iOS6 brings multi-channel audio to djay – finally ready for the big leagues?

Algoriddim djay 1.6 for iPhone and iPad multi channel audio

If there one thing that more traditional DJs used to throw in the face of iOS based DJ products, it was the lack of real stereo output. Algoriddim’s djay achieved master and cue by a fudge that split the stereo channel into 2 mono ones to give master and cue through the Griffin djay cable. But with iOS6 comes multi-channel output, as well as a handful of other quality updates too. Say hello to djay 1.6 for iPad and iPhone.

First, the official words from Algoriddim:

Algoriddim Releases New Versions of djay™ Optimized for iOS 6 and Enhanced for iPhone 5

For the first time, users can access iTunes Store directly through popular DJ app and enjoy multi-route audio in full stereo 

MUNICH, GERMANY – September 27, 2012 – Algoriddim, creators of the popular music-mixing djay apps for Mac, iPhone and iPad and the video-mixing app vjay for iPad, today released new versions of djay for iPhone and djay for iPad that take advantage of the iPhone 5 enhancements and support the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS 6.

The djay for iPad and djay for iPhone apps now feature the ability to instantly download iTunes content directly from within the app, allowing DJs to add new tracks to the playlist without leaving the app, even while mixing. New with Apple’s iOS 6, DJs can use multi-channel audio to cue their tracks in full stereo and output them in full stereo at the same time.

djay for iPhone now leverages the A6 processor and wider screen on the new iPhone 5. The app offers time-stretching functionality that enables song tempo to be sped up or slowed down without changing the pitch. In addition, the iPhone 5’s wider screen real estate provides much more room for elements that were previously hidden away in sub-menus such as pitch bending, the sync button and beats-per-minute display. The location on one screen drastically reduces clicks and makes the experience more realistic and natural for users.

“This software update is all about simplifying the user experience and making it easier to DJ on the go,” said Karim Morsy, CEO at Algoriddim. “The full iTunes integration lets users purchase music on the fly. This is huge because it allows mobile users to download their favorite songs whenever and wherever they want and immediately start mixing. DJs can take song requests while performing and blend them into their sets. In addition, the wider screen on the iPhone 5 allows us to make the entire djay display shockingly realistic with the exact features you’d expect on a traditional turntable setup.”

The key features of the latest apps include:

  • Full integration with the iTunes Store for easier search, preview and in-app purchase – Users can now browse, preview and purchase iTunes music content directly within the app. djay users can efficiently search for iTunes content with find-as-you-type search functionality, and they’re able to fast forward and rewind previews to make sure the selection is right.
  • Support for 4G/LTE networks and four-inch retina display on iPhone 5 with A6 processor – DJs don’t ever have to miss a beat in their performances by adding new songs from the iTunes store directly through the app. Download and stream music and mash-ups with added bandwidth at blazing-fast speeds and experience a new level of functionality due to the new wider screen when using djay for iPhone on Apple’s latest mobile device.
  • Support for multi-channel and multi-route audio – This incorporates multi-channel audio interfaces, HDMI audio, or a compatible USB audio dock in combination with the device’s headphone jack for pre-cueing.

Pricing and availability:

djay transforms the Mac, iPhone and iPad into a full-fledged DJ system and lets users mix their iTunes music library on a hyper-realistic turntable interface. Perform live, record mixes on-the-go, or enable Automix mode and djay mixes favorite playlists automatically. With unprecedented ease of use and innovative multi-touch mixing features, djay takes DJ-ing to the next level and offers a unique experience for beginners and professionals alike.

To see the djay app in action, click here for a demo video.

djay for iPad is available for download from the App Store for $19.99.
djay for iPhone is available for download from the App Store for $0.99.

So about the whole multi-channel thing – it’s not as simple as plugging any old USB thing into the iPad or iPhone. Firstly, the USB camera kit adaptor doesn’t work on the iPhone. Secondly, some things draw too much power to work without any kind of external power which means that you’re going to have to use a power pack with things like audio interfaces. It must also be born in mind that the USB camera connector approach is nothing more than a tolerated aberration from Apple and could be shut down with a few bytes of code.

The way that this manifests itself in djay is to recognise devices plugged in via the 30 pin or Lightning ports and route 2 channels of audio through it, while assigning cueing to the iPad’s headphone port. This does finally offer true stereo headphone and master output that has long eluded iOS users. What this will spawn is a new generation of pro audio devices that will do true multi-channel recording and routing.

That’s not all the goodness that comes with djay 1.6. You can now buy and preview directly from the iTunes store – never an approach I’d take personally as I’m too much of a control freak for on the fly DJing. 4G networks are now supported too. But the iPhone 5’s larger screen gets some love to via the addition of on-screen pitch control, BPM display and a sync button per channel. The iPhone also gets keylock, which this old DJ particularly loves.

The question arises of the legitimacy of iPads in a professional environment. The audio issue is now sorted, so what remains is how people view them, and importantly how manufacturers will implement iOS support. Numark have the head start with the iDJ Pro, but will Numark have the nuts to put an iPad right into a unit costing over 1000 of your currency? For me, the success will depend on how advanced djay and other apps choose to get, and if digital DJs can reign in their desire to have all the tracks in the world on their iPad. That said, with AirPlay supported, that’s a moot point now.

Djay for iPad and iPhone is available now as a free upgrade to existing users.