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Pacemaker – make music mixes with an AI DJ

Pacemaker lets you make dynamic mixtapes

Price: Free
Version: 2.5.2
Size: 153 MB
Seller: Pacemaker Music
Platform: iPhone / iPad

Get Pacemaker

Update! Pacemaker was already well-lauded and well-developed when we started playing around with it a couple years back and while there haven’t been much in the way of major updates, UI tweaks, and AI improvements have meant Pacemaker remains a standout offering.So what’s new? Not a great deal, but its pricing tier is worth noting now considering it wasn’t addressed in the original review, especially as we noted that it may not be a professional DJ’s primary choice. It now costs $5 a week to use the pro version, which most casual users are unlikely to be enticed by. So what do you get for that price? Precision, essentially. You will be able to zoom in and crop the start and end of tracks, set more precise levels and you get a fancy badge for your profile… worth it? We’re not so sure – most casual users will get most of what they need with the free tier.Revised rating: Just as good as ever. ★★★★


Our original review, written in September 2018, is presented in its entirety below.

DJ apps on the iPhone have come and gone, but generally they’ve focused on DJs themselves, and how they can make their act more portable. But Pacemaker is different, and at its core, it’s a dynamic music mixer for your everyday mixtape-ist.

Start your mix with a track and the app’s AI will automatically mix

The app connects directly to either your Spotify library, or iTunes, and allows you to quickly make playlists that blend and mix between songs. You can either chuck in a bunch of songs from a playlist, play your entire library or search and pick and choose. The app will then pull these songs together and automatically fade them in and out. But its dynamism stems from its ability to suggest songs to drop in here and there if you’re running low or need some inspiration, while its ‘skip’ function will allow you to mix in the next track and avoid the boos from a crowd pulled out of their dancing fever by a dead stop.

Connect to Spotify and you can access previously made playlist, and suggested tracks based on your choices

Because in reality, Pacemaker is made for the personal user; for the party-thrower that wants to provide its guests with a little more pizzazz. While professional DJs can absolutely use the app, its more ‘pro’ features are well segmented.

The app also gives you access to ready-made playlists from other users

If you were to tap on the fx button in the middle of a track while it’s playing, you’re given the option to change the treble, mids, and bass, allowing you to alter the sound of the song on the fly. It’s useful, sure, but a proper DJ might want more effects. The wheel where these effects live has a number of empty spaces, which can be filled by purchasing effects packs. If you’re a DJ you might also want to subscribe to Pacemaker+ which comes with a monthly cost, but allows you to edit the fades to really work an audience.

Because while Pacemaker touts itself as an AI DJ – to really sell it to the passive crowd – a professional turntablist might find themselves infuriated by its distinctly average mixes. Though, in fairness, an experienced DJ probably isn’t going to need this app at all.

Easily add related tracks while the mix is running with just a tap

But for the regular user, Pacemaker can act as a free, souped-up playlist maker for gatherings or personal use. It’s really easy to use and you can get started simply by hitting the big + button. From here, search and add tracks from Spotify or your iTunes library, then start them playing. You can then add new tracks at your desire, or add suggested ones from the app. Give it a name, and then save it – complete with any bells and whistles you just added. Before long you could have a whole series of (almost) professional DJ mixes for whatever occasion.

Give it an appropriate name, and your mix is saved

Pacemaker also has a surprisingly decent social section. It promotes various mixes from power users in a hot section, and you can find some veritable gems in there. If you feel overwhelmed by the responsibility of being a DJ, Pacemaker also provides numerous others at your disposal.