The “Load” buttons above the crossfader can be used in conjunction with the central rotary dial to display the Music Library screen and select the next track to play; alternatively you can use the track load button within the app. Once the track is loaded, your focus moves to the cue buttons at the lower part of the deck. You can delete previously stored cue points by pressing “shift” and the corresponding cue button.
The pitch slider is positioned at the top of the unit leaving the pitch bend and sync button at the lower part. This separation of the pitch controls took a little getting used to, but without it the unit would either be wider or those large jogwheels would have to be sacrificed.
The crossfader has no adjustment controls on the iDJ Pro, however within the djay app you can set it up for scratching (by enabling the “Crossfader cutting mode”) or reverse it (via the Midi section of the settings).
I like to know that I can replace my crossfader as it’s usually the first thing to go in my mixers, because it’s the most used item on the hardware. With the iDJ Pro, you’d probably have to visit Numark for a replacement to be fitted if it had to be done, as there’s no obvious user way of making this change.
For the app to behave in the same way as the nearly all DJ equipment, you will need to invert the pitch controls…
Once your cue points and pitch have been set, your track is ready to play. You can get creative through use of the six loop buttons at the top of each deck; these correspond directly to the manual and auto loop functionality in the djay app. Alternatively, if you press the Shift button and the loop buttons you trigger the “Bounce Loop” functionality.
As we’ve mentioned already, you can have a continuous effect applied in conjunction with the X-Y FX pad on the touchscreen. If this isn’t enough, there is also a high pass / low pass filter rotary dial for each deck which can be used at the same time for some interesting overall effects.
The audio quality is perfectly acceptable if not world-shaking, albeit currently in mono only. (Most club DJs, whether they know it or not, are playing in mono as most club PA systems are set up that way, so this isn’t as big an issue as you may think.)
Overall, the iDJ Pro plus djay software makes for a well spaced out, fun and – once you get over some of the idiosyncracies of the set-up – effective DJing experience, with some intriguing benefits that could only have been brought to the table by combining the iPad’s screen and storage with some of the more conventional controls of the Numark hardware.
Numark was first off the blocks with its earlier iDJ Live, providing a simple if gimmicky controller for iOS devices. Although the iDJ Live raised eyebrows among the experienced DJ community, it succeeded in bringing familiar tactile DJ controls to a mass-market at a low price point.
The iDJ Pro is an impressive step up in terms of hardware quality and features, and coupled with a tight and clever integration with the djay app, it delivers a sturdy and attractive package. This means the iDJ Pro is an desirable proposition for budding DJs who have been trying out their DJ potential on an iPad but want to make the leap into a fully immersive, more rewarding and physical set-up.
The iDJ Pro is an impressive step up in terms of hardware quality and features…
At the moment the iDJ Pro is set up for use with djay by Algoriddim, however it seems it also works with djay’s sister app for video mixing, vjay. Unfortunately there is no portrait mode for the vjay app but I expect this may come in the future.
Also, because the iDJ Pro is dealing with Midi messages between the hardware and the iPad, any DJ app with Midi functionality could possibly map to those controls. The success of alternative DJ apps with the iDJ Pro will depend heavily on how well the app uses the portrait mode, the correlation between controls and app functions, as well as audio quality.
For innovation alone, Numark deserves credit for the iDJ Pro. It is, in short, a hoot to use and if you like gadgets – well, I need say no more. But Algoriddim has also done an excellent job of adapting its already great software to bring out the best in the combination, minimising control duplication and bringing to the fore functions that make great use of the big, tactile screen.
Algoriddim has done an excellent job of adapting its already great software…
Overall, the combination of hardware and software is an exciting one, and notwithstanding concerns over future compatibility with hardware (and the fact that it’s not possible to tilt the iPad once fitted; I’d have liked to be able to do that to make viewing easier), it really is a very clever idea.
The fact that you can buy your music from anywhere on iTunes via the iPad, have it all auto backed up into iCloud via iTunes Match, work on your set on the bus or wherever, and then plug the same unit into your DJ gear for your actual performances, brings an undeniable cool factor to the modern digital DJ’s workflow, and surely we’re going to see a lot more of this kind of thing in the future.
For now though, if you are interested in iPad DJing, and you like Algoriddim’s djay software, you should seriously consider this as your next DJ controller.
- Visionary approach – bringing the iPad into the product
- Innovative interplay with the djay app
- Nothing else quite like it
We don’t like:
- Currently limited to djay software
- iPad cannot be tilted for better viewing position
- Rotary volume knobs will annoy some people
Ease of use:
What do you think?
What do you think about the idea of incorporating an iPad into a controller? Do you have any questions about this unit we haven’t covered? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments.
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