Are you an iPad DJ? Would You Ever Use an iPad to Gig, for Real Clients?
I’ve just read a post about the use of iPad apps as a DJ. Not really sure about this as I think there are a number of issues, which can be handled, that make iPad DJing a bit awkward. To iPad DJ or not?
With the advent of the new generation of iPads and only one connector used to mean you could only connect a single external device at a time. This included a charger or anything else like a mixer etc. This was obviously a big issue, but recently a new adapter was released to allow more than one connection. This should be OK, but over the years there have been many adapters or converters available for many uses, not the least electrical sockets, which we were later told not to use because they were dangerous.
I am not saying the iPad adapter will ever become dangerous, but I am sure it has a maximum capacity for the amount of current which can be used at any time. In the relatively near future, developers of DJ hardware will release new hardware for the iPad DJ, will the iPad be able to deal with this?
In my business, established in 1979, I started using PC’s in 1998 for events. The first software I used was PCDJ Red. Over the following years, technology has taken a much tighter grip on how I work. I am not behind the times as far as technology is concerned, but always have reservations about technology no matter how good it gets.
Computers, PC’s and Macs, have become vastly much faster and cheaper. Laptops are far more adaptable and powerful than ever.
Improved technology has increased the reliability, and affordability, of computers and laptops, not to mention the iPad. However, they are not infallible! Having used PC’s since 1998 for gigs, I have had very little problems. Usually any problem stems from new software needing additional resources, forcing an upgrade of the’system’.
I used laptops for a couple of these years, but resorted back to PC’s. The main problem with a laptop is that it was prone to being knocked. With all the USB leads connected it was a real lottery whether all would stay in place or not. Additionally, if anything was to go wrong with a laptop it became a nightmare. Personally, I can troubleshoot and repair a PC, but a laptop is another thing altogether. I have replaced laptop screens, hard drives, memory, VGA connectors and more, but a lot of why a laptop is so small is because most of the important things are part of the motherboard.
Working on laptops can be a real challenge for a business. It is easy to destroy one just by being a little careless and many issues can only be fixed by replacing the motherboard. It is far from easy, unless you are a techy, to conduct repairs on a laptop.
PC’s are far easier to maintain. Much more accessible, larger component parts and most importantly, for me at least, bolt on PCI boards. Newer versions of these boards are available. The story remains the same, something breaks, unplug it and put a new one in. Reliable and easy maintenance in one.
This brings us to the iPad. There is no doubt that iPad’s have made their mark. Many DJ’s are using them every day with great success. Given some of the points I have made earlier, I doubt the long-term reliability and usability of them. Yes, you can look good, or at least cool by using an iPad. What if something goes wrong? What do you do?
My typical playout system at a gig is a PC. On a shelf beside me is a fast and totally capable laptop with the exact same software and files as my main PC. In my laptop bag is a smaller, older, barebones laptop with exactly the same contents as the PC. The backup laptops are never used for playout as my PC is totally reliable. I prefer it this way, issue free performances every time.
Will this be said about the iPad in a couple of years. Imagine using one for a few years, with its small size and delicate demeanor. After being dropped a few times, after connecting and disconnection hundreds of times, after using it all day for Facebook or other apps. Do you really think it can hack it? Do as I do and take others as back up, but I bet your iPad will go wrong before my PC does!
Below is a link to the original post I read. It is trendy and cool to use an iPad, but is it the best option?
Remember, this post contains my opinion in this matter, you may agree or disagree. That is a good thing. Wouldn’t the world of DJ’ing be boring if we were all the same!