Sport & Auto
- About Future
- Digital Future
- Cookies Policy
- Terms & Conditions
- Investor Relations
- Contact Future
Tablet DJs have long been happy with the two primary players in that sandbox: Native Instruments’ Traktor DJ and Algoriddim’s djay, the latter of which launched a stellar sequel not long ago. Both are digital spinning powerhouses, but carrying around a large library of music has always been a limiting factor for covering all potential sonic bases. That’s where Pacemaker is trying to carve out a unique niche: it’s the only iPad DJ software that comes with Spotify support.
The interface is streamlined and colorful, which makes spinning and scratching a blast, especially for casual and first-time spinners. The waveform display for the two loaded tunes is a simplistic, low-res affair, however — nothing like the accurate waveform display seen in other top DJ apps. The beat sync feature works reasonably well, but we found that Pacemaker is a little less than spot-on with detecting the native BPM (beats per minute) of loaded music.
Pacemaker’s base version is free, with in-app purchases for the audio effects sold either piecemeal or as a $10 bundle (which saves you a couple of bucks), plus you’ll need to have a Spotify Premium account to tap into that streaming service’s immense library of music. The six effects options vary tremendously in quality – the Beatskip and Loop effects are cool and useful, for example, while the Reverb and Echo are cheesy and muddy. At $1.99 apiece, you can pick and choose, and there’s even an interactive preview for each one in the app.
We were a bit perplexed and unhappy to find that much of our iTunes music library showed up as unavailable to use, while those same tracks worked just fine in Traktor. There’s no direct Dropbox support for bringing in your own music, nor does Pacemaker work with any of the iOS tools for moving audio data between apps, meaning that serious musicians will find the software of limited appeal. On the other hand, Spotify fans’ wishes have been granted with this release, though be aware of the fact that you’ll need a live Internet connection to use this key feature, and you won’t be able to record your performances (making the Record feature largely useless).
The bottom line. While Pacemaker is easy on the eyes, it pays the price in limited functionality and music file support outside of Spotify. If you primarily intend to mix your own tracks, look elsewhere for better effects and more precise mixing tools.
iPad running iOS 7.0 or later
Slick, easy-to-use interface. Spotify integration. Free basic version.
Limited support for iTunes music. No Dropbox or direct import of audio files. Needs Wi-Fi access to be useful.