iPad DJing has been on people’s minds since Apple launched the tablet. Now, thanks to some great apps and accessories, it’s finally a reality…
Sure the basics have been there for a little while (since Steve Jobs allowed access to the music library at least), but in recent months a few new products have boosted the tablets party potential like no other. In this piece we go through the 5 keys steps to serious iPad DJing, complete with video guide at the end.
Step 1. Get Djay app by Algoriddim
That’s more less all that needs to be said on the matter, as it really is the best DJ app for the tablet (and iPhone/pod) that we have ever seen. A comprehensive feature set includes access to the library, a mixer with crossfader and EQ section, hot cues and loop functions as well as responsive pitch controls, waveform view, track art and more. Using this alone is a fun way to get into iPad mixing, although without a second output you’ll need to mix in straight to the master signal, or let the auto mix function do that for you.
More info: http://www.algoriddim.com/
Step 2. Get a decent stand
DJing with the iPad balanced on your lap is fun for all of five minutes before the cramp sets in and prodding at the thing hunched over a table isn’t much more fun. Most likely if you want to DJ at a party, or for any length of time, you’ll be stood up, and for that it helps to have the controls in a good position. The i360 stand from intelligent Touch is perfect for this. The sturdy base plate and fully rotatable arm and claw let you access all the controls of the app easily and comfortably. You pad will take on a new lease of life!
More info: http://www.ipadstand.co.uk/
Step 3. Get some decent sound
The iPad’s built in speaker is, how shall we put it… aweful, barely better than that those found in a phone. We need to step it up if we are going to DJ properly. The quickest, cheapest and easiest way to do this is with a 3.5mm stereo cable. With one of these you can plug straight into the Aux input on lots of sound systems, or at worst might need an additional (and equally cheap) adapter cable. You can obviously use on of the purpose built iPad audio docks, but for reasons that will soon become obvious this has disadvantages also.
More info: 3.5mm Stereo cable at Radio Shack
Step 4. Get monitoring sorted
This is the deal breaker really, and the single largest drawback to current iPad DJing. The iPad’s single audio output makes pre-cueing music impossible, something that is essential for smooth, seamless mixes. Fortunately there is a cheap and easy solution to this also – a splitter cable. Djay has split cue mode and the kind people at Griffin have made a cable especially for use with the app, it event has markings on it so you know which jack is for headphones, and which is for the master. When all hooked up, pre-cue your way to perfect mixes with ease…
More info: DJ Cable from Griffin
Step 5. Get more control
The iPad’s tactile screen is one of its best features, but when it comes to DJing, you can’t beat a bit of the old skool turntable feel. Numark’s iDJ Live is purpose built for iPad and Djay. Two platters let you scratch and search through songs, with a simple mixer section for cutting low frequencies, crossfading and track selection. Plug straight into the cable port (which is why we needed it free) and it works out of the box – no mapping required. Light and portable, it makes the whole experience tons of fun – something your audience should appreciate. The iDJ Live is available week beginning of 18th July (2011).
More info: www.numark.com/idjlive
Words: James Trew
Video: Rosa Durá