Could a DJ/VJ app on your phone be a serious tool? Absolutely. Not just could be – is.

Algoriddim’s djay Pro is here on the iPhone, and after playing around with it, I think it’s a must-have for DJs and VJs alike.

Are you going to do a serious DJ set with this? Probably not. You’re just going to use it for everything else. It’s there if you need to play a mix while a party is warming up. It’s there when you’re at a friend’s place, or at an afterhours/afterparty in the drowsy hours of the morning. It’s there when you’re on the bus and curious how some tunes might mix together, or lying in bed browsing through music and mixing, or listening at the office, mixing the latest promo tracks you’ve gathered.

And it’s a serious enough VJ/DJ tool that you might use it to run video in the background from your phone, or make it an ultra-portable companion to a controller in place of a laptop, or keep it as a backup.

In fact, djay Pro could be the solution to adding 4K video mixing to your live/AV set. Really. Like, on your phone.

What I like about Algoriddim is that, despite the “pro” moniker, their software doesn’t really make a judgment about what it is you’re doing. So they’ve crammed in a bunch of features here, for “pros,” but they’ve kept everything friendly so it’s just as handy for casual use. And casual use is something that both serious DJs and weekend music lovers have in common.

I mean, I’m mixing a set while I write this. (Okay, maybe don’t tell your boss you’ve got this app.)

Coupled with haptic feedback and Force Touch, this interface is surprisingly fun to use - certainly good enough for practicing and trying out mixes, or recording a quick podcast.

Coupled with haptic feedback and Force Touch, this interface is surprisingly fun to use – certainly good enough for practicing and trying out mixes, or recording a quick podcast.

The feature set that makes this possible:

Up to four decks. You actually have a choice of layouts – horizontal, vertical, two decks, or four. But that four deck mode means you can try a lot of what-if scenarios on the go with multiple decks when practicing, even when you’re far away from your DJ rig.

It’s a serious VJ tool. You can mix two simultaneous 4K video streams. You can output full HD at 60 fps. Yeah, stop thinking of lugging laptops, and start thinking of your phone as a computing device capable of the powers your laptop once had.

It works with AirPlay. Of course. (Hope that afterparty has an Apple TV.)

It works with your iPhone camera. Here’s another reason this might be a serious VJ tool – armed with a stabilizer and/or some extra lenses, it could be a powerful visual addition to a live rig.

Haptic, 3D touch. It’s funny that Algoriddim is making better use of touch feedback than even Apple. You get haptic feedback to make the touch interface more usable when working with the jog wheels. And on supported iPhones, “3d touch” (force touching the screen) lets you set cue points and preview songs.

Spotify integration. This is to me really powerful for music discovery, which is where mobile apps for me shine. Spotify’s catalog is pretty huge at this point, thanks to digital distributors. And djay Pro does everything – key, BPM, beat grids, colored waveforms – even with Spotify content. So you can navigate new music via Spotify and try out mixes and combinations, then go grab the downloads later from Bandcamp or Beatport or the like.

I’m sure I’ll offend some DJs here, too, but I like the occasional random discovery, too, so the “Match” algorithmic function in djay is interesting, as well. (And at this point, there’s so much music out there, there’s no reason algorithms couldn’t lead you to human curation – by helping you find an artist or label you might otherwise miss.)

Visual output can be coupled to audio if you want, so A/B audio transitions work with visuals, too. And this visual output also doubles as full-screen X/Y mix interface, too.

Visual output can be coupled to audio if you want, so A/B audio transitions work with visuals, too. And this visual output also doubles as full-screen X/Y mix interface, too.

It’s a serious visual tool. VJs might look to the iPad Pro-optimized djay Pro on iPad. But if you have some content you just want to present easily, your phone (um, with the cell radio turned off presumably) is actually a viable option. That could be a godsend for a traveling solo musician.

You get basic transitions (Blend and Luma for me is enough, but if you want to go cheesy, Cube, Swap, Grid, Mosaic, and Push are there). Those transitions also work with the music (afterparty time!) or split. There are also effects (Grid EQ, Kaleidoscope, Circle Splash, RGB Offset, Edges, Invert, Tiles, Splash, Ripples, and Radial Blur), and title and image overlays. So, yeah, if you just got paid to DJ a corporate gig, put up their logo, get cash, go. (Or put up your name, too.)

There are fun visualizers (afterparty), or 4K video mixing (actually, that could have some serious uses for AV sets).

External display support means all this goes to HDMI, Thunderbolt, to DVI devices, or via Airplay. And that’s why your phone is a real powerhouse here.

img_9346

Does all the DJ stuff, Automixes, too. You get all the usual EQ, filter, mixing options, plus even a simple 4×3 grid of one-shot pads. But Automix mode is also useful if you want to just play some of your music collection and hear how it sounds, at work or on the road.

A/V recording. Make some quick social media fodder or mixes, on the go. Remember that transitions work with the audio, so you can have a lot of fun with this.

DJ hardware support. The other way to look at this is, a controller now has full computational power by just adding a phone. A whole lot of hardware now works with djay Pro on the iPhone in addition to the iPad version – even the top-of-range Pioneer CDJs. (So, if you’ve got a gig and need to switch from a USB stick over to your phone library, say while people are milling at the bar, you can.)

You can use Split Output for cueing through headphones, work with MIDI controllers, use multi-channel audio interfaces (via USB adapter), and all of this works out of the box.

It’s five bucks?! Yeah. Crazy. That’s the intro price, then it’s ten bucks, which is still ridiculous.

So the nearest competitor, TRAKTOR on iPhone, has to me a slightly more elegant interface, and the excellent Freeze mode, but… that’s about it. This pretty much just blew it away.

And indeed…

This ought to be a wakeup call for Native Instruments and Serato. Why does Serato still not have a working mobile solution? (No, carrying a coffin-sized controller alongside my laptop does not count as a “mobile” solution, Serato, and yes, it is totally then just a huge dongle.) Why has Native Instruments not kept their (excellent) mobile app up to date? No Link support, no STEMS, no sync with the desktop TRAKTOR? Because at this point, even working with TRAKTOR on desktop, I’m inclined to switch over to djay on mobile.

Video (cheese me up!):

https://www.algoriddim.com/djay-pro-iphone

  • Jim Warrier

    Can the iPad output 4K or is this just mixing 4K files and then scaling down the output.
    Could be a good tool to have on the side at shows or as a back up solution.
    Maybe it would be a good time for a article showing where we are at for 4K playback in the live video world and it if makes sense with current hardware, projectors, led walls etc.

  • leolodreamland

    bit fucked off they didn’t update djay 2 into this seeing as i shelled out for the full app and all the in-app FX

    • leolodreamland

      hey i take that back – all the fx carried over to djay pro – so i guess it’s worth it just about.

  • DJ Hombre

    Peter, while djay pushes all the right Apple-accredited buttons, DJ Player Pro is by far the most comprehensive & professional grade DJ app on iOS & has been for years. In-app MIDI mapping to any USB class compliant controller, DVS, STEMS support, full 4-deck capabilities, 2 complete interface designs, 8 stored cues/loops, tracklist exporting plus a multitude of other excellent functions that every modern DJ would need.

    DJPP is head & shoulders above any other DJ app – trust me, I’ve used them all over the years!

    Just putting this comment in here for a sense of balance. Djay may be popular with the masses, but DJPP is the DJs choice.

    • Steo Le Panda

      Yes DJPP is the most precise app, and it’s a really impressive app. BUT ! I have more fun with Traktor and DJay Pro on iPad.

  • Dubby Labby

    It’s fun how Serato hasn’t nothing similar to this but then it’s still a non professional tool due iPad basis.
    Ok this is not the most powerfull tool in the vj market but by far iOS dj apps are growing better than desktop/laptop counterparts and do more than average dj need includding those who use Pioneer gear.
    Jm2c

  • kalo

    i like the title .. and the question: “could a DJ app on iphone be a serious tool?”

    … YES (at least with iOS) ! … connect a professional controller to your club gear, an iPad and pro DJ app .. but you need a app which offers what Pro needs, so let’s speak about TDJ or DJ Player Pro and not about DJay Pro. The Pro in the product name of Djay is not enough 😉

  • Samuel Villagomez

    The real pro solution os DJ PLAYER PRO it have DVS stems suport and a real Developer attention with it users and it diferent workflow in time i reported many bugs and they never aswer to me gavor anwer and correct bugs in one or two days that make software a rock solid profesional opción, it work with DJ controllers like denon mcx8000 with it dvs funtions

  • R__W

    NI has had trouble retaining iOS programmers at their LA office (where they make their iOS apps). The manager there is not well liked and there are much better paying iOS jobs in the area. They would be better off moving that division to Berlin where the salary they are paying would be a livable wage.

    I don’t know anything about Serato but I would expect they have similar issues attracting and retaining talent. They don’t hire anyone who doesn’t already have a NZ work permit which severely limits their hiring pool.

    The owner of Algoriddm is a Mac/iOS programmer himself. They also have a huge amount of money considering they have less than 10 employees. (they sold 1M+ copies of a $49 app back in 2008) Thus they can pay for talent, and deep knowledge of how to get apps done that runs through the entire org.

  • Hetto Vennik

    Hi, i just really wanted to put a +1 for DJ Player Pro on here as well. Trying not to repeat what has been said already; DJPP also has pristine internal audio processing, unlimited lenght in-app recording in WAV quality, is very stable. The developer listens to the user community who are encouraged to join the development progress discussion, a silly amount of great updates (new features!) have appeared.
    and RE: “Are you going to do a serious DJ set with this? Probably not. You’re just going to use it for everything else” with DJPP the answer would be: Yes. AND you can use the SAME app everywhere else when not on stage. Merry Christmas&Happy New Year. Best

    • R__W

      djpp is great but the dev went nagware/subscription which is annoying and also ends up being at least 4x as expensive as djay pro

      • Guest

        Check out the DJ Player EM app, which has a fixed and very affordable price.

        • Hetto

          Indeed DJP EM is a solution for this. And to reply to what you said: this all has to do with the App Store rules as well. It’s a solution, better than letting an app die and release a version 2 (aka iMachine and iMachine 2 💡). Plus, I don’t think it’s expensive at all. Especially for a frequently updated, stable app. (Eg: a dev can never ask for an update fee in the App Store. Impossibly by ‘Apple rules’. Normal software can ask for new fees. Maybe not always, but they will. The former DJ Player run for a long time and had a crazy amount of updates, but a developer has to eat too, hence the subscription plan.
          My 2 cents. Maybe putting it in perspective. Cheers, Hetto
          (From the iPad now, no login)

      • James

        If you objectively know going in that you could use a cloud backup service, then considering your other options, this is a viable way to go. You get to take advantage of the community’s cue markers and prepping of the tracks.

        One thing that’s a constraint across the board is not getting around Apple Music’s DRM. Furthermore, they phased out Fade option in settings. So there’s no way to incorporate their tracks until you’ve committed to purchasing. For me, this is more a time constraint than an expense; I have to do more homework up top evaluating my album and tracks, which is certainly my preferred way to work. But time is not always available.

        Also, DRM tracks become rather invasive in a library, and there is no clear filter to separating stream-only, personal library, and apple music without making a mess of playlists. I know it’s off-topic, but may indirectly influence your decision as seeing iOS as a viable stand-in or triage for your DJ set.

    • trompso

      but there is no spotify integration with DJPP