Here's how to make the Mac Touch Bar integration actually useful

It’s a really good idea to use the Touch Bar on djay for Mac, it’s one of the features that both brought me to buying an MBP with Touch Bar and also use Djay more extensively.

However I’m quite frustrated with the current usage which is to my a opinion a want-to-it-all but doesn’t-do-anything-well implementation.

All the features of the Touch Bar integration are actually well implemented, the only problem is the navigation we have to make in order to be in the right deck or in the right function.

There are two categories of people that will need to use the Touch Bar :

  1. Those who don’t have any controller and mix with a splitter on a laptop only mode and the current implementation looks like targeting them

  2. Those who do have a mixer but with quite limited functions (say an Akai AMX or a normal mixer with no decks for example).

Both categories of users wish they could have control on both decks’ either playback/scratch or FX simultaneously. So instead of putting decks into different sub-menus, I would prefer have the menus in order to select if I work on FX or on Deck control. Eventhough it would have been perfect to have all the features in one screen, the Touch Bar lacks some screen real estate for that so let’s be realistic.

So how the ideal Touch Bar would work ?

  1. By default : displays both decks with deck controls (play/cue) as well as a waveform to cue or scratch your song, the two decks would ideally be separated by the X-Fader. Access to the Looping feature, even if this would require a sub-menu would also be welcome on this screen
  2. In an secondary display/menu : I would see all the FX/EQs and Mixer controls, a gain for both decks
  3. You could also have a 3rd one dedicated to the sampler features.

With these three screens, including 1 and 2 addressing both decks simultaneously on respectively Deck/Control and Mixer/FX and third screen addressing the sampler, I believe both categories of users mentioned would be happy.

Another option, but probably quite harder to implement, would be to allow us to directly customise the Touch Bar layouts, a bit like with MIDI mapping. We would have in the preferences : an empty Touch Bar to which we could create screens to which we could drag predefined controls for each deck or mixer/sampler sections such as the waveform for scratching, the play/pause/cue/loop buttons, X-fader slider or FX controls. Once the custom screens would be finished, one could save them as a template and share with others like we currently can do with MIDI mappings.

To summarise :

  • touch-bar should address at least deck A and B simultaneously without having to switch between screens
  • or you can let the users create their own layouts so as to address their specific needs.

Any chance we see a revamp on Touch Bar UI ?

Hi Jay,

Thank you very much for your feedback.

Creating your own Touch Bar is a nice feature we added to our user request tracking system.

It would be great to count further requests within this thread.

Thank you for sharing.


Lukas E.