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The iOS DJ Has Arrived

In less than 18 months, the iPad has successfully built a strong foundation on innovation and ease of use, qualities that resonate with a market that, prior to its release, never even existed. Of course, a limitlessly morphing touch screen would be the medium of choice for forward-thinking developers, creating beautifully powerful apps on the monolith-like device’s blank, depthless canvas.

It’s easy to dismiss the iPad as a gimmicky, ubiquitous unit that sits beside all your other gear to “wow” an unassuming audience member, but before we dismiss this new form of “DJing” as a flash in the pan (remember those mixers with twin iPod docks?), let’s not forget that this was also the same sentiment when CD players came out. Ditto when the first generation of laptop software made its clunky debut all those years ago!

Why DJ with an iPad (and Why Not)?

The Ups…

  • We need to keep pushing forward. The arrival of the iPad isn’t a death knell for “traditional” forms of DJing, rather, it provides us with a unique opportunity to participate in and observe a new method of performance as it goes through the motions from growing pains to maturity. DJing and Controllerism are continually evolving art forms that are special in the sense that they rapidly react to changes in technology, constantly putting us at the front of music performance tech.
  • Portability and convenience. If you travel regularly with your laptop, controllers, 1200’s and what have you (I took around 33 kilos of gear during my previous trip), imagine ditching all that for a huge touchscreen with tightly coded software that only weighs as much as your headphones? Or what if you need to sketch out some ideas for mixtapes or playlists and you’re miles away from your mixing setup? Having an iPad full of your tunes and a pair of cans in your backpack means you can do both your regular club dates as well as your recreational/down-time mixes all from the same set of gear.
  • Flexibility. Want to use the club’s high-end mixer for its smooth faders and sweet analog EQ’s? Just hook it up to the line inputs. Need a controller to handle jogwheel duties and MIDI? Grab an iDJ and connect it to your iPad (more on that later). Two-person-“afterparty” at your girl’s flat? Turn down the lights and use it as is!

…and the Downs

  • Lack of tactile control. Folks who swear by timecode CD’s (let alone vinyl) will certainly feel shortchanged by the tiny screen real estate with which you drag your finger on to search and scratch. Having to look at the unit instead of your audience while performing basic functions because of the lack tactile variety will definitely be unappealing to those who already don’t enjoy DJing while glancing at a laptop.
  • Single stereo output. You’re still tied to the iPad’s onboard sound card as your main audio out, which means you’ll have to use those adapter dongles that split the signal just so you can have a headphone out.
  • Bugs. While I did achieve decently long playback times (a 3-hour iPad set!), there were some minor glitches in the interface such as certain screens not appearing properly in DJ Player 4.0, but these were quite rare in my use and none that made the app crash or make the playback stop.

If you adore your current Traktor/Serato setup just as it is, the iPad won’t make you change the way you feel about it and might even make you feel a bit restricted with the interface. But if you toyed with the idea but were unimpressed with the first generation of apps, you’re in for a treat!

iPad DJing in 2011

Forget about all those novelty apps that promise you that you’ll “spin like Guetta in front of all your fist-pumping friends!” There are tons of apps aimed at DJ’s in the iTunes store ranging from loops-based sequencers and turntable emulators to party-friendly superstar DJ-branded apps, and it can be quite a chore to narrow them all down and figure out which one is the right one for you.

This article rounds up two essential DJ apps for the iPad you should be using if you want the best stability and functionality currently offered by the platform: No gimmicks, just no-BS excellent app performance.  After going through each one in detail, we’ll also take a look at some nifty features that are unique to both apps and a summary that will help you decide on which one to invest in.

1. DJ Player 4.0

  • Price: $37.99
  • Communication: Touchscreen
  • Available: Now
  • System Requirements: iPad 1, iPad 2

Don’t judge an app by it’s trademarked name: The app’s highly unimaginative moniker is redeemed by what it can actually do! Tucked under the hood is a powerful DJ mixing solution complete with a variety of touchpad FX, looping and organizational functions.

My favorite way to gauge a piece of DJ software is the ease with which I can get it up and running. I hate thumbing through manuals (let alone pdf’s!) just to figure out a software’s basic functions, so I tend to dive right in before anything else.

Organization

Firing up DJ Player 4.0 takes you straight to the track selection screen where you can filter your songs according to Artist, Title, BPM and Comments. There’s a search bar as well for quickly locating the track you want, and there’s also a playlist button that brings up all the iTunes playlists you synced to your iPad. Getting to the song you want is fairly straightforward, although I do wish there was an option to create playlists within DJ Player 4.0 instead of iTunes (e.g. What if I wanted to make a playlist on the fly?)

The Deck Screen

Pressing a song in the list will make the app cache the track, after which you’re taken to the Deck screen. I found the caching to be a bit of a hindrance to my flow at first, especially since the track will still be analyzed after, but the wait time is rather negligible and you get used to this workflow after a few minutes of playing around with the software. Thankfully, you’ll only have to cache a song once ever.

Once the track is loaded, you’re given a graphical representation of the waveform ala Traktor but without the option to zoom in. DJ Player makes up for this by having a window on the right side of the deck show you where exactly you are in the track in magnified form. It’s quite confusing at first, but again you easily get into the flow of things after a few minutes and you can set cue points quite precisely with this method. You can store up to 8 cue points and launch them by pressing the cue buttons, which is something that would appeal to beat jugglers and controllerists.

Looping can be a tricky affair, though, since the buttons for loop in/out only appear when you’ve set a cue point already. Otherwise, they remain as pitch bend buttons, or fine tune buttons for the playhead if you haven’t played the track yet. Huh, what? Yup, confusing I know, but don’t worry because that’s probably the app’s biggest shortcoming, and it definitely gets better.

The Mixer Screen

This, I believe, is the heart of the app and probably where you’ll be spending a lot of time DJing. If the Deck Screen’s buttons were a bit unwieldy because of the amount of functionality packed into it, the developers made sure to make the Mixer Screen simple and intuitive. Aside from the usual headphone cues, volume/x-faders and 3 band EQ, DJ Player cleverly puts the Play and bend buttons for both decks here, effectively reducing the need to switch between screens for simple playback duties. Like I said, you’ll be spending the bulk of your time on this screen!

The FX Screen

DJ Player 4.0 packs a ton of club-standard FX presented in a touch/kaosspad fashion. You have Loop (beatmasher-esque), Echo, Reverb, Flanger, Lo-Fi and Filter, which are enough tools to create your own build ups, depth and flavor to your tracks and transitions.

Given that you’re essentially working with a touchpad to generate FX parameters, you can run the gamut of lush reverb sounds, long/short delays and deep flanges with a touch of your finger. If you love the variety and deep effect programming that laptop software like Traktor offers, DJ Player may pale a bit in comparison since it only offers the basic set of FX, but it does shine due to its well thought-of presentation and ease with which you can get a good and usable effect sound going. The Lo-Fi in particular sounds like a true Bit Crusher and I find it to be more flexible than the one found in Traktor!

The Sound

As mentioned at the start of this article, you’re stuck with the iPad’s onboard soundcard and headphone out for your audio. DJ Player 4.0 offers you accurate -/+16% pitch control that plays back audio properly without any weird noises. The iPad’s hardware can certainly handle this sort of time and pitch manipulation. The EQ’s are short throw sliders, but you do develop a sense for the way they react after first using them, and they’re quite smooth, meaning they’re transparent and comparable to what you’d expect in a digital EQ such as those found in Traktor. You can attempt to “scratch” on the tiny zoomed in window of the waveform and it’d sound fine, but there just isn’t enough space on the interface’s window to do a proper routine.

Special Features

DJ Player has an impressive array of output features that make it extremely flexible for a variety of DJing situations. If you’re using a split cable adapter for output and monitoring, you get the usual Split Cable mode which gives you true mono for the master ourput, as well as Double Deck mode which disables the in-app mixer for situations where you’d want to use a hardware mixer. If you’re adamant on keeping your output in true stereo, the app has an Auto Stereo mode which keeps your master output in true stereo and automatically switches to mono if you’re pre-listening to your track in your headphones.

For those with multiple iPads, DJ Player has the Classic Club option which allows you to use two units (one for Deck A and one Deck B) and a hardware mixer, making for a impressive dual setup that minimizes screen switching. If you have an iPhone or other iOS device, the app comes with a separate add-on called NetOut (downloadble in the App Store for $9.99) that lets you output your iPad in stereo while you monitor on headphones via the outputs of your second device, all in latency free transmission over WiFi! I found this to be quite useful and easy to setup without the usual programming hijinx of localhosts and IP addresses.

2. Djay

  • Price: $19.99
  • Communication: Touchscreen
  • Available: Now
  • System Requirements: iPad 1 (no Key Lock), iPad 2

If the deep GUI and functionality of DJ Player 4.0 seems daunting, here’s an iPad DJ solution that’s right up your alley. Djay provides a simplified user interface (two decks and a crossfader, mostly!) complete with most of the features that make digital DJing attractive and practical.

The Main Screen

Starting up the Djay app takes you directly to the two decks and crossfader screen. In stark contrast to DJ Player 4.0’s multi-screen layout, Djay presents you with only one: The other usual DJing functionalities like playlists and EQ’s pop-up through windows that appear when you click on their icons in the main screen. Algoriddim did a good job condensing vital features here, leaving you with a layout that gives you enough control of only the essential functions while DJing.

Loading a track in one of the decks is done by clicking on the playlist icon and sorting through your iTunes playlist. Again, it doesn’t give you the ability to make your own playlists in-app, meaning it’s reliant on you syncing your tracks through iTunes software. There’s the usual caching/analyzing wait like in DJ Player 4.0, but what’s pretty cool with Djay is that when drag your finger on the vinyl, the waveform display at the top of the screen zooms in to show you exactly where you are in the song. Setting a cue point or playing the track back makes the waveform zoom out automatically, and I found this to be less confusing than the way waveforms are presented in DJ Player.

Cueing is a pretty straightforward affair in Djay: Just click on the “Set” button while you’re seeking or playing the track back. Although you only get to place up to four cue points, this is quite enough for simple beat juggling if you don’t mind the vertical orientation of the cue point window’s buttons.

Looping’s quick and easy too! Bring up the loop window and you can set an Auto Loop with the loop length parameters that you want. If you want to specify specific Loop in and out points, there’s a manual function as well as a “Bounce Loop” feature for improvisational looping. Despite the initial confusion with the changing buttons, I did enjoy the depth of DJ Player 4.0’s loop function, but for simple looping Djay certainly gets the job done in decidedly Spartan fashion.

For basic mixer functions like EQ and Gain, Djay gives you a separate floating window for that (it’s the same one that has tabs for Looping and Cue Points).

FX Functions

The latest version of Djay (v.1.4) comes with standard FX that you’d expect to find like Flanger, Gate and Filters as well as a small X-Y touchpad to manipulate certain parameters. Compared to the onboard effects found in laptop DJing solutions, you might find them a bit shallow in terms of just how deep you can go in mangling your sound. With that being said, the FX are thoroughly usable in a club DJing situation, and it’s fairly easy to get a good sound going.

If you’re a heavy audio FX user, you’ll appreciate the palette that DJ Player 4.0 offers since it’s more sophisticated and detail heavy: The difference between the two would be analogous to painting with broad strokes versus making fine details on canvas. Again, DJ Player gives you plenty of control and depth that Djay eschews in favor of simplicity and easier use.

Djay makes up for it by coming packed with 6 combo preset FX that you can use to spice up your tracks like Drift, which sounds like a delay and autofilter on top of each other, and Twist, which is basically a reverse plus delay combination. Note that these FX combos can’t be achieved in DJ Player 4.0: You can only control one effect at a time in that app.

The Sound

As with DJ Player 4.0, you’re stuck with using the iPad’s built in soundcard, which isn’t such a bad thing really except that you have to use a split cable for headphone monitoring. Keylock only comes with the iPad 2, so if you’re still using the first generation unit you, unfortunately, have no access to that feature. I feel like scratching on the Djay sounds more convincing, mainly because you have more room to wiggle your finger around than in DJ Player 4.0’s small window. The pitch faders and sync buttons work as they should, slowing/speeding up your tracks without any noticeable artifacts. The vertical fader EQ’s are responsive and seem to have a slightly wider Q than DJ Player, but other than that it’s pretty standard digital EQ fare, nothing special here.

Special Features

Djay offers tight integration with Numark’s iDJ controller, giving you full hands on control of Djay with two jog wheels, EQ controls and transport buttons. Fun to use if you’re just starting out or looking for a really portable controller + iPad solution (it runs on your iPad’s battery), but the lack of controls for FX and loop buttons make it a tad less attractive.

An interesting feature that Djay has is iOS5 integration. If you’re using the app across other iOS devices, all your song information like BPM settings and cue points are stored in the cloud, ensuring consistency in your playlists among all your iCloud connected stuff. It’s not a real deal-breaker, but you have to admit that it’s pretty nifty if you’re heavily invested in Apple’s line of products.

Summary

 

DJ PLAYER 4.0

DJAY

Price$37.99$19.99
Mix RecordingNoYes
Cue Points84
Pitch Slider+/- 16%Up to +/- 75%
BPM SyncYesYes
Key LockNoOnly on iPad 2
AutomixNoYes
Hardware/MIDI IntegrationNoneNumark iDJ ($99.99)
Looping YesYes
Output ModesSplit AdapterNetOut/WiFi ($9.99)Split Adapter
Track ManagementiTunes playlistSerato and Traktor metadata supportiTunes playlistsyncs with other iDevices running the app via iCloud
Audio FX6 Standard (Loop, Echo, Reverb, Flanger, Lofi, Filter)6 Standard (Flanger, Phaser, Echo, Gate, Bit Crusher, Filter)6 Preset Combos (Absorb, Drift, Sway, Crush, Punch, Twist)
Skins2 (sunrise & sunset)1
 

As the article’s title suggests, iPad DJing has certainly been given a shot in the arm thanks to these two heavyweights. DJ Player 4.0 offers a reliable platform to mix tunes all night long. It’s a no-nonsense app that doesn’t have stellar graphics but makes up for it in functionality and depth. If you find the Traktor-style waveform decks and multi-screen interface to be cumbersome to use and easy to get lost in, then Djay will provide you that what-you-see-is-what-you-get DJ experience coupled with some powerful FX combos and intuitive design that only takes seconds to get used to.

These apps are constantly updated by their respective developers, making each one a work in progress that, although not perfect at the moment, are steadily refined and will continue to bring laptop-like DJing features to the iPad. There will undoubtedly still be a lot of naysayers and platform skeptics when it comes to DJing with the iPad, but the latest versions of these two apps are definitely steps in the right direction toward a serious future with * shudder * an iPad in the club booth! [as so often happens, a promising looking app called Mixr was released into the App Store as we were finishing up on this article. It could be the middle ground between DJ Player and Djay, and we’ll keep you informed as we test it!]

Will you be DJing with an iPad? Let us know by leaving a comment and join in on the discussion!

  • When your starting out new to DJing, like i am, creative solutions like these change the game! I have a idj live controller by Numark and it works seamlessly with the Djay app! My friend uses a Traktor S4 and it’s amazing but when you don’t have $1,000 to drop on the best out, Apple devices, witch i have already invested in, and a $100 MIDI controller aren’t bad! 
    I think it is immensely creative and i plan on purchasing the new idj pro controller for iPad from Numark when it becomes available!  

  • Traxpad

    If you are looking for an alternate take on a dj solution for the iPad, please check out traxPad (http://traxpad.physipop.com).  It is designed for pro-DJing from the ground up (you either need 2 iPads or you need to pair it with a turntable or cdj).  I’m obviously partial as I am the lead developer but I think it might be the solution some of you are looking for.

    Also feel free to send comments/suggestions to traxpad@physipop.com.

    Thanks,
    joel

  • as more of a producer than a DJ, I could totally see running an iPad opposite a macbook on a mixer and mixing tracks while I’m loading my next ableton set or even as a backup if my laptop suddenly crashed.  I mean sure anyone scratching on this thing (or using it in a club when CDJs are sitting right there) is kind of missing the point, but how long until we can actually hook this up to an S4 or equivalent and use it the same as a laptop? Not long I think, especially with people like Rolf Wöhrman calling for more openness in iOS audio apps.  How is this not a good thing? More devices that you have to DJ on the better… likely more stable than windows 7 as well!

  • Wzrdskt

    You can’t look tough drinking with a straw. You can’t look professional djing with a djay

  • Wzrdskt

    I saw nappy roots’ dj using an iPad and I can’t get over how poor his personal set was. I’m all about new tech. But the iPad falls in the same area as blue tooth head sets. Only pompous assholes use them. My father included, with his lexus and 2 cellphones. Geez where’s the bat utility belt.

  • Hi,

    Cool article Joey. Your point was dead-on about this being like the early days of computer music and DJing. It takes awhile for things to hit their stride.

    Just wondering why you didn’t have our meta.DJ app in your line-up? DJ Spacecamp covered it in a nice DJTT article awhile back and we have added some cool features since then to add stuff like iDJ Live hardware control, cue monitor out, bulk import, etc.

    Also it takes a bit of a different tack in that it goes heavier on the integration of instruments and efx. Less the virtual vinyl thing and more the DJ-meets-performance electronics approach.

    You can mix-n-match up to 4 virtual music devices at once that include Track Decks (for playing/looping/cueing iTunes tracks) plus Looptastic, gruvtron and SaMPL3R instruments. Plus all the usual cool XY controlled and beat-driven effects like flanger, delay, stutter, etc.

    Note that the intro price of $9.99 goes up to $19.99 Oct 31st, 2011.

    We are working on an upgrade for Core MIDI sync so it syncs BPM with other iOS devices and Macs.

    The app has been getting great reviews and we are doing upgrades based on user and reviewer criticisms. Please check it out at:

    http://www.soundtrends.com/apps/metadj-1/

    Thanks!

    –kT
    soundtrends guy

    • Dj Segatto

      Actually I said this to the DJ Player guys, but if u can make ur app work with this: http://www.alesis.com/iodock including the usb midi so we can map controllers to it, I’ll for sure be all over it.

  • sphilibin

    http://www.alesis.com/iodock
    Just thinking last night, “the iPad’s downfall is that it has almost NO connectivity” And this thing is awesome, why is no one talking about it??

  • Sambo

    You guys are really negging out far too much.  Whilst I agree that the article was kind of…  Misguided, I do believe to insult and laugh at these things is a bit childish.  The article is right, this is exactly how the first wave of DJ’s reacted to the CDJs, with all that “watering down the market” crap, but look how it turned out.

    DJTT  :  Try and focus more on the controllerism aspect of the tech you review, I feel in recent times you’ve kind of gone off on a tangent.

    DJTT Readers:  Stop being such a shower of contradictory bastards.  We never evolved by laughing at the first monkeys to walk.

  • Sambo

    You guys are really negging out far too much.  Whilst I agree that the article was kind of…  Misguided, I do believe to insult and laugh at these things is a bit childish.  The article is right, this is exactly how the first wave of DJ’s reacted to the CDJs, with all that “watering down the market” crap, but look how it turned out.

    DJTT  :  Try and focus more on the controllerism aspect of the tech you review, I feel in recent times you’ve kind of gone off on a tangent.

    DJTT Readers:  Stop being such a shower of contradictory bastards.  We never evolved by laughing at the first monkeys to walk.

  • Fredflint

  • frogstar

    Its all about the music. This is the perfect controller. Especially for dubstep. Once the dj wants to step it up a little, then mabey the S4 or S2 would compliment it. 

    • Asd

      How on earth is this perfect for dubstep? A genre that is very biased towards vinyl?

      • frogstar

        Well dubstep is the easiest genre to mix for starters. the beat is at 70bpm, so even without sync, its like instant to beat match. Plus it takes less than a second to see the bassline… so this device is perfect because you dont need any skill to dj/mix dubstep. not dissing dubstep.. I love the genre.. Just saying anyone who has mixed with it knows that track to track mixing with ds is childsplay. This might not be the ideal tool to get controllerist crazy with.. I can totally see Skrillex rocking this thing

  • frogstar

    Its all about the music. This is the perfect controller. Especially for dubstep. Once the dj wants to step it up a little, then mabey the S4 or S2 would compliment it. 

  • frogstar

    Its all about the music. This is the perfect controller. Especially for dubstep. Once the dj wants to step it up a little, then mabey the S4 or S2 would compliment it. 

  • Fullspool

    I have been using since the day I got my iPad 2 (which was the day the iPad 2 was released). I love it, it is by far the best working and least glitchy dj app for the iPad, but it could defiantly have more control. The fact that you can only use numarks controller is a bit of a letdown. If there was a way to control every control (Like fx, cue and, looking) with midi and use any midi controller that you can get to connect to your iPad it would be a killer dj setup also another’s think that would be easy for them to do but they never will is alow you to sync two iPads running djay for the use of four decks or sync with another iPad running beatmaker 2.
    The bottom line is even though djay is one if not the best dj app for iPad it’s mainly foucsed on beginner dj’s people just starting out and will most likely never be as advanced as real dj’s would like. Maybe if we’re lucky there tracktor will get ported to iPad one day.

  • Let’s not forget that a lot of the first digital dj software/interfaces were not ideal. There were lots of bugs. I especially remember early Traktor (or final skratch whatever it was called) crashed on me all the time. 

    What is important to note is the potential. Don’t confuse current day’s technology offering as to what will be offered in the future. 
    Personally, I would love it if my S4 had an iPad dock. Of course the iPad probably doesn’t have enough horsepower for that…yet.

  • Woody Aki

    I’m a Traktor user, and I find this article to be sad…let alone the vinyl junkies out there that may be ready to organise a lynch mob and take me out together with the rest.

    Ean, you jumped the gun. This smacks of gratuitous product placement to pay the bills to keep this site running. Sorry bud – just my $0.02.

  • Woody Aki

    I’m a Traktor user, and I find this article to be sad…let alone the vinyl junkies out there that may be ready to organise a lynch mob and take me out together with the rest.

    Ean, you jumped the gun. This smacks of gratuitous product placement to pay the bills to keep this site running. Sorry bud – just my $0.02.

  • Woody Aki

    I’m a Traktor user, and I find this article to be sad…let alone the vinyl junkies out there that may be ready to organise a lynch mob and take me out together with the rest.

    Ean, you jumped the gun. This smacks of gratuitous product placement to pay the bills to keep this site running. Sorry bud – just my $0.02.

  • Woody Aki

    I’m a Traktor user, and I find this article to be sad…let alone the vinyl junkies out there that may be ready to organise a lynch mob and take me out together with the rest.

    Ean, you jumped the gun. This smacks of gratuitous product placement to pay the bills to keep this site running. Sorry bud – just my $0.02.

  • The ipad killed the lemur, please be more careful when you claim the ipad isn’t a death knell.

  • Thisisian

    What’s with all the haters here? ….I thought you guys would be a little more open minded about this sort of stuff!!
     
    For me, it’s not about replacing your “pro quality” rig with a toy. It’s about having a compact lightweight back up / emergency system. ….& for that, the iPad has got to be the way forward.
     
    My main rig is either a N.I. Kontrol S4 with Traktor, or a Novation Twitch running either Traktor or Itch. Both set-ups are reliable, but I always make sure i’ve got a back up plan. This is normally a book of CD’s or an ipod cued on a spare mixer channel.
     
    The problem with one of these back up plans (ipod) is I wouldn’t be able to complete the night with it, if I had a catastrophic total laptop failure. Also, the CD’s would be no good, if I didn’t have CD players with me. ….so i’ve been looking for a while for a compact back-up plan that I could also play a gig from.
     
    I’ve explored most of the ipad options, but DJ Player was one that i hadn’t looked at. I’ve just had a quick look though, & I reckon DJ Player is the only one I could imagine playing a full gig from.
     
    A couple of other good points not mentioned in the article;
     
    1. – There’s an option to import either Traktor or serato metadata. Analyse your tracks on your lappy, & your bpms / cue points / loops should copy accross.
     
    2. – There’s two different mixer views. One of them has EQ’s that both cut & boost frequencies, where as the other view just cuts (my preferred view).
     
    QUESTIONS;
     
    1. – How do i enable the double deck mode, to send two mono signals to an external mixer & disable the on-screen mixer?. (this would be my preferred option for back up duty’s on a live gig).
     
    2. – In the next version, can you also add some indication of “artist / track name” to the main deck & mixer views? ….i’d like the extra visual feedback that I have the correct track loaded in the deck.
     

    • Szantog

      Tap on the “more” button on the tracks screen, then choose “output modes” on the bottom. DJ PLAYER has 6 output/usage modes to choose from.

      Artist/track name is displayed on those views, but currently we have a small iOS bug, on some device it’s not displayed. A very weird and stupid bug, we are working on it, but as it’s not happening inside our software, we are scratching our heads currently – just a small % of the devices are doing this.

    • Szantog

      Tap on the “more” button on the tracks screen, then choose “output modes” on the bottom. DJ PLAYER has 6 output/usage modes to choose from.

      Artist/track name is displayed on those views, but currently we have a small iOS bug, on some device it’s not displayed. A very weird and stupid bug, we are working on it, but as it’s not happening inside our software, we are scratching our heads currently – just a small % of the devices are doing this.

    • Szantog

      Tap on the “more” button on the tracks screen, then choose “output modes” on the bottom. DJ PLAYER has 6 output/usage modes to choose from.

      Artist/track name is displayed on those views, but currently we have a small iOS bug, on some device it’s not displayed. A very weird and stupid bug, we are working on it, but as it’s not happening inside our software, we are scratching our heads currently – just a small % of the devices are doing this.

  • Alex Wild

    “iPad DJing has certainly been given a shot in the arm thanks to these two heavyweights.”

    Seriously? Heavyweights? I can see the potential of an ipad to accompany a fuller setup, with samples, fx or something on it. But there just isn’t enough room on the screen to do everything you need to mix properly. Never will be. What happens if im on the mixer page blending my tunes and i need to adjust pitch, or want to hit some cues?

    Like someone else said, a line needs to drawn. Sure these look pretty fun for messing about on at home, but they’re not serious tools. And as such I find it slightly insulting that they’ve been given such an in depth article on a site I usually trust…

    • Szantog

      DJ PLAYER has 6 different output/usage modes. One of them is called “Classic Club”, where the software is just one deck, like a CDJ replacement. Here is a photo how it looks in real: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=226051967458950&set=a.226051500792330.57713.140888829308598&type=3&theater

    • Szantog

      DJ PLAYER has 6 different output/usage modes. One of them is called “Classic Club”, where the software is just one deck, like a CDJ replacement. Here is a photo how it looks in real: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=226051967458950&set=a.226051500792330.57713.140888829308598&type=3&theater

  • DJ Young Machi

    I use my iPad for notes in school.. not for solely being a disk jockey.. I will, however, hook up my iPad to channel C on my S4 and use the Korg synth and drum app or one of the drum machines for creative basslines, effects, ect.. but not for DJ-ing solely.. as a note taking, document viewing, musical toy – yes… Reliable, flourishing DJ equipment – no

  • Bucky

    Should I buy the iPad DJ or this: http://audioporncentral.com/wp-content/plugins/hot-linked-image-cacher/upload/audioporncentral.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/2008/08/07/fisherpricerecordplayer1.jpg

    Fisher Price DJing

    • Read this DJTT review of the Fisher Price device! http://www.djtechtools.com/2008/02/08/fisher-price-releases-wireless-dj-controller/

    • Better yet, get me one too!

  • I have been trying other apps like looptastic and meta.dj which are really fun. Don’t know if they are ready for big clubs, but I’ve been trying it at some small clubs, and it works fine. You are still a bit limited on some things, but working with limitations can make you even more creative, which I feel is also what this site is about. No matter how much hate, or depressive people or DJ’s get, it is only logical to think that much more sooner than later, iOS and the tablet market will start to have huge importance in every DJ’s life, as they are now in almost every other aspect of it.

  • I have been trying other apps like looptastic and meta.dj which are really fun. Don’t know if they are ready for big clubs, but I’ve been trying it at some small clubs, and it works fine. You are still a bit limited on some things, but working with limitations can make you even more creative, which I feel is also what this site is about. No matter how much hate, or depressive people or DJ’s get, it is only logical to think that much more sooner than later, iOS and the tablet market will start to have huge importance in every DJ’s life, as they are now in almost every other aspect of it.

  • Bdubz

    (Rant warning) 

    I feel it’s products like this that give (for example) typical D Bag Frat boys a small door into our world. Then they do mixes and ‘Produce’ what they call Techno within a week of getting gear and post soundcloud links all over twitter and facebook in cool shades and some swanky outfit. I’m all for progression and truly support new technology but i think this product will attract the wrong types of people.

    I wish people would do it for the love of music and then partake in the necessary marketing strategies that come along with being a DJ.

    With that said… Ean Golden, can you do some dope set on this thing and post a vid? lol

    • Ssbre

      But DJs are only good if they love the music – I hooked up two decks without pitch control to 2 amps when I was 13! Then moved onto Stantons then Technics and finally getting into digital mixing…I wouldn’t be threatened by people getting an easy entry into the industry – if they’re doing it to be trendy their lack of love for the music and dj’ing will come out in their playing which is likely to be predictable and not creative and dull…and if not then good luck to them.

      Not sure if I’ve missed something in the review but the apps
      don’t seem to have sample decks which puts me off.

  • I use iPad for 3 month now as a controller for Traktor. Traveling with macbook+ipad+soundcard is so much simpler than carrying DX or S4 or any hardware controller. And you can change layouts on the fly. you can control pretty much everything with it. TouchOSC and TouchAble are super apps for DJs.

    The next step is making drivers for sound cards, so we could use CUEing! There are a lot of nice sound cards on the market, we only need drivers.

    Imagine this kind of a setup after one year(i hope NI won’t fuck the moment and make it this winter): Traktor Touch on iPad with NI Audio 2.

  • Reece

    to me the ipad is pointless.   Its just a poor excuse for a laptop. 

  • Reece

    to me the ipad is pointless.   Its just a poor excuse for a laptop. 

  • Reece

    to me the ipad is pointless.   Its just a poor excuse for a laptop. 

    • Safadao

      I’m quite sure your point-of-view won’t be affecting sales of the iPad for Apple. I am a full-time student that uses it almost every day in place of my Mac Book Pro and I get approached every few days by other students interested in doing the same. Feel free to keep lugging your perfect excuse for laptop around though …

      • Lifein

        Seriously CHRIST! A Macbook pro is SOOOO BULKY,  who needs 4 gigs of ram or actual proccessing power when you can get a 256mg of ram TOUCHABLE pad, I MEAN FUCK!, you can’t even launch the angry birds with your fingers on a MBP, what a piece of shit those things are!!! LOLOL

  • Reece

    to me the ipad is pointless.   Its just a poor excuse for a laptop. 

  • johnny

    This is progress? Just awful. May be cheap but thats for a reason..

  • johnny

    This is progress? Just awful. May be cheap but thats for a reason..

  • I commend your library Joey! Woot for Shapeshifter!

    • Joey

      thank you! 😀 they’re from the Hospitality 2011 comp, which is superb

  • Needless to say there will be some naysayers here, but let’s remember the animosity digital DJing faced from the vinyl purists when Traktor was first released. 

    At the moment these apps may need some development, but we will soon see a new paradigm evolve that combines traditional physical dials and faders with innovative apps that capitalise on the iPad’s touchscreen interface, like Konkreet Performer, TouchAble and Touch OSC. 

    It’s easy to knock these apps right now for their limitations, but we all know software development is an iterative process – just as you get better at DJing the more often you play out. Everyone/thing has to start somewhere. 

    • Bdubz

      I really don’t think it’s the iPad apps people are ripping on. I think it’s safe to say that most people using this site embrace technology and realize that it takes time to perfect things….. It’s a bigger picture.

      For instance. When I started DJ’ing I shelled out a grand for turntables and a mixer.. then had to buy vinyl, needles, speakers the works.. I am on Traktor Scratch Pro now but I progressed in a very respectable way and continue to learn this craft as I go. This low cost product(the controller) allows trend riders to easily step in a water down the industry. There is a post below saying that this controller is perfect for dubstep.. WHAT? what does genre have to do with it?? It proves a point though. DJ’ing is a trend right now and things like this sicken those of us who have worked so hard to be legit.

    • Thank you! at least someone gets me! Read my post above.^^^^

  • Needless to say there will be some naysayers here, but let’s remember the animosity digital DJing faced from the vinyl purists when Traktor was first released. 

    At the moment these apps may need some development, but we will soon see a new paradigm evolve that combines traditional physical dials and faders with innovative apps that capitalise on the iPad’s touchscreen interface, like Konkreet Performer, TouchAble and Touch OSC. 

    It’s easy to knock these apps right now for their limitations, but we all know software development is an iterative process – just as you get better at DJing the more often you play out. Everyone/thing has to start somewhere. 

  • Vestax spin is compatible with Djay app too.

    “The iOS Dj Has arrived” to Djtechtools, lacks.

  • Cheap and Ugly, and waters down the craft of DJing. This is absolutely ridiculous.

    • Hep

      Why hate , 10,000 people only care about track selection , modes invoked etc This sends a big fuck you to douch people at Allan and Heath, pioneer etc that want to sell us over priced, compromised in design, flawed electrical goods. Who still buys CDs these days lol

  • I assume he’s talking about the hardware controller, which to be honest, does look and feel a lot like a toy.

  • Scottkrot

    why did u even review this product. at some point you should draw the line and say, hmmm this product really doesnt fit our market…? why dont you do a review on how to setup osculators, bepads, and such to ipad not this 40$ pos.

    • Lifein

      +100000000

    • Lifein

      +100000000

  • Tarekith

    I’ve been trying djay on and iPad2 with the griffin split cable for awhile now, not in a real club setting, just messing around at home or at friends places for small gatherings.  In general it’s useable and at times fun to use, but there are a few issues that I think keep it from being a viable professional solution still:

    – Aside from transport and crossfader controls, everything else you mainly use for DJing (EQ, loops, efx, multiple cues) are accessed via the same tiny pop up panel.  And they aren’t visible at the same time, which means you spend most of your time jumping back and forth in the different panes of this tiny screen.  I’d much rather see the faux ‘turntables’ as something we can switch off, in order to access more controls at once.

    – I find the EQs to be extremely harsh sounding, super sharp filter slopes and a tiny physical range make it VERY difficult to do subtle EQing.

    – While the split mode does work as expected most of the time, some tracks will distort badly when summed to mono regardless of what your gain or volume faders are set to.  Happens with about 5% of my tracks, but still frustrating.

    – Would love to see an option for the waveforms to zoom to loop points.

    – Accessing the cue volume while in split mode mean diving into another menu.

    Overall I think the functionality is there, it’s just hampered by being too married to a photo-realistic interface.  Too much space is wasted on the fancy GUI and fake decks, and not enough space is given to presenting the controls an experienced DJ needs access to simultaneously.

    While DJ player looks more spartan in comparison, it’s definitely laid out better for touch screen interface IMO.  Haven’t played with it yet to compare the functions however.

    • Szantog

      Altough i’m a developer for DJ PLAYER and of course not objective, i think all of these points you mentioned are better implemented in our app. It took 3 months just to develop the right interface workflows for the touchscreen, and we put 1 month into the EQ development alone, which ended in a very unique design, because our EQ curves are changing from decibel to decibel and tuned by ear for best mixing.

      • Tarekith

        It’s a common theme among all iOS music apps so far, too many still use real-world physical interactions that make manipulation on a touch screen clumsy at best.  Knobs for instance, just don’t work as well as sliders.

  • djay also now supports vestax spin. can someone shoot a demo of that? http://www.vestax.com/v/release/detail.php?id=234

  • djay also now supports vestax spin. can someone shoot a demo of that? http://www.vestax.com/v/release/detail.php?id=234

  • Tony

    Saw the picture and burst out laughing its a childs toy at best

    • Szantog

      Well, we had some launch events around the world usually with 1500 people in the clubs… in SXSW the queue was continuous around the block from 20:00 to midnight… Felix da Housecat was playing there. In Amsterdam we had Modeselektor, Joris Voorn, Darko Esser… just to name a few. I hope they are not children. 🙂

      • Lifein

        Did you really hop on here to slam someones opinion of your product?  That makes you a complete douchebag not a professional with any clout.

        I can get modeselektor to play a tamborine only duo tomorrow night If I threw enough money at it. I bet Joris Voorn would let me walk him on a leash all night for 8 grand. No one fucking cares who you booked, stop pretending like your $40 hong kong special is the next big DJ thing. Cause it aint Kid. Go make your money off 16 year olds buying gimmick apps and leave us the fuck alone.

        • proben

          y u mad bro?

          Seriously, this app is a cool thing; you shouldn’t be threatened just because people are doing interesting things with tools you aren’t particularly interested in. And he didn’t slam anyone; I thought the response was pretty measured given that the claim it’s responding to (“child’s toy”) is essentially just name-calling.

          • Lifein

            go troll go

  • Mylestec

    yet another degradation of the ‘art’ of djing… I’m gonna be sick now.

    • Bdubz

      +1

  • Jcordgamer

    I’ve been using my iPad for small local house parties and I have been almost obsessed with expanding on the experience. I have both apps and I use both of them all the time. It’s nice to see an article like this that actually goes deeper into the app itself instead of just dismissing them as simple entertainment app. Very well done.

  • Ozren Škondri?

    can somebody help me with this questions
     – on Djay …what happens if software doesn’t get the BPM right ? 
     – is BPM taken from track info stored in iTunes
     – is there a cover preview for songs…or just text

    tnx

  • Szantog

    Hi Joey,

    as the developer of DJ PLAYER let me outline some things:

    – The pitch range in DJ PLAYER can be set to 4%, 8%, 16% and 100%.
    – It syncs BPM and CUE points over WiFi/Bluetooth between multiple devices – iCloud is maybe not available in a club for you. 🙂
    – It has slip mode for reverse and looping on FX screen. I feel it a quite important feature, especially for controllerists/beat jugglers.
    – You can modify your cue/loop points visually on-the-fly without disrupting the audio.
    – You can organize your iPod library playlists inside the iPod app right on your iPad, so both DJ PLAYER and DJay will pick up your changes.

    Gábor

    • Joey

      thanks for the added detail Gabor! 🙂 i do enjoy using your app! 

      • Szantog

        Forgot to tell, thank you very much for the article. Finally a page on an important DJing site about professional iOS DJing stuff.

        • Dj Segatto

          Hey if u can make ur app work with this: http://www.alesis.com/iodock, including the usb midi capabilities so we can midi map any controler to it, you will win.