Apple iPad 2: Ready for DJ Prime Time?

With the iPad 2 hitting stores in the United States at the end of this week, Apple looks poised to hold off the growing competition and stay strong with its position as the leader in tablet computers. However, will it be the mobile dream device that digital DJs and producers have been hoping for? Let’s take a look at the critical new features of the iPad 2 and see how it stacks up to its closest current competitor, the Motorola Xoom.


The original iPad was a major success for a variety of reasons, but it wasn’t by any stretch of the imagination a powerhouse in computing power. The iPad 2 is primarily a major upgrade in technical specs, while the prices for each configuration stay the same.

First up, Apple designed a new custom made A5 1GHz dual-core processor specifically for the iPad 2. The first-generation iPad ran on an A4, which also has a clock speed of 1GHz but is a single-core processor. Although Apple is touting the iPad 2 as twice as fast as before, dual-core doesn’t necessarily mean that speeds are directly doubled. Rather, it means the chip processes data much more efficiently. Additionally, Apple claims that the new A5 processor will deliver its faster speeds without causing a huge drain on the battery, which supposedly will last up to 10 hours of active use.

Both the A4 and A5 have integrated GPUs, and while not much is known about the graphics processor in the new iPad 2, Steve Jobs claims that the A5’s video engine will boast speeds that are nine times faster than those on the first iPad.

Besides the processor upgrade, the hardware on the iPad 2 seems mostly comparable to that found on the original – although we were excited to see that Apple added a gyroscope to the device, allowing for a full range of motion detection that was not previously possible with only an accelerometer.


This performance upgrade in the iPad 2 could potentially mean seeing the device integrated into DJ setups as primary controllers. While the original iPad made a number of high-profile DJ booth appearances, it has yet to amount to much more than a flashy accessory.

Enter the app developers: As always, having access to a hardware platform with a higher set of specifications means the ability to develop more stable, more powerful applications, which will most likely be attractive to developers who have avoided touching the iOS platform yet (we’re looking at you, Rane and NI). In the last few months, we’ve seen fairly simple DJ applications arrive on the iPad, including the top-selling Djay application by Algoriddim.


Coupled with the announcement of the iPad 2 was the release of a $4.99 version of GarageBand for iOS, allowing users to utilize the iPad’s large touchscreen with the simple but powerful array of tools in GarageBand. Besides being limited to 8 tracks, it’s nearly identical to the full version of GarageBand on OS X. It’s focused around a central multi-track arrangement window that allows for recording and editing of audio and MIDI tracks. As with the OS X version, it comes complete with a full library of audio and instruments.

Even better, the built-in multi-touch instruments let you play keyboards, guitars, basses and drums directly onscreen, which could be a boon to your live performances. It’s great to see a miniature DAW on the iPad, and maybe it will lead to some more professional DAW solutions for it in the near future.


The addition of a gyroscope to the iPad is fairly significant; here’s another way to allow users control over their applications. The potential uses for DJ applications is exciting considering that one of the largest complaints about a lot of touchscreen digital DJ kit is the lack of tactile control, this is a promising new feature that allows for a different way to manipulate your applications, and maybe soon, your music.


A few new additions don’t really affect DJs directly, but they still add greater value, given that the iPad 2 will cost the same as the original. For example, there is a front-facing VGA camera that will enable FaceTime, Apple’s video calling service for iPhones, iPads and Macs. The rear-facing camera will now shoot 720p HD video, which you can edit in the new iMovie for iPad ($4.99). The iPad 2 will also ship with the new iOS 4.3 upgrade, which speeds up Safari browsing, lets you access your Mac’s iTunes library over Wi-Fi, and lets you stream music and movies from the iPad to an Apple TV.

A Few Potential Flaws


One of the strange things in all of the news and discussion over the iPad is the fact that Apple isn’t revealing the amount of RAM in the iPad 2. One unconfirmed source (via Gizmodo) let it slip that the new tablet might have a meager 256MB – the same as what the first generation had. Even with a speedy new CPU and GPU, there’s no doubt that such a small amount of RAM could be a serious cap on memory-heavy apps. This won’t be as big of an issue for apps that don’t actively load and unload media, so DJ applications that act as controllers, such as TouchOSC, will be mostly unaffected. If you’re planning on running an all-in-one DJ solution on the iPad 2 that actively holds long songs and samples in the RAM, 256MB RAM could be a serious inhibitor.


The iPad 2 continues to sport few offerings in the way of input and output – just the classic 30-pin dock connector and the stereo headphone jack. Of course, achieving such a slim form factor and sleek design might have proven harder if USB ports had been included, but it most certainly would have opened up a number of possibilities.

There are accessories that utilize the dock connector to expand the iPad’s input and output capabilities – such as the camera kit which adds a USB port and allows lower powered MIDI controllers to be connected directly.


Our assessment is that the iPad 2 has serious potential to be utilized by developers to make some killer DJ applications for – but at the moment, it certainly doesn’t feel like it’s a laptop killer for DJs. That would require at the very least more RAM and connectivity, perhaps via Apple’s new darling for high-speed data transmission, Thunderbolt. However, iPad 2’s new power, along with its environment of more than 65,000 native iPad apps, make most other touchscreen tablet devices seem weak in comparison. Expect to see more iPads than JazzMutant Lemurs in DJ booths this year.

As for the other competition, a slew of 10-inch tablets utilizing various operating systems are set to drop in the next few months, including the RIM PlayBook, Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 and the HP TouchPad. But for now, Motorola’s Xoom is the main competitor, and the only currently available tablet running the Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) OS. Honeycomb is the first Android OS to be optimized for tablets, rather than smartphones.

In the smartphone arena, the Android platform is actually gaining on the iPhone in market share and offers more than 100,000 apps. For tablets, however, the Android app market is basically starting from scratch, and it remains to be seen whether the offerings will gush in or slowly trickle down. Because the music production and DJ market are already a narrow niche of interest, we speculate that the majority of those app developers will be more likely to put their limited development resources into the platform with more than 15 million current users: iOS. That is at least until Android tablets gain some momentum.

There’s also a question of whether the non-Apple tablets even will gain momentum if they can’t match the iPad 2’s prices. In the case of the Motorola Xoom, the specs are comparable or favorable to the iPad 2. It also has a dual-core 1GHz processor, front and back cameras with 720p video, comparable battery life, and a gyroscope/accelerometer combination. On the plus side, the Xoom has 1GB of RAM, a micro-USB 2.0 port, and an Android app market that does not require developers to be approved before they can offer their apps. For those advantages though, the lone Xoom model with 32GB, 3G and Wi-Fi costs $799, as opposed to $729 for the iPad 2 with 32GB, 3G and Wi-Fi. (See full spec comparison chart below.)


We’ll be keeping a close eye on DJ app development for the iPad 2 — as well as other tablets — to find those revolutionary applications that will change the game. For now, what do you think? Will an iPad 2 be a good addition to your setup? What kinds of applications do you want to see developed for DJs?

The iPad 2 ships Friday, March 11th in the United States.

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Comments (68)
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  • Chris R Schneider

    bought an ipad 4. it gets very little use. and djing on it makes me shudder. i mean for fun. but they day i see a 7 year old djing on it and it sounds good will kill me. and way overpriced. the samsung tablet was cool and had sd cards and all that. but android on it was a mess. im old. PS you can get used ipads on amazon cheap. for home you the wifi ver is fine.

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  • djd

    asus eee slate ep121 would do the job

  • Robertcarneymail

    This review is shallow. There is one paragraph at best regarding iPad 2 integration with current DJ needs. The article is a straight up copy paste of iPad 2 specs. Fact is DJ software that is functional and useful is 2 yrs away from reaching the lucid app market. Until then keep spinning on the hardware, or vinyl.

  • Bruiser Smith

    As someone who has used both Midi Fighters & an Ipad, I feel that both tactile *as well as* touchscreen have a place in the DJ world, for different reasons.

    The most appealing part of using the Ipad is the fact that in using apps such as TouchOSC as well as Midi Touch, you have a control surface which is infinitely configurable. For instance, you can have several pages of control surfaces including xy pads (see the Kaossilator comment above). As someone who keeps changing and improving his setup, I very much enjoy the freedom that this allows me. Additionally, by jailbreaking the Ipad you are able to use MyWi, which makes you able to USB tether to your laptop & almost eliminate latency between the laptop & Ipad that was an unfortunate side effect of having to connect via wifi (as is the default on most of these apps). TBH, I sold the two Midi Fighters & the BCR2000 I had & bought an Ipad once I figured out that it could be a control surface as well as being able to do a bunch of other stuff.

    Full Disclaimer: My current setup is a MBP, an Ipad, & a Korg Zero 4 running 2 decks with a majority of the knobs mapped to Midi. I absolutely love this setup as it’s really easy to take with me & I love all the Midi mapping that I can do with everything.

    Overall, I don’t think that the Ipad will ever be able to be used by technically proficient DJ’s, mainly due to its small screen size. Having DJ’d on smaller screened laptops, it’s extremely difficult to use Traktor on a 13 inch screen, much less something less than 10 inches.

    Overall I very much enjoy using the Ipad as my control surface with the caveat that the Zero 4 is also a very important piece, and that a hybrid approach very much works for me.

  • slee

    I heard Jason Bentley (radio dj for KCRW, Los Angeles) saying he saw Felix Da Housecat doing a set with 2 iPads.

  • Joseph Chang

    to those who say the iPad is unsuitable for live sets…. Joel Zimmerman (aka deadmau5) actually uses 1 or 2 in his shows…. he had a lemur but it broke and now it’s a discontinued product…

  • Jon B

    Numark has developed a controller to be plugged into the 30 pin port of the Ipad. This is scheduled to be released in May.
    Quixpin 2.0 (dj app) is under development. And one of the feature that they are advertising is the ablitity to use a midi controller. They actually have a Vestax Spin hooked up to it on their website.

  • Mitiusus

    iPad and other tablet pc’s have a big potential in djing industry.

  • Forsue

    “Although Apple is touting the iPad 2 as twice as fast as before, dual-core doesn’t necessarily mean that speeds are directly doubled. Rather, it means the chip processes data much more efficiently.”

    No. This is not how it works. Dual cores / CPU’s allow the execution of 2 threads in parallel; which doesn’t mean ‘more efficient’ at all. I highly doubt anything written for music on iOS would be multi-threaded. SO, generally speaking you’ll be using 1 core. Which would be the opposite of efficient.

    Long time DJTT reader here, but these sorts of shameless hit-grab paper launch articles coupled with incorrect / misinformed content are making me reconsider my bookmarks.

    • szantog

      Of course they are multi-threaded!

      They have the main thread for receiving events and another thread to process the real-time audio stream for the audio subsystem minimum.

      Most DJing applications are using another threads to decode audio files, update the user interface, etc.. The usual thread count is somewhere between 7-15, i investigated many audio apps already.

      Plus there is iOS itself with all of it’s internals and daemons. When you run the simplest iOS app, your iPad is already running 40 threads minimum, then comes the app itself…

      • forsue

        Yes, a computer has lots of threads going at once. But parallelizing a task isn’t the same as having lots going at once.

        I’m under the impression that applications which rely on real-time user input aren’t ideally suited to parallelization.

        The OS has a scheduler which will split things up between different cores and what not and yes, certain applications do see a tremendous boost with multi-core cpus.

        I see anecdotal evidence of multi-threaded support insofar as 1 core for audio 1 core for analysis in both Traktor and SSL. Which doesn’t really mean much, even on my basic core2duo laptop I can do effects+analyse+2 decks with no hitch.

        In the “DJ” department I think the biggest advantage here from the dual cores would be running 2 apps at once; be a blast with Traktor/SSL and a synth (totally doable) or Maschine (doubt it; RAM.) or something of that nature.

        But then, you can’t easily plug a FUCKING AUDIO INTERFACE into it so bit a moot point.

        • szantog

          The A4 is 10 times weaker than the Core 2 Duo in processing power minimum, so the A5’s dual core seriously helps.

          USB audio works with the current iPad, but it’s limited to 2 channels. It’s clearly a limitation by iOS and i’m sure Apple will enable multichannel audio somewhere in the next 12 months.

          Please note iOS has almost the same CoreAudio under the hood, but many of it’s features are not available for developers, like direct hardware access.

          • forsue

            Yes, but having dual cores only makes one task faster if its coded in parallel. What makes you sure Apple will ‘turn on’ multi-channel audio in the future? Evidence???

  • DJ Girish

    I would like to see a Tablet which can work as kaossilator or kaoss pad.. i.e., take the input from the soundcard and route effets through the Tablet by running fingers over the screen as in the Kaoss devices or the Roland D-beam.

  • Cissmix

    iPad can be a nice and versatile controller for bedroom dj’s and bar dj’s. For intensive use and live performance nothing can be better than real knobs & faders, even if the iPad can add some direct access to some functionalities.

    If you use touchOSC + specific Traktor layouts it can be terrific and very light control to add to your laptop. I’ve already made some birthday parties in bars with my iPhone as control remote for Traktor. It’s limited but useful especially if the mixer is wreck.

    Of course the ultra-portable solution would be to have a dedicated Traktor App but you need to have a dedicated solution for I/O sound bus. Alesis have done something for guitarists, I hope they will do an equivalent for DJ’s.

    • Danndarko_24

      I disagree I’ve seen james zabiela use it to control effects and i think use it as a drum pad which i think is pretty impressive but as u say i don’t think it is all in one package just a add on to give u more creative ability

  • szantog

    The iPad is much-much more portable than a laptop + controller. Even 2 iPads are more portable than a laptop + controller.

  • Scott Mccall

    Hey here’s a reason most everyone will want a tablet:

    you will use it as your primary screen/keyboard instead of a laptop. just use the tablet like to pick tracks and see your decks.

  • DJRemco

    I think touchscreen won’t take over the market. Just as laptops alone won’t take over the market. Wheteter it’s a controller, mixer, CDJs, TT, i think everybody wants to really touch something. The iPad would me nice for FX or something, but not general mixing.

  • TheJetRodriguez

    The benefit of a touch screen opposed to hardware, and basically what attracts me to it, is that idea that you can have so many different interfaces on one surface, that you can call upon at will, opposed to physical hardware which is always static with a permanent physical layout. So ultimately with something like an iPad, you can several different controllers in one. Use it with ableton at home or use it with traktor pro when playing live, etc. Its a much more versatile controller.

    Also if anyone watched the keynote, did they notice how the piano keys in garage band actually have velocity sensitivity now? I believe this is achieved using the gyroscope. How awesome is that for triggers!? I still need to use it in person to test out the sensitivity but still, imagine how bad ass that would be if it works well.

  • Anonymous

    I won’t say its a sure thing at this point, but I am really considering picking up one of these this summer and seeing what I can do with it. best case, it makes for a new controller. Worst case, I can use it as a gimmick. Nothing wrong with shameless gimmicks. haha.

    In all honesty though, this would be a sweet addition to my lineup if they could develop apps for it (even if it were just Mixxx or something cheap like that) and solve the USB/Firewire connectivity issues. All my stuff runs off my MBP and the FireWire, so I need that to be there. Hmmm….

  • Good

    Until they are as fast as laptop then I’m good but i can’t wait until we have intel core duo’s in ipad with 160 GB in there!

  • Kovacs

    It would be awesome a Traktor lite version for ipad.. imagine being able to play for ten hours with it..

    I’ve seen in the net some usb adapters for the Ipad. I can see a usb hub, an audio 4,a hard drive, and two deck traktor software.. nice dj bag.. hehehe

  • R3 Bonaire

    i don’t see touch screen control taking over knob or fader or jog wheel control. Here you are missing the feeling and many times wet or sticky fingers fail to do the Touch and skip the path one wants to control. DJ’s can’t affort this to happen in a live set. Pioneer has put some touch pads in their new DJM’s but here only effects are being controlled. Still i like the review and it gives a good impression what DJ’s can’t or can do with an Ipad..

  • Adexcgvr

    Ipad 2. Still not ready for proper DJ use. The major makers of DJ software arent there. The I/O ports are limited. Specs are still too weak. This is still a media consumption device and the bumped specs are just to process fancier graphics for gaming and proper 1080p output to HDTV.

    Yes it can complement a DJ setup for sampling and whatnot but the whole thing running from the Ipad? Nah. It’s still a “nice to have” device just not a “must-have” device YET.

  • Craig Reeves

    Sorry to dog-pile here, but I also have to ask dev what he’s thinking. I thought the Pacemaker was a fun idea, but there are some MAJOR problems with that interface if you’re trying to get widespread use. There’s such a high degree of modality on that thing that it’s not realistic to expect it to have more than niche appeal. You have a lot of functionality not only buried 1 or 2 layers under the “main interface”, but also rely on gestures.

    Clever? Absolutely 100%. But intuitive? Not a chance.

    The other problem with the Pacemaker is that it doesn’t scale. It is what it is – forever. The iPad is a sandbox in which apps play. And those apps can have a ton of different functionality. Want a traditional DJ app with 2 decks? Look at Djay or Cue Play DJ. Want a Lemur-like interface that’s totally customizable? Try MIDI Touch or TouchOSC. Want to use it as a single source for samples? Or to fatten up your sound with some tempo synced soft synth action? It’s all totally doable. And then you can take your DJ tool and turn around and post updates to social networking sites (now with pics) and update your fans in real time.

    As far as the iPad2 goes, I think some of the most interesting things about it are the inclusion of HDMI and the increased GPU performance. The HDMI might be worth a deeper look, because of the possibility of 5.1 audio. If this is the case, we have the mechanism for native multi-channel audio. The GPU is interesting not just for gaming, but because if it was used to crunch audio instead it might be capable of some decent real-time audio processing. We’re seeing all kinds of entities leveraging the power of modern GPUs now, so I’m wondering what kind of hidden horsepower the iPAd2 might have beyond the A5.

    • DJ Arctic

      You just made my day with the HDMI theory.

  • Anonymous

    I think tablets can do a lot as touchscreen midi controls, but that’s it.

    I can see wedding and other mobile DJs getting into it to control their music library remotely. So they go by tables and take requests. Move around the room.

    On a bigger level, I can see Jazzmutant controls getting more popular if the right apps are made and more try to play with it.

    In terms of going it with just a tablet…I dunno. The specs still seem inadequate compared to a laptop.

  • Justin Sy (DJ EDGE)

    I’ve been tempted to buy an iPad just so I can configure it for a midi controller for Traktor.

  • Sam Parker

    geeez, i knnew fights would spring up over this -.- you know theres a reason the apple symbol is an apple with a bite out of it 😀 its just pure temptation, nothing else 😛

    …aside from that i really really want one btw

    i really hope that the upgrades spark the idea for NI to start making ipad products. Imagine all of Komplete 7 on ipad 😀 as for all the people who say that you will never get club-worthy control from a touchscreen, that is completely true. The flash of an ipad Traktor isnt necessarily the touchscreen, although some aspects would be great, its having such an affordable, reliable, small, intuitive, and portable device be able to do the things that nowadays most people only trust top of the line macbooks to do.

    Native Instruments, if your listening, your products would kick ass on ipad. Small memory be damned, im sure there are ways around it, this would be a blockbuster.

    …you too ableton

  • SamBenDavid aka DJew

    Am i the only one who can safely say i will NEVER even try to use an Ipad to DJ?

    • Toontown

      I’m sure this is what people said when CDJs came out.

      • Ean Golden

        so, so many- including myself. Then again- I never did, just skipped straight to controllers in 2003 😛

        • Dkmny3030

          Same here. By time I could accept CDJs controllers were coming up, and I figured why not just jump in with two feet.

    • Docfwub

      I can safely say it! I love my mac book for tractor but i only use hardware with it. I dont want to touch a screen image i want the real thing.

      • SamBenDavid aka DJew

        Same dude!! You get a huge difference of control from twisting a knob or sliding a fader than you do with a touch screen

    • Dandyrandy88

      i think its a retarded gimmick to be honest hahahah if they gave it USB 2 ports and traktor? well thats a different story. but since it doesn’t have that i don’t think its worth it. and i’d much rather have hardware than a little touch screen thing

      • SamBenDavid aka DJew

        Agreed! Soon as i see USB and/or some extra type of I/O then i may change my view, slightly

        • DJ Arctic

          Use the camera connection kit with a USB I/O. Problem solved

      • David Schonborn

        Also agreed. I was going to make a comment like this and then I saw yours.

        Any time you replace a physical interface with a touch one you’re going to lose tactile feedback, and with that accuracy and speed. There’s no getting around this, so for any DJ who wants precise control USB support for MIDI controllers will basically be necessary. The only thing I could picture using the touch interface for would be song selection or minor adjustments that I don’t have mapped to a controller. Essentially, using the tablet like a laptop, so it wouldn’t be that significant an improvement for all of the hassles of switching over.

        But on the other hand, I know that when I wanted to start playing venues other than my bedroom, the purchase of a laptop was a bit of a choice between sticking in my budget and having something that I KNOW will support the software with the performance I was looking for. It would be very nice if there were a product out there, like the iPad, that had all of the same functionality, performance, and reliability as Traktor Pro has on a capable computer (including USB connectivity). This would offer an affordable laptop substitute for DJs looking for a reliable rig to play out on for the first time.

      • Azunderg

        i just did. have a mapping up as soon as i complete it.

      • SamBenDavid aka DJew

        Im guessing its because more of the DJTT crowd are DJ’s rather than producers, regardless though i would choose a Maschine over the Midi Fighter any day, its incomparable. The midi fighter is very good though, it just serves a different purpose.

        • Goodvideo

          it cost 449 for a custom midi fighter and you can get native insturments machine for $500 (academic version and we’re all life long students!).

          To me it would be insane to go for a midi fighter for that much…but to each their own. Machine comes with templates for traktor?! It’s for production and live performance and has some of the most responsive pads out there.

  • Evolakim

    I can’t believe there are still no usb ports. That would open up so many doors for this device.

    • scooby

      there is a usb port, but it comes as an accessory to buy with it. about $29

  • Professorbx

    The Android debate doesn’t matter, Android can’t compete (and I say this as a proud Motorola Droid 2 user). Android has an extremely crippled audio path, with no real way to achieve low-latency audio. As well, it has an internal MIDI player, but is unable to send or receive external MIDI. Android is a great platform, and I have a ton of geek tools that are only available on Android. That said, even with the mighty Gingerbread build on the Xoom, Android is worthless for pro audio.

    FYI-the iPad 2 is looking to have 512mb of ram-the rumor came from an offhanded comment at the showing by a floor employee.

    • Anonymous

      Just a heads up. Gingerbread != Honeycomb.

    • Zac Kyoti

      I wouldn’t say this is the case at all, after Android 2.3. It features low latency audio and midi via Khronos open SL ES :

      • Professorbx


        @Zac-The issue is though that ES is made for gaming/multimedia, not for actual music production. You can play MIDI files, but you aren’t going to hook up external hardware for MIDI input. Big difference. I have friends at one of the largest iPhone music production publishers, who constantly lament the lack of true support for what they do. It isn’t as if they don’t want to instantly tap into a new revenue stream-they would kill to. The tools just aren’t there, or they aren’t tailored toward their needs.

        • Zac Kyoti

          Thanks for the reply. I’ve gotta admit, I’ve been pretty confused about the state and direction of android audio/midi, with wildly different sentiment coming from dev camps, google, and dev hobbyists. I was under the impression that the new tools offered access to native code in a way that was able to hurdle some of the previous obstacles, but then again, there’s gotta be a reason that we aren’t seeing devs jump into android pro audio, and it’s not just that they’re worried android users won’t pony up the $$…

    • SampleLabApp

      Another audio dev here – could not agree more. So much R&D has gone into Core Audio, it will be ages before android can compete, if ever. Also hardware fragmentation is definitely an issue… audio app features are limited by hardware constraints,… squeezing more performance means more functionality…where I can use accelerate framework and compile time optimizations for ARM7 in iOS, to accomplish this in an android app that supports different hardware configs would be a nightmare.

  • szantog

    Don’t look the specs, code is the most important still. While the A5 adds double processing power, better code can improve the performance much more. I’m a developer for an iOS DJing app, and our application uses half CPU compared to DJay.

    More RAM doesn’t help too on the iOS platform, using anything more than 25MB introduces the risk of quitting your app. That means a serious iPad DJing application must have a “better” code than any other DJing application on your laptop.

    I just sent you an e-mail Markkus, and i’d be happy to tell you _everything_ about our app, iPad audio latency, touch latency, all the internals, etc…. Because sooner or later this platform will be more important than the laptop scene.

  • DJ Bizmuth

    I think the iPad’s gyroscopic ability will prove to be it’s most useful for the creative manipulation of music, and although we want the iPad for sort of niche-within-a-niche purposes, I think there is a good chance that what we are seeing now will evolve into more professional (and expensive) touch control. But what does that truly mean, and how do we as DJs want to incorporate touch control into our sets? What are the advantages?

    Besides, most clubs aren’t installing gadgetry in the booth. Clubs want equipment that will last forever, and the iPad may currently be too fragile for an environment where even the most battle-tested gear gets abused and mangled eventually. This means that DJs will have to use their own iPad, just like any other controller, in the booth, or wield it on stage. What can you do with touch control that you can’t do without it?

  • Freshcuts

    Ehem the pictures on the post are from the iPad 1…

  • Pierre Cardell

    Damn, imagine Traktor running on an iPad. Camera connection kit to provide midi and connection to an external sound card over usb to say, the Xone 4D I’m currently using. It would (once specifications and policies allow it) be the perfect device for that purpose.

  • dev

    well as a developer I find android appealing and IOS horrifying and in my mind Apple’s dominance in this area is soon to be history. I still don’t get everyone’s enthusiasm over the tablets – except the media houses of course who can design web like magazines and make sure they get paid.

    when it comes to dj-gadgets nothing can compare to pacemaker as far as I am concerned.

    • protocollie


      look honestly i don’t normally jump into a conversation like this to say “you’re wrong” but when you compare the professional impact and desire for the ipad against the impact of the pacemaker, to make this statement is really, really silly.

      the pacemaker is a fun toy but it’s just not practical. it’s tiny. doing complex mixes on it is hard. having to swap modes to change what parameters you’re tweaking is ridiculous. size and shape-wise it’s just weird (i’ve never wanted to have to hold the device i’m playing on with one hand) and i could never actually imagine using one in the booth in any serious capacity. i don’t think most working DJs would stand behind the pacemaker as opening new doors – I can’t even recall the last time I heard a DJ talking about one.

      the entire reason the ipad is appealing is the same reason its “precursor” on the DJ scene, the lemur, was appealing… it’s a large, multitouch screen. weirdness of the app store aside, it’s a large, fast, reliable multitouch screen with baked in midi support and a good developer community behind it. TouchOSC is a really great piece of software. TouchAble is a really great piece of software. I don’t think anyone’s suggesting running your entire set off of an iPad will ever be something a professional level DJ wants to do but as a controller, especially in harmony with a hardware mixer, it gives you a configurable layout to access lots of software parameters you wouldn’t otherwise have access to without a dedicated hardware controller.

      i’m REALLY baffled by the implication that android is somehow superior in this arena. i’m a developer myself, and while I appreciate the philosophy behind android I can’t really say I’ve ever seen andy running a music app that really compelled me to explore deeper in it like touchable or touchosc have. If you could point something like that out, it’d be great, but I just don’t see it.

      The fear of apple that broods in dev culture is pretty much nonexistent in DJ culture as apple hardware’s been the gold standard forever. 95% of the time you see a laptop in the DJ booth, it’s rocking a glowing fruit on the lid. not sure where you’re coming from here.

      i’d think the real argument would be whether touch control will take a foothold ever, PERIOD, regardless of platform. i still can’t say i like the feel of a touchscreen over physical knobs, faders and buttons, but i’m not saying that i represent everyone there.


      You made sense until the Pacemaker was mentioned.

  • DJ PC3

    Touch screen accessories just aren’t appealing to me (yet). Not saying I won’t ever use it, but right now I think I’ll stick to physical buttons (arcade, S4, X1 etc)
    But I can def see the potential for an accessory controller like this. The iPad (with right App) would be the ultimate controller. Like having a Maschine Controller, X1 and Dicer, all in one…

  • Guest

    purely from looking at the specs the motorola looks like a winner, but android for tablets is probably nowhere near as good as iOS and that makes a hell of a difference.

  • Seanol

    maybe not the ipad, but touch controllers are the future, and the VERY near future