PadDeckX is one of the first DJ apps we've seen made specifically for the Apple iPad. With the added screen size, iPhone app developers can now represent more complex devices while maintaining functionality.
The following slides will take a look at some of our favorite apps for the iPhone that we hope will follow in the footsteps of PadDeckX and take advantage of the iPad's larger screen and faster processor.
MixMeister Scratch is one of the first DJ apps for the iPhone I ever played. With an emphasis on sample scratching, rather than on music playback, the free app is more of a novelty for scratch DJ wannabes. That said, the interface is gorgeous. Blown up to iPad scale, the app may actually prove useful as a DJ accessory.
For serious digital music nerds, TouchOSC ($4.99) offers a suite of detailed virtual faders and knobs that can be used to control software on a nearby laptop. The controls borrow heavily from the look pioneered by the JazzMutant Lemur controller, shrunk down to a fraction of the size (and price). If the app gets revamped for the iPad's larger screen, it has the potential to become a popular, flexible way to add touch-screen control to a variety of music software. For more info, visit Hexler.net.
Touch DJ 2 ($19.99) is a stunning and powerful DJ app for the iPhone that is geared to work as a complete replacement for full-blown applications, such as Serato Scratch and Native Instruments' Traktor. Unfortunately, the app's lack of compromises leads to a rather cramped interface on the relatively small screen of the iPhone. If Touch DJ gets the iPad treatment, it will undoubtedly be the app to beat in the iPad DJ wars. For more information, visit Amidio.com.
Quixpin isn't quite as graphically luscious as Touch DJ 2, but at just $1.99, it offers about the same mix of practical features at an impractical size. Make it iPad sized with a wallet-friendly price, and you've got a decent contender against Touch DJ. For more info, visit Quixonic.com.
The Star6 app ($9.99) exists in a middle ground between DJ app and music production tool. Whatever you want to call it, Star6 is loads of fun, letting you tweak and mangle preset music loops into mash-up bliss.With the extra room afforded by the iPad, the Star6 app could blossom into a full-fledged remix tool. More info at AgilePartners.com.
The Secret Song app by DJ Spooky ($0.99) offers some limited DJ mixing capabilities, allowing users to create custom mixes of songs and samples provided by the artist DJ Spooky. The app is more of a promotional gimmick for the artist, but it illustrates how dance and hip-hop music can be sold as an app, given the DJ context. For the iPad, lightweight DJ apps like this can become more intricate and engaging, perhaps offering in-app purchasing for additional songs.
The iDrum app ($4.99) offers a surprisingly detailed and professional music sequencing solution for music producers and DJs. Our only aggravation with the app concerns how small the interface is. An iPad version of the app could give the interface the breathing room it needs. Find out more at Izotope.com.
The iSample App ($9.99) allows DJs and digital music producers to load and trigger samples on virtual drum pads. The effect is like a micro version of the popular Akai MPC music workstation. We expect that an iPad version of the software will come much closer to the functionality of the MPC, including more sample triggers and better editing capabilities. Find out more at WayOutWare.com.
Like the DJ Spooky Secret Song app, the DeadMau5 Mix app ($2.99) offers an artist-specific DJ remix app. While many DJ apps wrestle with how to load music in the face of Apple's iTunes restrictions, artist-specific apps come preloaded with music right out of the gate.