Step-sequenced Remix Decks make for a different level of Traktor performance - as much live as DJ. But it took an independent designer, not Native Instruments, to really push the concept. Images courtesy Tomash Ghzegovskyy.

Step-sequenced Remix Decks make for a different level of Traktor performance – as much live as DJ. But it took an independent designer, not Native Instruments, to really push the concept. Images courtesy Tomash Ghzegovskyy.

Light-up colored grids are hardly news in the controller scene. But what makes original, boutique hardware worthy of the name “Digital Warrior” is the unique take it brings to DJing and live remix – pushing the envelope with Native Instruments’ Traktor (all the while perhaps making even Ableton Live a little bit jealous).

The new hardware takes Traktor’s Remix Decks and transforms them with built-in step sequencing, in a kind of mash-up of a lot of different techniques. You have to see the results in action to really appreciate how nice that can be.

CDM reader and electronic music inventor Tomash Ghzegovskyy is the artist who created the hardware, and the best way to understand what he’s done is to watch him play.

It’s like the monome and Traktor met in a club and danced until dawn.

And this hardware will be coming to you soon. Here’s what Tomash says:

Heavily inspired by the Midi Fighter, Maschine and Ableton Push, is an light and compact midi controller. Its uneque feature though, is the ability to map Traktor’s remix decks to the controllers 32 step sequencer, giving the ability to rhythmically manipulate loops on the fly, without the need of running any DAW’s or expensive hardware.

It’s actually a little easier to follow what’s going on in a video of an earlier prototype:

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assembly

I’d be impressed enough if Tomash just built this for himself, as his performance technique is rather nice, but he’s seeking to bring the product to others. Specs:

built in 16 voice 32-step sequencer. traktor remix decks mapping for on the fly dynamic loops

16 banked RGB button pads and 2 endless tri-color encoders

164 uniquely mapable elements for total control

fully aluminium enclosure

Read the full specs:
http://digitalwarrior.co/docs

It’s all done via MIDI, so this could be adapted to other software, too.

And the price is 120€ kit, 160€ assembled.

Now, the build is not what you get from an Ableton or NI – these are standard pads and whatnot, and that means someone else might rig something up with their own software and hardware. But I like the idea from a performance perspective a lot. And there’s something charming about seeing DIY hardware in a Traktor rig. I hope we get to see this develop.

Official site:
http://digitalwarrior.co/

And it’s worth checking out more of the work of Tomash Ghz – great audiovisual performance stuff here:
http://tomashg.com/

  • lokey

    I love to see this progress from a single use case to a broader audience. His flexible setup really appeals! its great to see a balance between specific design for a single application, and customizable signals for greater flexibility. Good stuff.

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      Yeah, though this isn’t a bad place to start. (Check his site – he’s been using other apps, too, so not just Traktor – various audiovisual performance tools including Processing and Ableton.)

    • Tomash Ghz

      I tried to keep it as generic as possible. You can completely disable the sequencer and get a total of 8 banks of mappable buttons. the buttons and encoders are customizable to suit different setups, they can be banked/unbanked, send ableton fine tuned messages etc.

  • logritm

    If u have monome, launchpad,push, qneo or livid or a simple ipad free stepsequencer u can already do this…just setting your traktor preference..and for controllers that i said ..u need a monome emulator like gridlock made by sigabort.. And some max runtime monome step sequencer…or a m4l step sequencer…but they prefer sell another controller :)

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      ^^ That’s hard to read. ;)

      Well, he made a controller around his specific needs. He’s offering it for sale. People will vote with their wallets. If other people share his needs, he’ll sell some.

    • logritm

      Peter …i am collaboring with sigabort…he created a great m4l & max app..to use launchpad , push, lemur & touchosc like a native controller with infinite possibility…i am testing it for him from 8 months and what i can say is that this app is changing the way i am playing….the best part is the full monome support…we can run untill 7 apps for now…inside & outside ableton..already 300 or more persons use it..it can be used with multiple controllers to make a 128 emulation..or a single controller can emulate a 256.. Its easy to use and give a total liberty …i hope that u will share this fabolous world on your site…if u need just contact me

    • Tomash Ghz

      you’re absolutely right, all these stuff already exist in different forms here and there, there are millions way to archive the same thing if you already own an ipad or a monome or push. heck if i had an TR909, I’d definitely use that instead :)
      what I wan’ted was a setup as simple and compact as possible, no need for any extra intermediate software. personally with my laptop I can’t afford, in terms of performance, to run traktor and ableton live at the same time

    • grindFish

      i like what you have going on here for quick and intuitive control, from what i gather from the video you are accessing all your sequencers and fxs from a quick tap of a modifier button, and the small 4 x 4 grid seems more than enough to get rhythmics under way. I think this simple and solid utility is whats lacking in so many similar offerings today, im intrigued and will be following your progress!

  • coolout

    This further drives the point that NI really needs to integrate Maschine into Traktor and vice/versa. Maschine already has great step sequencing, but doesn’t really do loop manipulation, while Traktor does loops, looping, and live FX. I don’t get why two complementary products from the same company don’t really speak to each other. There should be a “Maschine deck” in Traktor that slaves Maschine to Traktor’s master tempo, routes the audio through Traktor, and allows you to create remix deck loops from Maschine beats. Also handy would be some sort of “Remix Deck player” inside of Maschine that would add Ableton-style warped loops.

    • edison

      hell yes…. this all day…..

    • Graham Thorne

      +1 that would be awesome!

    • el

      Waiting for this since the announcement of maschine. NI are you listening??

  • thoughtswondersandthelike

    It’s a shame that it’s completely MIDI-based as it would be handy to use other devices.

  • Brandie Black

    I look at those pictures and wish that knew more about technology and how it works. I am a pretty creative person and so I was thinking one day out on the decks in kitchener where my friend lives and I was just thinking if I understood technology more I wonder what products I could come up with.