iPad DJ and the post-laptop era of DJ’ing continues. BPM 2013

Traktor Kontrol Z1

At BPM in 2012, it was clear that the iPad was going to become a serious option for DJ’ing. I wrote a lengthy blog post discussing the post-laptop era of Dj’ing, brought on by controllers such as Numark iDJ Pro, Vestax Spin 2 and the Pioneer XDJ – AERO. A year on at BPM 2013, it seems that the iPad is gaining traction in the DJ market.

Traktor DJ

Native Instruments have released their Traktor DJ software for Ios devices, the iPad and the iPhone. Along with hardware controllers such as the Kontrol Z1 and Traktor S2 which work with both laptops and iPads. The functionality of Traktor DJ is limited compared to Traktor Pro, but its only a matter of time before we see the full capabilities of laptop DJ software available in Ios. Traktor DJ is also supported by Native instruments sound cards such as the Traktor Audio 6.

Traktor S2 MK2

Reloop Beatpad Controller.

reloop beatpad

Reloop have introduced their offering to the iPad controller market with the Reloop Beatpad controller designed for Algoriddim’s DJay app. The controller includes jog wheels, volume faders and crossfader along with EQ controls, which are all standard functions found on DJ controllers. The Beatpad’s performance section allows DJ’s to set up to 4 hot cue points per deck. In instant FX mode the 4 drum pads offer the ability to trigger macro effects while the Dj sampler can also be used to trigger samples. While very similar to other DJ controllers on the market, it is interesting to see Reloop also targeting iPad users as the main focus for their controller.

Cross DJ

Cross DJ on iPad
The range of controllers which work with iPads is also expanding, for example Mixvivbes Cross DJ on iPad has added support for a host of DJ controllers such as Mixvibes U Mix Control Pro 2,Pioneer DDJ­WeGo, Numark Mixtrack Pro 2, Hercules DJ Control.

Apple recently updated their iPad range to include the Ipad air which utilises the A7 chip and can be provide up to 128GB of storage space, which doubles to previous offering of 64GB allowing more space for music storage. What we can see is that there is incremental change from last year, both in the capabilities of the iPad and also the range of controllers available. Native Instruments adding to the iPad offering is of particular significance as they already have a large user base for Traktor scratch Pro. There is an expanding variety of apps available for DJ’ing.

My interest in post-laptop DJ’ing comes from my work in Pure Phase, influenced by controllerists such as Moldover, Tim Exile and DJ Sniff. One thing that these artists have in common is that they have all developed performance environments/ DJ setups in ways which allows them to minimise the amount of time they need to spend starring at a screen while performing. I see the laptop screen as a barrier between the performer and the audience, and the use of the smaller screen on the iPad goes some way to reducing this.

Future DJ controllers

We will start to see information such as waveforms and track names displayed on colour LCD screens which are built into the controllers themselves, like those found in Maschine Studio.

maschine studio

It would be great to see DVS control with the Ipad, but I think the industry will move away from DV control as it is a transitional medium, between analogue vinyl and reliable digital DJ systems. Most people learning to DJ now will simply start with digital.

In an ever connected world, DJ’s may move to ‘cloud DJ’ing’ where the tracks are simply streamed directly from the cloud, rather than stored on the devise such as the iPad itself. Potentially this means that you won’t need skill or even a music collection in order to be a DJ. You could just subscribe to a DJ streaming service with access to 1000’s of tracks and play them in a set which mixes itself.

More on this Blog:

iPad Dj and the post-laptop era of Dj’ing: Thoughts from BPM 2012

BPM 2014 Kontrol S49 Review

Modular Analogue DJ mixer

Dubplate Cutting


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3 Responses to “iPad DJ and the post-laptop era of DJ’ing continues. BPM 2013”

  1. iPad DJ and the post-laptop era of DJ’ing. Thoughts from BPM 2012 | James Kelly's blog Says:

    […] iPad Dj’ing continues: BPM 2013 […]

  2. BPM 2014 Kontrol S49 Review | James Kelly's blog Says:

    […] iPad DJ’ing continues. Thoughts from BPM 2013 […]

  3. BPM 2014 Trends Numark NV Traktor S8 Novtion Launch Control XL | James Kelly's blog Says:

    […] at some of my other predictions from past years, there has now been integration of online audio streaming through links through Cross DJ’s […]

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