DJ with the Touch Bar

Rekordbox DJ MIDI Touchbar Guide

The touch bar fitted to Apple Macbook Pro laptops is often overlooked with software developers. DJ Software very rarely takes advantage of this touch control with only Djay and Virtual DJ offering the user controls on the surface. So if DJ software developers won’t utilise the surface, how do we add our own controls to the surface? In this guide we are going to show you how to DJ with the touch bar and Rekordbox, turning it into a MIDI device just like a miniature controller!


Step One

To turn the touch bar into a MIDI device that we can map to our DJ software, install the MIDI touch bar application. Download the mapping files here.

Step Two

Once launched, the application will show in the menu bar. Clicking on the MIDI icon shows the menu bar where different options are show. Click the load touch bar settings and navigate to the downloaded map file (Touch Bar MIDI Mapping – Rekordbox Performance Crossfader.xml).

Touch Bar MIDI

Step Three

Open Rekordbox in performance mode. Rekordbox 6 users will need an active Creative Plan subscription. Click on MIDI in the upper right corner.

MIDI Rekordbox

Once the MIDI panel opens, click the dropdown menu and select Touchbar MIDI User. Now press load and select the downloaded file (Rekordbox MIDI Mapping – Touch Bar Crossfader.csv).

Rekordbox MIDI

Step Four

Click the MIDI touch bar icon in the menu bar. Now press Show MIDI Controls. The touch bar will now control Rekordbox DJ. Enjoy!


The Touch Bar Controls

The Main Screen

Allows access to the volume faders, EQ’s and Pad Effects areas. Play and pause each deck with the dedicated buttons and control the crossfader with the large central fader.

DJ with the touch bar

Volume Faders

Control the trim on both deck 1 and 2. Exit this page to the main screen using the X on the far left.

Volume Touch Bar

Deck EQ’s

This page allows access to the EQ controls.  Note the EQ’s are limited to max out at 12’o clock. Sync can also be accessed here.

Touch Bar DJ

Pad Effects

Access the first four pad effect banks from each deck here. Note these are momentary effects and as such the effect will only be applied whilst the touch bar is pressed.

Pad Effects Touch Bar


Video Performance

Proving you don’t need decks to DJ, DJ Danny James takes to his laptop to throw down this amazing drum and bass mix! Using a custom mapping for his Macbook Pro, the touch bar controls Rekordbox in performance mode, allowing Danny to mix, blend and even trigger pad effects!

Published: 28th September 2020

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