djay Pro review

The djay series returns to OS X promising powerful mixing tools and Spotify support

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When it comes to iOS and DJ apps, it would be safe to say developer Algoriddim leads the way. With over 50 million downloads of the ‘djay’ series across iPhone and iPad, fans have been eager to see a new version hit OS X since the last update in 2011.

Well, here it is, in what we’re told is a whole new suite built from ‘scratch’ – pun intended. Moreover, this version arrives with much-touted features for music discovery. For starters, users will immediately be impressed by the solid and consistent iTunes compatibility. Chances are that your iMac or MacBook is your main music hub and djay Pro recognises this by pulling in your collection seamlessly. Rather than importing, it simply accesses the existing song data, adding tags for BPM and Key after playback. Switch to Spotify and performance is identical, facilitating instant track previews and cuing on even the most basic of connections.

Although named as ‘Pro’, in truth this an app ideal for all levels thanks to solid controls for controlling RPM and song key. A Sync button matches timing instantly while transposing offers true harmony and fewer surprises when you flip that fader. Although these tools are accessible, they don’t hold your hand the whole way. Getting the best results requires you to switch into djay Pro’s waveform view where the colour-coded sound peaks can then be nudged into alignment with greater precision. This is aided by a comprehensive array of keyboard shortcuts that speed up operation and ensures your playlist keeps spinning.

More advanced users will doubtlessly prefer the use of a favourite DJ controller and djay Pro boasts extensive support here. In addition, a robust MIDI Learn feature provides a mapping system for wider compatibility. This will inevitably unlock the deeper capabilities of the software, making the necessary ‘knob twiddling’ feel more natural during live performance. When you then throw in an expandable roster of drum sounds and effects, as well as gloriously simple tools for isolating loops – there’s just so much to like here. Whether you’re a pro or not, there aren’t many better ways to enliven your local and cloud-based music collection than with djay Pro.