Percussa micro super signal processor
The tidy toolbar at the bottom shows Audiobus connectivity.

The tidy toolbar at the bottom shows Audiobus connectivity.

Here’s a case where the iPad version of a DJ app has surpassed what even the desktop version does.

On Windows and Mac, Traktor is a powerful app for DJs, to be sure. But there isn’t an obvious way of routing DJ mixes through external effects or connecting it to other production tools. On iOS, now there is. Native Instruments quietly added Audiobus support to its popular iOS DJ app, which opens up the ability to route sound from the DJ tool to other apps.

Why would you want such a feature? Recording mixes probably isn’t strictly necessary, because Traktor DJ already has an internal facility for doing that. More likely, there are two use cases:

1. You want to expand the effects available to Traktor. (Add, for instance, a convolution reverb.)

2. Use Traktor as a production tool and instrument, with other tools in your chain.

Connecting apps via Audiobus - here, a free guitar effect from IK Multimedia.

Connecting apps via Audiobus – here, a free guitar effect from IK Multimedia.

Option #2 is rather intriguing, because Traktor DJ has some nice tools for messing about with audio loops and effects of its own. You could use Traktor not so much as a DJ tool as a remix tool and a sample-based instrument, manipulating waveforms you’ve recorded in the Traktor interface and adding its internal effects to produce loops for other programs.

Unfortunately, Native Instruments implemented Traktor only as an Audiobus source – not a filter. That means you can’t use Traktor DJ’s nice effects on other apps. But there’s still a lot to be done with Traktor as a source.

Someone must want to do to this, because users were already excited about NI’s rival, Algoriddim djay. djay added Audiobus support over a year ago, and djay users have been quick to point out NI was missing the same feature in Traktor DJ. As with Traktor DJ, djay fully supports recording mixes, so it seems mobile DJs are more excited about creative applications.

But yes, now an iPad DJ can add spectral and granular effects to their DJ set. Take that, desktop DJs.

Quick review: to work with Audiobus, you need two things. First, you have to purchase the Audiobus app itself, which costs you US$4.99. Next, you'll need compatible apps, though you can look for those inside the Audiobus app and find some gems. They're organized by how they behave - as sources or "filters" processing external signal. (Some work as both.)

Quick review: to work with Audiobus, you need two things. First, you have to purchase the Audiobus app itself, which costs you US$4.99. Next, you’ll need compatible apps, though you can look for those inside the Audiobus app and find some gems. They’re organized by how they behave – as sources or “filters” processing external signal. (Some work as both.)

And as further proof djay got there last year, here’s a tutorial video someone produced with the earlier app. (The same process works with other Audiobus apps.)

Traktor DJ is US$9.99.

Traktor DJ for iOS

djay for iPad

Audiobus

And it’s time to unveil the (un)official Audiobus theme song.