Following the success of the Traktor DJ App, I was interested in taking DJ’ing back to Traktor Pro, but still integrating the iPad into the setup. A friend of mine pointed me towards the Maago 4 X 4 Virtual iPad App for Traktor. I thought I would get hold of a copy and test it out for all you lovely Traktor Tips Readers.
The creators at Maago are DJ’s too and they believe that nothing beats using an analogue club DJ Mixer (and they might be right there). With that in mind they have designed an App that integrates in this way and have also created an iPhone version. I will be taking a look at both in this review.
iPad App and iPhone App
The App works as a wireless controller by simply connecting to the same network as the computer running Traktor. You first need to set up your computer to accept the incoming midi messages. Apple natively supports this and as such is extremely easy to set up on the Mac. Maago give you the full run down on their pages. Windows does not yet natively support midi messages over Wi-Fi but the Maago website also provides you with links to 3rd party solutions for windows users.
Set up was extremely easy and is broken down into 3 parts:-
- Downloading and installing the TSI file into Traktor
- Setting up the Midi messages
- Connecting the iPad
Maago has all the instructions on how to do this in simple to follow steps. I would certainly recommend that you not only save your current TSI settings first, but that you also import the Maago TSI via the ‘Controller Manager’ import window, rather than the main import wizard button at the bottom of the preferences window. This will mean that you won’t overwrite all your current TSI settings and will therefore be able to use your current set up too. Maago has instructions both methods on their site. You can also check out this article to explain the differences.
(Maago.eu : Set up to Use with current hardware controller)
Maago in Action
Watch the video below to see the App in action:-
This App is a lot of fun to play with, there are no volume controls on the App (although they are planned), so it is best when used in conjunction with an Audio Mixer. This allows for a nice clean set up, any of the following suggestions are great:
- Laptop running Traktor, audiocard, Maago 4×4, dj mixer
- Laptop running Traktor, audiocard, NI X1 (or any other hardware controller), Maago 4×4, dj mixer
- Laptop running Traktor Scratch, audiocard, Turntables/CDJs, Maago 4×4, dj mixer
- Laptop running Traktor Scratch, audiocard, Turntables/CDJs, NI X1 (or any other hardware controller), Maago 4×4, dj mixer
I really enjoyed playing on this app and will definitely be using it regularly. It’s perfect for any gig really, but really shines when you want to travel light. If you’re going to use it in a club, you can simply set up your own private network so no one can interfere with your wifi. I also enjoyed the iPhone App and I couldn’t believe how user friendly it was despite such a small control surface as the iPhone.
- Very mobile and lightweight set up – So long as the bar/club has an audio mixer, you can simply throw your laptop, audio card, iPad and headphones in your bag and away you go.
- The App features tempo sliders and nudge buttons so you can Dj the original way by manual beat-matching. This is also great if you are a ‘sync’ user but come across one of those tricky multi-tempo tracks that just doesn’t like being beat-gridded.
- Very user friendly – Good layout
- Easy to connect
- Very responsive
- The Ability to touch multiple parts of the screen at the same time
- No need for a shift button – all controls are right there at your fingertips
- Very intuitive – as it pretty much mirrors the screen on Traktor
- Cue buttons – You are not able to jump to a specific cue point and must rotate through. Setting Cue points is possible, but not very user friendly. I recommend setting up your cue points prior to playing out. Maago have however planned on adding 7 cue point buttons in the next iPad update.
- The App is limited to only using it with an external mixer or with another controller for volume controls, but the guys at Maago inform me that they will soon be introducing a volume control page.
Maago Hardware Controller
The App was designed based on their hardware controller, for which they are currently taking pre-orders. For those that don’t own or don’t plan on owning a iPad, this would be an excellent alternative. It also seems to have a few more controls and features than the app, so it’s worth a look. There is currently no price publicly available, so if you are interested you simply just have to throw your details in the pre-order form.