I've never wanted to be a DJ. But every time I open up Djay for iOS, an app that lets you quickly mix together songs, I get this feeling that it could be a lot of fun. The creators of Djay think that they've hooked a lot of people that way, and they're hoping to help those people take the next step toward being a live DJ with their new app, Djay Pro.
Djay Pro is an overhauled version of Djay designed for the iPad Pro (it works on smaller iPads, as well). It takes everything in the existing Djay app, spreads it out for easy access across the iPad Pro's huge screen, and adds in features that amateurs might never think of using but that someone actually DJing at a club might need. That includes the ability to queue up four tracks at a time and to broadcast, sync, and manipulate video feeds along with your music — both features that were previously only available in Djay for the Mac.
Djay Pro puts all of Djay's controls out in the open
"The idea with Pro," says Christoph Teschner, one of the co-founders of Djay creator Algoriddim, "we have created 20 million users on iOS with consumer level software, and there's a big percentage that wants to advance, wants to … take this thing to a club and get more creative. This is now the perfect platform to do this."
Djay Pro isn't strictly about new features: it's about doing what Djay offered, better. For the most part, it's the same app with the same functions, the biggest difference is how much easier it is to do your mixing. In the current version of Djay, all you see are two spinning platters representing your tracks; loops and effects are available, but they're hidden away inside of menus and under other layers. In Djay Pro, everything is right out in the open and easy to switch between. It's certainly intimidating for a total amateur (although, the good news is, you can't exactly break anything by playing around), but the people buying Djay Pro will likely already be familiar with these tools and how they work.
The effect of having everything right out in the open is being able to toy with tracks at a faster pace. The iPad Pro's keyboard plays into that as well: Djay Pro includes over 70 keyboard shortcuts, which sounds like an insane number until you consider what an actual DJ controller looks like. Combined with the touchscreen, Algoriddim thinks it's giving DJs its best tool yet for mixing music. "In my mind, this is already a step ahead of the Mac app because you have the touch interface," says Michael Simmons, Algoriddim's product VP.
"We've fixed all the little things that we've wanted to fix."
Algoriddim has also rebuilt the music engine at the core of Djay, making the Pro version more precise in its ability to break music into individual beats. Sound quality is supposed to be improved as well. "We've fixed all the little things that we've wanted to fix," Teschner says.
Though Algoriddim says that it began creating Djay Pro with the iPad Pro in mind, it says the app will run just fine even on something as old as the iPad mini 2. Speed isn't really the issue, however: it's size. Cramming all of Djay Pro's controls into a smaller screen doesn't work as well, so it also offers a condensed view that strips away many of the on-screen buttons. That should make Djay Pro more usable on smaller iPads, but it also takes away some of the app's biggest selling points — immediate access to the key things you want to do. The iPad Pro version also supports 4K video output, unlike the others.
Djay Pro is launching today for $19.99 and will eventually go up in price to $29.99. It also includes in-app purchases for additional sound effects. The standard version of Djay will remain available for $9.99. "Djay 2 is the gateway drug," Teschner says. "When you realize you want to do more — I need four decks, I need video — then you buy the Pro."