Both the free version and the Pro version of djay for iOS (with subscription) support a wide range of DJ MIDI controllers natively via plug & play.
If you have a MIDI controller that is currently not natively supported by djay for iOS with the Pro subscription, you can still use it with djay’s straightforward MIDI Learn feature. Using MIDI Learn, you can map your MIDI controller directly through your iPad/iPhone or you can change the mapping of an already natively supported MIDI controller.
Please note, to use djay’s MIDI Learn feature, an active PRO subscription is required.
Getting started with MIDI Learn
1. Launch djay for iOS.
2. Connect your Lightning or USB-C to USB-A adapter to the iPad/iPhone.
3. Connect your iPad/iPhone power cable into the Lightning or USB-C adapter to charge the device.
4. Connect the MIDI controller to a spare USB port on the adapter, and if needed, turn the controller on. You will then see a pop-up message asking if you want to configure the device. Tap OK.
5. Next, the MIDI Configuration window will load, displaying a blank mapping screen.
6. Press, slide, or turn the MIDI component you want to map, and the editor will detect the correct note or CC to add to the list. If your controller supports it, you can also add an extra layer of SHIFT commands to control other software features by holding down the SHIFT button while adding the commands in the MIDI Configuration editor.
7. Tap on the newly added MIDI control to edit it, and choose Action to select the MIDI command it will control. (NOTE: The list of actions you are able to view will be different depending on what type of MIDI component is being mapped.)
8. Select the target for the mapping from the drop-down menu in the Target column. (Example: If you are configuring the play button for the left turntable in djay, select Deck 1 from the menu in the Target column.)
9. Now select the action that should be performed when using the control under Action. (Example: Select "Play/Pause" from the menu in the "Action" column if you are configuring the play button.)
10. You can test your mapping at any time by tapping Save in the top right of the pop-up, then testing out what you’ve mapped in djay.
Using MIDI Learn to modify an existing MIDI mapping
1. Tap the cog icon in djay’s menu to open the Settings.
2. Tap “MIDI Devices”.
3. Select the controller for which you wish to edit or add MIDI actions.
4. Use the MIDI Configuration editor as described in the above steps.
Components of MIDI Mapping
Targets are a simple way to break down what controls your MIDI signals are "targeting". These targets are general areas of the user interface to help make it easier to find the right command to map. You can choose from Decks 1 to 4, Mixer, Music library, Looper, Sampler, or General. You can further drill down into these target sections through the target's Actions controls.
These settings are designed to allow you to alter how your MIDI commands respond to fit your specific preferences/needs.
While the control type is usually auto-detected, you can also select the control type manually. The following control types are available:
- Fader / Knob
- Rotary (01h/7Fh)
- Rotary (3Fh/41h)
- Rotary (Absolute)
The different "Rotary" control types are for "endless" rotary controls (called "encoders") like jog wheels or music library controls. The easiest way to find the right option is to test the control with each option.
For sliders and knobs, different MIDI controllers sometimes send inverted signals, which make the controls in djay Pro move in the opposite direction than on the controller. Select this option to invert the control.
Change the slider between Slow and Fast to alter the size of movement between steps. This is particularly useful when using endless encoders for scrolling, for example.
With this option enabled, djay Pro will detect when the on-screen control is no longer in sync with the control on your MIDI controller, and wait until you re-align the control to make it have an effect. This is especially useful for tempo sliders, as using the "sync" option will alter the on-screen slider.
For rotary-type controls (incl. jog wheels), change this slider to determine how much effect a given movement of the control will have (i.e. "how far" it goes).
For jog wheel controls, change this slider to determine how smooth vs. responsive a movement of the jog wheel should be. A "smooth" setting will make slow movements of the jog wheel sound cleaner, but with a lower reaction, whereas a "responsive" setting will make movements of the jog wheel have a more immediate effect in djay Pro. Try to find a setting that matches your desired behavior of the jog wheels.
This allows djay to send a MIDI signal back to the MIDI controller, e.g. to enable button LEDs. For buttons on most controllers, simply enabling the "MIDI Out" checkbox will make the button’s LED work correctly. However, for some controllers it will be necessary to manually select the MIDI channel, message type ("CC" or "Note on/off"), and control number that corresponds to the button you are mapping. The MIDI Out options are:
- Channel: Change the MIDI channel for your MIDI signal.
- Type: Choose between Note on/off or Control Change (CC).
- Control: Selects which control a return message is sent to. This can be different from the mapped control.
- Value: Set the minimum and maximum value of the MIDI out signal, between 0 and 127. You can also toggle Blend, and/or Invert it
To get some controls working as you’d like, you may need to consult your controller’s manual, or simply experiment with different settings, e.g. slowly move the "Control" slider (this will send a MIDI signal for each subsequent control number, allowing you to observe your MIDI controller while moving the slider to find the right setting).
Mapping Jog wheels
There are three essential commands that need to be mapped to get basic jog wheel functionality working on a controller:
- Scratch (no touch detection) (note)
- Scratch (CC)
- Pitch bend (CC)
Both the CCs also need their Speed and Reaction adjusted to suit user taste. You can edit your jog wheel MIDI mappings within the device MIDI Configuration editor.
1. The Scratch (no touch detection) MIDI command is designed to switch your jog wheel to be able to scratch on non-touch-sensitive platters. Touch the top of the jog wheel to add or focus on the note in the editor. Select Deck , and Scratch (no touch detection) in the Jog Wheels section of the selected deck.
2. Touch the top of the jog wheel and move it backwards and forwards in a scratching motion to add/focus the command in the editor. Add the Deck, Scratch action (from Jog Wheels section) to the command to add scratching capabilities to your jog wheel. If your jog wheels are touch sensitive, you can use the Scratch CC instead. (Check your hardware specifications to find out if your controller has touch-sensitive jog wheels.)
3. To add Pitch bend functions, touch the side of the jog wheel and move it to add/focus the command in the editor. Choose the Deck , Pitch bend action in the Jog Wheels section
4. Finally, you can adjust the Sensitivity and Acceleration via the Advanced Control Options section of your MIDI actions.