How To Use Your DJ Controller With Your iPad

iPad

Will you be able to use your iPad instead of your laptop for DJing using your controller?

Something exciting for DJs who own iPads just happened. In a nutshell, the answer to the question “Will my DJ controller work with my iPad?” has just changed from “probably not” to “yes, it’s pretty likely”!

With iOS6, we’ve learned that as long as your DJ controller is “class compliant” (best test: when using it with a Windows laptop, it doesn’t need audio drivers to be installed), it should work with iPad just as it is. The short of it? You may no longer need a Numark iDJ Live, iDJ Pro or Vestax Spin2 if you want to use a DJ controller with iOS. And as iOS6 includes multi-route audio, your controller’s sound card should work just fine too.

Before we start…

This is all new stuff. Many of the manufacturers we spoke to at BPM 2012 weren’t even aware of this, and they also didn’t know if their controllers were class compliant. It’s also massive news because potentially your iPad could replace your laptop as your DJ computer – as of now!

But it’s all experimental too. We want to know what does and doesn’t work, so we’d love you to share your results. We’ve started a list of USB class compliant DJ controllers, but we want your help too. Here’s what you need to know and do in order to test your controller and start using your iPad in place of your laptop for DJing…

  1. You’ll need a Camera Connection Kit. This basically plugs into the connector on the base of your iPad and gives you a USB; it’s this you’ll plug your controller into. (As it only works with iPad, currently if you want to use an external DJ controller with iPhone or iPod touch, you’ll have to use one of the Apple approved models like the iDJ Live or Spin2 mentioned above)
  2. Something’s got to power your DJ controller. It more than likely the case that your iPad can’t provide enough power. You’ll therefore need a powered USB hub, which has the added advantage of also charging your iPad. If your DJ controller has a mains lead, you could plug it in and see what happens
  3. You’re going to need DJ software that can work with this. The first DJ app for iPad that advertises the ability to work with multi-route audio and have Midi mapping is DJ Player 5, so if you’re serious about doing this, you’ll want to go and grab a copy of that should you not already have one, and be prepared to start doing some mapping. But just for testing purposes, you can use free app Midi Monitor

How to do it

Get Midi Monitor (or DJ Player 5) installed and running. Plug a camera connection kit into your iPad and USB that into your plugged in, powered hub. Put another USB between the hub and the iOS device fitted with the camera connection kit. That’s it! Playing with controls on your DJ controller should now show Midi messages being received on Midi Monitor, and on DJ Player 5 you should additionally see your DJ controller’s sound card recognised.

So, does your controller work? Great! Please let us know. Your next step is to come up with a mapping. Doesn’t yours work? Sorry to hear that, but again let us know – manufacturers ought to be considering this stuff or risk getting left seriously behind, so we can help by making them aware.

Video

Here’s my video explaining all about this. I will be monitoring the comments below to answer issues, share tips and update the list of what does and doesn’t work with iOS 6.

List of class compliant DJ controllers

Here’s the current list of controllers we know will work in this way with iPad. We’ll continually update this as we find out more…

Vestax: VCI-100, VCI-300, VCI-380, VCI-400, VFX-1, Spin, Spin2, Typhoon
Numark: MixTrack, MixTrack Pro, MixDeck Quad, iDJ Live, iDJ Pro, DJ2Go, N4
iONAudio: iDJ2Go
Behringer: CMD series (forthcoming)
DJ Tech: iMix, VTT 101
Faderfox: Most controllers
Novation: Dicers
Stanton: SCS3D and SCS3M
Pioneer: CDJ 900, CDJ 2000
American Audio: VMS4
AKAI Pro: LPD8
DJ TechTools: MidiFighter Classic, MidiFighter Pro
Korg: Nano Series 2
Denon: All

So – don’t forget to let us know how it goes for you. If you’ve got any questions about using iPads and DJ hardware together, please ask below.

Comments

  1. Well, it’s finally starting to happen. Thank goodness. Can’t wait till algoriddim get onboard.

    • Paco Loco says:

      I doubt Algoriddim will ever give you full control of midi mapping in Djay like DJ Player has.
      They are going down the route of tying their software to specific pieces of hardware rather than the more open approach.

      • I’m not sure I agree. Djay comes with pretty easy to use midi mapping software. I mapped my twitch to it as well as a voxoa controller in a short amount of time. That’s djay on my laptop I should add. I can’t really see the benefit to them of limiting controllers being able to do the same on the iPad version of the software.

  2. Great article! Very exciting stuff.
    Just a suggestion: I think you should also have a list of controllers which you have confirmed as incompatible. That way it will be clear that a controller is known to be incompatible rather than that it has not yet been tested.

  3. Video does not seem to be working…?

  4. So you need a Type A to Type A USB cable to go between the iPad and the USB hub? I don’t have one of those.

  5. well My iPhone 4 won’t except the camera kit and Midi monitor does therefor not see my VMS4. But I have a iPad first get running iOS5.1.1 and it sees the VMS4 and can resive midi message and I know from priviouse tests that the sound card also works. I haven’t tested on iOS6 butit will send audio to channel 1 when connected to iOS5. So it’s almost safe to add the VMS series from American Audio to the list and as their new line of mixers MXR all are based on the same internals as the VMS I’ll asume they also work.

  6. on a similar note, can anyone please clarify if I can plug my iPad running Rekordbox directly into a DJM 900 or CDJ 2000 using a USB cable and use RB for all my track selection? It seems as if this might be possible with CDJ 2000 nexus, not sure abt the standard CDJ 2000′s? To be clear, all of this is via direct USB cable from iPad connector to USB socket on mixer or CDJ, avoiding the cumbersome WiFi router and LAN cables to laptop that has been required up til now… thanks!

  7. Does it work on Android? Is it possible in a near future?

    Thanks

    • You will not see any really useable DJ apps on Android soon.

    • A better bet than android would be to get one of the new haswell chromebooks and dual boot with ubuntu (as the new ones with haswell can now be easily dualbooted with chromeos/linux) and run full blown mixxx on a chromebook. You can also take an android tablet supported by the ubuntu tablet project and run the arm version of mixxx on those devices with the mobile arm ubuntu.

  8. Please add Stanton SCS3D and SCS3M, DJ Tech VTT 101, Vestax Typhoon, Pioneer CDJ 900 and 2000.

  9. Rod Viriato says:

    Just for the records, my old Behringer BCD 3000 wasn’t recognized by Midi Monitor and DJ Player. I mean, neither the soundcard outputs nor the midi signal.

    • Hi Rod, that was a long shot…if you take a look at the product support page for the BCD 3000 (http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/BCD3000.aspx) and click on Downloads you’ll see audio and midi drivers needed.
      Thanks for trying though!

      • Hi Hombre. I was just expecting a miracle, I know. Sad to know that it won’t work with my BCD3000 cause I really like it… I still get a kick performing with it and Traktor. Nice hardware, even if it’s plastic made.

      • Actually my bcd 3000 IS recognised by the ipad. I get controler messages on midi monitor and sound through the soundcard. trying to configure djplayer now. not quite sure how to learn buttons or if there is any hidden page for these kind of preferences but i could imagine that multi out might be possible or at least a nice midi implementation

      • Unfortunately this was BEFORE updating to ios6 which doesn’t recognise my bcd 3000. this is not a problem of djplayer as i tested with various apps and no midi messages get in.
        i recorded a video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTrYDAuqKBs&feature=plcp using the bcd 3000 with dj player.
        sorry for the bad quality of the video. quality tune though ;)
        If anyone has a fix for this please post an answer.
        wrote to behringer but no response, cant loginto apple forums (they probably know why haha).
        best
        jens

  10. Maybe consider to buy a Vestax VMIDI. It adapts the MIDI control USB interface to 30 pin connector. And also having a monitor headphone.

    • juwansome says:

      Do you know who is selling this device? Can’t find it on Amazon or Planet DJ. Thanks…

      • Juwansome says:

        It would also solve the power-to-ipad while-using-USB-midi problem, since the iPad CANNOT charge using the camera connection kit.

      • Paco Loco says:

        Some of the UK retailers have it listed, but none have it in stock yet so I don’t think it’s out.
        Seems like the list price is pretty steep though – £99 – seems way over priced for what it does to me.

  11. juwansome says:

    I can confirm that neither the Novation Twitch nor the Numark NS6 or Numark V7 work, soundcard nor Midi.

    FYI: I did connect the Twitch to external power using several powered USB hubs and a y-cable so that I could use an iPad power adapter to supply power to the Twitch.

    I think we can safely safely that none of these devices is USB Class Compliant. I should have purchased an N4 lol, however my iDJ Pro is already on order for use with DJ Player/Djay.

    Hopefully DJ Player will soon support portrait mode (For $48 it should perform many miracles!) For now, I will use an iPod dock cable extender and an iPad stand to use DJ Player in landscape mode, albeit outside of the iDJ Pro iPad slot, not sexy at all!

  12. NI Audio 2 – NOT compatible (when connected to my 3rd Gen iPad via a powered USB hub it says “The connected USB device is not supported”

    NI Kontol S4 – NOT compatible (when connected to my 3rd Gen iPad via a powered USB hub it says “The connected USB device is not supported”

    DJ TechTools MidiFighter Classic – Compatible and does not require a powered USB hub (tested with Midi Monitor)

    DJ TechTools MidiFighter Pro – Compatible and does not require a powered USB hub (tested with Midi Monitor)

    Vestax VCI-400 – Compatible and does not require a powered USB hub because the VCI has a stand alone power supply (tested with Midi Monitor)

    Also I noticed that my iPad does NOT indicate that it’s charging when plugged into a powered USB hub. I even tried connecting an A to A USB cable from the Camera Connector Kit directly to the iPad charger and it doesn’t charge.

  13. Does anyone have a QuNeo that they can test?

  14. Yea, but djay on mac doesn’t map jog wheels….DJ Player does :)
    I dont think you’ll see anything close to dj players sophisticated mapping system from any of the other apps.

  15. Supposedly, Numark’s products are class compliant. However, I plugged in my Mixdeck and iDJ3 and both did not work despite them being listed as class compliant on their pages on numark.com

  16. Darktones says:

    What about class compliant USB Audio Interfaces with midi input? Could you connect any midi controller with midi out to one of these?

  17. So if you can use the apple camera connection thing to connect the USB to the iPad then what is the irig midi for? Is it the same thing?

  18. The new Electrix Tweaker controller may also be class compliant, certainly the guys on the stand seemed to believe it was – although I couldn’t get my iPad to recognise it at BPM (possibly user error though!).

  19. Deusany - Brasil says:

    Friends, i’ve try with my Denon’s DN-S3700 and work very well, i just have a little trouble with mapping because i don’t have skills to this programming and the tool to learn midi on DJ Player are pour.
    The sound-card works fantastic and we also can use a hub usb (but this don’t charge the IPAD) to set the 2 equipments and mixer. If someone already prepare some mapping will be helpfull.
    Tks ALL

    • I wonder what’s poor? For example, in the MIDI map editor you tap on “PLAY”, then the small learn alert opens, you press the play button on your controller, and done…

  20. I will never ever understand why anyone would want to DJ with an i-pad or any form of touch screen involved in their set-up. Fiddly, faddy, amateurish and not going forward in my eyes…

    • Because they’re smaller, more portable and more durable than laptops and can nowadays do exactly the same job utilising the same hardware?

    • you would be using the little portable devices when sitting with the family watchin tv with them or at the diner table wene your eating, pop it in your bag and bring to skool to mix on breaks or even work for those who have regular jobs and can mix on their lunch there are so nmany situation that the little portables come in handy to practice or keep you busy. its not like your gonna throw a party for 1000 people using this type of gear. its just to practice or to get your fix of mixin.

      cheers.

  21. Xone K2 sends midi notes to Midi Monitor
    Axiom25 se sends notes to Midi Monitor
    iPad does not charge using Belkin USB hub
    I will not be buying Dj Player 5 as if I have to run off of battery power play time will be cut short. Does anyone know of a USB hub that does charge the iPad?

  22. Tommy Gee says:

    I’m a novice here so I’m ready to get slaughtered by the “experts.” I use a Prodigy B-52 and simply use the MP3 out to my IPad. Works like a charm. I have a different gig than most, playing at a waterfront bar and private parties. More of an entertainer than typical DJ. Sounds great, never crashes. I’m adding video so I’ll probably go MBP. But I did go through all the responses to the DJ with Windows article. So still researching.

  23. I can confirm working MIDI with Stanton SCS4 DJ. :)

  24. I am still on iOS 5, but the trusty Vestax VCM-100 is recognized in DJ Player and i can map MIDI events. Even soundcard works, no dual channel though. It also crashes a lot, maybe the combination is not very stable with iOS 5. No charging yet, but there is a special “charging” port on the Hub – i have still to try this.

    • Can confirm that the VCM-100 will work with DJ Player 5.5 on ipad mini running ios 6 using lightning to 30 pin dongle and CCK, MIDI mapping all works, the one exception thus far is that I can’t seem to get any true monitoring through the VCM’s headphone output, but that may just be a mapping/routing config anomaly, and anyway the pre-listening thru the ipad/master thru VCM works beautifully, only wish the VCM could run on batteries for a fully loaded mobile DJ solution (for parachute jumps etc.)

      • Update: can verify that per-listening thru VCM’s headphone output does work perfectly, if a little noisily (noticeable hiss at low volumes), thus making the VCM a neat little old all in one DJ Player compatible hardware front end. Which is kinda nice.

  25. DENON MC6000 sends MIDI messages to MIDI Monitor on iPad 1 (5.0.1) perfectly.
    but needs to use powered USB hub.

  26. Same, I can also conform the smaller Denon,MC3000 -> works perfect, but you need an active usb hub.

    Hercules 4mx Controller does not work

    • Annabelle says:

      I have a MC300 and I’m not sure I understand how you are doing that considering it’s already plugged into a power socket. Do you plug the iPad into the usb hub, and the controller into the usb hub too? But watching the video, the guy is plugging the ipad to the controller… so what’s the point of the hub? Thanks!

  27. I confirm that iDj Pro from Numark it’s working full with Midi monitor

  28. Hi there,

    I was considering purchasing the numark idj live for a bit of portable messing around etc. is there any way what so ever of being able to charge your iPad whilst using it? Like some kind of splitting device? It seems a bit pointless if you can’t. Are any of above controllers mains powered and inexpensive? I thank you

  29. JonnyFlash says:

    Any idea about the MixVibes U Mix Control Pro? I just got a new IPad and before I go buying $70 worth of connectors I would like to see I anyone else can test it out. Or I will be going with the Spin2 or idj pro.

  30. Here is a stupid question. How do you plug your iPad into a usb hub and into the controller at the same time. That is what it looks like you are doing in the video.

  31. Cliff Whitney says:

    The ProFX series mixers from Mackie are also capable of being used as a audio interface….. I have tested and tried it….. For recording and playback

  32. Mark bryan says:

    Hi Phil

    I’ve always liked playing music, got an iPad and found Day, great for playing at parties, but I’ve wanted a bit more control so was looking at the idj live, then I saw the idj pro and thought great, but heard issues with sound distorting when connecting to speakers, so thought is there another controller I can connect to my iPad that’s easy or something similar.

  33. JonnyFlash says:

    Allen and Heath Xone K2 is working and has a great work flow with the mapping!

    • may i ask how you routed it, the channels?
      i wanna use a setup with a k2 with an ipad 3 , the audio comes from the k2?

      • JonnyFlash says:

        I just used the mapping available on djtechtools as that is the official site for dj player mappings

        • There’s nothing “official” about the DJTech Tools mapping site, although it is an excellent repository of user-contributed mappings. Official mappings come from manufacturers.

  34. How is the DJ in this video charging his iPad via the Camera connection kit. He states that the iPad is being charged. This does not work in my tests with a D-Link Hub7 that can charge the ipad with a USB cable (not camera kit).
    This still leaves people with the issue of a fast draining iPad battery.

  35. Very interesting article. Has anyone tried seeing if a Serato or Traktor sound card works? It would be AWESOME if you could hook a pair of 1200′s up to an iPad.

  36. Wirelessdj says:

    Does anyone make a USB 4 channel mixer that works with ipad? If so, that and dj player and that would work for me

  37. tried connecting my ipad to Vestax VCI 300 MK1. The vestax lit up that means there’s power. However, when go to the DJ Player settings, there are no detected midi. I tried also algoriddim dj app. It would recognize a master output channeling for vci 300 but the controller itself won’t work. Please advise. Thank you.

  38. Peter Dobson says:

    Hi I bought a Numark Mixtrack pro and I am having a nightmare getting it to work with my ipad 3rd Gen, I’ve jail broke my pad bought all the bits like power hub and camera kit but still no joy. Any one got any ideas ?..

  39. Can anybody definitely confirm that the Spin2 from Vestax will charge a 4th generation iPad Retina? Mine doesn’t, but I haven’t got the official power adapter. If the official one does then I’m going to buy one from the Vestax site, but want to make sure it does first…. I know the ipad 4 is a lot more demanding on power than the previous iPads. I am using an offical 30 pin to lightning cable, and my power adapter connected through Spin2 does charge my iPod touch 5th gen and my iPhone 5. So I’m guessing this is an ipad being too power hungry issue, not an adapter issue.

  40. DJ Tyme says:

    i just bought my denons sc3900′s and i dont have an ipad. but was thinking ahead for backup plan. you said to see if what we are dj’ing with is usb class compliant ? this is what the owners manual says = Built-In USB audio interface (ASIO / CORE compliant)so if i buy that apple camera connectivity kit & ipad can i use the ipad as backup ?

  41. Hi,

    I’m trying to map my mixtrack pro with Djay app on my iPad. I’ve seen a video on YouTube but I have no idea how to do it. I know the Djay app doesn’t work with mixtrack pro but I’m hoping someone can map it to work.

  42. Hello everybody !

    my iPhone recognizes my Controller (Vestax Typhoon) in MIDI-Monitor,
    but I can’t control anything ! :’( Traktor recognizes also the soundcard of my Vestax and I can prelisten, but not more. Does anybody have a solution for my problem ? Do I have to change something in MIDI-Monitor ??

  43. Cesar Lopez says:

    Hi use android and I’d really apprecaite more support thanks

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