Numark has today announced the first DJ controller to truly integrate the iPad and ditch the laptop entirely: IDJ PRO.
The controller was on show at the Media Preview Day of NAMM 2012, and has most of the usual DJ controller features, but with a great big slot in the middle where the iPad takes centre stage, providing music library, effects control and other features. It is designed to work with a special version of Algoriddim's djay software, which provides transport information, library, effects, VU meters and so on.
While looking similar in many ways to most DJ controllers, one big break with tradition is huge Akai MPC-esque volume knobs instead of faders. Apart from that, the hardware is business as usual, with hot cues, switchable nudge/scratch jogwheels, pitch controls, looping buttons and so on.
Input and output-wise, there is a line-in (Numark has broken with tradition and decided to put this on the front), a 1/4" TRS microphone in, and - round the back - RCA as well as balanced XLR outputs.
Quality-wise, it feels like a cross between the company's consumer-focused N4 and its more-pro NS6: While sharing some of the looks of the latter, some of the controls (especially the big, plastic volume knobs) have a decidedly consumer feel about them, and the unit is light, being mainly plastic with a metal top plate.
This wasn't even a working demo, so no word yet on pricing, but the company is confident it'll be able to bring this to market by the third quarter of 2012.
We think the iPad is the new laptop, and this controller marks a new chapter in digital DJing. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.