djay 2 Review

djay 2 Review

djay 2 Review

Scratch and mix your way through this fantastic follow up

If you want to hold the attention of an entire club, then chances are you will want to be a DJ. It takes a lot of practice to get to the top, however, and there is no pretending that this app will get you there. But what djay 2 does do is build on everything that was great about djay and makes you feel like you really could get in front of hundreds of music lovers and have them bopping away happily to your beat.

The app has been rebuilt and now includes many features that professionals will love as much as amateurs. For those who have never used the debut app, what you get is a pair of twin decks, into which you can pop two records (not vinyl but much more conveniently from your iTunes collection). One of the first things you will do when the record starts spinning is scratch. We guarantee that. The satisfaction you glean from moving that record back and forth and listening to the resulting screech will have you yearning to see what else can be done.

And that turns out to be quite a lot, as it happens. It may not look wildly different from the first app but there is a lot going on underneath, not least the enhanced ability to analyse tracks and see just how they are made up, which gives you a better flavour and control over the tunes under your fingers. If you have a look at the wave bars, there are colours and these will demonstrate where best to begin a transition for that more perfect sound switch.

Another feature many will come to love is Sync. Having to match beats is no easy feat and yet with a tap of sync, both decks will align so that it sounds just right. This is an area where a novice can match a pro. Being able to see the music forms means you can better align and work with the songs that you have chosen. You can then go deeper and produce your own beats with synths, pushdowns, kicks, snares, crashes and foghorns to play with.

Visually, djay 2 looks the part. Skeuomorphism may be dirty word in the world of Apple right now as realism gives way to a flat, clean design but here djay 2 attempts to replicate the authentic decks. If it didn’t tread this path, we do wonder where that would leave usability of this app. It would certainly be less intuitive and developer Algoriddim is to be applauded for its design choice.

Not that it sticks with those turntables. They can part like the Red Sea, showing soundwaves in fullscreen (which professional DJs may actually prefer) and great detail and they can bring in the aforementioned beats on the mini-drum pads. It points to an app with depth even though most people will use it simply for playing around with. That said, it could encourage people to see what else can be done, potentially unlocking a musical appreciation the user may not have otherwise had.

It all adds up to a tremendous app that, with its sampler, track preview, coloured waveforms and parallel waveform view, offers a performance so good, you can forget even trying to download it if you have an iPad 2 or (God forbid!) a debut model. This is powerful stuff, and only the latest kit can keep up.

Algoriddim could have trodden a lazy path and just delivered an update on its fantastic debut – an app that Apple loved so much it would feature on its adverts. But it didn’t and for all of the disappointments with cloud syncing and the lack of ability to produce playlists, you are still left wowed by the much smoother process of loading a track and the addition of a queue page.

You can see a pro DJ sitting in their armchair honing their skills that can then translate to a proper deck, in the same way that you can see an amateur fiddling about and then working their way through the hardware controllers that can operate with the app, be it a Mixdeck Quad or a V-Midi. This app has grown up. It figures that people want cues and effects and loops – and it willingly provides them all.

Rated 5 out of 5

An astounding DJ app that just cannot be bettered and is perfect on the iPad.