Matt Moldover takes on Native Instruments’ Traktor Kontrol F1 in a hands-on demo; NI reportedly gave him a weekend to see if the “controllerism” advocate could do something interesting with their hardware/software combo. The resulting video really gives some insight into what controllerism is all about: the fundamental notion here, whatever you wish to call it, is relying more heavily on live sampling and real-time manipulation, to make this more of an instrumental performance and not just a DJ set. That’s part of what I admired about the direction of the F1 earlier on. And here, sampling in particular comes to the fore – all within what is essentially DJ software.

Rather than comment too heavily, though, the best illustration of Moldover’s style comes from seeing both this F1 video alongside a live performance with his own, custom-designed MOJO controller. (The latter is available as a custom build from 60works – and means that Moldy himself was more or less in the business of building what NI, too, had on offer.)

I was present at the performance at STEIM’s Patterns + Pleasure Festival in the fall. The first half is a bit more experimental – and, how shall we say, STEIM-y? The jam gets going halfway through. In the end, you can do the same sorts of things with Traktor and F1 as with Ableton Live, and with these two controllers. That’s not to say the workflow is the same in the two tools; it isn’t. It’s really a matter of Matt bringing his own musical style and idiom to the two tools, which is, after all, the whole point.

I’ll be interested to see what other musical expressions may be possible. Whatever tool you choose, there’s a chance to genuinely practice. So, this is what Moldover did with one of his weekends. What will you do with yours? Have a good one.

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