This is a guest post by Jason Phillips and Airplane Games 365!
Remember the good ol’ days when a party DJ had to carry a few large boxes of equipment and some more huge boxes of vinyls every time they had a gig? If you happen to be a DJ then, you know what all that mean – lots of hard work and packing before and after the party. Modern DJs don’t have to worry about that – sure, there’s still the equipment, but the music collection fits easily on a bunch of CDs, external hard drives or even memory cards; but what if there was an easier way? What if you could just take one single device that you use every day, like your iPhone, and have everything you need right there? Here are the best apps to install on your iPhone in order to transform it into a DJ booth.
Skill level required: professional
Unless you’re a truly dedicated old-school DJ that still remains faithful to pickups and vinyls, chances are you’re already familiar with Traktor – one of the most renowned DJing software around. However, what you might not be familiar with is the fact that there’s a Traktor iPhone app which does pretty much the same thing the desktop version does, so if you end up at a gig with nothing but your iPhone, you’re still good to go. One of the best aspects of the Traktor iPhone app is that it maintains a lot of the features of the desktop version, so whether you’re looking just to create a smooth transition between two tracks, or do some serious mixing with effects, scratches and all the good stuff, Traktor’s the app to help you do it.
2. DJ Player
Skill level required: professional / amateur
DJ Player is another app worth considering when you’re mixing on the fly. Unlike Traktor, which uses multiple screens to deliver you all the features, DJ Player for iPhone squeezes everything in one well-organized screen, allowing you to cue, play, modify equalizers or add effects – all in one place. The app doesn’t rely on sliders, but rather on buttons for most of the functions, so it’s perfect pick if you want to make sure you get everything just right in a crowded environment; it keeps things simple, without sacrificing on the features.
3. djay 2
Skill level required: amateur
Djay 2 is the opposite of DJ Player in terms of controls, as it relies more on sliding and swiping through features and, while this doesn’t make it any less powerful, it does have the downside of making you prone to making some mistakes. However, if you’re confident on your precision, and you know your stuff, djay 2 is a pretty powerful app that delivers a decent amount of features. You can crossfade, scratch and perform a whole lot of other things in this simplistic DJing iPhone app.
Skill level required: none
If you think that serious DJing should be done on a mobile device, yet you still need something to play some music at a party, Crossfader might be exactly what you’re looking for. First of all, Crossfader doesn’t require you to have any DJing skills to being with; it’s just a simple app that makes use of what your iPhone has to offer – easy as that. The app doesn’t come with crowded interfaces or highly advanced features that will have you tangle your fingers in them; you just tilt your iPhone around to get the desired effect. For example, the main screen of the app contains little to no controls, simply showing some album art about the tracks you’re currently playing.
The tracks are automatically synced to match the number of beats per minute, tempo and key (thus removing the hard part of DJing), and if you want fade from one track to another, simply tilt your phone left or right to bring the desired track into the spotlight. Want to create some interesting effects, such as cutting the bass to create an anticipation moment? Tilt the phone towards you; when you want to drop the base, simply tilt the phone downwards. You should be careful with the tilting though, as it can get quite addictive, so you might end up tilting it out of control. When you drop the bass, make sure you just drop the bass, not your iPhone.