The first thing you notice when you boot up Algoriddim’s djay, $20 USD on the Mac App Store, is its simplicity. It’s luxuriantly spacious – but it is a polished interface, featuring two big 1200-style platters complete with pilot lamps. These, and not the waveforms, are the focus of the screen, and when you drop a track onto a deck the artwork fills the platter (or just the label) nicely.
The rest is simple and unobtrusive; track data and waveform, as well as a record button, line the top of the screen. A big bold tempo fader and cue controls sit at the left and right edges of the screen and a large, simple mixer takes up the centre. Below this is a thin strip that switches between displaying effects, cues points, skipping and looping tools, and this whole panel slides open to reveal a handful of one-shots, the standard foghorn and siren, gunshot and a couple of drums. The lower third of the screen is given over to the browser, which integrates easily – and only – with your iTunes library. There’s also a Mixed-In-Key style harmonics analyser built-in, which is great.
Functionality is okay, but you’ll soon start finding that there are a bunch of functions only accessible from the drop-down menus in the menu bar, or with keyboard shortcuts. The big fonts and auto mix features, combined with the polish of the GUI makes djay feel a lot like My First Turntable.
Apple made its fortune by corralling good technology into a lowest-common-denominator simplicity, and then polishing it and polishing it again. djay feels a lot like that. Take a look at the web page – the whole package is designed to mimic the iconic clean Apple white. The result could be taken as a soulless corporate asset, or as a totally usable, if totally vanilla, DJ program.