Traktor DJ for iPad review
Traktor DJ is an ambitious - if ultimately flawed - attempt to bring complex desktop DJ software to the iPad's touch interface. It's a noble attempt, and a lot of fun to use.
Redesigning complex Mac software so it works within the confines of a touch interface and the limited processing power of the iPad is no easy task. Native Instruments deserves particular acclaim, then, for its remarkable efforts with Traktor DJ.
Traktor for the Mac is a hugely popular DJ tool, chock full of advanced functions for the seamless blending of digital dance music. The iPad version retains much of its functionality, with a well thought-out interface that lets you manipulate tracks with your fingers as efficiently as the full-fat version does with a mouse and keyboard. Transparent overlays, touch-friendly sliders and a helpful tutorial allow for a detailed interface that doesn’t confuse the user.
Music is loaded from your iPad’s internal storage on to two virtual decks. After analysing the audio, Traktor DJ attempts to guess the tempo, often accurately. A button in the top right lets you 'grid' each track, so the two songs are in perfect alignment. Alternatively, a Sync button takes away much of the hard work.
Setting cue points, loops and slices is easy, and this data can be shared with Traktor on the Mac via Dropbox. Hit play, bring the volume up and with luck the result will sound almost as good as the best work of Fatboy Slim.
Traktor DJ is a truly remarkable iPad app, but has a few limitations, such as the inability to bend a track’s pitch, or monitor the audio from a single virtual deck (without purchasing a special audio cable), which make us think most DJs won’t replace their trusty MacBook Pros with iPads just yet. But this doesn’t detract from the hours of fun Traktor DJ can provide, for obsessed music aficionados and laid-back listeners alike.