Published on December 27th, 2012 | by Greg0
Numark iDJ Live: A Lot Of Fun, But Not For Serious DJs
Did you give or receive an iPad for Christmas? Or do you already have one, but have been wondering what to do with it now that you’ve tried out a bunch of apps? There’s more to Apple’s tablet than meets the eye, and while we’ve seen a lot of peripherals for it, one nifty use that we haven’t explored is as a DJ controller.
The Numark iDJ Live is a nifty idea- it allows you to take your iPad and use it as a platform to mix music. But it’s important to note upfront that professional DJ controllers are pricey, and that this one is under $100. That alone should tell you something- this isn’t for the pros. Instead, it’s a great piece of hardware for anyone who wants to explore music creation, and a fun item to play with. Don’t misunderstand- you can achieve pretty excellent results. But the plastic build quality will frustrate more serious users, as will the lack of output options.
So, with expectations set, we took the iDJ Live out of the box, and started using it with some apps. Note that one of the best available apps, djay for the iPad, is fully supported and the makers actually worked with the folks behind the iDJ Live. Unfortunately, it’s not included, and you’ll need to purchase it separately, and it isn’t cheap. The same is true for the video mixer, vjay, which works seamlessly here as well, allowing you to easily mashup songs and create a custom audio-visual experience.
All of the basic functions are present: you can scratch and mix and cross-fade pretty easily thanks to the classic “two decks and a mixer” layout. There are no hot cues, loop controls, effects options, and you cannot adjust the gain. Bass and treble are handily individually controllable, but not the mid-range. The stand is angled nicely for a sitting position, but isn’t very tweakable and doesn’t work well if you want to stand. And the scratch “records” themselves feel good, nicely grooved, though they aren’t very heavy.
Interestingly, the peripheral draws it’s power from the iPad, meaning that you cannot charge your tablet while using the iDJ. Numark claims six hours DJing time on the iPad 2, and that seems accurate, depending on your brightness settings and other options. It’s fun to use, and play with, and great for anyone just learning the basics! And while it might not satisfy those with more experience, anyone new to DJing will find it an excellent introduction. And at $85, it’s a good bargain as well, and sure to satisfy those with a new iPad!