After a string of laptop focussed controllers, Reloop have jumped headlong into the iOS market with the Reloop Beatpad — a solid slap of controller aimed squarely at iPad users, but also being equally suited to desktop computers too.
I’ll let Reloop spell out the Beatpad for you first:
RELOOP BEATPAD PROFESSIONAL
IPAD CONTROLLER FOR DJAY
Reloop has anounced their first DJ controller for iPad at the BPM Show in Birmingham which is especially designed for the DJAY app by Algoriddim.
The Reloop Beatpad is a dedicated iOS controller, developed and optimized for the popular iOS app DJAY by Algoriddim, offering a totally new and unimagined mixing experience with your iPhone, iPod or iPad.
The Beatpad utilises the app’s full potential with numerous control elements, such as dedicated filters per channel, push encoders for effects and loops, as well as an extensive and multi- functional drum pad section with performance mode.
The controller is compatible with all iPhone, iPod and iPad generations. It charges your device using the included 30-pin and 8-pin Lightning Adaptors and (via USB) can also be used as a high-quality MIDI controller for your Mac or PC DJ software of choice, for example DJAY for Mac or Traktor.
The appearance of the Beatpad benefits from Reloop’s many years of developing professional DJ controllers. With the recognisable high-grade aluminum Trax Encoder, you can comfortably browse through your iTunes playlists while the illuminated XXL jog wheels with their diameter of 15cm and vinyl grip surface cry out for you to perform extensive scratching sessions. The multi-colored LED jog wheel borders give the user visual feedback regarding the virtual needle position and current effect and loop modulations and the 100mm pitchfaders make manual beatmatching a walk in the park.
The Beatpad’s performance section offers numerous, creative mixing possibilities: you can set up to 4 hot cue points per deck, while bounce loop mode allows you to cut the loaded track into single loop sequences on the fly. In instant FX mode the 4 drum pads offer the ability to trigger macro effects at the push of a button. In order to accomodate and trigger single samples in a playing mix, you can use the sampler which turns the performance mode section into a full blown DJ sampler. Despite these numerous creative tools, the performance mode always remains clear, also thanks to the multi-colored RGB LEDs and their various mode colors.
Connections are also well thought out with two headphone connections on the front side, two master outputs (XLR, RCA) and even an aux input for iPod, CD player or turntable on the back of the device.
Professional DJ controller for iPad, Mac and PC
Integrated 4 channel USB audio club interface
Compatible with all iPhone, iPod and iPad generations
Integrated mount for iPad
30 pin and 8 pin Lightning Adapter included
Plug’n’Play: simply connect to to your iPhone/iPod or iPad and start mixing your MP3 files
Air Play: wireless sound transmission to compatible speakers
Developed for DJAY 2 by Algoriddim
Also applicable as controller for PC/Mac due to USB interface
Ultra flat XXL jog wheels (15.5 cm diameter) with vinyl grip surface
Multicolor LED jog wheel border for visual feedback of virtual needle position and effect and loop modulations
Performance mode section: hot cue, bounce loop, instant FX and sampler
4 large RGB-lit drum pads per deck
Large transport section with soft touch rubber buttons
Ergonomcal mixer/CD player design for fast and easy access
2 channel club mixer design with dedicated filters
Large 100 mm pitch fader
Versatile controls for effects, looping, hot cues and sampler
Aux stereo RCA input (with phono pre-amp) for connection of a CD player, iPod or turntables with separate volume control
6.3 mm jack mic connection with volume control
Club interface: thecan be connected via XLR or asymmetrical stereo RCA outputs
2 headphones connections: 3.5 mm & 6.3 mm stereo jack
Shift buttons for second function layer incl. shift lock feature – All control elements in club size and quality
compatible with every MIDI-learn software
USB bus powered: Beatpad can be used via USB (mains adapter included) – Anti-theft device: Kensington safety lock
ASIO drivers with minimum latency and high-quality audio characteristics – Mac OSX and Windows XP/Vista/7 compatible
2 deck mapping for Traktor Pro 2 available – Plug’n’Play ready for DJAY by Algoriddim
What is the Reloop Beatpad?
It’s a solid lump of Reloop 2 channel controller with a quality that is beginning to establish Reloop as a real player in the DJ scene. If any of you have picked up a Jockey or Terminal Mix unit, you’ll now exactly what I’m talking about — this is not a toy in any sense of the word, and is a highly capable controller that on the face of it doesn’t seem to put a foot wrong.
I was especially impressed with the lightshow that algoriddim djay put out on the Beatpad. We’re talking proper MIDI in and out on this, with RGB changes to controls just like desktop apps. The Reloop Beatpad really embraces all that the new djay 2 has to offer, with direct access to all the features that are normally one layer deep if you use just the iPad. And you can still use iPad screen for XY effects too.
But while the Beatpad is iPad-centric, it’s clearly quite capable of powering the like of Traktor and its peers. Indeed it’ll be released with a Traktor TSI file and I imagine that other will follow. Serato DJ? Well Reloop and Serato are good friends, so we’ll just have to see. We weren’t able to see one with Traktor at BPM.
I’m deeply impressed with the Reloop Beatpad. But we were mob handed at BPM, so our Dan Morse had a dabble and offers this opinion:
If you’ve been keeping track of Reloop’s slow rise over the last couple of years, you’ll know about some of their more recent controllers. Pretty much guaranteed to come with Serato’s software, they’re well built bits of kit.
The beatpad may seem to tread familiar territory on the face of it, but not one to get one-upped by the competition using iPads, the Beatpad is fully compatible with Algoriddim’s DJay iOS app. The design is nothing groundbreaking, but you can expect Reloop’s quality, along with a four channel audio interface and the usual pretty lights.
I did notice there weren’t any dedicated filter knobs*, though…
UPDATE: There are filters, but not in the mixer section. It’s part of the effects.
The iPads are coming
This is another of those next generation controllers that embraces the iPad as a credible alternate to laptops. It is at its core an extremely capable and compact 2 channel controller with a stack of features that would ordinarily be at home in a seemingly more capable platform.
You see, this is where we are with controller DJing these days — there are almost no reasons why an iPad can’t drive a controller and be just as capable. This unit, as well as NI’s new Kontrol S2 and S4, Numark’s iDJ Pro, Vestax’s Spin 2, and Pioneer’s WeGO2 prove how the industry has embraced the platform. It’s time to stop spitting your dummy out, and just like laptops before them, embrace the iPad. And maybe if one day Android becomes audio capable (a red flag being waved at Dan Morse and Jared Helfer there), it may well be that the Nexuses of this world could become players too.
Feedback shows that the Reloop Beatpad is likely to be very successful. And although the Reloop site says Winter, I was told that it’ll be available much sooner, with a highly competitive UK price confirmed at £395.