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How To DJ Using Liine’s Lemur App For iPad

Electronic music and controllerism are constantly pushing boundaries of what’s possible with the latest hardware and software. While Traktor seems to be prepping an app of their own, there already exists a reliable way to control DJ software on your iOS device: Liine’s Lemur application. In today’s article, guest writer Winston Ray explains how to get Lemur set up for Traktor, extols it as a viable option for live performance, and offers some great templates for you to start right now. We’re also giving away a copy of Lemur, more info inside!

Just here for the Lemur app giveaway? Enter here.

WHY THE IPAD / WHAT’S A LEMUR?

Of all the existing methods to control Native Instruments’ Traktor, the iPad has the potential, is the most innovative and effective when setup correctly. In the past, issues such as high latency, unstable software and complicated MIDI/OSC routing have made the iPad somewhat problematic to effectively integrate into DJ routines. However, loaded with the right software and settings, the iPad is no longer a simple technical novelty, but rather truly a force to be reckoned with.

The Glitch Mob using JazzMutant Lemur (photo: Peter Kirn, CDM)

But before we dive in, a little history lesson about the Lemur: The original hardware Lemur was developed by the French company Jazzmutant and released in early 2005. Due to limited availability, relatively high cost ($2,495 at launch) and initially unstable software, the Lemur was limited to a small niche market of forward thinking, tech-savvy musicians looking for innovative methods to control and revolutionize their live performances (used notably by acts such as Nine Inch Nails, Deadmau5, The Glitch Mob and Daft Punk).

Soon after the Apple iPad’s arrival to the market in 2010, Jazzmutant discontinued their dedicated hardware device and instead focused on developing software. Their effort paid off, and the Lemur app is widely regarded (even in the DJTT forums!) as the most comprehensive MIDI/OSC application currently available for iPad.

LEMUR GONE DIGTIAL

The Lemur App costs $50 – a little steep to many users when compared to the popular alternative TouchOSC, which sells for a mere $5.00. However, considering Lemur includes much more advanced MIDI functionality, an integrated physics engine, completely user customizable templates and an overall more polished feel than TouchOSC, the additional cost becomes a little more justifiable. Because Lemur can also be seamlessly integrated with Ableton Live, Logic, and many other DAWs, it can also be a useful tool for music production, making it worthwhile for users who spend their time in the studio.

Other Options: Our tutorial on using TouchOSC with Traktor.

Included with Lemur are two companion applications that run on the host computer:

  • The Lemur Daemon is the computer peripheral application for the Lemur app; MIDI data can be communicated via local WiFi network or via USB (through an iPad Camera connection kit [Tip: don’t buy it from Apple, it’s only $18 on Amazon] into MIDI interface, further reducing latency.)
  • The Lemur Editor allows users to create custom Lemur templates and MIDI mappings, and then transfer them to the iPad’s internal template bank.

GETTING STARTED DJING WITH LEMUR

I’ll walk you through setting up Lemur with Traktor step by step with what I’ve found to be the best template currently available, Mashy for Lemur by Andrew Norris. (Editor’s note: It’s not just Traktor, there’s plenty of awesome templates for Ableton, Reason, Serato, and other programs on Liine’s site). Here’s what Mashy looks like:

Mashy For Lemur - download here.

The Mashy template has three pages of controls, Decks A/B, Decks C/D, and Track Preparation. While navigating from page to page is a little odd at first, it becomes instinctive with a bit of practice.

Decks A/B are laid out intuitively, with cross fader and individual volume controls. The filter and EQ are found above the basic stop, start, sync, and cue controls, leaving lots of room for the effects. Decks C/D are sample decks with individual trigger, play, loop, and mute buttons for each sample. The preparation page has track and crate navigation capabilities, as well as tempo control and a seek position slider.

I’ve broken down the Lemur/ Traktor integration process into six simple steps:

Things you’ll need:

  1. Traktor Pro 2.6 (or latest version)
  2. Apple iPad
  3. Lemur App for iOS
  4. Lemur Daemon
  5. Lemur Editor
  6. Mashy for Lemur v1.2 Traktor template for Lemur

Step #1 Purchase (or enter our contest below to win a copy!) and install the Lemur app on your iPad by downloading it from the Apple App Store.

Step #2 Make an account on Liine.com, then download and Install Lemur Daemon and Lemur Editor from this link. These are both vital tools for using the Lemur.

Step #3 Download the “Mashy for Lemur” template – you’ll need your Liine login to download from this page.

Step #4 Connect the iPad to your computer via local WiFi network, as outlined in this video.

Step #5 Import the “Mashy for Lemur” template into Lemur Editor and load it onto the iPad, as demonstrated here.

Step #6 In Traktor, open Preferences, and click on the big “Import” button at the bottom. Select the file Mashy_Lemur.tsi’ and ensure all boxes are ticked. Then, select Controller Manager in Preferences. In the “Devices” menu, there should be two options that say “Mashy for Lemur – Perform – Generic Midi”. Make sure both are set: In-Port to Daemon Input 0, and Out-Port set to Daemon Output 0.

Take a deep breath; the boring technical part is over. Fire up Lemur, open the template and now you should be good to go!

MORE LEMUR TOOLS

The library on Liine’s site has an impressive collection of user submitted Lemur modules and templates for use with many different music programs in addition to Traktor, many of which are available in both iPad and iPhone format. If an existing template doesn’t quite accommodate your needs, change it! Editing templates can be done in the Lemur Editor program, or in the Lemur app itself. Open the template you want to edit, tap the settings button in the top right-hand corner, and then move the “Edit project” slider to the on position.

You can freely edit every aspect of the template, from the aesthetics and control placement, to the active scripts and MIDI mapping. Lemur’s customizability is undoubtedly one of its best features, especially once you delve into the more advanced capabilities and mapping options.

If you’re looking for a fresh start, building a new custom template from the ground up is relatively simple. First, select “New project” at the top of the template menu, name your new template, and tap the plus button in the top left corner of the screen. A drop down menu will provide an abundance of virtual control methods, including options like breakpoints, faders, knobs and buttons, etc. If you need more room for controls, additional pages can be added via the settings menu.

All you need? (photo: @jefframos on Instagram)

Before your template is functional, you’ll need to map the MIDI values according to the parameters in the program you want to control. If you are using Traktor, you can create and import a MIDI mapping as a .tsi file that corresponds to the MIDI values used in your template. Getting your template running smoothly may take a little tweaking, so be prepared to invest a bit of time if you want to perfect it.

The iPad has great potential as a controller for Traktor, and this article only scratches the surface regarding what can be done. Hardware controllers like the NI S4, Midi Fighter and VCI-400 still hold a distinct advantage in some respects, due to super low latency and the tactile feedback of physical knobs and decks, which is why I believe a hybrid setup between the two provides the best of both worlds. However, in the future as the technology behind touchscreen peripherals evolves, many users may find physical controllers to be a thing of the past.

WHY PAY FOR IT WHEN YOU COULD WIN IT?

DJTT is particularly excited to be giving away a copy of the Lemur app (as noted above, it’s a $50 app!) to one of our readers. All you’ve got to do is enter by clicking the link below – it’s a standard “like us on Facebook” contest, so no hard work there! We’ll announce the winner Friday afternoon on Twitter, in this article, and we’ll send an email to the winner.

Contest Finished: Congrats to Lorène Bettker from Toulose, France!

Winston Ray is an upcoming electronic music producer and DJ out of Dallas, Texas. Check him out on Twitter: @Winstonraymusic

If you have any additional questions regarding setting up Lemur, the Liine website has a great collection of comprehensive tutorial videos – or feel free to start a discussion in the comments below!

The vectorized Traktor logo used in the header image is credit to Kinetic on our forums.

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  • jds1

    fully editable and assignable Touch Vibration is required to take this to the next level and bridge the gap between physical/digital worlds. we need to press apple for this feature to be added.

  • Whos_Pablo

    What would you guys say is the best template for controlling just the effects…. or say to use it in combination with the S4?

  • Can we use it for nexus 7 ? Is anything similar for android tablets?

    • There is now TouchOSC for android I think.

  • Compared to the equipment that is engineerd for music use, I would not suggest this. Fancy tool this is, buuuut i happen to recall a vci-400 special edition and a bunch of other cool hardwear. Plus I’m not going to pay to watch a show of some chum finger banging his tablet….thats just tacky. Yes I understand everythings digital, but it’s being mastered via midi controlers. I think the tablet would just ruin the image of DJ’ng. The laptop etempt failed, and I think this will soon…hopefully…*vomets a little*

  • Softcore

    Here’s another Lemur template for Traktorheads – quite popular in the Lemur forums! 😉

    http://liine.net/en/community/user-library/view/351/

    • that one’s actually a million times better than mashy, and thanks to your comment I just realized it was recently updated, thanks!

  • ciconte

    do you know if the Mashy template will work with an actual lemur?

  • if you guys thing this software is awesome… what about a fully total custum, like you make costum, to Ableton, Reason or traktor…

    a friend of mine wrote this program, and is way better then Lemur

    • Softcore

      Does it have physics engine? Does it have scripting? Can you create inter-modulations of the objects? Please leave the ‘way better than Lemur’ comments aside if you don’t know what you are talking about….

  • Drew

    the prepare slot of this mapping always ends up bugged, i have to reconnect it with lemur editor every time….anyone know whats going on?

  • Yes, this program is also great for Mix Emergency. Some fellas put me on to it a few months back and i have it on an Ipad Mini. Using it soley for non-timing event (in video theres alot of effect sequencer, transition and effects that can be greatly controlled by this)

    but as mentioned the connection is a bit tricky, just look at the Liine help forums before you go out with it, in Ios6.01 you pretty much HAVE to do a static private network and assign the variables… where as a stong wifi or using your Iphone as a hotspot work pretty damn skippy… the daemon likes to just quit once in a while too, and not tell you.

    but other than those little hiccups its an amazing piece of gear, replaced my X1. but i would never use it for things that require 0 latency and such. you can see here how I use it: http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc6/406610_10151156784156372_131497255_n.jpg

  • Naren

    I just ordered my Midi Fighter Spectra. It would be splendid if I could finally adequately incorporate my iPad into my setup with Lemur, as my main tools for DJing are my iPad, computer, and in the near-future, the Midi Fighter Spectra. Thanks for doing this amazing give away DJ TechTools, as many people must be in the same situation as I am.

  • I’ve tried a lot of these touch interfaces (because I like making things my way) but I can’t recommend anything “touch” until it becomes “touchable” without having to look at it… remember: Serato Face… yeah, that… only more-so when you’re using touch screens.

  • Had a play with Lemur alongside an S4 – Lemur was hooked up to Ableton which was in channel 4 of the S4 with a synth and drum sequencer… I have never had so much fun djing in my life…

  • I’m not a real fan of Touch screens for dj-ing or controllerism :/

    I need to feel the buttons and knobs :p

  • Dimitris Psirras

    is there a similar app for the android tablets? i own a nexus 7…

    • OSCPad, which has an online editor for layouts. or TouchOSC

  • Bruiser Smith

    My thoughts on this setup: Great for basic controls & effects
    buttons, but not as good as dedicated hardware such as MIDI Fighters and
    knobs/encoders. Although there is little to no lag, the detection of
    touch for the Ipad is not quick enough for advance controllerism
    routines.

    IF YOU WANT A WIRED CONNECTION

    The wireless connections have always been my main beef, as they are not 100% reliable, a huge issue especially if you’re dj’ing live. I’ve been using this setup for a year now using instructions from when I had TouchOSC as my main interface. If you have a jailbroken Ipad, you can use a program called MyWi to establish MIDI over a wired USB connection between the Lemur App/Ipad into Traktor. These instructions are only for Mac, sorry.

    1. Jailbreak Ipad (if not done)
    2. Download MyWi from Cydia ($20, but worth it IMHO – you only buy it once and can use it for actual tethering on your Iphone too)
    3. Plug Ipad into computer via standard USB to 30 pin cord (IDK if this works over Lightning connectors, but I assume so)
    4. Close all open apps on your Ipad. Open MyWi App, turn USB connection to ‘On’. A little blue bar will drop down from the top screen showing that there is a connection. If not, close the app completely and try again. It can be a little finicky.
    5. On your Mac, open Utilities > Audio Midi Setup
    6. Double-click on ‘Network’
    7. In the pop-up Midi Session window, your Ipad should show up under ‘Directory’ with a green dot next to it. Double-click it to establish MIDI connection.
    8. Open Lemur app on the Ipad. Tap the settings cog in the upper right corner. Under the list of templates, select the one that you want. Double check that both the From and To MIDI Targets read “Ipad Name: Session 1”. If not, select the box, and a drop down will appear where you can select this.
    9. Open Traktor and test some of your buttons to see if Traktor is at least detecting MIDI.
    10. In Traktor, open Preferences > Controller Manager. If you have already imported a template/TSI combo, select it. Under the In/Out Port drop-down menus, select ‘Session 1’
    11. This should do it – play around with your control surface to see if everything is working correctly. With this setup you shouldn’t have to use Liine’s Lemur Daemon program to interpret signals (although it’s good to have in case of emergency).

    • Mario García

      You don’t need jailbroken your ipad to send wired midi communication through the ipad and a mac or pc, you just need a cck and a usb midi cable

  • Dan

    Having trouble finding out how I do this “In-Port to Daemon Input 0, and Out-Port set to Daemon Output 0.” Any help guys?

    • Dan

      Never mind.. Just me being a noob. If anyone else have trouble understanding that last sentence, it’s within Lemur settings 🙂

  • prevolt

    As a Lemur user since ’06, here’s one HUGE note about trying to DJ with it–
    Don’t ever use it for volume control.
    Leave that to real faders.
    Trust.

    • rafiq

      Just a heads up, and you may already be aware of this…but for those who aren’t: One feature that can save you a lot of headache and anguish is the “cap only” option in the Lemur editor.

      This means the fader will only respond if you touch it directly on the fader “cap” onscreen and drag that. Sliding your fingers over it or touching anywhere else on the fader will do nothing. This insures no mishaps by accidentally touching something or accidental large fader jumps and is one significant ace Lemur has over TouchOSC, making it more suitable for live use. “relative” option in TouchOSC is almost as good. With that said, real faders and touch faders both have their places 🙂

      • oh nice! this will definitely be helpful in the future, thanks!

  • Good Article. I am very interested in the hardwired midi option, but it seems jankey, lacking of tutorials, and expensive. Anything show up at NAMM that is gig-solid and makes life easier?

  • Dan

    Just plain awesome! Finally an article that gives an easy in depth description for this great app! Good job DJTT

  • Dan, you could have linked to the original blog where the mashy were developed in April 2012:
    http://digitaldjtools.net/

    http://digitaldjtools.net/news/mashy-for-lemur-update/

  • Great article! For those who are interested, check out my latest Lemur template designed to control FX units in Traktor: http://liine.net/en/community/user-library/view/333/

  • i hope that something similar comes to android and windows users (because we need something similar at lemur editor)
    meanwhile we have the “Droid Fighter for Android and Apple devices” (thanks beaubryte) that works perfect https://maps.djtechtools.com/mappings/671

  • Has anyone used Lemur with a Bluetooth Personal Area Network (PAN). I have had success with TouchOSC over bluetooth (it still uses IP addresses, but it seems to connect using UDP which leads to low latency but it can drop the very first hit you send if you let it sit for a while)

    I’m holding back on buying Lemur since it says everywhere to turn off bluetooth. I have a feeling it would work though. Note, this is on the latest macbook air which has bluetooth 4.0, hooked to an iPad. The nice thing is you can leave wifi on on your laptop so you don’t have to lose the web to use touchOSC.

    • Coming back to answer my own question. Lemur definitely works over a pure Bluetooh PAN network under mountain lion. It’s as low latency as I’ve seen with any app. More responsive than TouchOSC as well. The lemur daemon treats the PAN as any other network.

      Hit me up if you have any questions on how to do it. The side benefit is no Ad hoc network to take down if you want to go wireless, you can still charge your iPad since you don’t need the CCK. and also you save that USB port if you were going to hardwire.

      • if people know it runs on bluetooth then it’ll just take one hacker to ruin a live show….or somebody with a smart phone

        • You have to pair the iPad and the computer, which is some level of security at least.

  • We start using this last year and its great !

    http://youtu.be/fEjqP6SiYrA

  • Deksel

    Love both TouchOsC & Lemur. I don’t have an iPad yet, but sofar I’ve used it for different reasons on my iPhone, of which mapping for the Remix decks was the coolest part.
    I haven’t jumped into the physics engine. What would you use it for and how?

  • This has been a great app so far. Especially with the in app editor. It’s very useful as a bridge between my needs in a controller and what I want from a dedicated controller. Then add in the physics engine and take everything on step further. Hopefully Ill have my newest mapping finished soon and will post it.

  • The Lemur app is wonderful and extremely powerful. It’s of course more money than TouchOSC, but the feature set is so much more rich, and the editor on your PC/Mac is fantastic. Don’t be fooled by the similar appearance.

  • DJ Danny J

    ive been playing with the Lemur app for nearly a year now, i still control Traktor with my VCI-400EGE but using the Mu Template for Ableton live is mind blowing. The way it adds clips in real time and you can have full “off keyboard” control is defiantly the best way to use Lemur and an ipad. Im buzzing for the release of Livecontrol 2 that will be a free lemur overal of the original (and limited) Touch OSC app. Long live multi touch, its the way forward.

  • CKsoundmachine

    I’ve got some problems with creating an Ad-Hoc wifi network in the latest iOSX release. The Ipad mini just won’t connect to it.

    • DJ Danny J

      yeah i’ve had issues with this as well on the ipad 2 and 3. If i use the pad out i always connect with the camera connection kit. Faster and avoids connection issues. Saying that i’m still a bit nervous using it out so I stick to a hardware controller, but in the home studio with standard wifi its fine

    • rafiq

      Did it work before that release? Try creating an ad-hoc network with a different name and without a password and/or try to have your iPad forget the first one before trying to connect it again.. sometimes helps. From personal experience, using Lemur over ad-hoc wifi is very stable and I’ve had no issues using it for long periods of time…I would trust it live. Latency is the only issue I’ve run into, but you can adjust for it while connecting in Audio Midi Setup. For the more conservative, a camera connection kit or something like an iRig are definitely the way to go.

      • CKsoundmachine

        It’s a brand new Ipad mini. Tried different configurations, nothing works. I think an Irig midi connection kit is the way to go for me. 🙂

    • Matías J. Padilla

      You need to set a static IP, it’s a problem introduced with the latest versions of iOS

      • CKsoundmachine

        A static IP doesn’t work either. The iPad get’s connected the ad hoc network but it still doesn’t works. I think I’ve bought me a crappy app :-/

  • Guest

    Awesome mapping Winston Ray put together here, easily the best Lemur template I’ve seen for full control of Traktor.

    For those interested: Last week I posted a Lemur/Traktor template which emulates and builds upon the Beat Slicer feature of the DJM-2000 nexus (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6UDAaHNQu8)…with a few extra features as well.

    I’ll be posting a video at some point demonstrating it.

    Manual Here
    http://db.tt/LQVviVce

    Mapping Here:
    https://maps.djtechtools.com/mappings/1120

    • Spacecamp

      Mapping is not by Winston, FYI. Andrew Norris, the original uploader, is credited above!

      • rafiq

        ahh ok, my bad. I had seen the name Winston associated with it in several places and mistook that to be the author. Thanks for clarifying 🙂