Laptop or iPad DJ? What If It Didn’t Matter? New NI Hardware, Mad Zach Demo

That’s one small step for DJ hardware, one giant leap into the post-PC era. Native Instruments today has updated their integrated hardware for Traktor DJs, the 4-channel Traktor Kontrol S4 and 2-channel Traktor Kontrol S2. But while the updates are nice, the biggest transformation is that you can watch a DJ working with these controllers […]

A Controllerist Dream Come True: Custom Mappings in Ableton Live, Without Code

You’re not other people. You want things your way, right away. You might not want to buy a new controller for each piece of software, or, worse, the latest controller that purports to control said software, and then live with the particular way in which the two integrate. You want things to work the way […]

Moldover’s MOJO, Now Open Source; Grab Build Details and Ableton Live Sets and Effects

Live electronic musician Moldover’s MOJO is the Sherman Tank of controllers: enormous, indestructible, destructive. It’s also a deeply involved build, costing US$1999.00. If you want to get some of that … um, MOJO … but don’t have two grand lying around, or if you want to adapt it to your own mojo, Moldover’s work is […]

Arcade Buttons and Gyroscope: New Midi Fighter 3D from DJ Tech Tools

Building on the original Midi Fighter, a 4×4 array of arcade push-buttons, the Midi Fighter 3D adds interactive, light-up color feedback and gyroscope-powered motion sensing. The work of electronic music site DJ Tech Tools, it’s an impressive-looking piece of work. But if you’re not interested in the “3D” sensing, don’t overlook the clever color feedback […]

A Monster Frankenstein Controller, with Fur Keys and Borg-Like Eyepiece, Built by Julie Covello

Photo by Nina Mouritzen; courtesy Julie Covello/Shakey. In an explosion of color, buttons, keys, velcro, and fur, and coupled with a cyborg-chic eyepiece, the VoltAxe is controllerism gone Mad Max, a post-acocalyptic keytar bred from salvaged parts. And if you want to make a unique construction of your own, creator Julie Covello – aka New […]

Choppertone, Wooden Ableton Jazz Controller, and Folk Music of the 21st Century: Video

“Folk music of the 21st Century” – radio broadcaster, jazz aficionado, and jazz-based Ableton Live instrumentalist / remix artist Nick Francis really sums up what this whole site is about. As he chops up jazz greats in Ableton, his mash-up music chops are as much musical analysis as they are performance. He walks through his […]

Traktor Kontrol Goes Two-Deck, in Action Live-Remixing Depeche Mode; Will it Fit Your Booth?

Walk into a club, and it seems far too often you’ll find a DJ operating Serato or Traktor with their laptop touchpad. At best, you might get a digital vinyl system that’s mostly spinning around and looking pretty. (Some people do amazing things with scratching; some love the feel of cueing on vinyl. Some don’t […]

A Live Mashup Video Goes Viral, with Ableton + Launchpad; What Have We Learned?

It’s easy to forget that some of the simple joys of electronic music are foreign to many lay people. Odds are, if you read this site, you’re an intelligent and well-informed digital musician. (I don’t mean to stroke my own ego, either; because so many of you are intelligent and well-informed digital musicians, you send […]

New Performance Controllers: Midi-Fighter Pro will Face Grid+Fader Rivals

With game-style arcade buttons – and the pre-mapped combos to match – DJ TechTools’ latest wants your pocket full of quarters. Midi-Fighter images courtesy DJ TechTools. What should DJing with a computer look like? We’ve seen over a decade of products that can emulate the vinyl turntable experience, of course. But a native hardware interface […]

Novation + Serato Touchstrip Twitch; Pics + Inside Details on the DJ ‘Controllerist’ Collaboration

The question of how to build controls to fly today’s live laptop music sets – whether “DJ,” “live PA,” or something else – remains open. We’ve got an inside look at the newest entry, the most recent device to explore just what should be mapped and tactile, and what should be left behind. Amidst various […]