Native Instruments Traktor DJ/Traktor DJ for iPhone, £13.99/$19.99 // £2.99/$4.99
It’s only really in the last 18 months or so that iOS DJing apps have made the jump from being mere novelty items to realistic music making propositions.
That’s not to say we’ve reached the stage where we’re likely to see iPads replacing CDJs, controllers and turntables in club booths, but it’s certainly now possible to use your iDevice to sketch out sets, play house parties and record entirely convincing mixes.
Across the next few slides, in no particular order, you’ll find our pick of the most useable DJ apps currently available on the App Store.
Since its release earlier this year, NI’s app version of Traktor has quickly claimed the title of the most elegant and well-implemented DJ tool for iOS.
It’s effectively a stripped-back version of its laptop counterpart; offering two waveform-style decks for mixing, hot cues, looping tools and touch-controlled effects and EQs.
The app is well designed to make use of the device’s touchscreen too, allowing great hands-on control of functions like the filters and beat slicing. It also sync bi-directionally with its bigger sibling via dropBox, making it great for DJs with pre-existing Traktor setups.
The more recent iPhone incarnation is essentially the exact same app but tucked into a smaller space.
algoriddim djay/djay for iPhone, £13.99/$19.99 // 69p/$0.99
Alongside Traktor, algoriddim’s djay - which started life as a freeware application for Mac - is the other big name in iOS DJing.
It’s relatively simple to navigate but surprisingly well featured; packing looping capabilities, cue points and several solid effects into its straightforward interface. Additionally, its ‘two turntables and a mixer’ design is likely to appeal to slightly more traditionally minded DJs, who may struggle with Traktor’s waveform-focused design.
At the time of writing, the iPad version is discounted to £2.99, which is an absolute bargain!
IK Multimedia DJ Rig for iPad/DJ Rig Free, £13.99/$19.99 // free
IK’s DJ Rig app is relatively similar in design to algoriddim’s djay, being focussed around a pair of decks and a central mixer.
The app’s effects and deeper features aren’t quite up to the level of Traktor but, particularly in its iPad incarnation, it does have a few tricks up its sleeve, including a handy little on-the-fly sampler and the ability to switch between vinyl, CDJ and waveform-style decks.
When paired with IK's little iOS mixer, the iRig Mix, DJ Rig really comes to life, becoming a fun little tool for sketching out mix ideas and messing around at home.
AppBC d(--)b, 69p/$0.99
The awkwardly named d(--)b - which comes from the developer behind excellent iOS Live controller touchAble - is easily the most ambitious of the DJ apps on this list.
It’s a modular environment, allowing users to add functions as needed and rearrange the interface to suit their tastes. The app allows users to add up to six waveform-style decks, along with modules for EQ, looping and various beat effects.
Right now the app feels a little like a work-in-progress, with the beat sync needing a little fine-tuning and features like MIDI and Audiobus compatibility still reportedly in the works. There’s a lot of potential to the app though, and in a few updates time it could well become the perfect DJing tool for iOS.
MixVibes Cross DJ/Cross DJ for iPhone, £6.99/$9.99 // free
Cross DJ is an iOS adaptation of French developer Mixvibes’ desktop mixing application of the same name.
The app’s most attractive features are its clean and intuitive interface, and the fact that mixes can be recorded and shared to SoundCloud directly from within the app, without the need to connect to a computer.
As with Traktor, the iPhone version of Cross does an impressive job of tucking a hefty amount of features into a small place without things getting too fiddly. The iPhone version is free but an in-app purchase is required to unlock the full set of features.
iMect DJ Player, free
DJ Player stands out from the crowd thanks to the vast range of hardware devices and USB interfaces it supports.
Thanks to its open MIDI nature you can plug a whole range of controllers into your device (via the Camera Connection Kit,) allowing DJ Player to be controlled all sorts of DJ hardware - even timecoded vinyl/CDJs.
While DJ Player is available for free, you’ll need to purchase the in-app upgrade for £13.99/$19.99 to disable ads and access the full set of features.