Traktor DJ makes the leap from desktop to iPad

German developer Native Instruments has long been regarded as the maker of some of the finest music and DJing software on the market and today they released Traktor DJ, a pro music mixing $19.99 iPad app that complements the desktop Traktor Pro software with bi-directional content synchronization and a host of other feature.

Unlike virtually all the other DJ apps that tap virtual turntables, Traktor DJ sports touchable waveforms and has two virtual decks, each with dedicated three-band equalizer and filter sections, including eight Traktor effects.

The app relies heavily on multitouch gestures: you can grab audio waveforms with two fingers to set a loop, perform scratches, mark cue points for live re-editing, and scrub, browse or navigate through tracks. Go past the break for additional tidbits and a hands-on video…

You can slice up waveforms in the Freeze mode and create beat grids in real time with automatic tempo detection. Native Instruments did iTunes music library integration the right way: the app features its own recommendation engine which analyzes tempo, key and timbre to recommend the tracks from your iTunes library that have the same tempo and harmonic structure.

Traktor DJ for iOS (iPhone screenshot 001)

Your track settings and properties are synced with the desktop Traktor Pro 2 software and you can also import your grids, cue points, loops and BPM counts into the iPad app via a Dropbox account. Seamless syncing cries for an iCloud implementation and my guess is that’s something Native Instruments has in mind for future updates.

Traktor DJ for iOS (iPhone screenshot 002)

If all this sounds too complicated, worry not – Traktor DJ has unobtrusive in-app notifications that teach you how to use the software as you move through it.

Pro audio interfaces like Native Instruments’ own Traktor Audio 6 and 10 gear are supported via either the iPad Camera Connection or using a splitter cable with dedicated cue and master control.

Here’s a list of most important features of Traktor DJ for iPad:

– revolutionary DJ app by Native Instruments – makers of the leading pro DJ software
– touch the groove using familiar iPad gestures like swiping and pinching
– direct access to your iTunes music library from Traktor DJ
– stylish waveform display allows for simple looping and ultra-tight scratching
– intelligent browser recommends songs based on compatible tempo and key
– automatic tempo and key detection plus BPM sync for super-smooth mixing
– innovative Notification Center gives you in-app access to essential tips and undiscovered techniques
– 8 built-in pro DJ effects, including Reverb, Delay and dramatic glitch effects like BeatMasher
– familiar DJ mixer layout with crossfader plus line faders, 3-band EQ and filter on each channel
– prepare tracks on the road – all meta data (tempo, beatgrids, cue points etc.) in Traktor DJ syncs with Traktor Pro DJ software
– record your mixes live in high-quality on the iPad and share with your friends

The Verge observes that adding effects is kind of like playing a video game:

You just open up the EQ and FX panels, and then you can drag your thumbs around a grid that maps intensity and mix.

The publication has spent some hands-on time with the program, here are their impressions.

The program supports the iPad 3 and 4 with Retina display, iPad mini and iPad 2, running iOS 6 and above.

Now, my DJ-ing skills are non existent and I’m not gonna pretend to be the judge as to whether or not Traktor DJ is good enough for you so head over to the official Native Instruments web site for more information and a bunch of demo clips.

And if these apps are your cup of tea, you should also check out Algoriddim’s excellent iOS djay app and podDJ from iOS hacker pod2g.