dj4

It doesn’t have screens. There are no giant wheels or touchstrips. There’s no complex software integration, or built-in mixer, or pads for remixing.

But what the DJ4 is is what you might be missing in other DJ controllers. It’s got the controls you need in a tiny, tiny footprint that won’t have you hunting for new luggage or scrambling around a venue to find a bigger table because your gear won’t fit in the booth. (Ahem, yes, you know who you are, giant controllers.) And unlike the increasingly branded, computer-tied world of DJ controllers, this one also works with anything – now even as a MIDI controller without a computer in sight. In other words, it’s a Faderfox.

Out of the box, the German-built box does work with the German DJ software of choice, Native Instruments Traktor Pro and Ableton Live. You get eight centered pots for EQ and filter, and three faders in a two channel / crossfader configuration. Effects are unbelievably crammed in there, too, via push-button access, though by the time you’ve gone this small, you could easily map another of the Faderfox range.

What’s new on the DJ4:
MIDI ports, for use standalone with hardware gear (or to make this double as a MIDI interface)
Four additional buttons (filter and kill)
Four saved setups, with programmable behavior, making it easier to map this to other software
Colored caps so you can see controls more easily in low light

The switchable MIDI routings and parameter mappings to me are really appealing. I’m a huge fan of what Ableton and Native Instruments have done with their own hardware. But on the other hand, you’re beginning to see a situation where you’re carrying around a dedicated controller for each app. Faderfox remains a holdout in the industry for general-purpose controls.

Since this runs on 5V power, you can use a standard USB power adapter for standalone operation. For everything else, you can bus power, including via the Camera Connection Kit on iPad.

I haven’t yet got to try those new caps, but otherwise this looks like standard Faderfox stuff, which is to say tiny and indestructible.

dj4top

Special controller for DJ software (optimised for Native Instruments Traktor Pro)
iPad compatible with camera connection kit
Setup files for Traktor Pro and Ableton Live are shipped with the controller
USB interface – class compliant / no driver necessary
MIDI in and out ports with routing and merge functionality
Controls up to four decks – easy switching between deck A-C and B-D on the fly
Four FX slots available
4 multifunctional push encoders with detents switchable to 7 groups
24 colored buttons
All controls with double function by holding down the shift button
22 LEDs in different colors to display feedback informations
4 internal setups with various programmable functions
USB bus powering – consumption less than 500mW / 100mA
Very compact design in a black, plastic casing (desktop format)
Size 180 x 105 x 70 mm, weight 350 g
Black aluminium front plate with laser inscriptions (abrasion resistant)
High-quality faders, pots and encoders from ALPS
New rubber knobs for best tactile feeling

The UC4 universal controller remains the most interesting generic controller, and standalone step-sequencing on the SC4 is also nice. But it’s nice to see the fourth-generation range finished out.

192€ before VAT (so that’s the price anywhere outside Europe).

More:

http://www.faderfox.de/home.html

Previous post

Use a hardware synth like it's a plug-in - in a $60 DAW

Next post

Collidoscope is a giant table-top granular instrument

  • Tiny controllers = best controllers

  • Tiny controllers = best controllers

  • itchy

    dear faderfox, have you considered making any eurorack modules. you have great stuff i think it could really shine in that format as well.

    • Wait… what? You’re joking, right?

      How would a MIDI controller make any sense in a Eurorack module? (I guess the SC4 sequencer, maybe. But then it’d make more sense to add CV out on the desktop module, I think.)

      • itchy

        yeah man that is what im saying. didn’t think i had to spell it all out for you.
        if they began making eurorack modules there obviously would be cv controls and other new directions thats the whole point. they have many options , just think outside the box.

        • chap

          Volkswagen should make eurorack as well

      • Dubby Labby

        Livid build aren’t eurorack?

  • itchy

    dear faderfox, have you considered making any eurorack modules. you have great stuff i think it could really shine in that format as well.

    • Wait… what? You’re joking, right?

      How would a MIDI controller make any sense in a Eurorack module? (I guess the SC4 sequencer, maybe. But then it’d make more sense to add CV out on the desktop module, I think.)

      • itchy

        yeah man that is what im saying. didn’t think i had to spell it all out for you.
        if they began making eurorack modules there obviously would be cv controls and other new directions thats the whole point. they have many options , just think outside the box.

        • chap

          Volkswagen should make eurorack as well

      • Dubby Labby

        Livid build aren’t eurorack?

  • DJ Hombre

    I’ve got their DJ44 unit (using it in conjunction with DJ Player Pro on iOS), immaculate build quality and I think all their products are USB class compliant, so will work with any mappable software.

    Great for portable parties and to look like you’re flying a tiny spaceship!

  • DJ Hombre

    I’ve got their DJ44 unit (using it in conjunction with DJ Player Pro on iOS), immaculate build quality and I think all their products are USB class compliant, so will work with any mappable software.

    Great for portable parties and to look like you’re flying a tiny spaceship!

  • Josh Jarvis

    This hits home for me. I recently acquired an old Doepfer Pocket Control and have been really inspired by the simple no frills design of the controller. I’ve been a touchable user in the past and for whatever reason I never felt that inspired with the IOS controller apps. There’s just something about a well built tiny controller that gets the job done.

    • Oh yeah, the Pocket Control is another device that’s been discontinued that I thought really fit a niche.

  • Josh Jarvis

    This hits home for me. I recently acquired an old Doepfer Pocket Control and have been really inspired by the simple no frills design of the controller. I’ve been a touchable user in the past and for whatever reason I never felt that inspired with the IOS controller apps. There’s just something about a well built tiny controller that gets the job done.

    • Oh yeah, the Pocket Control is another device that’s been discontinued that I thought really fit a niche.

  • e.fada

    I I have the UC4 and SC4. There’s really no way to adequately capture in words or pictures how beautifully built and designed these 4th generation Faderfox controllers are, and what a joy they are to use.

  • e.fada

    I I have the UC4 and SC4. There’s really no way to adequately capture in words or pictures how beautifully built and designed these 4th generation Faderfox controllers are, and what a joy they are to use.

  • 2nz

    Neat controller!
    Reminds me these days when I rolled my own.
    https://www.behance.net/gallery/31145129/Arduino-MIDI-Controller-(2011)

    Nothing serious, just didn’t know what to do with an arduino board))

  • 2nz

    Neat controller!
    Reminds me these days when I rolled my own.
    https://www.behance.net/gallery/31145129/Arduino-MIDI-Controller-(2011)

    Nothing serious, just didn’t know what to do with an arduino board))

  • randy the penguin

    do the filter knobs click back into “0” ? if that makes sense

  • randy the penguin

    do the filter knobs click back into “0” ? if that makes sense