi indicator showing that Traktor is receiving data when you tweak controls on iTM?

  • nico

    [quote comment=”16612″]now you won’t have to rush in the bathroom when you got to piss just take the phone with you and mix on the way to the bathroom lol[/quote]
    [quote comment=””]David, I think you need to see if you receive MIDI from it, try grabbing a midi monitor (this one for mac:http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/9950/midi-monitor ), and redo your settings.[/quote]

    Exactly the first thing that crossed my mind when I saw this 🙂

  • nico

    David, I think you need to see if you receive MIDI from it, try grabbing a midi monitor (this one for mac :http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/9950/midi-monitor ), and redo your settings.

  • nico

    I agree you need more buttons to use the effects, that is why I've assigned the 'Load' section buttons to it. You do need to prep your tracks if you want to do more than one mix away from the computer, but I don't think I'll ever do that. Running to the comp to cue one track is good enough for me.

  • David

    anyone knows if it works on 3.3.0.180? i bought it so happy and excited but it doesnt seem to work on my version of traktor anyone know if i can map it to work or it jsut doesnt work on that version..

  • Nice work on your article Nico 🙂

  • [quote comment="16610"]remind me again why i just got g1?[/quote]

    Well, only if you remind me why I got a Samsung Omnia. 😉

    Cool digging nico! WOW!

  • Anonymous

    now you won't have to rush in the bathroom when you got to piss just take the phone with you and mix on the way to the bathroom lol

  • HenryP

    Amazin' This is going to drive my analog friends more nuts than they already are at this point. Beautiful.

  • remind me again why i just got g1?

  • Archnemesis

    Good point, Benny. I do make load markers and cue points, but some people just don’t take the time to put all those markers and cue points, especially if they have gigs of music to go through. Just adding this feature would make it easier. Plus, it would be sick if I can scratch while walking around the club. I do like the idea of seeing your playlist on the app. We can only wait and see what the developers do.

  • Pepe Camil

    Sounds like a nice toy…

    Can I use this in addition to my VCI 100? This could be perfect to trigger some loops, fx, u name it!

  • Atreyu

    that's funny 'cause i just saw this yesterday
    http://www.touch-mix.com/deadmau5/

  • [quote comment=”16604″]I’ve been using this app on my iPhone for quite a while and it is almost flawless. The reason why I said “almost” is because it’s missing some kind of jog wheel/turntable to cue a track on the fly or for scratching just like a real turntable. I use this app for both Traktor Pro and Serato. For Serato, I mapped the cue points to the app so I have access to 4 cue points for each deck. The crowd went crazy when they realized that I was Dj’n on the dance floor.[/quote]

    I forgot to add, it helps to have the tracks you are to be dj’ing with already prepped with load markers and what not, otherwise,you are back to the computer.

  • I posted my own review up on blancodisco.com a few weeks ago and provided some additional templates, as the stock iTM DJ ones weren’t up to snuff. I had to tweak the settings. I’ve also made some additional suggestion to the developer on their forum.

    1. in FX mode, add 4 buttons per channel instead of showing the channel faders

    2. if there’s a way to push data into the phone, in track browse mode, it would be awesome to actually see a bit of your track browser, totally eliminating the need to look at the computer screen! if more people were to say “yea, add this” i reckon the developer what get on it… 🙂

    anyways, i agree that this app is totally stable. new vci-100 replacement, but for a casual house party gig, this can certainly fly. it’s more impressive as a technology demo that you can actually get away with this, and be good.

    http://blancodisco.com/2009/02/01/itm-dj-iphone-app-works-perfect-with-traktor-3-pro-review/

  • Archnemesis

    I’ve been using this app on my iPhone for quite a while and it is almost flawless. The reason why I said “almost” is because it’s missing some kind of jog wheel/turntable to cue a track on the fly or for scratching just like a real turntable. I use this app for both Traktor Pro and Serato. For Serato, I mapped the cue points to the app so I have access to 4 cue points for each deck. The crowd went crazy when they realized that I was Dj’n on the dance floor.

  • Mr Bitches

    Thats awesome, now someone needs to add a 2 channel mp3 player so you can mix your mp3s and have a totally portable party.
    Like toniums pacemaker.

  • Anonymous

    [quote comment=””]TouchOSC is way too much fun. Much more useful than any of the iTM stuff.[/quote]

  • WOW!

    Can't wait to get home and test this!!! DJ'ing from my couch, ouch! 🙂

  • TouchOSC is way too much fun. Much more useful than any of the iTM stuff.

  • Insane!