iPad/iPhone DJs: Don’t Update To iOS 7?

Hot off the presses, a note of warning from Native Instruments advising users of Traktor DJ (and we would guess, iMaschine) to hold off on updating to iOS 7 on their iPhones and iPads. The new operating system, released to the public earlier today, apparently has caused a number of performance problems for audio applications. So far only NI has issued a public release – no word from any other DJ or producer audio app developers at this time.

Here’s NI’s full notice sent out this morning:

iOS 7 is here, but it seems there are serious issues concerning audio. TRAKTOR DJ, along with many other audio apps, is experiencing performance and stability issues on iOS 7. Initial testing has also revealed general audio performance issues that can affect some Native Instruments hardware. If you use TRAKTOR DJ or audio apps, we recommend you don’t update just yet.

Our tests have found that some iOS compatible hardware products from Native Instruments currently exhibit functionality errors when used within the iOS 7 environment. Compatibility issues include: random disconnections, iOS device restarts, distortion and chopped audio as well the Master Out audio playing on all outputs (making pre-listening impossible). Also Metadata Sync between TRAKTOR DJ and TRAKTOR PRO will no longer function once a device is upgraded to iOS 7.

Due to the extent and severity of the errors mentioned above, we are advising Native Instruments product users to postpone upgrading their devices to iOS 7 until the issues are resolved. This is extremely important as a device can NOT be downgraded to iOS 6 after upgrading to iOS 7. Native Instruments and Apple are working together to find solutions to these problems as soon as possible. Further announcements will be made as soon as the issues are resolved.

Considering that iOS 7 has been released for developers since June, it’s surprising to see a launch-day warning like this show up – we’ve asked other major audio app developers about any issues they’ve encountered and will update this post with relevant info.

Update (12:37PM PST): Propellerhead (makers of iOS apps Figure and Rebirth) reports all is well in their world – via Kalle Paulsson, their Product Manager for Apps: 

Retronyms shares a bit more about their apps – Tabletop and iMPC:

Here’s Novation on their apps – Launchpad and Launchkey:

Serato on their Serato Remote app:

We also were linked to this comment on Discchord by DJ Player’s developer, Gábor Szántó:

Every time Apple releases a major iOS version, the developer forums are full with audio related problems, as Apple actively develops the audio components and bugs happen.

There is another problem, not audio related but affects almost every app: the user interface handling is also changed, and not just graphically/aesthetically, but on the “programming side” as well. This step is quite big, larger than before. They introduced larger than usual changes in the API, some of them need developers to re-think established concepts. For example it was ordinary to do certain things differently when a new major version comes out. This time there are so many it’s not about writing different code, but a need to re-think how things should work.

Add these two factors together (UI + audio), and now you see that audio app developers need to take quality time with the new system.

In our experience last week using the gold master of iOS7 and Traktor DJ on an iPad 3rd generation, it seemed to work fine in the studio. As always, our advice is simple: if you need everything to keep working the way it is for a gig or performance  – wait to update! 

Let us know your own experiences with any DJ or audio app on iOS 7 in the comments below. 

audio applicationsaudio errorsaudio performancedjimaschineios 7ipadIphonetraktor djupgrade
Comments (34)
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  • Lisa

    I’m very frustrated with the iOS 7 and that it’s messed up the audio on my IPad where its choppy and staticky. Is there any fix on this yet?

  • vtxr

    Pioneer Wego2 fuxx up also

  • St. Félix

    With a system update always issues appear. To have a million devices is always different from laboratory. And i cant see the urgent need to have 7 running when yu really work with your machine. If you cant wait to have all shiny new get another device just for the bling. But its fun to see you debating.

  • DJ alibi

    The pioneer wego has bigger problems working with idjay and mixvibes. Loud popping noise and cue going everywhere, like my controller is haunted lol, I see that idjay is trying at least, pumping out updates daily but I think it’s a pioneer issue and according to their support site, they are on it. Hopefully it will all pan out sooner or later for all the apps. My dumbass updated cause a friend said his was working. We’ll. it did for 5 minutes. In between our phone calls lol. By then the damage was done. We’ll I was having fun using my lil combo for small paying gigs, guess it’s back to the ole trusty dell and serato DJ 1.3′ hopefully no live crashes. Too bad the surface pro 2 probably won’t be powerful enough either

  • Alastair

    FiRe audio recorder won’t work on ios7

  • Jim Dusty

    When I was at BPM last weekend they had a Z1 on demo with an iPad running a beta version of the app. Wasn’t sure if it was on ios7 but they told me that they will be launching it in a few weeks time along with the new mk2 controllers so fingers crossed.

  • imagine

    Didn’t apple give developers the chance to test out and prepare their apps for iOS7? What was NI doing? C’mon on son

  • chris

    two cents

    *) make an Backup before
    *) wait, until you hear no probs more

    and actually, this is not problem of iOs7.
    an upgrade is mostly an freshly renewing in effizienz

  • DJXia1

    I am assuming that’s why NI is trying to hire competent people, Let keep up people stop being lazy and irresponsible. We pay for your product we expect good support. Now I have to wait for NI to get there act together. Come on. I’m sorry I will not wait for NI, there are tons of other iOS 7 supported device that are working flawless because they took the time to be prepared instead of waiting to get caught with there pants down. I’m losing time and money over this as it is important to me, it should be to NI as well.

  • dj bassbitz

    Hi folks,

    We’re on the cusp of iOS 7, and I’m here to urge caution: If you rely on music apps, please don’t update yet.

    iOS 7 audio is not ready. There are a wide variety of bugs that are causing performance problems, crashes and other problems in a large number of music apps.

    This may change in the future, but until we see a few point releases for the OS, I strongly urge you to stick with iOS 6.


    (audio bus)

    • Unuomo Qualunque

      Tnks man, big up audiobus dev team!

  • TexasAU

    Absolutely no excuse for this; the API changes have been available for Developers since iOS 7 betas were released. It’s supposed to be NI’s showcase app to get new users onto Traktor, and they can’t get this right.

    If previous iOS updates are anything to go by 60% of iOS users will be running iOS 7 within 2 weeks; that’s a massive chunk of the market they are missing out on.

    Wonder what their excuse will be with OS X Mavericks?

    • penguinsdoom

      Agreeing with this post. There is a reason for the ios beta.

    • Chaser720

      Probably something along the lines of replacing knobs and adding stickers was too tedious of a process to be concerned with any other minor details.

  • calmdown

    Pull your wedgies out and relaxxxxxx. Serato remote crashed on me too so it won’t solve your issue. Audio routing issues in these apps need to get worked out. From a developer perspective, many of these companies do not simply solely churn apps out all day. The same guys improving and stabilizing desktop apps may write for mobile or interface with mobiles dev groups. To expect a seamless switch on a major update is asinine. iOS 7 has been OFFICIALLY available for less than 24 hours and already the sensationalists are in full force. SMH.

  • monik ranou

    NI = slacker

  • Donny NLT

    This should be the same as on a computer. Don’t update to the latest version until compatibility issues have been sorted out, especially if you rely on these apps for business.

    Now that NI mentions it, I don’t recall any of my apps being updated to iOS 7 beforehand. Surely, these companies have had plenty of time to do it or maybe those apps are just dead already and won’t see further updates anyway.

  • dj strobo

    What says Algoriddim? Their djay app is in competition with traktor

    • EbanC

      I got an iOS7 update for Djay before the operating system became available so they are on the ball. I have had no problems with anything except Akai SynthStation which crashes after launching. Even Traktor is working on my iPad so far.

  • tr4gik

    GOD DAMMIT NI U been dropping the ball to much lately Hurry the fck up!! Maybe its time to start looking at serato remote. Hmmmm

  • jorn

    Hey, NI, do you have an example or three of the “…many other audio apps…” that we may see?

    • Unuomo Qualunque

      Propellerhead and Steinberg (the biggest audio companies) have No issue with iOs 7, but I stay with iOs 6.1.3 for the moment…

  • Michael

    Eh sorry… how long have they had to actually test and redevelop their apps on existing hardware with their developer accounts. Its not like this day crept up on them and bit them on the bum unexpectedly, most of the universe is aware of the release of iOS7 and the last few revisions seeded to developers hasn’t had major revisions to API’s.

    Poor show, coming from the company who only made their website iOS friendly earlier this year.

    • calmdown

      This is assuming they are using Apple’s APIs for audio routing. Proprietary code that enhances API real-time audio may still have some quirks. I will agree with you a month from now however if issues still persist.

    • Markku Uttula

      I must say that I really love NI’s products, but there is something seriously wrong with their QA. I remember the previous “biggie” was the lack of support for USB3 in their controllers. Eventually they did get that problem fixed, but only at the point when a lot of people had been complaining about it for already (at least) six months. And when they finally came up with a solution, many new laptops only had USB3 ports, so they pretty much had to get their act together on that front. And now this.

      Like Michael says – it’s not like there was no developer releases available before the public release roll of iOS7. Why is it that they haven’t managed to fix things already (ok, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt; iOS7 might really be doing something very differently than the previous iOSs that makes solving the problem hard… but still.)

      • Bleh

        I remember a huge issue with original Maschines MIDI mapping mode that took them three years to fix! – NI are traditionally poor with bug fixing and updates in my experience

        • Sebastian Minkewitz

          some more shit from ni: two years ago, it takes over 1 month to release the driver for Audio4/8 and the new Mac OsX10,7. hope their will be no problems when 10.9 comes out on fall.

      • Chaser720

        They just hired a new QA Lead too. I know this because I didn’t get the job… ha