DJ Player 9: An iOS DJ App Crowdsourced Over Slack

DJ software isn’t easy to build. Developers and management have customer data that only goes so far when it comes to building a product DJs will enjoy using compared to others. For a small software company to go up against NI or Serato there are a lot more hurdles to overcome with (usually) a much smaller budget. This is a typical narrative, but not the narrative of DJ Player 9, which receives advice and design tips straight from a Slack community its own users.

Crowdsourcing a DJ App with Slack

In the Bay Area tech scene, Slack is a trendy app used for interoffice team communication. I’ve never seen it used in DJ context before hearing about DJ Player 9’s origin story. Since November 2015, creator Gábor Szántó has used Slack to connect his team with its users from 45 countries in 11 different time zones. From MIDI mappings to beta tests, the community of 1000+ members has contributed to the latest release. This progressive move takes the users right to the discussion table. DJs were able to give ideas, mock-ups, and even niche features that would eventually make it into the release candidate.

The final DJ Player 9 app is a child of this ecosystem and it has a strong foundation of users who are dedicated to testing and improving the software. The community is still alive and well today where users are contributing and talking about the app. Gábor wants to keep the conversation going because, “no ‘point zero’ version is perfect, and not every reasonable wish” is present.

DJ Player 9: What’s New

The press release claims DJ Player 9 is the “Formula 1” car for the DJ world – we’ll let you read the features and decide for yourself. The iOS app is DVS ready for any timecode vinyl and has MIDI support for a range of controllers with no manufacturer restrictions. The app also supports 4 decks and Native Instruments STEM tracks as well.

There are two major interface options when DJs use the app: Classic and Modern.

The Classic interface is the legacy of earlier versions of DJ Player. This version focuses on handheld capabilities with DVS and portablism in mind. The top level controls include Play, Cue, Sync and Loop with a +/- pitch control and 3 EQ knobs. A crossfader rests between both decks. The deck displays BPM, pitch changes, and key with a vertical waveform on the side and a smaller horizontal waveform above.

The Modern interface is more progressive with waveforms taking up a majority of the screen real estate. The waveform displays (for both views) now provide better track structure overview and beat localization. Immediate controls available within the Modern face are Play, Cue, Sync and Loop with a knob pitch and key control. A crossfader rests on the left side of the screen. EQ controls are available with a click of a button.

Each interface has a dedicated FX screen for each deck. The FX screen has three FX pads and a combo option to layer effects. Users can switch between Modern and Classic interfaces quickly using the Yin-Yang symbol at the top of the screen. As the interface has improved, the performance of the software has been maintained. Under the hood, analyzing tracks takes less time and the app runs at 60 FPS. The folks behind DJ Player 9 promise to provide better performance, better responsiveness, and a cleaner sound when compared to other DJ software.

Final Thoughts

As always with switching to a new DJ software, the heavy claims in press releases about performance, responsiveness, and features don’t really matter. DJs change software when they see other DJs using it, and the experience of the software is superior enough to convince them to put in the effort to learn something new.

DJ Player 9 is a unique breed. After being sent through exhaustive tests by dedicated users, the company now has a product that resonates with the DJs who use it. Other companies have open betas, however, rarely do consumers communicate compliments and issues directly to the creator.

The new version is well situated to be a strong contender in the ring of iOS DJ software. There’s the added bonus of having an open community of DJs who believe in the product, and the crowdsourced design makes this a unique entry.

DJ Player 9 is available now in the App Store for free, with required subscription of $1.67/month or $89.99 to remove trial notifications.

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Comments (24)
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    • Gábor

      According to your Disqus profile you do nothing but advertise djay Pro in comment sections. How is djay Pro more polished???

      • john

        I’ve just started using djay Pro a few weeks ago and really think not enough people understand how great it really is, especially the Spotify integration I really love. Polish is my personal opinion, I’ve tried both products and just thought that the djay Pro UI, animations, details looked more polished. I’ve checked your Disqus also and it looks like you’re one of the guys behind DJ Player, so I never meant to insult you or your product – but personally I like djay better.

  • Timothy Dobesh

    i have been using this app (the original one) off and on for the last few years with an AMX / DVS, i really enjoy it, wish it worked with my new Mixars Duo though..

  • Roy Bear

    I am totally amazed how good this App works.
    And it’s – unlike Traktor DJ – midi-mapable and also works with stems.

  • Brody

    I’ve used it extensively – originally to have an incredibly portable set-up for certain desert festivals (XONE:K2 and iPad) that wouldn’t kill me financially if it was ruined by dust. But – now i use as my preferred set-up (often adding an Electrix Tweaker and other ableton linked apps). It’s bomb and I get compliments on my set up by other DJs all the time. Never crashed in performance, easy to midi map – does everything I want it to. Only rare complaint I’ve had is occasional latency – which is probably due to the USB hub that is required to connect additional midi gear. Really love the new layout – and Gavin (the dev) is quick to respond and implement new features. Highly recommended.

  • ...

    iOS only?!!! Thanks, but no thanks.

    • Roy Bear

      technical reasons, mate.
      Android is STILL not usable for audio. Thanks Google

  • ??

    If only they had an Android version… I could use it to DJ on my phone, tablet, laptop, and desktop 🙁

    • Dean Zulueta

      Right!? I was bummed as soon as I realized this wasn’t available for Android. haha

      • Roy Bear

        you create audio with android? really? how’s that working out?

    • Be

      Blame Google for Android’s utter failure at anything resembling a workable latency for audio.

      • ??

        I blame app developers for being lazy. It’s pretty easy to get a 13-20ms audio delay on Android which is more than reasonable….

        • Gábor

          Thanks for sharing this. But those values are available in a very low number of devices only.

          Please note, i’m not only the creator of DJ Player, but the co-founder and CTO of Superpowered as well. 🙂

          • ??

            Awesome! Not to imply all app developers are lazy… but have you thought about targeting Android as well? The latency of an Intel i7 laptop or desktop Chromebook/Chromebox I would imagine is quite suitable for fluid Android DJ apps not to mention the new Pixel phones (which im currently on) which seem to get ~25ms latency.

          • Dante Dora

            $89.99 ???? Ive played with for about an hour suffering through the trial mode notifications. It is good for an iPad better the Traktor DJ functionally, but the price is way out in left field. $29.99 is about the top end this should be priced at. One functional caveat is that the waveforms need more color …like red for bass, etc… too much blue going on makes me feel chilly. I would consider switching if just for portability. Another problem is that your mixer or Controller need to be Class Compliant ….That puts my Xone:Db2 out. Are there any 8×8 class compliant USB cards compatible with Ipads?

        • Be

          Considering all the extra effort that requires and that it would only work on a few devices anyway, it’s kinda a waste of effort for developers. Whereas on iOS it has always just worked.

          • ??

            88% of phones sold worldwide this past year were Android… even if it only worked on 15% of those devices… that would equal the same number of devices as iOS!

          • Gábor

            The number of active iOS devices is near 1 billion, while the Google Play store has around 1.4 billion active devices.
            The number of active Nexus devices is just a few million.

          • ??

            Sure, 1 billion Apple devices are active if you also include Macs, AppleTVs, iPods, and Apple Watches. Does writing an iOS app mean it will run on Mac though? No. Write once for Android 7+ and you can also run the app on Chrome laptops and desktops!

            You are correct in your number of Nexus devices as well. However, the Pixel’s sales numbers are off the chart since launch last month and given the latency of a lot of Samsung devices, your target audience of capable Android devices is much larger than you think and growing at a phenomenal pace.


          • Gábor

            No, the number of active _iOS_ devices is near 1 billion.

            The latency of Samsung devices is only reasonable with the so-called Samsung Professional Audio SDK, which is almost dead and doesn’t support multi-channel USB audio…

          • ??

            Keep making excuses… one day you’ll have to write for Android because there will be too many people complaining that you aren’t. For now, there are definitely people out there that want to do professional audio on their more than capable high-end Android and ChromeOS devices. Fill that void or someone else will.

          • Gábor

            One of the main reasons why we did Superpowered is to fix audio on Android. I’m looking forward to the point where there will be “enough” low-latency (both built-in and USB-handling) Android devices will be on the market.