DJs have been spinning (virtual) wheels of steel in various iPad apps for some time now, but Traktor DJ does away with the wheels.

Released on the App Store today, the app scraps the turntables metaphor in favour of tactile manipulation of waveforms. Priced at £13.99 to appeal to new and experienced DJs alike, the app draws on tracks stored in the user’s iTunes library.

Loops, scratches and effects are all triggered through multi-touch gestures, with a nifty Freeze Mode chopping up sections of tracks into individually-playable parts. Meanwhile, NI’s trademark Sync feature is also included, helping match track tempos for smoother mixes.

“We’ve taken our time to come to market,” product designer Scott Hobbs tells The Guardian. “We wanted to stop and think about this: how could we break down the digital DJing interface? We didn’t want to emulate the vinyl interface. There’s been too much skeuomorphism to date, so we really broke the interface apart and rebuilt everything from the ground up.”

Pro DJs are being encouraged to see the Traktor DJ app as a way to prepare their sets, before synchronising beat grids, cue points, loops and BPM counts to their existing Traktor software and hardware, via Dropbox.

“The tablet is the device that will drive DJing in the next 5-10 years, if not an even smaller and easier device,” Ryan Walsh of DJ subscription service Pulselocker told us in a recent interview. If that’s true, apps like Traktor DJ may well be one of the driving forces.

The app is available on the App Store now, for iPad only at this time. Here’s NI’s demo video, starring a little-known bedroom DJ by the name of Richie Hawtin:

YouTube video

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