Finally, I have got around to the next app on the list! This time it is Deej from Spanish developers Inqbarna.
Deej has been in the app store for iOS since June 2010. It has recently seen updates to allow iPod library access and as such it now brings the app in line with the other major players in the DJ app arena. On the iTunes store page, it states that work is underway for version 2.0 of the app, which I'm guessing may bring enhancements like effects, realistic vinyl scratch sounds and maybe a few tweaks in the UI.
As always, I'll start with a screenshot of the main page;
- Full control on one screen
- Clear and intuitive UI
- Time elapsed / remaining clearly displayed
- Current position of track displayed
- Location of cross-fader could be better
- Always nice to see a waveform to assist with where breakdowns etc are
For the iPad user, the settings page contains a few items which are probably not of much interest and are more focused on iPhone or iPod Touch users. Frustratingly, some of the text alongside the settings is cut short so you're not 100% sure on what the meaning is behind each!
- Resampling - this can be set to Fast or HQ. I think the reason behind this is that if you're running an older device then you would use Fast, otherwise leave it with HQ.
- Equalizer - You can switch the EQ controls On / Off...again, this takes processing and can slow down older devices. In switching it off, the 3 band EQ knobs are non-functional on the main UI.
- DJ's Headphone - This should allow you to choose which channel feeds the headphone monitor to, presumably only used if a split audio connector is being used (and configured). This can be set to Left or Right.
- DJ's Headphone Volume - A very good control to have, to ensure you're not deafened by the audio!
- Left & Right Job Mode - you can set these independently to one another, as mentioned it is either Vinyl (allows movement forward & backwards of the audio) or CD (used to accelerate / decelerate the audio)
- Splitter - This can be set to No splitter or Connected.
- Rotation - You can use this to lock the UI so it does not rotate whenever the device is moved.
- Pitch - You can adjust the pitch increments to either 5%, 10%, 15% or 20%
- 'Share' - to push data to various social networking sites
- 'Help' - this gives quite detailed information on the configuration and use of the app as well as a useful 'Interactive Tutorial' which highlights various key aspects of the UI and explains how to use them.
- 'About' - this provides information regarding Inqbarna and their other apps
This is a very simple, single list of tracks in order of Track Name. There is the ability to search - which works across track name, album name and artist, however there is no ability to re-order the tracks.
- Quick track selection process
- No Processing needed for bpm detection / waveform processing (although both might be nice!), so tracks are loaded instantly
- iPod Library access for tracks
- No method of re-ordering tracks (update: in v1.6 you can sort by artist, album and song title)
- Limited track information displayed - might be nice to display other ID3 information such as duration and bpm
- No concept of crates or playlists
Once the track has been loaded, you can use the pitch fader or the + / - buttons to adjust the pitch of the track as you would with a traditional turntable. As you change the pitch, a digital readout of pitch percent change is given above it. You can use the disc to move the track slowly to a given point (in vinyl mode) and then press the CUE button to set the cue point at that location in the track.
When the term 'Vinyl' is used, here it simply means to move the audio forwards / backwards in the same manner you would a piece of vinyl on a turntable. The audio output of this is not an equivalent though, it does seem to have some digital artefacts which affect the sound.
The Play button is very responsive and quick to respond. The 3-band EQ almost filters out everything (but only just), the 3 bands are labelled 'Bas', 'Med', 'Tre'.
Unfortunately, the single Cue point is not stored, so when you next load the track you will need to set it again.
Currently, there is no in-app recording option.
Whilst using this app over the past weekend, I quickly discovered an issue with the Cross-fader. If the fader is placed at the far left and you have a track playing in the right deck, it's audio is still heard (albeit faintly) in the master output when it shouldn't. I've passed this into the development team and I'm assuming it will be fixed in the next release (hopefully soon!).
Update: In v1.6 the cross-fader issue has been fixed.
Aside from that, I found the app to be easy to use and with a few tweaks it could prove to be a bargain competitor against other DJ apps. If you're looking for auto-syncing, auto-mixing cheat or scratching functionality then this isn't for you (yet). I would see this as being a very useful tool for those who want to get into CD DJing but haven't got the funds to buy the hardware.
Update posted here.
v1.6 Details here
Deej is currently $4.99 in the app store;