Touching a glimpse of what’s to come of DJing on the iPad: Touch OSC, Osculator, Traktor

October 15, 2010 § 1 Comment


I’ve been wanting to write a bit more about the evolution of digital DJing on this blog, especially because it’s something close to my heart and something I follow with great interest. And my interest is this:  After a longtime love affair with vinyl and a career as a nightclub dj I moved west and had to let go of many beautiful records along with my Tech 12’s and mixer back east. Besides, I’ve dedicated myself to learning more about the art of production, music creation, design and interfaces for the moment.. so the 1200’s (and thousands of records) were really taking up a bit of space in my creative domain. I had new things to work with and DJing was starting to take a back seat to other creativity.

Fast forward to now.. where I have two Macs, an iPad, nice interfaces to work for music, video photo… with and a good workflow for creation. For DJing I can create dj mixes in a variety of ways but lately I realize something has been missing. Itunes and Ableton Live don’t offer the workflow of vinyl and a mixer.. which is really (still) the fastest and most instantly gratifying way of experiencing DJing. You can use Traktor and a mouse.. but it’s nowhere near as fun as the old school method.

Now I should note that Native Instruments (amongst other companies) have bridged this gap, creating different interfaces that allow you to physically control the music. But most of these are on the pricey end.. and at the moment I don’t have the money to spend on (more) gear.

So how incredible was it to find a fully functioning dj interface for $25? Pretty incredible. (Touch OSC on an iPad, Osculator software and Traktor – more on these in a moment.) Enter the world of iPad interface design, something I stumbled into by way of a need to dj but has not opened many other doors in my brain for interface design and the iPad. With the advent of some open-source communication software and a do-it-yourself interface design software I have re-found the fun of djing and have started to believe in the digital DJ revolution.

[Authors note: I do own an iPad, which is a $500 investment. But the iPad was lacking in software that offers “real” workflow productivity with music software. So many of us who were early adopters of the technology have been waiting hopefully and patiently for the following applications to happen.]

Here is what I used to set up a fairly easy to install and use DJ setup for Traktor:

1. Traktor 1.2.4 on a MacBook/Pro
2. iPad with Touch OSC software installed ($4.99 to purchase at iTunes Store)
3. OSCulator software on your mac (free to demo, $20 for license)
4. Template files for ALL THREE above software, which can be found easily by visiting the Osculator forums


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