Algoriddim djay Pro AI v3 For Mac Brings Real-Time Stems DJing & More

Phil Morse | Read time: 6 mins
algoriddim djay Pro AI for MAc
Last updated 12 November, 2020

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Eagle-eyed viewers of Apple’s Mac launch event earlier this week may have noticed a DJ-shaped cat jumping out of a bag: Algoriddim’s djay Pro AI software, as demoed in the presentation. Yes, there is a new version of djay for Mac: It’s called djay Pro AI (v3.0), and it’s a big deal.

The biggest story is that you can now DJ in real time with track stems, much in the way djay Pro AI iOS users have been able to since their app’s launch earlier this year.

But lots of other iOS features have arrived too (good to see the video visualiser finally), bringing the Mac version right up to date with the iPhone/iPad app – and djay Pro AI for Mac goes further still, with a whole host of new features including exciting stem-routable FX, stems crossfaders, and different stem configurations to suit different types of DJ.

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In this article, we’ll dive deeper into the new features. There’s also a features talkthrough video, embedded at the top of this post.

But for now, if you just want to go and grab it, djay Pro AI is a free download on the Mac App store (but to unlock all the juicy stuff, you’ll need the Pro subscription at $6.99 a month, or $49.99 a year, seven-day free trial).

Note that a single subscription now gets you access on both iOS and macOS, meaning you can DJ seamlessly with the software on iPhone, iPad and Mac, with all your track data stored in iCloud.

What if I’m an existing owner or subscriber?

If you own djay Pro 2 for Mac, there is an exclusive launch offer that means you can get a free upgrade which will bring you core features of the new version, to keep for life. That means things like four-deck mode, single-deck mode, Automix, sampler, isolator EQ, improved effects and more – you get “djay Pro 2+”, basically. You can run this alongside your existing djay Pro 2.

(You don’t get the Neural Mix stuff at all, though, or many of the other new features.)

If you already subscribe to djay Pro AI on iOS, though, you get djay Pro AI on Mac for free – as this is now a unified subscription.

If you’re a user of the software on Windows or Android, this isn’t for you right now – although there were some upgrades top the Android app earlier this year.

What’s new in djay Pro AI for Mac

djay Pro AI neural mix
djay Pro AI for Mac has got Algoriddim’s Neural Mix technology baked right through it in numerous areas of the GUI.

Real-time stems separation

Algoriddim calls it “Neural Mix”. It lets you, in real, time, isolate or remove elements from tracks you are DJing with.

In its simplest guise, you can separate the track into two: “Instrumental – Acapella”, and “Percussive – Tonal” (ie drums, and everything else – instant breakdowns, here we come!).

There are also two modes where you can separate the track into three, and you get two choices here, too: “Drums, Harmonic and Vocals” (great for open format DJs), and “Drums, Bass and Melodic” (better for house and electronic DJs – in this instance, the music part would include the vocals too).

When you manipulate the stems, it shows in the waveforms, which split into two or three to represent the parts of the track you have chosen to DJ with. You can solo items, remove them from the mix, or balance them in the mix using their own faders.

Also, there is now a “stems crossfader” – two or three “extra” crossfaders, so you can – for instance – swap from the vocals of one track to the vocals on the other while keeping the drums and music the same, or simply perform a transition element by element rather than in one go.

Stems looping

Such a simple idea – and so cool! You can now “slip loop” not only the whole track, but any individual stem you choose. For instance, want to do a loop roll on the drums for an instant build while the whole rest of the track plays on? Easy. Loop a word in a vocal while the rest of the track plays on? Simple.

When you finish your loop roll, because it is a “slip loop”, the stem you are looping continues to play from where you would have been in the track had you not engaged the feature. (Just as well, I think, or things might get REALLY complicated.)

Now, how about a “slip scratch” mode for instant scratching of stems, Algoriddim?

Stem-routable effects – lots of them

There are still two effects banks, with three effects in each. But now, each individual effect can be assigned not only to the whole track, but also to any stem.

This opens a whole new realm of creative possibilities: You could put an echo on only the vocal, use bitcrusher on just the bassline, use one of the slicer effects on just the drums – and many more.

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Algoriddim has added to the effects available too, and says they are all rewritten from the ground-up – we noticed a sidechain effect in there, for instance, something I don’t recall seeing in any DJ software before, and something obviously ideally suited to targeting individual stems with your effects.

Even nicer, there are now new instant (ie one-touch) effects, that include effects that automatically apply only to individual stems. I suspect these will find favour with many DJs who don’t want to dive too deeply into configuring their effects, but nonetheless want to use the power of stems-targeted effects.

Sampler, looper & sequencer

Sampler, looper & sequencer
djay Pro for Mac had a sampler previously, but now the looper and sequencer have been ported across from the iOS version too, and are even more powerful on the Mac version.

There was always a sampler in djay Pro 2, but it’s improved here (it was a basic 12 slot sampler, now it’s 16 slot and can be assigned to different channels in external mixer mode). Now, though, the looper and sequencer are here too, and they’re improved over iOS.

You now have eight bars available in the sequencer, and quantise can be turned on or off, and you can adjust its setting too (it’s always on, and set to 1/4 of a beat on iOS, with no option to change). Also while a recorded sequence is playing you can delete individual pads – something requested by lots of users.

Design-wise, on the Mac these features are just one tap away, making it a great tool for spontaneous remix variation, for instance during a stems crossfade.

One advantage of a subscription as opposed to a one-off fee is unlimited access to an extensive library of samples, loops, FX, and visuals, so you should never be short of material to play with here.

Works with over 100 Midi controllers, including the Rane Twelve

Algoriddim has worked hard in recent times to ensure its software works well with DJ controllers, including high-end gear such as Pioneer’s equipment – but we have to admit it was an eye-opener to see the Rane Twelve on this list.

It’s definitely a statement of intent to have one of the most high-performance pieces of scratch DJ hardware out there listed front and centre by Algoriddim – and because everything is Midi mappable, we expect to see DJs mapping all kinds of hardware to give control over the new crossfader and other Neural Mix functions, for instance.

A host of other fixes, improvements and additions

One of the first things you notice playing with the new software is the modular nature of it – everything can be switched in and out, many things can be resized, but not in a way that feels clunky or complicated.

Want to hide the waveforms for a while? It’s a click. Want the sampler onscreen, but lots of other things too? Make it smaller. It’s all pretty intuitive, and works in such a way that you feel comfortable making these changes while you’re DJing.

Compared to v2, we also noticed immediately improvements like the high-contrast waveforms, bar count on waveforms, isolator EQ, automix start and end point settings, 4×2 grid auto loop, and the ability to edit Instant FX – many of these not even on iOS yet.

Oh, and let me not forget a BIG one for me – Beat Jump has finally arrived! Hallelujah for that, that’s a big omission in my book and its now been put right.

Of course, this being featured in the Apple presentation and all, naturally Algoriddim has fully optimised it for the new M1 chip and macOS Big Sur – quite a big deal, based on what we’re hearing about the speed boosts on the new Macs.

What we think

djay has always been many people’s favourite “second DJ app” – mainly, historically, because it was the only mainstream DJ app with Spotify built in, and you could just mess around with it on your iPad. And many DJs did. All night long. Night after night!

We all know that Spotify in DJing is now history, but luckily TIDAL and others have stepped up – but practically everyone’s got streaming, so it’s no longer a big difference between djay and others. Nowadays, djay’s main differentiating feature is stems separation, or “Neural Mix”. But this ground-breaking feature was only on djay on iOS, until now. djay Pro AI for Mac corrects that.

djay Pro AI for Mac and iOS
One subscription will get you access to the software not only on Mac, but also iOS.

But also – and probably more importantly in the long run – the apps are now unified, at least in the Apple ecosystem, under one subscription and name. Which is a good thing, as all the djay variants frankly had got a little messy.

Of course, the whole paid-for software vs subscription debate will roll and roll, but in this instance for $6.99 a month or even less if you pay annually, you’re getting a lot of cutting edge DJ software here, and – if you’re a heavy Apple ecosystem user – across all your platforms.

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That’s pretty good value we think, especially if you love the Neural Mix stuff, and think you’ll use the sampler, sequencer and producer content available in the subscription.

Overall, djay Pro 2 on the Mac was looking outdated. It doesn’t any more. It is now seriously cutting edge. If you like the look of stems mixing, it’s the most advanced software to do this right now, and you should try it. If you’re a Mac user who still has a soft spot for djay, you should also give it a go. And if you already have an iOS subscription, it’s yours for free anyway.

• djay Pro AI for Mac is available now on the Mac App Store.

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