Traktor DJ Comes To iPhone

Native Instruments is making a play for iOS dominance, which started with the launch of Traktor DJ for iPad over two months ago, and continues today with a second version of the app with a clever re-optimized interface for iPhone. After the jump, watch the overview of the new app and see how people who don’t have tiny fingers can still mix on a much smaller screen.


App: Traktor DJ
Manufacturer: Native Instruments
Availability: Now in the iTunes App Store
Pricing: $4.99
Requirements: Requires iOS 6.0 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.


Traktor DJ on iPhone brings true portability to Native Instruments mobile mixing app. As DJs, a lot of us find ourselves in situations where there’s not a single piece of DJ gear in sight at a party, but people still turn to us when everyone’s keen for some dance floor action. To be able to pull out the iPhone and start playing a set is the ultimate DJ-on-the-go experience.

Watch: DJ Shiftee’s routine with Traktor DJ on iPad

The scaled down interface takes some getting used to – it still packs all of the features of Traktor DJ for iPad into it, but now you’re able to focus in on either deck individually to make use of FX, EQs, and cue points. The A/B slider on the far left of the app makes this deck jumping a seamless flicking motion that could actually be done in the heat of a mix.

Freeze Mode and the song recommendation system continue to be powerful additions to the Traktor experience that we’re still wondering when they’ll make an appearance in Traktor Pro. Especially when one of their competitors products – Virtual DJ’s LiveFeedback engine – was just recently been updated to give dynamic suggested tracks to DJs.

The real win here is that iPhone-toting DJs now can use the collection sync (via Dropbox) to prepare their tracks – and that this tool costs just five dollars, instead of the heftier $20 for the iPad version. We think that there’s a great workflow for working professional DJs here who don’t or can’t be in front of their computer everytime they have to prepare for a gig. NI is leading the industry here as well – with only Pioneer’s Rekordbox having a similar prepare-on-the-go system.

Which one would you DJ with?


The system requirements note that the application is optimized for iPhone 5 – and that extra few centimeters of screen real-estate on the 5 really makes a bit of a difference. It’s just enough additional room to take some of the small-screen pressure off of using controls that are so close to the track waveforms. That being said, the application is still very usable on iPhone 4 and 4S devices.

We’re also still waiting for some clean nudge options to allow us to manually beatmatch if the tracks start falling out of sync – but for most songs, it’s not even an issue.

Android users: A quick word here about the lack of support for your mobile OS. We chatted with NI breifly about this, and the big obstacle here is a lack of consistent hardware as well as some audio engine limitations – iOS is apparently way easier to deliver a consistent experience on since there’s only a few models of the device. That being said, we’d love to see an Android version!


A movement to iOS for portability and for simplifying the central hub of a DJ experience is a solid decision. Why do DJs need laptops over iOS devices? Nevertheless, mobile device DJing solutions still are lacking really solid paired hardware. Imagine being able to use some of Traktor’s hardware products with Traktor DJ – like the Kontrol S4’s complete controls, or the FX and looping controls of the Kontrol X1.

Some apps, like DJ Player, already have a way to not only MIDI map class-compliant controllers, but also to use DVS (albiet with a very limited selection of soundcards) – neither of which would be a bad idea to add to Traktor DJ to make it more of a professional tool.

We’re also still waiting for a good audio solution – what if a Traktor DJ user wants to mix externally? (Editor’s note: DJTT commenter Scotland pointed out that the 1.1 update to Traktor DJ has an external mixing mode – hooray!) If apps like Traktor DJ are going to be successful in the long run and adopted for use beyond the pop-up party situation, they’ll need to be able to allow DJs to still use some type of tactile hardware – and potentially build hardware that’s optimized to be paired with iOS.

Read More: Ean Golden’s first look at Trakor DJ on iPad

djing on an iphoneIOSIphonemobile devicemobile djingsmall screen mixingtraktor djtraktor iphone
Comments (49)
Add Comment
  • Timval

    I was given a Z1 for my birthday but I need a cable for my I phone 5

  • Rob Barrett

    Is there any way to use, say, the griffin “cable you need” for dj to split audio? It would be awesome to grab your headphones and make it possible to pre-listen make sure you drop the track properly…

  • chris

    as a Boston wedding dj I have Virtual DJ on my Iphone, but don’t see much use for it. I have two laptops powered on and CD’s on standby. Plus if I am interacting with a crowd I don’t want to be fiddling with my phone in front of people.

    • horst2k

      When I look at your homepage it becomes quickly apparent, why you have no use for Traktor DJ…

  • termo

    I have noticed that using the iPhone vertically (with two thumbs) is really helpful if you want to use the crossfader at the same time. I know it is not intended that way, but cutting and stuff works way better for me.

    • termo

      Ps. It would be great if ‘flux mode’ was optional.

  • trplkll

    be cool to use your phone as a controller with traktor pro and the iphone app

  • James Young Noisiboi

    they should just make an s4 or f1 ipad version, similar to the way they did with Maschine

  • -IQ-

    Why all the hate for what is another addition to the options available to a DJ, home or pro?
    If you’re running scared of ‘wannabe’s’, up your game FFS!
    This is a great toy go a commute, great for prepping tunes on the move and if it can cover my ass if gear in case of a controller/CDJ failure, then great!!!

  • Philip Pack

    Thankfully I’m with an iPhone 5… and this app works great! Beat and note detection is almost better/easier than the full PC/MAC version. Looks like I’ve finally found a replacement for my beloved Pacemaker DJ Handheld for DJing on the go. My only wanted feature, is EQ for both channels at once when in the “AB” screen.

  • tr4gik

    I used this and it sure was fun and easy, i did a 20 minute mix as soon as I downloaded the app. Very easy, very intuitive with very little time of learning. For sure its worth the 5 bucks, its a very fun app. I will use it more for track prep though, instead of actually mixing in this tiny thing ..

  • zilmad

    Why is always is for apple only don’t forget for Android users also.

  • DJ Yagga™

    This is really hindering real DJ pros, mobile DJ businesses and whoever ACTUALLY makes a viable living at spinning.How am I supposed to compete against all the hobbyists with iPads, iPods, and iPhones out there? how do I justify my $1200/wedding price point if cousin Joey can grab his iPad mini and DJ his family’s wedding for FREE !! WTF enough of these gimmicky “innovations” already !!!

    • forreal.doe

      then go boycott every single technology-related industry, why dontcha…

      • DJ Yagga™

        The point I’m making is the following: Someone with an iPhone is going to take away your ability to EARN a living at doing what it is you do best. That is…if you’re worth being PAID for what you do in the first place !!!

        • -IQ-

          You’re missing the point of DJing. It’s not about you earning a living. It’s about getting people to dance and have a good time. Punters don’t care whether you have 4 1210s or an iPhone. They care about quality tune selection and having a good time.
          If someone with an iPhone does that better than you, look at yourself not an iPhone app!!

        • Nic

          That’s what’s called competition bro. No industry, especially in the technology sector, is standing still, so why do you expect the Dj industry to be? When times change, it is up to you to stay competitive. If nowadays everyone can put together a simple mix, then it’s up to you to distinguish yourself from them. Show people why you’re worth $1200 over their cousin Joey with his iPad mini. That’s how you stay successful!

    • psy/OPs

      if you just think its gimmicky you shouldn’t be worried at all.

      if you recognise though the innovation for what it is, maybe you need to re think what you’re doing to justify your price point.

      step up your game son

      • Smash

        Step up your game? All these devices are making them even more incompetent as Dj’s.

        • dj srsly

          Then people will see that. Ultimately it comes down to song selection, timing, and technique. If you can do a nice mix on your ipod, iphone, or fully tricked out pro gear set up, what’s the difference?

    • Aaron Fortson III

      The introduction of more novice individuals to a field only makes the proffessionals in the field stand out more. Justifying your cost is your job. If people dont see the value in your pricing it either means they are not the client for you, or your not worth the pricing your asking for. Which of those it is, is your job to identify and rectify.

    • DeeJay Coight

      There’s a catch 22 with all the new technology and also all the new DJ’s and enthusiasts… Yeah cousin Joey can grab his ipad and DJ his family’s wedding… Will Joey have the correct track collection and know how to use it? Will Joey have $1000’s-$10,000’s of dollars worth of crisp looking and sounding equipment to deliver the right atmosphere. And will Joey know how to set up the equipment and work the crowd the whole night, have years of experience in not only DJing but event management and disaster rectification to make the event go off without succes? More than likely not.
      The problem I am finding is a lot of the older and more experienced DJ’s which seem like yourself Yagga need to move with the times and read the industry more, and rather than looking at the negatives of technology, move with the postives they bring, Yeah Joey and all his mates are going to go and do a few weddings, yeah it’s gonna knock our pockets for a short amount of time. But it won’t last, they will mess up big time, ruin someone’s “special occassion” which we spend our lives trying not to do, people will continue to do what they have always done and gone back to the good old boys and we will still make our mark, In the mean time while Joey is running around stuffing up weddings, take the time to remember your roots in the industry… How did you get all those weddings to start with? The only way to survive any change in evolution is to go back to the start and follow the roots back to the top of the tree.
      Promotion is redundant in the new generation of DJ’s it’s all about a like. What is a like? Nobody can truly answer that. To me a like is just that… It’s a “Like” a click that says I like this, it doesn’t say i’m going to use it or follow it or read every article about this, it means at this point on this day i liked what i saw. Have you ever gone back and looked over everything you liked? Doubt it.
      Get the graphic design back up and running, get your cards printed, get your posters up, get out to other peoples gigs and shamelessly self promote and if it’s worth your time get others to come back to your gigs through direct contact marketing.
      The industry is a mess and it’s because the leaders are too busy whinging about what is wrong instead of getting out there and fixing it. (Or sitting around making too much money off it). Start from scratch and get your brand, mobile business, residency or whatever you do pumping again by simply going back to the roots and following them to the top of the tree. You’ve just lost a few leaves. You don’t have to grow the whole tree again.

    • DJ Nemisius

      I’m sure that iPhone or ipad will sound fine over Joey’s Jabra Jambox or portable stereo system… I used to be worried about people undercutting my price by the “oh we’ll just go with an iPod then…” That was the early 2000’s.

      What you get for a wedding is a DJ that is set up in advance with an amazing sounding system tuned to the room, Wireless mics that sound make you sound good talking into them, a seasoned master of ceremonies that will control the flow of the event as well as the dance floor. And yes I have used the iPad, iPhone or another mini device to DJ with or mix off a powered speaker for ceremony music or cocktail hour. There has always been a wow factor to that. The main difference is the whole package and quality that’s provided.

      It’s the Records v CD’s v minidiscs. CDJ v laptop argument again. We adapt to survive.

  • AHB900

    Pretty fun to use actually.. Runs smooth.. I just wish there was a way to show the key column in the “browser”

  • Pan Pan

    That would be dope about hardware and mobile devices. Wireless midi controllers in the horizon?

  • Aman Chopra

    Its really nice application..smoothhhhh… I bought it & me with my friends had 3 hour party just with my ipod 🙂

  • Dave bareno

    Noooo!!!, this is useless! what I was asking for was a simple music management app, like the Pioneer RECORDBOX I need to organize and edit tracks, not to to play with a toy for wannabes DJs, Thank you NI thank you…

    • dave

      so just dont use the mixing features… no one is making you use anything other than the beat gridding stuff. plus unlike rekordbox you’d be able to do a quick test if need be.

    • luiz nunes

      you can create your loops, cue points and also check bpm etc…
      just save it on your dropbox and shazan!!!

      the app ALSO plays, what i found useless too…

      • Forevernow

        You still can’t set the cue point type (load, beat,etc) for use in full version.. app is useless to me until this is implemented.

    • type_omega

      i would tent to agree but for 5.99 you cant really complain. would you give you advanced tool-set from $199.99 software away for 5.99? maybe if they made a app just for track prep and gave it away for free with redemption from the service center with proof of serial but im amazed there giving software this powerful away for 5.99 all the high-school kids with there parents credit cards who own i phones would easily pay 10.00 to 15.00

  • Ronald Edwards

    I’m not certain why Android (and iOS) users can’t just be told “to get the most out of the program, use external USB sound cards for mixing.” Maybe the people at Native Instruments should explore this option, perhaps with a special edition Audio 2 DJ.

    There’s one more software package that challenges Traktor DJ and that’s Deckadance 2. It’s been available since September of last year and I’m not sure why it wasn’t reviewed already: . I understand when people start to really get into a program they become evangelized, but it doesn’t make sense for a Digital DJ News and Information site to overlook (or omit) reviewing choices like this especially when comparing to DJ Player. That Deckadance is also made by Image-Line means that integration of a Digital DJ program into a D.A.W. (A.K.A. FL Studio 11) is finally native and not a strange work around as per the Bridge (Serato and Ableton). Shall we presume an article for Deckadance on the iPhone is coming soon?

  • parker

    lol digging the animated gif – I like it

  • ithinkmynameismoose

    I have to say I hate the fact that when you try to scrub through a track it won’t let you. The freeze mode thing is cool but I’ll switch to Deckadance if they put that in Traktor Scratch Pro.

    • Gulli Johansen

      what? you will switch if they add a future that you are not forced to use. Traktor already has some stuff I will never use. You know what I do? I don’t use them 😛

      • Ronald Edwards

        Perhaps “moose” is saying that this might be disruptive to their workflow and they want the option to turn off that mode or moose will move to greener pastures (so to speak).

  • Anski

    Riding shotgun just got a lot more fun.

    • Dan White

      Road trip residency, here I come.

  • Scotland

    You said: “what if a Traktor DJ user wants to mix externally?”

    The 1.1 Update for iPad has External Mixer mode now!!

    • Dan White

      Awesome point, Scotland – I clearly need to update the DJTT HQ iPad version of Traktor DJ and try it out right away! I’ve noted your comment in the article.

  • Anonymous

    iPhone is silly small. Either they release bigger screen or nobody will bother with iPhone 6. I would love to have it on my Android Galaxy Note 2. I had iPhone. Great phone but too small for my use.

    • Bigbeatzz

      This^ Note 2 FTW

      • df

        You can hit the home button and go text back and stuff. the track will keep playing and all…

        • -IQ-

          Turn on airplane mode.

          • mike mansor

            Or Do Not Disturb.

    • Ronald Edwards

      What happens when you get a call or text message while DJing?