NYC Electro

Can you DJ with the iPad?

Last week, Apple finally dropped their tablet/e-reader, aka the iPad. We have heard many questions and rumors about it, and one in particular, can you DJ with the iPad? The answer is not exactly cut and dry and it depends on what you define as DJing. Lets take a look at whats going on here. Continue reading...

The iPad for DJing???

For Professional DJs:
If you are a professional DJ and use a program like Serato Scratch Live or Tractor, you answer is NO. It might be nice and fun to be able to control your pro DJ software with this device, but sadly you cannot. There is one major reason, the device had no USB, therefore no way to interface with the current audio setups. However, we have learned that there will be an adapter to a USB but that does not change the fact that that these programs are developed for other platforms, not the iPhone/iPad SDK. So, for all you pro DJs that were excited about getting your dirty fingers all over your screen, sorry! You hands are better to be on your turntables/controllers anyhow.

For Non-Professional DJs:
There are some smaller, less robust programs out there for the iPhone/iTouch. We have not tested any, so they will remain anonymous. Some of these are fun, but there is a slight setback. If you want to use them (as they are now), they will display only a small window on your iPad. You could just use iTunes right? Yes indeed. Currently, you would need an adapter to pull this off (likely an 1/8" headphone jack to RCA). I do know a hand full of DJs that actually use this method with their laptops (yeah, i know). So, its doable, but not for the professional DJs out there.

DJing with Midi controllers:
A few programs that allow you to map your midi controller to a program on the iPhone/iTouch, like "iTM Matrix". This is a fun way to use your controllers while out on the dance floor. There is a major catch to this though, you need to be on a wifi network for any of this to work. Sometimes bars/clubs have these and sometimes they remember their password too. But, lots of times, their only computer is crammed into some basement closet office with a wired connection. These people know drinks, not networks. So, you may be able to use a midi mappable device on your new iPad, but it totally depends on the place you are playing.

If you are a professional DJ, the answer is simply NO. If you are not so serious and want to give it a shot with the current "DJ" apps for the iPhone/iTouch, go ahead and good luck. Let us know if you are successful. So, for all your pros out there, sorry, maybe next year (but probably not).

Comments (20) Trackbacks (1)
  1. The iPad has a USB port via a separate adapter.

  2. @ mediaphone
    Thanks, we’ve updated the post. Still, there is no development planned at this point for them to post this to the iPad. I dont think the iPad is powerfull enough or has the hard disk space to handle the demands anyhow.

  3. I think you’ll be eating crow in less than 9 months.

    Of course you can’t use this to run current full desktop apps like Ableton and Traktor, and existing iphone apps aren’t at all robust enough BUT as a touch based controller the iPad is going to be an absolute killer.

    Think about the Lemur.

    Now add the fact that there will be hundreds of thousands of these in the wild in less than one year and you can bet that countless major name music software developers are already working furiously towards the goal of offering the best in class app for this device.

    And it won’t stop with just DJ apps, you can bet that there will be countless professional quality mixing board, synthesis, sequencing, and sampling apps released in less than 24 months.

    The lack of hard drive space is a complete non-issue given the usb adaptor. Furthermore, you can count on the very high end pro apps being bundled with a hardware interface that uses the dock to both justify a higher price point and provide an obstacle to app piracy.

  4. Eventually, maybe there will be full fledged DJ apps out. But the limitations on computing power and hard drive space will be tough to work around. I am curious to see if at WMC ( ), if there will be any ambitious companies showing anything on the iPad. My bet is no, though we shall see.

    As for a separate controller, that would be an interesting possibility. It would be cool to have a program that you could move and change around your owen buttons to any configuration, then map the midi to those custom buttons/faders.

  5. Are you for real? I’ve seen Serato on a 1 Ghz Macbook Pro doing just fine. I give it 2 to 3 months and you’ll see some great applications ported or created for it, if not Serato as well. If they don’t do it, they’ll fall to the wayside.

  6. Also, see my post posted before you made this comment:

    All there needs is some app that lets you use your iTunes library and that adjusts the BPMs. You would not even need 2 iPads. Probably not even a mixer if the program does it right. But for right now, its not there.

  7. As a multitouch device the iPad is a king, but without USB ports I doubt of it, only if somehow apple and Steve Jobs realize that a USB interface is missing… Then you could try to connect it to a external audio card and to a mixer…

  8. there have been apps for this before iPad came out ie. DJ Player Blue edition. Ive played 2 shows so far with only using iphone and ipad. check the vids on my page to see what its all about.

    the app syncs with your iTunes.. im a pro dj and i stand by this app. Also im a beta tester for them and i have the new beta which will allow you to have 2 decks on one device.. i cant tell you more about the beta but i can say it is a serious dj app for pro dj’s

  9. What is the sound output for this DJ Player app? The 1/8″ headphone jack, I am guessing, right?

  10. actually with the new beta there are two methods.. yes the 1/8 ” jack (but there are adapters that will allow you to get L/R master out and mono headphone out) and there is a way to use another iDevice to send master out thru network and 1/8″ jack for your CUE. The beta reached its nearly releasable stage this morning so it will be a week or two and it will be out.. but the old version (using one device per deck) is currently out and works perfectly for a stand alone device. I played last Sat and everyone loved it!

  11. @John thank you so much for your info – what is the latency if master out goes thru network?

  12. DREAMING OF a DJ app WITH TWO INDEPENDENT STEREO outputs for your iPhone

    BUDAPEST, ESSEN June 4, 2010 – iMect, Hungary and Stereomusik Systems, Germany will upgrade their DJ PLAYER app (formerly “DJ PLAYER Blue Edition”) to 2.0 in June along with the brand new DJ PLAYER NetOut app in the App Store. DJ PLAYER is not only freshened up, but it’s bursting with some very cool features. Now it supports playing, mixing and manipulating of two different audio tracks simultaneously. It has two independent decks plus a virtual mixer having the charm of a real traditional DJ mixer with crossfader, EQ and five different output modes. The other good news is that DJ PLAYER supports NetOut now, to provide 2 separate stereo outputs for monitoring and master. Both apps will run also on your new iPad, they are uploaded to Apple for approval. These are exciting times! DJ PLAYER Blue Edition will go on sale for the next 7 days. Enjoy!

  13. Hello folks, just a quick note…DJ PLAYER 2.0 is approved and available!

    Sorry, by tomorrow I’ll give you further information…

    …sent from my mobile device.

    Get DJ PLAYER on reduced price until next Friday only. Yeah!

  14. yeah, i dunno, looks like some professionals ARE using it for DJing:

  15. It’s not necessary for the venue to have wifi. SImply create an ad-hoc network on your laptop!.

    Awesome video Ray, do you know what the App is here? Is it Touch OSC? Doesn’t quite like familar somehow.

  16. They say a wireless connection is difficult in a club? Its called adhoc, and almost any laptop built in this century can produce a local adhoc WiFi network perfect for connecting your midi devises.

  17. Yep adhoc network from your laptop works. There are latency issues though.

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