Numark’s iDJ Pro is no longer prototype

Numark iDJ Pro iPad DJ (2)

DJing on a laptop is doable, but a long way from ideal, hence controllers popped up, designed to compliment each other perfectly. And the same is happening with iPads too. The difference here is that instead of sitting alongside each other, the iPad is small enough to be assimilated, making a symbiosis between iPad and controller. And that’s just what Numark’s iDJ Pro is.

Numark iDJ Pro iPad DJ

It was first seen at NAMM, encased in a perspex force field. Next up it appeared at Musikmesse, touchable for all, and working pretty well. But what we have here is a final version, ready for us to maul and paw for ourselves. But being such a new piece, and the start of the next generation of DJ gear (oh believe me there’s much more of this sort of thing to come), I wanted to open this up to all of you – to ask questions of me as I review, but also to pitch to Numark, who will be watching progress and reading your comments and questions.

Numark iDJ Pro iPad DJ (1)

So let’s have them – your intelligent questions that is. What do you want to know so much that you can’t wait for the review?

  • Max

    1. I want to know if they solved the problem that it was needed to have your main output on MONO if you want to use headphones. Can you now have both the cue and main outputs in stereo? This to me is VERY important, as many of my tracks sound awful in mono on PA.

    2. Do you have to install an app from the store or it’s real plug-and-play, loading the app when the iPad is loaded to the controller?

    3. It is heavy? Comfortable to carry around?

    4. At the Musikmesse, they said that there was a gain controller included in the app, by sliding your finger up or down over the VU meters of the screen. It is there?

    5. How does it feels in terms of build quality? It seems to have the same wheels, knobs, and buttons and the Mixdecks. How durable it feels?

  • Max

    1. I want to know if they solved the issue that you needed to have the main output in MONO if you wanted to cue with your headphones. Can you now have both the cue and main outputs in stereo? This is very important to me as many of my tracks sound awful in mono on PA.

    2. Do you have to install an app from the store, it’s real plug-and-play, loading the app when you slide the ipad into the controller?

    3. It is heavy? Comfortable to carry around?

    4. At Musikmesse, they said that there was an internal gain control, by sliding your finger up or down over the VU meters. It is there?

    5. How does it feel in terms of build quality? It seems to have the same buttons, knobs and jogwheels as the Mixdecks How durable it feels?

    • The_KLH

      IMHO, the only real “problem” is #1 above. Until that is addressed, the iPad will not be a real alternative to laptops.

      • Aidan

        Hey guys, I’m currently testing iOS 6 with the current djay application and multi channel stereo audio is implemented in iOS 6… And iOS 6 is expected to be released around the 12th of September.

    • Aidan

      Answer to question #4 this feature has been in the application since the release of djay.. So yes, the control is there..

    • 1. At release, output with cueing is mono. you can however turn split cue on and off seamlessly to get stereo output, and switch back again when you need to cue. Come iOS6 in about 10 days time, if what people are saying is true, that could change and it could well be full stereo.

      2. It’s the regular algoriddim djay for iPad app. It’s getting a boost to 1.5.2 specifically to cater for the iDJ Pro. When I did the upgrade, scratching was much improved.

      3. It’s surprisingly light – am easy carry in a shoulder bag. But it’ll be a big bag, and some airlines might not let you take it on a plane.

      4. Yes. in the new version of djay, they’re right there on screen sat between the LEDs.

      5. Build quality is good for the price tag and feels and looks a little better than a Mixdeck. It’s not a tank but it’s amazing what a brushed metal faceplate will do.

  • Stevefrancesco

    Will this unit be locked to only Djay or will other apps be able to utilize its controls/soundcard ?

    I would also love to know what was the logic in its layout as opposed to other controllers which are based off industry standard decks and mixers and as a result easier for beginners to train up to and instantly get to grips with the basics. Rotary controls and a horizontal EQ are just plain weird… I would probably wait for V2 as it stands right now and hope they make that a priority. Much like when single iPod and Pitch control was lacking with their original iday. My general train of thought is that hardware should not emulate the software but rather the other way around have a nagging feeling this was indeed the case and reason.

    I was excited to see the “encased” version from a proof of concept point of view. Mobile device+controller=fantastic. But I’m actually more than a little disappointment that changes like this were not made prior to release.

    • The_KLH

      ^ “Mobile device+controller=fantastic.”
      Lolwut? Why? Shouldn’t this be:

      Computing device+controller = Alternative to Mixer + DVS (with TTs or CDJs)

      IMHO, the entire point of using a controller/computer is to avoid paying for expensive equipment that isn’t necessary once a computer is involved. In a DVS, the (expensive) TTs and CDJs become controllers, yet the audio still needs to be mixed… which requires a decent (meaning expensive) mixer. Using a controller, the computer replaces the mixer, sound source, and effects unit… which makes the controller (ideally) much more affordable than the DVS setup.

      With the iPad, the computer itself is what’s being replaced. Unfortunately, the iPad is currently not a complete replacement for what the computer does… so we wait for more nextlevelness from Apple to appear.

      • Steve Francesco

        No, I dont see it as an alternative to DVS, I see it as an alternative to Controller + Laptop

        And I have to disagree, IMHO, the entire point of using a controller/computer is to provide a more flexible and smaller footprint package to DJ with. Cost is NOT the reason I moved to digital… and the more stuff I can get rid of is IMHO better.

        Here’s the thing, I really don’t want to bring a laptop to a gig if I don’t need to. And many people already have a tablet to complement their laptop or desktop at home.
        With the exception of effects, which are in the majority of cases abused by DJ’s the pad/controller idea is ideal for A/B mixing. Even more Ideal is pioneers take, which is allowing industry standard gear be “fed” with a mobile device containing the library and cue points, meaning all you need to take to a gig is your tablet and nothing else. However for Mobile Parties etc .. having your own controller that will run on nothing but a tablet is cool and a much more tidy setup.
        The Ipad has way more juice than an Intel Atom BTW, which ran Traktor 3.3 and Traktor Scratch just fine. (which had way more features than Djay).
        Vjay shows off some more extreme software optimization as video/audio mixing is farrrr more intensive than just audio alone.

  • Marco Garcia

    I’m interested in knowing about the insides of the unit. I happen to have 4 Numark Mixdecks (Bad push button switches) and a Numark DMC2 (weak soldering joint) in my shop at the moment for repairs and a I pretty much see the same the same kind of problems with most Numark products that come in for repairs, faulty switches going bad only after a year of manufacture or weak soldering joints. The mixdeck seems to have major problems with the push button switches, I’m not sure if the switches are the cause or the surface soldering method being used on these units. When I have gear from other manufactures come in like Denon or Pioneer it’s usually because the user trashed it, even if it is a hardware failure it’s usually after years of use but with Numark I say 75% of my repairs are hardware failures on units that are no more than a year old and look like new. So at this point you could say I’m a little worried about Numark’s quality, so my question is what kind of quality can we expect from this controller? Is it mixdeck, mixtrack quality or NS7, NS6 quality? Also how’s the audio being routed? Is it stereo audio with headphone cue? Can it do MIDI with traditional computer based software.

    • A little of topic here Marco, but how has the Novation twitch held up, do you have nay experience with that or the Vestax VCI-380? Maybe I can email you direct so as to not corrupt this thread…

      • Marco Garcia

        Yeah sure, no VCI-380s yet since they are new so I don’t expect to see them for a while. I have had some VCI 300s come in for faulty touch sensors but those were easy fixes that didn’t require any new parts. I haven’t had a Novation Twitch come in yet either.

  • I’m wondering about the unit (the iPad specifically) being flat on the surface…….maybe a connector to still have the iPad hooked up to the idj pro bit also able to move it to a comfortable viewing position. Also a solid release date would be great.

  • Guest

    Will this unit work with future iPad models? I know that, in contrast to Technics, controllers aren’t made to live forever. Still, assuming you wanna use the unit for 4-5 years, it would be critical to know if it will support fourth, fiftth, and sixth generation iPads.

    • I don’t think anyone can answer that one for you – probably not even Apple.

    • I think that firmware and software are easy enough to update. The issue is the dock connector which is rumoured to change for the next iphone, so more than likely to change for the next ipad.

  • Dizzy

    The major drawback for me with using any iPad based DJ system is the lack of storage space… 64 gigs isn’t a lot to work with.

    • ICloud is the work around for that though.

      • Assuming you are in a venue with wifi (or even 3/4G). That’s going to come unstuck in a lot of venues/festivals.

    • It’s still several thousand tracks, which is still A LOT of music.

      • Mr_Rav3n

        Absolute Music (As in the national radio station that does not repeat a song between 9am and 5pm) stores all their music in WAV on hard-drives/servers…….. all of their music only takes up 40GB of space.

  • Numark do you know about DjPlayer? App developed by redbull team? Is great app! You plan to develop partnership with other app? And this specific app (I think is the only serius one due to traktor grid integration that is a KEY feature for me)

    • I tried the new DJ Player beta with MIDI mapping, and it doesn’t work with the iDJ Pro.

  • RibFest

    why does this look so gimmicky? I like it when beginner DJ products have some kind of draw for DJ’s that know what they’re doing, like MIDI In’s and Out’s or a good audio interface. Stanton knows what I’m talking about. Numark, if you want to stop wasting a lot of money, make something that everyone could be interested in.

    • You say that, but Numark are selling an astounding amount of gear. It remains to be seen if this will do well, simply based on it using an iPad.

  • Wmd

    When are Numark/Inmusic going to get Torq Involved?

    • That’s a much bigger question, and one that is currently working its way through the inMusic machine before anything will be announced I expect.

  • The K

    How do you do (EQ)Bass drops?

  • tastygroove

    Rotary volume knobs… Boo.

    What I’d really love is something like this I can use in conjunction with touchosc and traktor with HID high resolution jogs.

  • On the Mono output, not sure if you guys noticed that Multi-Channel Audio is out with iOS 6. Hopefully Numark thought of that…..That would put the iPad on Par with a Mac/PC.

  • Aidan

    Hey, I just wanna ask about how it connects… I’ve talked to someone at numark about how it connects.. And he says that the iPad has to sit upside down (so the home button doesnt get pressed) and that the connector is up the top.. Do you know anything about if its like a cable that you hook your ipad up to or if its just a solid connector on the cover.

    • It’s a short cable. You have to sit the iPad in the iDJ Pro and then connect the cable with the home button at the top. Unfortunately it’s not long enough to have the iPad sat any other way except in the vertical orientation inside the device.

  • So I dj and produce music! How are the effects? Can you use muti effects at the same time? How could I flip the script I the middle of a set or event? Please tell me they made effects for the mic! If so I would buy this over an s2 in an instant!

    • In*

    • You can do 2 effects per channel- all at the same time. There is not FX control for the mic, though.

  • Steve Francesco

    Will this be Vjay compatible ? .. now that would be pretty kickass.

    • It does work, but it’s not supported. THere’s no portrait mode which does make things a bit tricky. And I’ve yet to try the HDMI out connector. I’ll cover this a little in my review.

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  • Someone asked about VJay, and you mentioned HDMI out. Does this unit have its’ own HDMI out? If they can get VJay working 100% on this, it would be an awesome unit to play with at the house, use for quick demo sets, etc. Unsettling that you said it’s “not supported” and that the portrait layout is an issue – but the iPad would have to be sending a 2nd video feed anyway in order for this to work… is that even possible on an iPad or can it only send what’s on the main screen to an aux display? I have an iPad 2 but haven’t ever used it hooked up to anything else.

    • Just checked. Vjay works in the iDJ Pro, but has no portrait mode. Vjay is optimised for landscape and for the moment will stay that way. The bigger issue is with HDMI. The iDJ Pro has no HDMI, and when you plug in the Apple HDMI adaptor, it disables MIDI. It’s something I detailed in my vjay review and is beyond algoriddim’s control.

      That’s the long answer. The short answer is that for now, vjay and the iDJ Pro are incompatible. I really hope that changes.

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  • Too bad this will be obsolete when (if) Apple makes the next iPad with a new dock connector. We’ll find out this Weds, 10/12!

    • Even if Apple do change the connector, there’s space at the back for the inevitable adaptor cable.

      • That’s the main issue…Apple tend to change the connectors rendering your peripherals/cables (expensive) obsolete.

  • Mine arrived on Friday and I gigged with it last night; 3hr dance set for a fundraiser and not a single glitch or failure. I was worried since I’m running an iOS6 beta, but it performed like a champ. I even tested my theory about storage space by using wireless synch with iTunes to locate and transfer music that wasn’t on my iPad- works awesome, even while in the middle of mixing 2 songs! Yes, the mono-split-cue is a little annoying, but not a deal breaker. I’m going to keep my NS6 for larger, more complex events, but this is great for weddings, bars, and other small gigs!

    • Dj SP ONE

      Hi. I’m a local dj in Philly,and I own an IDJ Pro. Can anyone expound on adding tracks, or whole music folders for djaying when you run out of space on your Ipad?

    • Dj SP ONE

      Hi. I’m a local dj in Philly,and I own an IDJ Pro. Can anyone expound on adding tracks, or whole music folders for djaying when you run out of space on your Ipad?

      • Right now you have 3 options:

        1. Resample the tracks you have to make a little more space.
        2. Throw some tracks away.
        3. Get a bigger iPad.

    • Dj SP ONE

      Thanks. I was hoping there was an innovative way to add an SD card to the iPad connection in order to Dj with unlimited tracks. Not yet huh?

  • One more thing, for those of you worried about storage- here’s a tip:

    There is a pretty simple workaround for ‘library capacity’ and access using the iPad; admittedly, it involves bringing a laptop, but it should work.

    If you have your iPad set to ‘sync with iTunes over Wi-Fi’ & ‘Manually manage music & videos’ [can be done under the ‘Summary’ tab for your device in iTunes, in the ‘Options’ section], you can drag & drop music onto your iPad without having to perform a full sync or be directly connected to the iPad. This will give you the ability to locate requests from your partiers on the laptop and transfer them to the iPad quickly; bring your entire library [in iTunes] and you can play what you need when you need it!

    Special Note: You don’t need a ‘real’ Wi-Fi network to do this on a MacBook/Pro- you can use the ‘Create Network…’ option in the Wi-Fi settings on the laptop, select that newly created network in the iPad’s wi-fi settings, the iPad will show up in iTunes and it will work just the same!

    • If you are taking a laptop along it kind of defeats the point of using an ipad no?

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