For all the debate over the validity of the superstar DJ, few can deny the influence purveying popular music. From disco to the early dawn of house, hip-hop and now the EDM scene exploding in the US, mixed music is clearly here to stay. As genres evolve so of course does the technology, and budding DJs are no longer confined to flipping vinyl between real life turntables. A raft of virtual tools are available not merely on Mac, but particularly iOS where gesture-based operation has kept the act of mixing very tangible.
iMashup for iPhone or iPad is closer to an editing tool than say, djay 2, making popular audio manipulations much more direct. This is less about ‘performing’ mixing tricks and more a case of pairing tracks for lower level cueing. Initially it is this rediscovery of your device’s music library that appeals, breathing new life into songs you’ve probably intertwined umpteen times in your head.
The app neatly analyses and suggests compatible tunes based on the first selection, before initial beat matching. This first stage proves critical because if tempo (BPM) or keys are at polar opposites of the spectrum you’ll struggle. Waveform regions then need to be shifted into positions yielding less disjointed playback, especially if remixing rather than simply blending a playlist. Inevitably more ambitious actions such as splicing the track with the wonderful ‘split’ tool and looping regions all come into play. Clipboard options for copy and paste are equally valuable, however joining sections seems to have been overlooked. Fine edits are aided immeasurably by the normal pinch/pull gesture, zooming in to provide more useful timeline guides. It’s all familiar fare for a GarageBand user and the comparisons are most evident when applying automations for volume and EQ.
So what next once yourmix is in place? Thankfully iMashup makes it easy to export and share creations via Dropbox, Mail or AirDrop, offering m4a and lossless wav formats. Whether you would wish to assemble a whole DJ set and output in this way remains to be seen, but for the price, iMashup remains a steal for more casual mix-makers.