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 buttons with 16 encoders, each with push-button capability, ringed by color LEDs for additional feedback. (You get white LEDs for indicators, plus full-RGB color at the very bottom.)
There’s no pricing yet, but availability is slated for January. Anyone wanting a box of encoders should pay attention – the Twister rivaling higher-end options like Livid’s recently-updated Code v2 MIDI controller.
But while you could use those encoders for anything, DJ TechTools, true to their name, is leading with a solution for users of Traktor. That solution is in turn based on the work of Tomash Ghzegovskyy, who was the first to transform Remix Decks into a step sequencer, and whose ideas are incorporated here. We saw Tomash’s work last week:
And here’s a demo of what DJ Tech Tools have done integrating that idea with the hardware step sequencer:
Tomash continues to develop his own hardware for step sequencing – and even has a new video out (included at bottom). But this very project inspired DJ TechTools to develop their own integrated Traktor Remix Deck Step Sequencing.
Essentially, when we say “step sequencing” Traktor, we’re really talking about loading some sounds for each drum part into Remix Decks, then triggering them in sequence. As demonstrated in the video from DJTT, the Midi Fighter Twister will map to that set of sounds and allow you to edit sequences and mix parts together – no additional software required, as it simply combines internal sequencing triggers with the sounds in the Remix Deck.
The Twister integration already appears to be fully up and running. There are four voices (one on each column), each with 16 steps and velocity, plus separate controls for volume and filter. You choose between patterns using one of the encoders, then press the encoder to edit the sixteen steps (with velocity fills).
Comparing the DJ TechTools solution with what Tomash did, there are some different approaches to controller mapping, though the same underlying approach to exploiting the Remix Decks remains.
There’s no question that it’s advantageous to integrate this in Traktor directly, though – that saves configuring sync, MIDI I/O, and audio with a second piece of software since (cough) Traktor still lacks plug-in support. You don’t have to worry about any additional level of complexity or stability, because everything runs inside your Traktor set.
Now, whether this will prove the killer feature for Twister, or whether people will be just as eager to step sequence other things, we’ll see. DJ TechTools is doing a preorder mailing list for now to gauge interest; we should know more about pricing and availability by beginning of next year. Want something in time for Christmas? Well, there are still the other Midi Fighters, of course.
See the full preview by Ean Golden:
Sneak Peek: The Midi Fighter Twister and Traktor Drum Sequencer
And for a different take on step sequencing, here’s Tomash’s latest video – a nice rig with two Digital Warrior custom controllers and the NI Z1 for mixing and audio. Tomash’s setup doesn’t have quite as much control packed into a small space, but the push buttons do mean you have a clear view of the position of steps at all times (the tradeoff for extra controls on the Twister is switching between modes).
Traktor performance using two Digital Warriors. The one on the right is running a step sequencer with drum samples, and on the left a melodic sequencer.
Background track: Gold Panda – Flinton