iPad Djing- Ready for Prime Time?

Chances are you have heard of Rana Sobhany, the self-proclaimed “first iPad DJ” who is officially “blowing up” after this video started going viral. She has landed a high-end agent, several interviews, and pending gigs after only DJing for three weeks even though it may just be a publicity push for the iPad. We first caught wind of  this before Gizmodo picked it up but I declined to publish based on the simple fact that she was not actually doing any DJing and quite frankly, the whole situation was kind of irritating (generally decent grounds for dismissal). The tech press, on the other hand, ran with the story and the resulting discussion has brought up some interesting questions about DJing with the iPad.

Publicity stunts aside, the concept of actually DJing with iPads is compelling and based on first reactions,  the non-DJing audience clearly likes the idea. One of the major barriers to professional  acceptance of controllers is that the public can’t relate and still has the image of a DJ with turntables ingrained in their heads. Until recently, many DJs felt that unless they are playing with turntables or something very “turntable”-like, they would not be perceived as real DJs.

Thanks to minority report and two years of iPhone domination, the general public completely understands the idea of touch interfaces and is clearly comfortable with seeing performers use them. This may lead to a much faster adoption of these concepts by pros. The real question this begs though- is the technology even there yet?

Turning it over to you.

For today’s subject, I am going to throw out the following question to the well-informed Dj TechTools community so you contribute your knowledge and opinions in the comments. Think of this as an experiment in which the readers write the rest of article.

“Is the iPad ready to be used as a self-contained DJ tool? What are known limits of the technology, and what can it do well?”

Together with our own research, we will compile your feedback into an article on Monday about the basic facts on DJing with the iPad.
I will open up the flood gates by throwing out some open questions:

  • How good is the processor really? How much audio can it process?
  • Will it be possible to create audio extension hardware?
  • Like the iPod, will programs not have access to tracks in iTunes?
  • How stable and reliable is the hard drive?



Comments (138)
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  • CB Bellerose

    3 years later… How is that digital DJ revolution going? With a page chock full of the completely bad ass apps for beat making and synths ( Launchpad, iMPC, Cassini, I’ll even throw in GarageBand… And these are just a few of the inexpensive apps, not even touching the $15 and over powerhouses available… Where will we be in three more years?

  • Nico_dja

    lo mismo decian del casette y del cd!!… es el futuro amigo… subite o quedate….

  • Nico_dja

    lo mismo decian del casette y del cd!!… es el futuro amigo… subite o quedate….

  • Jerome

    [quote comment=”29623″]I am tired of the DJ moniker being added to performance artists like this one. Deadmau5 is not a DJ he is a performance artist, same with Girl Talk they may look like a DJ on stage but they are creating music on the fly not just remixing.

    DJ’s mix music with whatever device is available to them granted. But an iPad? There is no direct connect with a laptop and that in itself is a performance killer, as others have said regarding wi-fi. So the term iPad DJ should not be in our vocabulary at this point. Thanks.[/quote]

    although you are right saying deadmau5 and girltalk are not technically dj’s you are wrong for comparing those artists in the same paragraph. i have seen both artists live (one more than the other) and i can tell you that girltalk uses a toshiba laptop in a see-through garbage bag, no controllers, nothing haha. deadmau5 on the other hand uses endless amounts of equipment and its always changing. i could be wrong but i think deadmau5 was using two ipads in his set up on boxing day in toronto. i could be wrong though, might be two lemurs… anyone know?

    • Brett van

      He was probably using a lemur touchpad.  I remember seeing a youtube video discussing his gear.  ipads are consumer grade equipment. 

      Would you put your faith in an ipad to preform for thousands and put your rep on the line?  I wouldn’t. 

  • dJ dAb

    [quote comment=”29905″]Just to throw this out there:

    iPad Camera Connection Kit

    This adapter could potentially allow you to plug in a USB controller directly into an iPad (i.e. Vestax dci-300), eliminating the headphone/master issue, etc.[/quote]

    You can also hard wire a ipad via USB tethering. That what I’m doing…. Work great and charges. Just a little hack.

  • Anonymous

    Its all very possible. I’ve been a dj for 15 yrs. Turntable to touchscreen. I would go strait to touchscreen. An emulator already exist for wii on any surface and multi touch screens like ipad and the new android tablet from google make this all to easy. Its not an app you need to dj. You need the software like ableton. Then you need is a file access app that emulates the actual software right to you ipad. You guys are way behind. We don’t need a dj app.

  • info

    DREAMING OF a DJ app WITH TWO INDEPENDENT STEREO outputs for your iPhone

    BUDAPEST, ESSEN June 4, 2010 – iMect, Hungary and Stereomusik Systems, Germany will upgrade their DJ PLAYER app (formerly “DJ PLAYER Blue Edition”) to 2.0 in June along with the brand new DJ PLAYER NetOut app in the App Store. DJ PLAYER is not only freshened up, but it’s bursting with some very cool features. Now it supports playing, mixing and manipulating of two different audio tracks simultaneously. It has two independent decks plus a virtual mixer having the charm of a real traditional DJ mixer with crossfader, EQ and five different output modes. The other good news is that DJ PLAYER supports NetOut now, to provide 2 separate stereo outputs for monitoring and master. Both apps will run also on your new iPad, they are uploaded to Apple for approval.

    These are exciting times! DJ PLAYER Blue Edition will go on sale for the next 7 days. Enjoy!

  • Nisus

    Not to be a dick…..but in my opinion, this needs serious improvement.


    …its killing machine…whats waiting in the future?jacks to the brain?

  • Scott

    When the first iPhones first came out I brought myself an Apple developers licence, with the intention of creating a device that could play tunes from its local iTunes library in much the same way as a turntable would: Pitch control and the ability to manually move the tune backwards and forwards via the touch screen.
    It all looked on paper so I set about developing the application myself (I’m a software developer) in the hope that I wouldn’t have to carry a huge crate of records around anymore. Unfortunately by the time I got it together (over 6 months of effort), Apple had decided that they did not want anyone to develop a better music player than iTunes so they encrypted a file on the iPhone called iTunesDB. This file is basically a mapping between the name of the tune (artist, etc) and the location of the music file on the device. Apple are essentially locking people out from playing media from their iTunes library via another player.
    Some clever people have worked out ways of decrypting this file. Apple soon found out about these clever people and decided to threaten them with huge lawsuits if they discussed this with the general public.
    As far as I am aware the upshot of this is that the only way an iPhone can be used as a DJ tool is as a remote control, and given the inherent latency of trying to control a media player remotely over an ethernet connection (with the responsiveness a DJ requires) I decided it wasn’t worth the effort.
    As much as Apple try to claim that they are a relatively OPEN software house (we use UNIX (Really? more like Linux), etc, etc) they are more anal about their software products than the likes of Microsoft.
    IMHO we are all better of using Traktor/Serato and a dedicated controller.
    Take it Easy!

  • Anonymous

    [quote comment=”29607″]problem with the ipad… one source of power supply, so dont expect to do a 5 hr gig with it with out taking it out to charge..[/quote]

    ? One source of power supply? Ummm, plugs into a socket like any turntables I’ve ever used…

  • mymanhenri

    I love technology, and i’m looking fwd to midi mapping the iPad. But the way she goes on about how she’s the 1st?!? ARE YOU SERIOUS?? She’s going on like she’s made a discovery worthy of a TIME over. Sorry dear, those are refried beans. You know what they say, garbage in, garbage out.
    KAOSS PADS, x y coordinates. LOL. Trying to sound so official.
    Maybe she should take her new finding to NAMM for her award.
    So she now has an agent?? Cool. I’m not mad. if she can bamboozle ppl to hire her for gigs (like she may just have done – gizmodo #fail), go for it. Get that $. Sarah Palin is making tons of $ and we all know she knows politics.

    Now, she’s also the reason I pretty much don’t use the term DJ any longer. When you have pathetic persons going around saying they’re DJin after buying a mixer and 2 (insert music delivery device name here). wow. No thx.

  • DJ Mysttik

    I may agree with the consensus that it’s a useful DJ tool perhaps! But my question is to all the DJ’s out there who work and support this scene for the last 20+ years,oes for Really? when are we going to define the DJ lines? just because you get 2 ipads and a mixer does not make you a Dj the same goes for the fact of getting two turntables or CD’s either way you slice this being a DJ goes far beyond your set up! if you don’t see it this way you probably have not seen it out of your bedroom yet! By that I mean being a DJ has many components this young DJ scene is forgetting about!
    The ground work was laid out for a reason! you must know the rules before you attempt to change them or break them! To me like I said just because you have the latest push button touch screen app technology or what ever other set up you have that it self does not make you a DJ! that video if anything we are focusing on the sound had no structure, she needs to go look up the word PROGRAMING! whether you play some one elses sounds or records you still need to learn to make them flow together in a smooth manner! No I pad or technology will ever help you do that you either have it or you don’t! it’s called an ear for the music! That is what is lacking here in my opinion! All Dj’s need to know this!

  • DJ MAP

    the only thing i would use the ipad for is to trigger clips and scenes in ableton, as a cheaper alternative to the lemur. ill just stick with the akai apc 40

  • rdej47

    The one thing I was really hoping for out of iPad was the ability to do prep work on my tracks away from home, without having to haul the laptop around. It’d be awesome to be able to properly tag tracks/do a platinum note analysis, you know all the tedious stuff Digital Dj’s have to do. I think it’s far from a performance tool.

  • Fernida

    Hey folks,

    I’m not a pro DJ, on the contrary I’m quite a beginner in the world of Djing. But today I was lucky enough to discover this…

    To control Ableton Live, it seems to me that the lemur can -or could in a near future- easily be replaced by this nice little progam on the iPad (you can fforward to 5:23 to skip all the not-so-funny jokes and faces):


    What are your thoughts?



  • Kilown

    Sorry guys i could not read all this – but here is my 2 cents ( dont spend it in one place )

    OK , yes Ipad could become something good , something ok , but i dont see it being something we NEED to dj with , i think it could be a tool , something that could bring a edge to your skills.

    BUT. not a touch screen Jog wheel or even controlled traditional set up interface. that type of stuff is not something a quality DJ would use . i know a lot might be asking “quality?” i am talking about the DJ’s that will rummage threw your vinyl collection before asking you what you have in MP3’s . these DJ are starting to come around thanks to Scratch Live . which is a good program. the idea that people would Hack as stated in one of the post that i did see, is just plan true and not true , many know that macs and there Ips and all the router to “hack” there programming and to claim they are “hackable” means that you also can hack a Mac Computer , something Apple has sought out for years now , and even the best cannot do this .

    with the age of touch screens and virtual Dj’s comming to the sceen . i say there is only one true thing to do , that is wait and see ( prove people wrong )

    All in all , the Ipad for now seems to be a better lap top for the deep pockets and not a DJ booth must have.

    Kiss – keep it simple stup!d . true to all walks of life


  • confused

    her heels were kinda hot lol

  • Metachemical

    I can’t stand touch screens, and I really can’t see that many djs giving away tactile control. To me DIY controllers, units like the VCM-600 and APC are far more interesting and will dominate the future.

  • dj num nums

    im glad im not the only one who was crazy what did she do move a few cubes on and off a screen in a program that will do EVERYTHING for you at the touch of a button. this isnt djing this is a feeble attempt to push this digital craze that is buzzing out of your monitors as we speak. The average consumer lets assume knows nothing about being a dj apple created a nice lil tablet. dont market this as the next gen of digital controllerism. most will hate this concept and although i dont agree with it it is very innovative. and will also open new doors in the music controllers world.

  • radley

    Just to throw this out there:

    iPad Camera Connection Kit

    This adapter could potentially allow you to plug in a USB controller directly into an iPad (i.e. Vestax dci-300), eliminating the headphone/master issue, etc.

  • Nannou

    I prefer to look at the bigger picture here. Not so much whether the iPad itself is ready for “prime time”… but rather whether these sorts of products (The Lemur is a prime example) will follow Apples lead and release solid and stable Tablet PCs. (I’m hesitant in saying “lead” because Tablet PCs have been out for years. And the iPad is not a PC in the traditional sense.)
    Touch-screen computing will get a massive recognition boost from the release of the iPad, and we’ll soon start to get a taste of the more open and flexible systems that can be created.

    Heck, if I could have a device that acted like a PC, TR-808, and KaosPad all in one…. I’d certainly give it a shot. A solid, high-quality tablet PC will no doubt bring such possibilities to the party. But not the iPad.
    The iPad won’t make it into the big leagues because of its totally regulated and over-controlled app development platform.
    I can’t imagine that it’ll ever become popular enough that it’ll become a standard DJ tool.

    However…. it does seem to be a step into the future of digital music production/DJing.
    I think touch-screen tablets have the potential to become a very useful tool in a Digital DJs arsenal. They won’t be for everyone, of course…… nothing but speakers could ever be truly defined as “essential” to a DJ. But i think they’ll eventually hold a position similar to that of a hardware midi controller.

  • SoulTrooper

    Deadmau5 addressed not using the iPads to Dj SPECIFICALLY! for the reason of them getting hacked. If it weren’t for the iPads wifi joel would have been using those months ago.

  • Leroy

    Just a bit of background: looptastic is the brainchild of Aaron Higgins, the guy behind the Mixmeister software. He left Mixmeister with numark to go work on developing apps for apple products and such.

  • John Strickland

    i used the iPad to dj the second night it came out and the set worked just fine. I use DJ PLAYER Blue Edition.. originally for iPhone but useful on iPad as well. The Rana girl claims she was the first.. well first off.. she was not the first.. not saying i was.. but she didn’t try it till 2 weeks after the iPad was released.. and like i said i played the sunday after it was released. Second.. she is def not djing.. playing with looptastic is a joke.. DJ PLAYER works just like a rack mounted CDJ as far as the controls (interface) works. it also allows you to sync your iTunes with it.. or if all else fails .. load tracks up thru wifi. I am not saying this is better or will replace cdj’s. But it is a fun and different way of djing. So far i haven’t ran into any processing issues or crashes and the accelerometer fx makes it a cool thing to watch someone do. Here are a couple vids.. one is me playing live (lighting is bad) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZaRi0EuL6w and one is a small demo i did in the studio http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UR0DEsWvwnA

  • Leadmeister

    Why are people saying this walking apple ad is a pioneer? *cough* Jazzmutant Lemur *cough*

  • BradCee

    the more i think about it, the more i think ‘this isn’t actually anything special’

    for all intents and purposes it’s just an electribe and a sampler linked to a mixer, just as ipads….


  • B-Matty

    Maybe … just maybe … the iPad might be a useful DJ Tool. It could substitute for as little as a midi controller/sampler or as much as turntables/CDJ’s…with the right apps however..so more money spent.

    I’d also like to point out…she’s not really djing…by definition of course. She is using another application called Looptastic which is just a bunch of loop sets that can be combined together to make songs. And you’re running ABLETON!! Not Logic..stupid head.


  • subVert

    I have owned an iPad since day one. I consider myself a DJ. I have purchased many iPad apps so far, but not a single DJ app.

    The first thing that has to be defined when someone is talking about DJing with the iPad is the type of app they are using.

    1) iPad as a controller for software on the computer
    2) iPad as an all in one dj tool with two decks, crossfader in one app
    3) iPad as a soundsource to emulate a single CDJ (actually I don’t know if this exists, but it would be the one that I want)

    As a controller for software via wireless… right now I would say novelty. Looks really cool but I would not currently use it live. It doesn’t have any performance advantage for me over a physical controller. Maybe one day I’ll use it to Control Traktor effect just for kicks.

    As an all in one dj gadget, it’s a toy. I saw one writeup bragging that you did not even need to hear the music to make a seamless mix. It just relies on you matching the visual waveforms. Biggest problem with this is that the iPad just has a single output. To cue using that type of software you need to use a cable to split the output so that you have one mono channel going to the house and you cue with the other mono channel.

    I would use the iPad as a third deck in my setup if it had software that let me make a circular motion to find my cue point like if I were using a turntable of CDJ, let me set multiple cue points, displayed it’s guesstimate of the BPM, had pitch control and had instant start. If I had the money for two iPads and software like that existed

    I have purchased some amazing synths, drum machines, algorithmic music generation programs and I believe that you can make some amazing music with an iPad.

  • GrooveJunkie

    Ipad Djing- Ready for Prime Time?


  • Anonymous

    [quote comment=”29667″]”I’m using logic”… oh wait, that’s ableton live![/quote]

    Lol thats what I was gonna write! It’s just advertising and she sounds like a TV salesperson. You know those infomercials that they show in the middle of the night, and shopping channels. Could be useful as a controller, but not as a dedicated mixer. I’d rather use the HP Slate.

  • Faust_

    I got this. She’s the DJ version of Sarah Palin. The monkey in the kitchen behind her is Joe the Plummer, and the camera work is being handled by John McCain. Conservative Americans crack me up, man.

  • subVert

    [quote comment=”29607″]problem with the ipad… one source of power supply, so dont expect to do a 5 hr gig with it with out taking it out to charge..[/quote]
    The battery last about 10 hours, so a 5 hour gig would not be an issue.

  • Mayhem

    Bottom line is what she is doing with those iPad’s is sounding like shit. Doesn’t matter what she is using, if it sounds that bad, it won’t last. This is just a fad people, so relax. There is still no substitute for a proper DJ who is fundamentally sound and can read a crowd like a glove.

  • Actuator

    The potential is interesting but what she did in that video wasnt really seamless. I hate to hear those shoddy transitions in a set. I could see this at a birthday party or school event, but not really at a club/rave. Although for midi control this could be pretty cool.

  • Imfromthafutur

    An interview in dj times? I guess you can buy a career nowadays

  • Will

    My first DJ setup ever was a cheap mixer, and a desktop running VIRTUAL TURNTABLES (VTT) with two soundcards back in 1999. I felt like I needed to go and buy turntables in order to get the real thing, and in fact back then you’d never get a gig with anything less… It worked, it taught me a shit load in beat matching and mixing (you know, the ever important fundamentals) and I’ve since bought turntables and cdjs.

    Now I’m sitting here watching what clearly appears to be a clueless bitch telling me that because she plugged in two music players in to a mixer that she’s a genius and a pioneer, and so far i’ve heard nothing but harsh, incompatible and misaligned concatenations of some pre made loops. My hard work as nothing more than a bedroom dj, my intellect, and my passion for the dance music culture feels completely insulted by this load of absolute garbage that she is throwing in my face right now…

    There was a time where female DJs absolutely worked their arse off to be BETTER than the boys at the job. Lisa Lashes, Anja Schneider and the amazing DJ Heaven (MoS) are/were perfect examples of this. Now – videos like this and the ever popular moron in V-Neck and Aviators are proof that our culture has been whored by everything and everyone that have absolutely NO idea.

    Seriously, there needs to be some sort of official ‘licence’ required to DJ, in order to quantify talent from the sewage that is stealing everyones gigs.

  • vonburn

    I give her/anyone props for being a pioneer and all…..but seriously…..the ipad!?…you know…aka big ass iphone!!!!

    There’s a reason why people spend 2k on a laptop or why people even learn how to use turn tables for performing live. This sort of spits in the face of the art of DJing in my opinion. If you’re new to DJing/producing and you want to make it big like Tiesto, Paul Van Dyk, David Guetta, Deadmou5, etc….I can promise you that they will not ever use an ipad.

    Trust me, I’m daiting someone who’s been DJing for over 4 years with her own radio show, I’ve met DJ’s from all over the damn place, I even dj my self and I produce music. This Ipad shit is just for shits and giggles and will never succeed.

  • walshatron

    coincidentally, I watched Nortec collective today. I’d never heard of them before but they were pretty good! Mexican electronic outfit. They had a CRAZY setup, including 2 big tablets, a laptop, a little handheld controller, a TUBA, an accordion and yes…an IPAD.

    I think the ipad was mainly for onstage production stuff, but it was definitely getting some use.

    photo: http://hphotos-sjc1.fbcdn.net/hs448.snc3/25715_389742157550_561182550_4416080_2391331_n.jpg

    and the main setup sans band for the nerds: http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash1/hs468.ash1/25715_389742132550_561182550_4416077_2641627_n.jpg

  • Tom

    The chances are apple will never allow access to music stored on itunes or use of the product as a midi controller as you will only be able to use it with itunes. there will only ever be options to use this product as a dj tool if it is unlocked and running apps not though the app store. So it will never be a viable tool for the mass’s end of unless apple makes big changes and the chances of that are mega slim

  • Shane

    ha! I don’t think anyone here is surprised.

  • dj professor ben

    OK, this is from an interview with her in DJ Times. Looks to me like she is just stringing words together and has very little idea of what she’s talking about, but am I being unfair? Read on: “It’s hard enough to mix beats together when dealing with laptops. Now imagine two independent computing platforms with no ability to sync. The lack of multitasking in the OS makes it really hard to transition quickly between apps. There really is no room for error. There are so many things happening at once that it can be dizzying when you consider the timing and rhythmic elements to making music on iPad. That being said, the iPad handles a lot of the grunt work when it comes to aligning rhythms and matching tempos. Having the ability to monitor sounds through the mixer I’m using also makes it easy to experiment with sonic ideas on the fly and iterate as needed.” (source http://djtimes.com/blog/2010/04/ipad-dj-sees-the-future/)

  • Seddon

    I messaged her on twitter saying how I didn’t like how she said this is “definitely the way to go” if you want to try DJing. She told me that was completely out of context and is now ignoring me. Based on that alone i think she’s a moron…

    I’m not worried about this becoming the new industry standard… it will not happen this way. I am worried about clowns like her influencing the beginner DJ who has absolutely no clue where to start (we’ve all been there…). She claims this is cheap and easy… this is cheap and rubbish. A copy of traktor and a used oxygen 8 from ebay will cost you a fraction of the price and you will get a lot more out of it… So much more.

    To conclude, the self proclaimed words first iPad DJ needs to watch what she says before we have a whole generation of these morons.

  • Villinus

    Am I missing something here? I really have yet to see any usable form of DJ software for the iPad. In that video she was just using a couple apps to trigger built in loops that would get stale in a matter of minutes to any real DJ/Producer.

    Besides, the iTunes music is not accessible yet, there isn’t any way of getting audio out other than the headphone jack, NOR is there any way of using the serial connection to sync.

    Potential? Yes, if Apple makes the right moves. As of right now, it doesn’t look any better than DJ’ing with two iPhones…

  • tokenasianguy

    I like that she bought one of the cheapest mixer’s around, and wanted to point out it’s only feature…The kill Switches…

  • BradCee

    The iPad probably won’t be the touch screen device to ‘breakthrough’, but will lead to/inspire something more suited to the task imo

  • Nisus

    Sweeeet glory of mother, the ship is going down!!!! Everyone into the life rafts. Djing is sinking…. The coffee shop down the street from my house uses the ipad as a cash register. Yuppies use it to read “books” and write emails about going to the cabin this weekend. People make videos about being DJs with it. I hope my tetanus shot gets logged on an ipad at the emergency room. Ye old “djing or checking email?” applies, (you’re obviously checking email because you can’t access your itunes library with it). As a controller, I feel like the iPad is the king of bland nonspecific utility. It’s the khaki’s of the controller world. Over it….for now.

    Quick last thought, why don’t more controllers give us more feedback from our computers? Its like a one way communication street. If I were to make the iPad useful in some new way I would focus on opening the other direction of communication from the computer to the controller. -Nisus



  • 6StringMercenary

    TL;DR – Ranananannoo is right to assert that “iPad DJs” will start to bring it, but I think Traktor/Serato/Ableton + decks/controllers will stomp it…don’t bring a knife to a gunfight…

  • 6StringMercenary

    [quote comment=”29693″]
    In my opinion, the inevitable truth is that the line will be blurred further. The means to DJ will be offered to everyone. The Digital Revolution will continue.
    I for one, while aware that this is bound to happen, remain skeptical as to whether it will ultimately be a good or a bad thing for the Digital DJing community as a whole.

    In spite of your glossing over the whole Apple-nearly-choked-themselves-to-death by marketing over-priced, limited systems for nearly a decade and allowed Gateway and Dell to team with Microsoft and pretty much take over the market, you made some good points. Very much in agreement that it’s an iffy question – people always need an access point to a hobby or passion. In some beginners, it becomes like an addiction, and for them, the iPad setup might be that gateway.

    However, for considering the “elite” notion, music is still a “the sky’s the limit” artform. Like a connection to BALCO, digital advancements can raise the bar higher while it also goes lower. This has been a very profound realization through watching the evolution of the electric guitar and equipment. There will always be an “elite” percentage of musicians and artists who practice to master their craft, but it’s a long cycle…and for good reason.

    Here’s counter-point anecdote regarding mass-accessability: A now-retired bus driver I know used to be a professional guitarist between 1964 and 1969. The band played Top 40 covers for high school dances and social gatherings, making about $300 between the five of them. For context, the national average for a gallon of gas was $0.31 – it was good work. Then, the Beatles hit. To paraphrase his version, every Tom-Dick-and-Harry could pick up instruments and in a short time be able to practice a set of Beatles covers…and they’d perform at gigs for $150…essentially ruining the market for the professionals. That meant banking more on the opening slots for touring acts, tough competition as the local market eroded. In his view, what finally killed off live music was…disco…put on a record and party.

    Things are starting to come full circle, and while the iPad might get people into actual music production/performance, it’s a long road ahead. Just ask any kid who got a guitar after playing lots of RockBand. It’s no picnic. And that, my friends, is why it’s good to be encouraging but not discount the hard work, practice, sweat, ringing ears and thrill of discovery that comes from reaching toward the highest levels…and of course some wicked sick pro will later post an iPad wizardry response to Rana’s thing and raise the bar skyward for everybody haha. Seriously though, Eric Clapton could pick up a $50 pawn shop guitar and make amazing music – the tools are what they are, but that can’t change the culture of the artform…musicians are a competitive bunch, and that’s perfect.

  • Maestro B

    As a live remix/production tool, I can see ipad being integrated into a performer’s setup.

    From a pure DJing perspective (i.e choosing self contained songs and piecing together a mixed journey) I think the audience likes to see the DJ doing something with devices that you don’t find in your home. Everyone has an iPhone and soon everyone will have an iPad. There’s nothing special about that technology. There is, however, something special about turntables, midi controllers and CDJs. Part of a traditional DJs performance is the overall “look” of the act. So, yes, there’s a place for it, but I wouldn’t like to see a DJ using it exclusively.

    Imagine going to see your favorite band and instead of guitars, drums and saxaphones, they all stood on stage, motionless, sliding their fingers over iPhones. Boring to watch!

  • teenagesounds

    Here is one more possibility nobody mentioned: I know that i think the monome is really cool but i dont know anyone who has it, and just looking at youtube videos doesnt really give me the feel of using it. A monome app on the ipad might not be that tacticle but i’d be great for anyone interested in “trying” out the idea (granted you already have an ipad). Otherwise the video of the chick was just complete shit, she could at least done something cool and innovative. Although comparing it to Guitar Hero is clever, i’d say it’s a lot more like AutoTune.

  • TRIK

    I hope the iPad won’t turn out to be a ‘standard’ for Djing. It’s certainly made for ‘leisure’ as I see it. It would be sad to me as a DJ/sound professional, cause above how ‘cheap’,’portable’ or ‘apple’ it is, the sound output quality (balanced connections, sound card.. etc) and other technical factors are more important to consider.

  • jorge muniz Best Legs

    i dont think it will be used as a self contained dj controller any time soon. it may not be tactile enough for most that are accustomed to physical knobs. i do think that it could be used as a midi controller for small tasks along side a physical controller.

  • Nannou


    Now that I have your attention, please take a moment to mull over this little statement.

    The advent of user-friendly and accessible DJ technology and software has begun to blur the line between what has always been seen as “the DJ elite” and the rest of the world.

    Previously, the only people out there able to become a “DJ” were the guys and gals who threw up hundreds ~if not~ thousands of dollars to invest in physical hardware, and then added months and years of practice and training to become unconsciously competent.

    Digital DJ tech has opened the flood-gates to the rest of the world in two aspects.
    1. The internet (think Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Blogs) allows people to discover DJing in forms that they’ve never seen before.

    2. Digital DJing is something that many people can wrap their heads around these days because in many cases they already own part of the hardware required (a computer and possibly speakers). Its a much smaller step both financially and logistically should they decide to go the rest of the way and give Digital DJing a go.

    This site is definitive proof of these two aspects. It’s what helped me on my path to becoming a DJ.
    Originally I could never justify the costs (financial and time) that “analog” DJing would require. No matter how much I wanted to give it a go.

    I see the advent of this “iPad DJing” as a further blurring of this already blurry line between the “DJ elite” and the “common masses”.
    The question then becomes this: Is further blurring a good thing?

    Apple has in the past, already been responsible for a lot of blurring in other areas of technology.

    Before the iMac came out, computers were seen as something for the elite and the geeky. When it was released, every woman and her sweater-wearing cat were able to grasp the fundamentals of computing.

    Digital audio, and digital audio players had long been around but were always seen as something for only the geeky computer elite to play with. When Apple released the iPod it captured an entirely new segment of the population…. the “non-geeks”.

    Smartphones/OS & App based phones have been around for ages, and as always were considered a product for the business and geek elites. The iPhone gave that same technology to the masses in a way that was easy to use.

    I see them doing the exact same thing with the iPad now.

    We live in a smart generation (or not-so-smart if you count the Youtube comment community). A true age of Digital Revolution. Where people are becoming more and more comfortable picking up new technology or trying new ideas.

    There are still those out there who see the digitizing of DJing as a negative thing. The vinyl snobs amongst us.
    And there are those out there who see this same thing as a truly positive thing. Certainly the people on this website right now.

    I leave this post with no real answers, just more questions.

    With reference to Digital DJing, Where is the line drawn in the already blurred sand?
    Should there be a line at all?
    Should the means to DJ be offered so easily to everyone? (even those who really have no concept of rhythm or key?)

    In my opinion, the inevitable truth is that the line will be blurred further. The means to DJ will be offered to everyone. The Digital Revolution will continue.
    I for one, while aware that this is bound to happen, remain skeptical as to whether it will ultimately be a good or a bad thing for the Digital DJing community as a whole.

    Thanks for reading 🙂


  • el-oh-el

    [quote comment=”29600″]
    I could flood the router, snag and mix up your packets, take control, lock you out, and on and on…

    Not cool when 10,000 watts is going into the speakers as I push all your levels up to max.

    This is not a joke! Any crappy hacker can crack ANY wireless connection in 5 minutes or less.

    really dude? lmao.

  • JohnnyC

    With the right app, this could be the Lemur killer. Maybe more so in future generations of the Ipad. I know I’d love to have a Lemur without spending thousands of dollars.

    As for the comment about hacking into the Ipad, and having it clip out the audio: good reason to only use is as a controller.

  • deejayhektik

    This chick was terrible… the music didnt even sound great. who is she kidding

  • deco

    i think the simple answer is yes – it is a viable dj tool. it’ll be each dj’s opinion on how valuable it is to their dj set-up and whether or not its worth the purchase price. based on the price and the availablility of apps it does have the potential to do many things fairly well. the reality is an iElectribe app won’t be as good as having an Electribe, but it could be lots of fun to play with an maybe use at a gig. i don’t think it would be wise to dj with this alone. thats my two cents.

  • Hail to the Thief!

    This girl is kind of an embarrassment… Espcially when she tries to mix in daft punk and completely fails! As mentioned many times in the comments the iPad can be used as a killer controller. And i actually use it as a controller using SSL 2.0 seeing that the effects in 2.0 are almost useless with out a midi controller. The app i use is Touch OSC with a custom layout for scratch live and I hardly experience any latency when triggering cue points. Shit is niiice son!

  • dj professor ben

    For Christ’s sake, this is all a marketing stunt. Yes she’s cute but I almost can’t believe she’s getting away with this. If she could DJ even half-assed, it wouldn’t be so bad, but this is ridiculous. And it’s not like the idea of DJing with an iPad (and previously iPod/iPhone) is even freaking new. She just thought of it while waiting in line to buy one? What about all the apps that already existed on the iPhone? She could at least give credit to those who came before her rather than pretend she invented the fucking thing. What’s next, Rana Sobhany took the lead in creating the internet. And freed the slaves!!

    As for iPad DJing, I think the iPad will be a great tool for anyone who wants a touchscreen midi controller. I wouldn’t want to use it on its own for various reasons — I like knobs and buttons, I worry about connectivity and reliability, and I worry about mishaps on a touchscreen. Besides all that, I like the power of Traktor and you’re not going to put that on an iPad. BUT along with a laptop this could be a wonderful tool. I have played around extensively with algoriddim’s djay software on the Mac along with the iPod control interface and it is fantastic — on an iPad it will be a killer app. I still would prefer tactile controls and more powerful software, but for a basic DJing application in a really compact form, it will be a great tool. And a beginner can easily sound much better than Rana just using that software.

    I could be dreaming but I have a feeling that Apple will continue to make forays into the DJ market, possibly with more extensive controller/software combinations, but certainly with more iPad apps. The djay software and its easy integration with iTunes is phenomenal for the beginner or for someone who wants simple no-frills DJ software. I wouldn’t be totally surprised if this whole Rana thing was a publicity stunt secretly funded by Apple. Except that I would expect the people at Cupertino to use someone who could actually DJ at least a little bit.

  • Anonymous

    who is gonna pay to go to a club and hear music off apps you can download on your iphone? i doubt they are anywhere close to a 320kbs mp3 so that means no fucking bass. people want to hear awesome music not fucking app loops and presets this is like using a guitar hero controller instead of a les paul

  • kevin

    I my opinion, 2 things just kill me. 1. is the “first” do DJ using an IPAD statement. Does she really think she is the first? Also, jumping though the video because I personal couldn’t take it. Is that a macbook pro and if so it looks to be 17 inch, a presonus firebox, 2 Ipads and a NUMARK M3 MIXER????? The wooden chair cost more than an M3, I’m just saying.

  • deeco

    hmmm…”I’m running Logic”….no you’re not…that’s Ableton Live girl…

  • MrGecko

    As a stand alone, I would never trust an iPad for most of the reasons already listed in other posts, But since you can plug it into your computer throught the iPad dock to usb cable, I think it would work as a controller surface quite nicely.

    Hell I have 2 usb ports on my macbook, which I have Traktor pro loaded on, So I could have two of the acting as controllers.

    Just a thought

  • Luke


  • wikkid1

    i just couldnt resist posting another reply to this one, regarding her whole ‘cost effective’ shtick. at $1200 this is a long way from being the best setup for a beginner that just wants to mess around. in my opinion the absolute best unit for a total beginner is something like Numark CDMIX2, unless youre a vinyl freak of course. MIX2, dual cd player console with pretty much every option a beginner could ask for, except for sync! which is why its so good for beginners.

  • Betatron

    that video makes me sick to my stomach.

    right on belch.

  • Matt Belcher

    Yeah, I don’t like this ‘revolution’ thing.
    “If you want to try DJing, this is definitely the way to go”
    a) it’s not really DJing.
    b) it’s not the way to go.
    Yeah, I think the idea’s fairly cool – I sometimes use my iphone to hook up to traktor just to add another engaging edge to my sets (visually). But this iPad stuff, using two of them into a mixer with headphone jacks, isnt going to take over. I don’t mind the idea of using it as a midi controller, like a lemur – that’s cool; only using them as a total solution to DJing, especially as she quotes the use of iDaft as one of her primary apps, is a bit scary.
    well, not scary atall actually – but it’s not going to take the world stage!

  • keebs

    [quote comment=”29604″]@keebs – the fact that almost anyone could crash your iPad in the middle of set is kind of a big deal and if its an issue something that iPad owners should be aware of.[/quote]

    Sure, but that’s only if you’re using something like TouchOSC. If you’re using it to output audio directly then you can just disable Wi-Fi and that wouldn’t occur.

  • Hillary Bloch

    Honestly, just from the video, I thought Rana Sobhany was just doing the sort of thing that I’ve seen people do with guitar hero. And she did say that the idea was to let anyone interested in music to try out fun things with looping and clips. Music is about expressing yourself and the feelings that go with what you hear, I think. And everyone’s entitled to make their own sounds, or, um, noise. From the links about her biography it sure seems like she’s a business person (a card-carrying marketing person) who’s trying to make a niche for herself. Maybe she lost her last job. Fine. I don’t think anyone’s going to get hurt by her trying to make a living. It looks like great fun for birthday parties and stuff like that. Maybe there’ll be neat, interesting set-ups that come out from all the attention and hoopalah that professional DJs will find interesting. I agree: she shouldn’t call herself a DJ, but I then suppose there are probably a few professional concert pianists who aren’t ready to call DJs musicians. I’m sure this is annoying for the professionals, but we all know deep inside that real talent and craft are lasting and make a difference. I really do believe that thinking about the music first makes everything fall into perspective. I would definitely pay money to see James Holden mix with tape decks. About the ipad? For some of the questions mentioned I’ve seen good answers at places like ilounge.com. I’ve been told anandtech.com is good too. Having a piano background and fiddling lately with synthesizers I just cannot see myself every feeling expressive with a touch screen. (I like to play with my eyes closed— ^.^) And I love my iphone. (sorry if there are repeats– somehow my posts don’t seem to make it)

  • Freddy

    “I’m using logic”… oh wait, that’s ableton live!

  • Tom

    Hackers are not all bad and give more to the internet and computing than they take. We would not have the personal computer if it was not for hackers. You should allways turn your wireless off when playing out. It takes up ram and cpu also if its off it is one less thing to go wrong. To be honest if a microwave dj was rude to me in a club and was dumb enough to have his wireless on because anybody worth there salt would have it turned off. id perform a remote shut down on him only 5 or 6 times wouldnt want to ruin the night for the people paying but would make them look pritty silly. If the dj was a true performer though I would not even consider doing it maybe pop up a message saying watch who u are rude to.
    This rules out the ipad for things like using it to control a turntable via bluetooth or wifi. It could be done using audio however the sound chip in the ipad is pritty standard this with the response time you are proably look at 100ms plus delay. This is a guess looking at specs would be good if somebody could come up with some accurate figures. However looking at videos of scratching using ipads its very laggy there is no chance of performing any complex scratces. Also alot of turntablists wont move to cdjs due to loss of feeling are they really going to move to a ipad.
    The sound card would not hack it for direct output in a venue anylarger than a bar. There is a reason why people spend $500+ on soundcards. People are forgetting this is a consumer product not a proffesional tool.
    She also says its the cheapest way to get into djing at $1200 i would disagree she priced up the mixer and sound card at 100 a piece so i will do the same i would go for a pair of second hand 1200 mk2 for about $370 and about $350 or less for a laptop more than capable of running traktor duo which you can get a legal copy of for around $70 2 linyl timecode for $30. This pricing is $180 cheaper will last longer and is a far better setup.
    The best hope lies in the hands of the hackers writing a core program that would allow it to send midi signals direct to the pc via usb however im pritty sure this violates apples development guidlines so this will only be for jailbroken ipads. Most inovation is made by people that you brand as hackers some cause alot of harm some cause alot of good we would not be where we are today without them.

  • Bang the DJ

    iPads for DJing? Maybe, but more importantly why?

    They might be handy as a portable tool, but surely, if its all just about the interface, then someone like Korg could come up with a dedicated unit.

    Handy for ideas and stuff, but who wants TweetDeck chirping up halfway through a set 😛

  • The Exigence

    So to find the video I put “Rana Sobhany” into youtube’s search field. She is a VP of some marketing firm or app developer. Its a gimmick. Theres a bunch of videos of her talking about the iphone too.

    As far as the ipad goes, if it was more powerful i’d consider getting one to use like a lemur, but with out any direct connection I’d really have to think about it.

  • Den Erello

    Well maybe as deckcontroller it could work. I don’t like the idea of using the iPad (or any touchscreen for that matter) as mixer. With real faders you know where they are, but when you have a touchscreen fader you can push everywhere on the screen and the fader would adjust right to it even though you don’t want to. It needs much more precision I think.

  • Shane

    I feel like she’s trying to be the Ean Golden of the iPad. By looking at all these sites that she has created saying that she is starting a “musical experiment” which will cause a musical “revolution”. Too bad she doesn’t have the 14 years of DJing experience!!! :/

    But like stated before I feel like the iPad has the potential of becoming something great for the DJ and Producing Artists but just haven’t seen anything that has made me feel like it’s there yet.

  • Fyoog

    I totally agree with this being a useful tool in your equipment, as for being the equipment sum total people use as a dj set up? I’m not so sure…
    IMHO i still thik touch screen stuff has got a long way to go before we are all converting to on screen DJing/ performance….whatever you want to call it. I think we as people still like having something to touch and use, hence the reason that serato and traktor scratch are so popular with vinyl still being at the core of the control surface even though on the whole the tech has moved on. Moving totally touch screen can throw up a whole host of problems if you are using that and nothing else? Not ever tried though to be fair so can’t comment with 100% confidence.
    Someone made the good point above though that it what you do with it that counts(as always seems to come out when the controllerist/ turntablist argument comes back) and being oiginal and doing the job of making people dance or perfoming to people that are loving it is what counts. If someone can play as well on these ipads as well as someone on CDJ’s/ vinyl/ controllers with the actual skills to boot then good luck to them?

  • Sarasin

    mmm….I would say NO to the question.

    For me….its just not tactile enough. I want to be able to feel the buttons etc.

    Maybe i change my mind one day….but for now…..NO.

  • yc

    ipad as touchosc-type interface for software running on your computer: yes please.
    ipad as an actual dj surface: no thanks.

    on top of that, touchosc needs to be made able to send signals via the usb dongle rather than just wifi for the security reasons mentioned above – and for the simple reason that an mbp’s wifi seems to have adverse effects on any sound processing software. the whole ordeal just doesn’t seem reliable enough at this point. i will however admit that a $500 ipad vs a $2000 lemur is VERY interesting. if they ironed out those last few kinks, i’d be 100% sold.

    the thing is, for this kind of application i’d really just be buying the ipad for the screen itself and nothing else. the other stuff doesn’t interest me, i’m happy with my iphone for all my mail/on-the-go browsing/music needs, i don’t watch movies on the road – and for everything else i have my mbp or even my desktop computer at home. heck, even when sitting in the living room i can always just turn on the PS3 and go online with a big screen that way. literally there’s nothing apart from the screen that makes the ipad attractive to me. and since i can’t use it in a dedicated fashion like i could the lemur or any standard touchscreen interface it loses much of its appeal.
    that being said, i personally do like the tactile feedback of say, a real mixer. i don’t mind doing the transport/looping/fx stuff via a touch interface, but levels, EQing, even filters, to me, should still be handled by a mixer.

    as for the actual philosophy of using that kinda hardware: i don’t really mind. i still can’t picture a dj as green as her being worth her salt, despite being into music for a while. it just takes a degree of practise and intuition that you develop over time. the whole thing is a huge hype and basically a marketing gag, the fact that we’re even discussing it makes it more successful. i don’t find myself drawn to her music or character in any way shape or form however, and wouldn’t pay a dime to see her play so that pretty much settles it. point is, it just doesn’t have anything to do with the hardware she’s using. i’d probably enjoy someone like james holden DJing with two tape decks, but somebody like Tiesto or whatnot would bore me regardless of how they do it.

  • josh@firestorm

    …and then dj rana says, “i know just from playing music that this one over here is about 124.4bpm”.

    yeah im sure that you can tell that its 124.4 and not 124 or 125 or 124.35 or 560bpm

  • wikkid1

    i think there was a couple of similar comments before mine, but it seems like this just isnt asked enough times yet. whats the point?!

    what is this ipad supposed to let us do that we cant do already? its a seriously watered down lemur, or a slightly grown iphone depending on where youre looking from. but instead of providing new options to DJs this piece is re-using the same sh!t weve all seen a billion times, and even that is plagued with issues.

    over all, im all for multi-touch interfaces for DJing, i think it could really help with getting the whole DJ set up into a single piece of gear, and with the ability to modify the control layout of the screen i think this will be a possibility. i mean for example when cueing a song youll have the screen display the controls needed for that, when playing with effects youll have the effect controls on the screen, etc. that may be interesting to a certain sort of DJ, essentially offering every single control option you can possibly think of without being a humongous piece of hardware.

    and with all of that said, there is no way that rubbing a screen will replace the feel of faders, pots and actual buttons.

  • DaveH

    It’s true she is getting a lot of run for a video of something that is barely DJing (if at all), and I’m sure that may annoy seasoned DJs. But I think it points out interesting possibilities. I am considering getting an iPad to play sounds and tune segments that could be used with a looping pedal for a live performance situation. Lots less gear to carry. I think the publicity she is getting is good for all of us. It might get developers to write more great music apps.While you might not be able to do serious DJ work on it, it may be a useful tool. THere is an iPhone app called the Amazing Slow Downer that changes tempo of selections in your library, so I think there could be ways of creating very useful apps. Kudos to Rana for some marketing savvy.

  • 6StringMercenary

    Oh dang, of all the things to f-up it was the name of that band…it’s “Shuttle” and I think watching them live pretty much blew the doors off of the live-production-musicianship expectations I had. If you need ear bleach after her video, check it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EALQNIGu4lA

  • lofi

    as interesting as this may be and as hard as this video is to stomach, kudos to her for making the most of what she has or doesn’t have. now being a legitimate dj, there is no way i can actually implement an ipad into my setup other than another midi controller. every sound i use in production and live sets are in .wav, there is no way i could ever fit an entire set in 16, let alone 32gbs. well maybe 32, but you’ll hear a couple over again. i have taken a look at alot of the apps available out there, and most are very toyish with very poor sound resolution to save space. i have also considered network storage devices but once again that would require wifi in the mix, not reliable, and apple allowing you to be able to file transfer to the ipad. as well latency is very much an issue here. with the iphone 3gs you notice issues of slowing down as the ram buffer gets used up. i notice it in games as well as apps, that would definately hamper performance as well.

  • DJ Phaidon

    same thing is true with CDJs, except all the buttons that really F stuff up are lit up like christmas. Turntables aren’t much better, except all they have to do is hit anything really hard next to it and you skip. I would choose better friends than ones that would screw up your club set.

  • ocd

    Aside from latency being a huge issue (especially over wireless, yuck), one of the biggest things that stands out to me is this:


    Have you very been trying to do something on your iphone, and your friend just reaches over and starts flapping their hands all over the screen? Yeah, it can really mess things up.

    Having this thing in any club environment that doesn’t involve you being completely isolated from everyone else is a DISASTER waiting to happen.

  • 6StringMercenary

    I too saw this video and was completely put off, because if you’ve got it you don’t have to brag about it. Also, whether it’s legit does play a factor…anyway, after the ton of coverage and spec talk, my money is still on a netbook for self-contained DJ rig. As mentioned upthread, Apple loves their closed system ways and the thing is geared to consumers, not creators. About the best correlative I can come up with is that “iPad DJ” will be the next “Guitar Hero Guitarist” situation.

    As for the horsepower & OS, things just don’t add up. No expansion, lots of overhead, poor device support – even if you can get an Audio 2 DJ running through the camera port, why? The Win7 systems will already have a leg up…1-3 USB ports and a 6-cell battery, that’s a start. Like with my Acer, being able to unscrew a trap door and up it to 2GB of RAM was convenient. Jailbreaking runs the risk of bricking, and to me, the deck is already stacked against it as an audio host device. Anybody think NI or Raine or Ableton are going to spend the R&D on a ported version? Maybe, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

    After seeing a cool vid of Little Boots with her Tenori On, I can agree with the notion the iPad will work as a controller of some sort. Maybe the MAX crew is already on the case. Still, it’s using the device against its natural tendencies, whereas a netbook or Win7 tablet is more of a blank canvas (or Linux, not to knock it) and tends to play better with lots of 3rd party stuff. Basically, it might be good for two or three gimmick things, but there are probably four controllers and devices you can get for the same money…I recently saw a band called ‘Shutlle’ where the bassist had a Kaoss Pad velcro’d to his Fender JBass and it was sick how the two came together. Once again, it comes back to novelty.

    Just for some context, it took me a few months of research, then a few more of trial and error to learn how to run Ableton well on a juiced up netbook. Now? The payoff. Three different audio card choices (M-Audio Mini, Audio 2 DJ, Line6 KB37), Ableton, Traktor, Kore, and eventually Serato…this wasn’t some passing thought of instant gratification, this was a mission. Something smells rotten with the concept of using the iPad for music creation, and like hell do I think it’s worth the money. Sure, there are going to be some good artists that use it as a stepping stone, as a tool, but for a lot of the tech community I just don’t think it’s worth the hassle – and, if I may be so bold – a step backward by getting wrapped up in the device and losing focus of the main goal: Making as much good music as possible in our short time on this planet.

  • atticus18244fsas

    And people thought using controllers was silly… I saw this vid on Gizmodo the other day. It is cringe worthy to say the least. She acts like she knows it all but is clearly clueless.

  • KLH

    IMHO, the iPad will just be another sound source – like a TT, CDJ, or MP3 player. As such, DJing with the iPad will not make DJing any easier or harder than it currently is the aforementioned sound sources.

    For those who think it can be an ALL-IN-ONE device, the Achilles heel is the mixer. There’s no second stereo output to cue songs – which kills it as an all-in-one device.

    Until there’s an alternative to the COMPUTER, nothing will change.


  • DJ Phaidon

    First, as a Lemur owner, yes, the iPad can definitely be a contender in the controller market. The only area that the lemur has over the iPad hardware wise is a dedicated connection that isn’t wireless, and the fact that you have to use fingers to control an iPad, versus the any contact method of the lemur. Software wise, all the ipad needs is more development. Minus the physics emulation and scriptable interface objects, TouchOSC in conjunction with OSCulator can do most of the functions of the lemur at 1/4 the cost. If jazz mutant ported the jazz editor software and developed a hardwire communication method through the bottom connector, the experience would be greater than that of a lemur because of the other things you could do with it.

    Second, the iPad battery life would be more than adequate for any non-marathon DJ sets that are played these days

    Third, currently the apps are not able to access the songs loaded in from your iTunes library, but there are apps that can sync music files over wifi in a separate area that are accessible to the app. Stupid yes. However, you “could” program your entire set though the iPad by creating playlists on the iPad and then syncing them to iTunes to run in traktor later.

    Fourth, as a music generator not a controller, it has potential for creativity, but it won’t replace peoples beloved hardware as an all in one solution. The iElectribe app is awesome, but it doesn’t have the same feel as the hardware does. Not saying that someone couldn’t make kick ass music on it, it just won’t be as widely accepted.

    Fifth, the hard drive probably wouldn’t be an issue, and should be as rugged as any SSD. The OS seems pretty stable with very few major bugs for a 1st gen product. Minus the wifi range and some connectivity issues, I have had no problems with mine

    Sent from my iPad

  • Steve

    I don’t think it will be a viable alternative to vinyl/CD/or controller-based DJing anytime soon. It will definitely be used experimentally.

    Without some fundamental such as a USB port or having the processing speed of a laptop, I don’t think it will work right now.

    HOWEVER the Ipad will improve and touch-screen interfaces may finally see light of day. The rapid success of the iphone is leading to more acceptability of this functionality. Many phones have copied this model.

    DJs–esp. ones in this community–should not be fearful of the ipad but embrace it as a possible tool. Once again, it is essentially about the music. Whatever innovative tools one uses should be embraced.

  • walshatron

    The idea of spending up on 2 ipads to DJ just seems silly, and no more mobile than a laptop and controller. I don’t see this as a forward movement, more a gimmick.

    Hey, why not use 4 ipads for 4 deck traktor? Cos it’s ludicrously expensive, that’s why!

    I personally don’t like ipads, but I see ipads more as a stepping stone, and what comes next could be awesome! I’ll be staying tuned. Meanwhile, I don’t care that much if the annoying girl gets her 5 mins of fame.

  • felix

    At first I thought maybe she’s slightly retarded, then I realised she just thinks everyone else is.

  • ridisc

    i think the ipad is the easy solution for something you cant get! ex: some kid wants to try djing or controling live or anything else, the ipad lets you test thet so you can get the idea so if you like it you get the real thing!

  • Epiphenomenon

    I have a strange feeling that iPad DJ’ing is one of those things that will work in principle but not in practice. Let’s break it down:

    1. This product is new, and it has not been field-tested. How it will perform in a club setting is under dispute. Tons of good points were raised above (quality of hardware, smudges on screens, wireless intrusions), and these all hold weight. It may be a novelty that is applicable to other aspects of DJ’ing in the future, but with the developer restrictions in place, I’m not sure how far companies will push it. I like the reference to Deadmau5’s touch-screen controller that he brings to gigs, but it does exactly what he wants it to do and no more; the thousands of dollars in audio devices and A&H XONE’s do the rest.

    2. This one’s significant: she got the idea to DJ while waiting in line, and she’s only been “DJing” for a couple of weeks. Singlehandedly, she has the potential to torpedo this genre through things like poor song selection, inadequate beatmatching skills, and general over-hype to her using a technological novelty. $20 says that she’ll end up with Track A on the left, Track B on the right, and she’ll become one of the ubiquitous “Crossfader DJ’s.”

    3. I know people catch crap for using digital media for DJing, but I find that this is ignored if you know what you’re doing on the knobs. I’d laugh myself out of the club if I saw this chick using two iPads and a low-end mixer to make some sort of beat-driven amalgam. Show you can work something PHYSICAL, like a VCI, DJM, or XONE, and earn my respect. Use the iPad for effects, and I’ll let it slide. Drop the Daft Punk app for the fourth time that night…please.

  • TWD

    I believe that the idea of using touchscreen based controllers is more than just a “compelling” idea. It’s already a proven success. We need to look no further than the Lemur controllers that were used by Daft Punk. It certainly works, and the public responds to it well. The question has always just been when will this technology be put in a cost effective form that is accessible to the rest of us?

    However, I don’t think that the ipad is it. It’s a step in the right direction, but it’s not quite there. So what exactly would be necessary for me to get on board?

    Compatibility: Should be able to work in conjunction with popular hardware that already exists. Part of this means having adequate USB ports to connect things like midi controllers and DJ soundcards.

    Sound quality: The end result would have to be on par with the quality we already see from Traktor and Serato.

    Latency: Controls should be immediately responsive. The average person should not be able to notice any kind of lag.

    Reliable: The device cannot crash in the middle of a performance, and it should remain perfectly functional for years.

  • Dio

    Ummmm, yeah… Let’s say that after 2 minutes of watching her video…. I was lost. Beatmatching, and not creating a flow within two tracks, automatically disqualifies her as a “DJ”.

    Kudos on giving it a whirl though…. but before you decide to go on gigs, make sure you put in your time, and practice.

    On to the Tonetable app DJ… I actually subscribed to his youtube, I can see the iPad as a viable tool, but I agree with the majority here, it needs more umph.

    As a Vynil emulator… I can see it making a little splash. And if you think about it, you can get 2 iPads for a little more than what a Technics SL1200 is going for in today’s market.

    I prefer buttons, and tactile feedback myself, but must admit, I might try it out with my friend’s iPad, and see… lol

  • Manus

    I can see the I-pad being a good as a tool. I just hope there isnt a new fad of i-pad DJ’s that come in and think they are the new kids on the block lol

    I could see myslef using one in a set for a bit of fun. But tbh that would be it. I prefer actual feel of faders and actual buttons ( I refrained from saying knobs lol) I mean yea it would be good to use in ableton but when u really wanna get the feel out while using it as a drum machine you would be afraid of breaking the screen tbh you wouldnt be able to bang it out when your in the zone. plus using the knobs in and i-pad would annoy the hell out of me that it would drive me from dj-ing.
    Its somethign that definatly will evolve definatly but i see it onli as a tool to be used in the side maybe and not somethign to be relied on for set purposes.

    The Rana Sobhany video annoyed me because like alot of other people said as being a publicity stunt etc. but it realli did sound like shit. she showed the potential but seriously annoed my eardrums. It would confuse the hell out of me using so much apps and trying to see a screen in a dark booth with my greasy finger prints all over it

  • Hammer

    It’s actually quite painful watching her on them iPads.
    Much bigger fan of the tonetable ipad guy! Great stuff there!
    Ableton Lite or something very similar, would absolutely rock the iPad. That I could see as a VERY viable option!

  • Sqyquest

    Yeah it doesn’t take long to realise she has only a passing knowledge of what’s happening there. She says a line something like “I can tell from listening to it that this is about 124.4 BPM”. Wa? Sure it’s not 124.6 there? And brings the off-deck in without pre-listen (why???) and claims “it’s beatmatched!”. Yeaaaah…nah. Good on her for giving it a go demonstrating some of the Pad’s abilities (mostly as a production tool imo) but don’t chop and change all over the place and claim you’re DJ’ing.
    idaft is cool for messing around but it’s hardly performance worthy. I can see their potential in performance tools, such as DJG33KD0UT’s video. More appropriate for use in Ableton Live than say pure deck-based enviro’s like Scratch or Traktor.

  • Herbstrilke

    The I Pad is always going to be a interesting TOOL for dj’s with midi and fx units that use the multi touch system. but until Apple give the I Pad a real os and not just the iphone os, its not going to be able to handle Traktor,Serato or Live. Also it needs to be able to access your music programs which means running two programs.
    The HP slate is going to be a better system for stand alone dj setup it will also have usb which gives you the option of extra’s such as the midi fighter or a KP3 for fx and the like.

  • Chris

    I have the algoriddm djay software sold in the apple store and it’s accompanying app. (I use Traktor though) With that app and two iPads you would have direct access to each turntable including the ability to scratch, loop, fx, sync, and trigger three cue points per iPad which is nearly all of the functions of a Vestax spin on each iPad. You would still need a laptop to run the program which the iPads would link to, but you wouldn’t ever need to touch it because you can load music to each deck from within the app. This is a case where the wifi might be an issue though because your relying on it to keep the app and the software connected.

  • RCUS

    I think the single most groundbreaking aspect of this video is the concept of a compact, light-weight touch surface that turns into whatever you want it to be, for DJ/Live performance. As a standalone DJ solution however, I would only use it as my new backup plan in the case that something major went down with my other gear.

    The major obstacle to using the iPad in the booth is stability of the apps, and the dynamics of switching between apps flawlessly when doing things like syncing with your favorite software. It all remains to be seen what kind of hiccups there will be, and what the overall quality of the experience is.

    As for the video, at first I gave her the benefit of the doubt and though people were coming down pretty hard on her; but after watching a second time i think some of you may be spot on that this is a clever marketing ploy.

  • Tamay

    Well lets be real here. Ipad is far away from being a resposible and useful DJ cotroller for tasks like Scratching. But Imagine an ipad as an additional controller for fading, quantized cue points, which can be configured in any posible way, im thinking of colored buttons, wave forms, text messages…
    The possibilities are endless here to illustrate the cue point and make it remind able more than a button with a number on it.
    That is the strength of an ipad. You can create any possible controller on it.

  • whiskers

    [quote comment=”29600″]Formal warning, if you communicate via wireless in venue for DJ control you will (eventually if not immediately) be destroyed.

    Although I do not create havoc such as this, it is very easy to crush your wireless communication with a cell phone.

    If I am outside the venue with a laptop it is even worse.

    I could flood the router, snag and mix up your packets, take control, lock you out, and on and on…

    Not cool when 10,000 watts is going into the speakers as I push all your levels up to max.

    This is not a joke! Any crappy hacker can crack ANY wireless connection in 5 minutes or less.

    I am a programmer by profession, I have to be aware of hacking and until Apple fixes the 3.1.1 dev agreement and/or things are fixed on the iPad proceed BEYOND CAUTIOUSLY using an iPad for a public performance.

    As for security on Apple:

    1-Apple is very easy to hack, usually more so than Windows
    2-If you leave wireless on while you perform you need to turn it off.

    Have fun – great article.

    As for running sound form iPad – you are on thin ice. the A-chip is really not enough horsepower for a normal set with effects. The Apple ban on compilers cuts out a lot of would be good programs and the VST/Plug-in culture is formerly banned from iPad via the “no sub programming” clause on new dev agreement.[/quote]

    While using wireless in a club is indeed a bad idea, you have no idea what you are talking about; you are a hacker equivalent of ‘internet tough guy’ and your ‘programming profession’ most likely amounts to writing HTML code.

    The biggest problem with the iPad, as already mentioned, is that it’s aimed at content consumption, not creation.

  • Rusty

    I am tired of the DJ moniker being added to performance artists like this one. Deadmau5 is not a DJ he is a performance artist, same with Girl Talk they may look like a DJ on stage but they are creating music on the fly not just remixing.

    DJ’s mix music with whatever device is available to them granted. But an iPad? There is no direct connect with a laptop and that in itself is a performance killer, as others have said regarding wi-fi. So the term iPad DJ should not be in our vocabulary at this point. Thanks.

  • Rafi V

    No. It’s to forced. blah blah, I could only whatch 2 min of her talking about the “importance” of kill switches. God bless her, but I’ll pass.

  • jaleel

    From her site http://www.destroythesilence.com/

    [quote]How to Become an iPad DJ in 5 Easy Steps
    10:29 am Thursday Apr 22, 2010 by Judy Berman

    Rana Sobhany had no experience as a DJ when she bought her first of two iPads less than a month ago. But today the experienced guitarist, producer and veteran computer-based songwriter is also known as the world’s first iPad DJ..[/quote]


  • Wills

    midiPad looks pretty legit. I would rock one if it was cheaper than a JazzMutant.

  • holotropik

    I don’t believe the iPad could cut it as a reliable DJ tool in the real world. As a production tool it has potential and even as an additional live performance tool it could work.

    Having said that I also concur with what Fatlimey said about old tech and how it handled audio back in the day. Compared to todays tech I think something like the iPad could handle a simple DJ setup with 2 decks, a mix interface and some basic effects. It does depend on what a developer can access within the OS and hardware when writing an App. In other words it might be able to replicate a virtual version of the basic Vestax controller but beyond that it would fail.

    As a controller for realtime performance using only wireless as the communication channel I agree that it poses risks that any serious performer would avoid at this time…

  • DJNickMiller

    Any real DJ would have at least removed that wooden chair away from right in front of the mixer to allow for normal freedom of movement while working. Its clearly bogus

  • And what of it?

    Using the ipad how the guy in the vid was in my opinion is perfectly acceptable. But this statement; “the general public completely understands the idea of touch interfaces and is clearly comfortable with seeing performers use them”, I’m sorry but the general public you are talking about right there is a minority!! I still CONSTANTLY get the “DJ’s using laptops” is cheating comments. People still want to see TT’s or CDJ’s. I find myself slating people who use laptops to mix yet defending them when others say its cheating. Slating them because there are too many people out there calling themselves a DJ when they aren’t showing any DJ skills, yet defending them as I use a laptop. People see me with a laptop and give me the “cheating” speech, it’s only after I scratch it up and slam it how you would with TT’s people then come up and give me credit.
    If you use controllers… tear the fuckers apart! Don’t just stand like a c*nt pushing the odd button. I think people want to see skill and showmanship, they wanna see you have been practicing! So no matter what you use, provided you use it well, only then can you say the general public are comfortable with it. No one wants to see some dip shit standing thinking they are cool just cos they got all the gear, SHOW US WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH IT!!

  • JesC

    Ok, you can use the ipad to do some serious djing via itouchdj or touchosc & OSCulator. I already played live with the ipad the weekend it released, pics & proof are in the forums (show me ur setup thread) I played using traktor 3.4, itouchdj & I switch over to touchosc. And it worked perfect. To the previous poster that said he would hack into someone wireless network, handle-it! I’m sure you’ll make tons of friends that are Dj and promoters after your hacking stunt. And you will be playing in clubs next to that ipad Dj girl.

    The ipad is a great tool for digital djs, I’ve seen a great video on YouTube with a cat using it on serato. And his layout is pretty sick. All I will say is don’t talk sh*t until you use it and spend hours work on porting, midi mapping and making your layout.

    Send from my iPad (j/k)

  • Fatlimey

    Can the processor handle audio processing? Sure, given that I had unlimited (well, I maxed out at 8) MP3 decks off a Pentium 90 laptop back in the day, I think the CPU is more than OK for two decks and FX. You just need some good real-time, low-level performance focused developers on the case.

  • DjOran

    I would imagine you could just disable the wifi… I work as a systems administrator/programmer… Everything probably has an off switch… I could give this a shot though if you’d like I’m fairly proficient with wifi hacking… Don’t have an iPad though… I have no use for an iPhone I cant fit in my pocket…

  • corlleone™

    Honestly think that iPad will definitely rock the controllerism and the music production, not so sure about djing in a traditional way though.
    The system is closed, we can´t do much really beside the in app options.
    Maybe with the forthcoming OS4 things will be different and I beleive that the guys in apple are aware of that.
    One thing is for sure (as much of u already may know) controlling traktor with the VCI100 SE among ALive with an OSC App on the iPhone is awesome, imagine with the bigger and faster iPad.
    Hope to see here a full review of the Ipad capabilities 😉
    Keep on the xcelent work DJTT.
    corlleone™ (Portugal)

  • Mere

    so say i have 2 iPads.
    each running an app like “baby scratch” [paid version]
    load the serato control signal on each iPad
    they virtually will take the place of turntables at a fraction of the cost.

    add a mixer & a laptop & technically i can “dj” anywhere.

    i’d save money & freight costs.

    seems reasonable

  • walshatron

    with the crossfader you can “hear both beats together which is, you know, what I’m doing a lot of lately”

    Lately, as in “I’ve been DJing for 2 weeks”?

    It’s pretty amusing, the haters on youtube are pretty funny too.

  • bloo

    I consider the iPad as the equivalent of a netbook. I currently run Serato on my HP netbook and will take it as far as making mixtapes and minor gigs like a friend’s house party but would never consider using it with paid gigs.

    If the second gen iPad beefs up their specs, I think it could definitely be used for major use.

  • the Brooklyn Knockout

    problem with the ipad… one source of power supply, so dont expect to do a 5 hr gig with it with out taking it out to charge..

  • .DeLo

    The audio on those apps is very piss poor. I dont know im not a fan of the iPad. I think its a gimicky device *in dj sense*. Having to switch between apps to play music is ludacris. It will be hard to keep a smooth flowing set.

  • Dub

    @keebs – the fact that almost anyone could crash your iPad in the middle of set is kind of a big deal and if its an issue something that iPad owners should be aware of.

  • keebs

    @DJ-Not-So-Much – I’m not sure I get your point. What does hacking Wi-Fi have to do with using an iPad to DJ? Regardless, I’d like to think hackers have better things to do than bring clubs to their knees.

  • keebs

    First off, thanks for addressing this video. I had to hold myself back from flaming every comment section I saw this posted in figuring it wasn’t worth the effort to explain she wasn’t DJing to people that wouldn’t understand/listen.

    Regarding the issue in general, I don’t know for sure that it’s possible, but I sure hope it is. I used 4 iPhones/iPods placed on the wrist rests of my MacBook Pro to DJ with using TouchOSC and Traktor for all of 2009 and loved it aside from a few issues: keeping the units charged between and during gigs was a bitch, connecting them to the laptop’s adhoc network was fairly easy but still a pain, and the latency of the wi-fi networking wasn’t really “playable” in a non-Traktor synced manner.

    Using iPads as the turntables themselves (instead of just a control surface) should be able to remove all the restrictions I listed above, though obviously introduce a few new ones. One of which is that there would be big issues setting them up as a standard club setup in their current form because data can’t be added to them on the fly w/ a hard drive/flash drive. Perhaps guest DJs coming up to the club’s “tables” could use cloud based music collections accessed via Wi-Fi connection … but a bad internet connection would bring the club to its knees. Then again, using a non-iPad tablet could eliminate this entirely.

    Ignoring the above, a well made application could allow Traktor-like sync via Wi-Fi and even share music files between units to double total music storage space.

    Then again, we could just use music writing applications’ presets like Rana 😛

  • Ali

    Although she has some knowledge her arrogance just stinks.

    As I’m developing multi-touch-applications in my daytime job I have to admit that I personally prefer having some tactile feedback. Especially complicated performances aren’t easy to pull off just smearings fingers on a screen.

    When it comes to producing I love controlling Ableton with a dual-touch screen so there lies definitely a lot potential.

  • DJ Not So Much

    Formal warning, if you communicate via wireless in venue for DJ control you will (eventually if not immediately) be destroyed.

    Although I do not create havoc such as this, it is very easy to crush your wireless communication with a cell phone.

    If I am outside the venue with a laptop it is even worse.

    I could flood the router, snag and mix up your packets, take control, lock you out, and on and on…

    Not cool when 10,000 watts is going into the speakers as I push all your levels up to max.

    This is not a joke! Any crappy hacker can crack ANY wireless connection in 5 minutes or less.

    I am a programmer by profession, I have to be aware of hacking and until Apple fixes the 3.1.1 dev agreement and/or things are fixed on the iPad proceed BEYOND CAUTIOUSLY using an iPad for a public performance.

    As for security on Apple:

    1-Apple is very easy to hack, usually more so than Windows
    2-If you leave wireless on while you perform you need to turn it off.

    Have fun – great article.

    As for running sound form iPad – you are on thin ice. the A-chip is really not enough horsepower for a normal set with effects. The Apple ban on compilers cuts out a lot of would be good programs and the VST/Plug-in culture is formerly banned from iPad via the “no sub programming” clause on new dev agreement.

  • Chris

    I think it’s ready to be another tool in the booth. I just wish someone besides Rana would have gotten all the publicity. Who you ask? I don’t know, maybe someone that made it sound good. Just a thought.

  • Wondershock

    I really think the iPad has the power and potential to be a good DJing tool, but I highly doubt that it will do so by itself. Judging by Apple’s stance on content consumption versus actual creation, the iPad isn’t going to be able to do much on its own… Unless there’s an app that will extend that capability beyond anyone’s expectations. Having access to a hardware extension or using tech similar to Logitech’s mouse app would make it a killer controller… But again, you’d have to get it approved by the app nazis, and even then, I think customizability would be moot, since it’d be completely in the hands of the developer… And an openly changeable app would never make it through approval. I’m completely unsure about its ability to control other hardware through a physical extension, though.

    I highly doubt you’ll be able to access iTunes material through the iPad.

    I’m guessing that the “hard drive” is going to be extremely stable though, being that it’s flash based (right?).

  • Brett

    I am thinking this is a stunt, the part where she said “I spent about 200 bucks in apps on my iPhone” gave it away.

    • Scott Pristel

      If you can deal with the wires, the mixer, lo-fi sound, a second computer to synch up your music in iTunes, the iPad is just fine. But only if you don’t let anyone near it as the iPad is not a secure system for public use. Anyone can mess things up and bring a party to a screeching halt, and it doesn’t usually happen on purpose.

      I’m a long-time programmer and DJ. I’ve been using touch screens to make it easy for other people to DJ since 2004. It all started as a way to rent out surplus equipment and do multiple events at the same time when I got too many bookings and didn’t like turning away business.

      The touch screen can make it easy for anyone to DJ, but only with the right software. With DJ’ing on a touch screen, less is more, except when it comes to screen size. The 9.7″ touch screen on an iPad is too tiny for most people compared to the 19″ touch screens we use on our rental systems.

      Per “less is more” — regular, feature-rich DJ software is fine for the Pro, but far too complex when your average person just wants to play their favorite songs. Short of being able to preview one song while the audience listens to another on the main speakers, most DJ software has a ton of features you really don’t need, don’t use, and you audience doesn’t understand or appreciate — they just want to hear music!

      We have found that the simplest possible user interface, frees the DJ to be able to focus on other things — like the audience, and works best, especially if you want to have a touch screen system out there in public for anyone to be able to play what they want. With iPad, as cool as they are, they are still too confusing for the masses, and there are too many features and ways for users to get into trouble and mess up the party. Remember, what the people at a party want is non-stop music, not the geek squad figuring out why the music just stopped.

      Also, most DJ systems have poor sound quality because they are only 16-bit @48K. There is a huge difference between AC’97 (16-bit PC sound found on most laptops and desktop computers) and Intel’s 32-bit HD audio @96K like we use in the Self-DJ systems our Affiliates rent out. Starting with Vista, the Windows Sound Manager was completely rewritten. Starting with Windows 7 it actually worked. Finally, digital music sounds good again, with some air, and a lot of detail you won’t hear with 16-bit audio.

      Starting in 2009, I gave up a lot of features I found I really didn’t need, and have been enjoying the simplicity of DJ’ing all my live DJ events with touch screen systems. With the right system, you can too!