This Prototype Imagines DJ Controllers with Touch, Today – No iPad in Sight

While everyone has been pouring over leaks of Native Instruments’ new Traktor controller, few took notice that one enterprising engineer has made his own touchscreen prototype – an entirely DIY effort, from the guy who first took controllers to the market. Kontrol-Dj, the decade-long, one-man engineering shop for DJs, over the summer quietly showed a custom solution for adding touchable displays to existing DJ controllers. There’s capacitive multi-touch support – out of the box, working with Image-Line’s Dekcadance software. And for now, this little video is about the only DJ rig not involving an iPad or Android tablet that uses …


Koma Kontrol Surface: Touch Surface Hardware, CV + MIDI [Preview]

Sometimes, an idea is so beautifully elegant, it just seems obvious. That’s the feeling I get from Koma’s newest prototype. The Kontrol Surface is a touch controller device. In its Light version, it’s an X/Y touch controller with CV output. The Pro version adds MIDI so it works with both analog and digital gear, and ups the ante to three-axis X/Y/Z capacitive touch. Folks with MIDI gear will wait for the Pro version, but the Light edition already appears like it’ll become a must-have for analog/modular owners. Specs: 1 x CV output 1 x inverted CV output Manual gate output …


More Multi-Touch Keyboard Playing

As an addendum to yesterday’s teaser of the Evolution multi-touch keyboard, readers send along a couple of other examples. Andrew McPherson has a terrific example of an add-on, multi-touch, capacitive surface that can go on any keyboard (so, basically the same idea). Description: This video demonstrates a set of capacitive touch sensing piano key tops which mount on top of any existing piano or MIDI keyboard. The key tops sense up to three touches each by position and contact area, letting the performer continuously and polyphonically shape every note in multiple dimensions. The system connects to a computer by USB …


Tactile Touch: Evo Keyboard to Marry Touch Expression, Conventional Keys

A new design launching this week should appeal to keyboardists who want both more expressive touch control and a keyboard – without sacrificing one or the other. Yes, yes, multi-touch on tablets does indeed give your fingers access to continuous control for added expression and pitch. But there’s a reason keyboards evolved keys: tangible feedback about where pitches are, and the ability to control dynamics with pressure (itself with additional mechanical tangible feedback) just isn’t matched by touchscreens. We’ll be looking on an ongoing basis at how you can take the flexibility of those touchscreens and match them with more …


Hands-on Installation Making: A Tower of LED Touch Panels

Once upon a time in media art, keeping your “secret sauce” of techniques confidential and proprietary was more or less given. Nowadays, though, collective knowledge about how to make stuff helps everyone improve their craft, and push the media forward – perhaps more in line with mature, traditional art technique. So, I hope we’ll more regularly feature the process behind new work, and some of the lessons learned behind the scenes. It gives us the chance to better appreciate the work as viewers, and helps all of us better our own technique. In that spirit, I recently spoke to Andrew …