These Are The DJ Controllers You Want When Space is Limited

How can you get the most hands-on control of a laptop DJ set when you don’t have a lot of room? With so many of us called upon to DJ in a pinch – even as producers or live acts, onstage or in mixes – it’s relevant to almost anyone making electronic music. And finding […]

Digital Warrior Goes Open Source, DJ-friendly Step Sequencer Hardware Gets Better

A USB-connected step sequencer with controller is now improved, and open source. The Digital Warrior is a boutique hardware controller hailing from Cyprus, combining a 16-voice, 32-step sequencer with four pots and two three-color endless encoders, all attached via a driverless USB connection. It’s capable of acting as a step sequencer/controller with any tools you […]

Midi Fighter Twister 4×4 Encoder Controller, and More Traktor Step Sequencing

DJ site DJ TechTools continues to create their own hardware, augmented by custom mappings to popular software, with the Midi Fighter Twister. From the early days of their 4×4 arcade button controller Midi Fighter, things have gotten a bit more sophisticated. The Twister keeps the compact housing and 4×4 matrix design, but swaps those on/off […]

Midi Fighter Spectra: Crazy-Sexy Arcade Buttons, US$175.99 [Live+Serato+Traktor]

If you want to mash on some arcade buttons for your DJ or live set, your perfect hardware may have arrived. Sure, okay – you’ve seen this before. DJ TechTools followed up on their original, DIY-centric Midi Fighter with the swanky-looking Midi Fighter 3D. The industrial design was gorgeous, replacing the homebrewed original with a […]

Connect Four: 4 Decks, 4 FX Units, Advanced Traktor Mapping [Video]

DJ tool makers keep working on integrated hardware/software solutions – as they should. But meanwhile, creative DJs and hackers keep rolling their own, personal solutions – as they absolutely should. Here’s one of the latest in action. Stewe on the DJ TechTools forums rigs a four-deck, four-effect mapping for the CNTRL:R, the Livid Instruments-Richie Hawtin […]

A Mixer, A Soundcard, a Controller: NI Traktor Kontrol Z2, Examined [Gallery, Details]

Native Instruments is continuing their hardware attack with a new device that combines three tools: controller, mixer, audio interface. Those knobs and faders control software, as an integrated controller for Traktor, but internally, the Kontrol Z2 is also a mixer and computer soundcard. It’s geared primarily for Traktor users, of course, but with pricing under […]

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 […]

PocoPoco, Kinetic Music Control Gone Whac-a-Mole, and Our Tactile Future

PocoPoco is a delightful, fanciful device that takes music control into the realm of kinetic sculpture. Normally, the relationship of music controller is primarily about the operator making physical actions. With PocoPoco, the hardware itself moves. The essential musical structure is familiar: it’s the grid of light-up buttons, with strong similarity to the ongoing interaction […]

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 […]

A Controller Love Supreme: Beautifully-Crafted Wooden Jazz Controller with Ableton Live

Nick Francis poses with his DIY, wooden controller – good enough for jazz. Photo: Justin Steyer for Seattle’s KPLU radio. In a world of disposable computers and electronics, making something “custom” is an antidote to throwaway hardware, a way of putting one’s own handiwork, care, and attention into the object with which you play music. […]