Requirements: iOS 4.2 or later
File Size: 4.5MB
Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Age Rating: 4+
If you’ve ever been interested in mixing music, being a DJ or just having your playlists played with a little more soul, you’ll definitely be happy to take a look at djay for iPad. It’s an amazing app that truly showcases just what’s possible on iOS. It takes your music library and puts it right at your fingertips with tools to help you mix it together and get the party started, or better yet, keep it going. If you already have an iPad, it’s the cheapest and easiest way to test the water of being a DJ.
Here’s how it works, you start by loading a song. Just hit the button to the upper left of either deck that looks like a musical note. You have complete access to your iPod library of music, which is awesome. There’s no need to independently load songs into the app, just use what you already sync to your iPad. You have two decks, so you’ll want to load songs to each.
Once a song is loaded, you get cover art on the virtual vinyl, the BPM (beats per minute) for it is calculated and a waveform is displayed above the deck so you can see the song in a graphical representation. BPM is helpful if you want to get a bit more serious about beat matching. Your “set” will flow better if your songs all play at the same BPM. There’s even a button to sync one deck to the other. Very helpful. You can also manually adjust this with the slider.
To start playing a song, just hit the play button and everything starts on that deck. The red light to the lower left of each deck indicates the song is playing. It too can be tapped to start or stop playback. If you don’t want to start at the beginning, you can grab the needle and move it right where you want it. This is a little clumsy, only because the deck is a bit small to make room for the extra controls.
You can also touch the waveform to scrub around.
I know you, the first thing you want to do now is start scratching. Am I right? Get it out of your system. I will say that scratching on the iPad is satisfying, and the app wouldn’t be incomplete if the feature wasn’t there. Just don’t over do it, okay?
Now there’s still more you can do to customize the playback of each song. There’s a button to bring up a mini equalizer to adjust bass, mid, treble and gain. You can also set bookmarks in a song to jump instantly to a specific spot. There are also buttons for momentary pitch bending, which amounts to changing the playback speed only while you’re touching it. No other effects or pads for short audio clips…yet?
At the bottom of the screen you have the fader that controls the actual mix. In the center position you’ll have both decks outputting sound at their set volumes. To either side of center you’ll start lowering the audio coming from the opposite deck. You’ll want to get used to using this control since it’s the heart of mixing and there are some cool tricks that you can do with it. And since djay fully supports multitouch, you can be doing more than one thing at a time, which is important for smooth transitions. If you don’t want to do all of this on your own, you can set a predefined transition with the Automix settings and have it automatically applied when you push either of the directional buttons on the mix fader. This gives you some control while still letting the app do most of the work for you.
Towards the top of the screen, you have controls for the volume of each deck. Not only can you mix the decks together, you can independently control their respective volumes. Beside each there’s an “LED” readout of the stereo volume levels. You’ll also see the track name and artist for reference in case you forget mid song. There’s also a button in the center to record your set if you’re not just playing around.
I still haven’t mentioned all of the features yet, like the ability to pre-cue songs. You’ll need a specific headphone adapter, but it can be done. If you pause a deck, it will realistically spin down; a very nice touch indeed. The app also fully supports Airplay, so you can really be the most mobile DJ around.
If you’re not so good at this, there’s a button towards the bottom called Automix that lets djay do its thang. Just feed it a playlist and it’ll do the rest. It honestly does a very decent job. I actually wish this app was universal so I could listen to my playlists on iPhone via Automix. Thanks to the automated track transitions, it’s much more entertaining than crossfading songs together. This is the perfect feature for letting your iPad run the party while taking advantage of Airplay to push the audio to your speakers via an AppleTV or Airport Express. This setup might make you a bit of a geek, but rest assured you’ll be the coolest one around.
Buy djay for iPad