djtt_twister

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:

DJing with Step Sequenced Traktor: Remix Decks Meet New Hardware

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.

midi-fighter-twister-white-2

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

Via De:Bug

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).

Description:

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

Orders: http://digitalwarrior.co/shop
Samples: http://digitalwarrior.co/stuff
Blog: http://tomashg.com/

  • Ryu

    the pricing on the livid code is whack beyond whack…squared. I don’t care if no wildlife was harmed in their making, or if the proceeds are spent on organic vegan food, etc etc etc. If this Midi Fighter Twister comes in at the right price I’ll buy 4. At the wrong price I won’t even buy one. For the love of Jah make your profits through sales quantity not inflated margins.

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      Ryu, that’s an 8×4 matrix on the Livid. They’re made in Texas. They have hand-crafted enclosures. They have buttons. They have MIDI ports.

      The 8×4 matrix alone is a big deal – costs scale as you add controls.

      You’re comparing that to a currently-unpriced, not-yet-available DJTT product.

      Looking at their current lineup, the MidiFighter 3D *after a price drop* is still over $200. And that’s a 4×4 matrix of buttons, not encoders. But even if you wanted the same number of buttons as encoders, you’d be back in the same price range as Livid.

      Look, in the end, if you don’t want to spend the money on the Livid Code, don’t do it. But don’t assume that if something is more than you want to spend, that means its margins are higher. There are a lot of expensive boutique products on the music market that have very narrow margins – and a lot of the cheap stuff, believe it or not, has huge margins.

      Yes, of course, you should buy things at the prices that make sense for you. Just keep in mind that higher prices aren’t necessarily some plot by the manufacturers.

    • Ryu

      wow, that’s an 8×4 on the livid ? thanks for telling me because I’m blind, and I have no brain, and didn’t know that. Thanks also for reminding me it has midi ports, with the buttons. Because again, these are things I was just completely unaware of before commenting. Ya, right. Pardon the sarcasm and I’ll pardon the idiotic patronizing. I’m aware of the tech-specs on the code2, and yet the price is still whack. And that’s without getting in to build issues (so much for hand crafted), I’ve seen enough of these units for sale with non-functioning LEDs to know whats up, and the reports of dodgy midi output. And the spacing between the knobs leaves a lot to be desired. And like I said, I don’t give a damn about the earthy ethos that’s supposed to justify the expense for the end user. Perhaps the next time someone expresses their opinion that something is too expensive, you might at the very least assume they know the tech specs of the item in question before replying if not also any common problems with the build quality etc.

      the midi fight twister looks to be coming in at about $200, that’s as far as I can stretch, but with the push function ability – the proper spacing between the knobs, and the superior LED function… it’s looking like a much better – and most importantly cheaper – way to get that 8×4 matrix. (4×4 + 4×4 = 8×4 … wow, patronizing is fun!)

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      I’m not trying to be patronizing. If the Code isn’t a good value for you, then it isn’t a good value for you. But if something with roughly twice the controls and more I/O costs roughly twice as much, the problem may not necessarily be margins.

      You’re the one arguing with your own math here, not me.

    • Ryu

      If you want to talk math here, 1 unit for $550 is not ‘roughly’ the same as 2 units for $400. Although if you want to talk about ‘roughly’ price comparisons…assuming they bring it in on target, or hopefully better, you can get yourself a 12×4 midi twister for roughly the same price as the code’s 8×4. That’s 1.5 to 1. Your math allows a difference of $150 to fall under the ‘roughly’ umbrella, my math only allows for $50. Tell me who’s math is whack. And this is without considering the well documented faults of the code, flakey LEDs and knobs. Whether or not you intend to be patronizing or not has little or no baring on the net result, I mean seriously… informing me that the code has an 8×4 matrix ? Couldn’t you even see how redundant that was as you were typing it ?

      all that ‘hand made with love & care’ is marketing fluff to justify the price, and if you’ve scouted around for used code sales as often as I have you might be more familiar with all the things that seem to go wrong with these units.

    • vanceg

      Hey – Ya know there is the Behringer BCR2000 if you want to go completely budget on this. I’m loving my Code, personally – I like the build quality and the MIDI outs are super for connecting hardware.

    • Ryu

      I own two BCR2000′s :) I know WTF I’m talking about :) … but this is createdigitalmusic.com, and if you don’t drink the hipster kool-aid you tend to get a bit of flack for weighing up cost VS function, and completely not giving a shit about any of the ‘no animals were harmed in the manufacturing process’ type of spiel that is often applied to justify the outrageous price tags of some of the hardware promoted here.

    • Common’

      You’re right: 400$ is not 550$, even roughly. But with 150$ more you get more buttons, more connectivity and a better built quality. So I don’t think Livid Instruments with the Code has much bigger margins than Ean Golden with the Twister: it’s just two takes on the same concept.

      I can understand you are happy with a cheaper option that get rid of the functionnalities you don’t like in the Code. But you can like it without criticizing other brands, above all by using wrong arguments about their supposed margins.

      Lastly, could you please shut up about CDM! If you don’t like it, don’t read it (apologizes, Peter, maybe you’ve just lost 1 reader because of me…).

    • Ryu

      I seriously contest the idea the code is ‘better’ built quality than the midi twist fighter. or any other manufacturer for that matter. they might make a lot of marketing fanfare about it being built by loving human beings, in texas, with rainbows in the sky and lambs prancing in the meadows…. but that does not mean the unit is built any better than the midi twist fighter – which isn’t out yet – or a bcr2000, which is machine built. Machines being ‘bad’ presumably ? Ethically, maybe (if you’re willing to argue the fact and live your life entirely according to that ethos, and know where to draw the line between absolutely no machines involved and some machines involved, and if hand crafted actually just means hand assembled machine manufactured parts. etc.), but in terms of real-life-usage and real-life-comparisons… Machine built is not a dirty concept, not for midi controllers. On the contrary. You need only put the livid code on your ebay watch list, or scout some forums where these are likely to be sold, and take a shot of bourbon every time you spot a unit with no problems. You’ll be going to bed sober as a judge. If you don’t like that createdigitalmusic doesn’t have a homogenised set of readers maybe it’s you who should F-off.

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      Ryu, fine. That’s why we have opinions and debate them – and why I like strong opinions, including those who disagree.

      That said — cut it out; there’s no need to go this far off topic. This was a post about Twister. It only mentioned Code in passing.

    • Rand(Thoughts)

      “And the spacing between the knobs leaves a lot to be desired”
      I’m not sure the spacing between knobs is better on the Twister…

    • Rand(Thoughts)2

      “4×4 + 4×4 = 8×4″
      This means you need at least 2 x Twister to make 1 code: $200 + $200 = not so far from the price of the code, right?

    • Bob Rawkz

      Yikes. No one is going to make anything based on your pay grade, dick. On top if that, no one really cares what you buy.

    • http://www.eangolden.com Ean Golden

      Hey Ryu, The twister should come in at $199, which we think is a really fair price. It’s enough to pay all the engineers and still have enough left over for a few records. What are your thoughts?

    • Ryu

      Well, if it’s built like a tank, and there’s no flakey function issues or dying LEDs, it’s about as much as I could stretch. For one unit. The build quality & function would really need to be A+. Where the price really becomes an issue is this, and maybe the midi twist fighter isn’t suitable, but I’d like to see some kind of tiered discount for multiple units ordered, basically for four units (i.e 16×4) I really couldn’t stomach paying more than $600. Again, we’d have to be talking excellent build quality here, and no flakey functioning or dying LEDs. Thinking something along the lines of the Kenton Control Freaks, which you could drop kick against a wall and they’ll still work as they did when first bought. Adding these units into an array of sorts may not be something you had in mind ? It would also be nice to be able to daisy chain the units, so that they are recognised as one, but again…not essential, but would certainly be a nice luxury.

    • Jay

      I’d be happy to discuss manufacturing and product pricing with you anytime. This is really just an uniformed rant. As Peter said, if you don’t want one don’t buy it!

    • Ryu

      He wasn’t talking to you dipshit.

    • bobrawks

      Except he owns livid, and you’re a moronic, raving shitbag.

    • Ryu

      Really ? What a lame reply then. I say the price of his product is whack, and appeal to midi fighter to make their profits through quantity of sales VS inflated margins. And the best he can do is call that an ‘uninformed rant’ ? Surely as the owner of Livid he’s in a great position to shut me up with some substantiated facts to stick in my pipe and smoke. But he hasn’t. Because he can’t ? Because I’m right ? Anyway if I’m a moronic shitbag in your opinion, I think you’re a salivating sycophant. I can’t be too far off the mark, considering the amount of ‘upvotes’ my commentary has received. So blow me, fanboy.

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      Sorry. This thread was deleted. Jay is the owner of Livid and I know will entertain criticism. Seriously, criticize the product, criticize the rants. Then we learn something.

      And then, if you like, call each other names and … get deleted. And we learn … well, we learn not to do that any more.

  • misho

    Can the push-button encoders be configured as momentary-style in addition to toggles?

    • http://www.eangolden.com Ean Golden

      yes they can. Each encoder can also be configured to be center detent, 1:1 turn ratio (like a pot) or high resolution (like a jog wheel) for much greater precision.

  • chapelier fou

    The demo is boring, but i’d love to make a software version of René with this !

  • http://nutation.net/ rseymour

    I was pricing out the cost of an 2×4 controller and with the LED encoder rings from sparkfun. The LED rings (mono, not RGB) would be $120 alone. I was dropping the idea. Still I have my mf3d up on ebay right now, I couldn’t get used to arcade buttons as musical interfaces. This little twister looks like it’ll fill a nice niche since the BCR2000 isn’t supported so much anymore.

  • noofny

    A good amount of potential here. There isn’t a chance that the firmware will be open is there, as in an API ?

  • Igor Molochevski

    Foes twist has four banks as midi fighter 3d? I want to use the controler not for DJ but oVJ work. It seems more compact then my code….

  • brentgreeff

    I have to admit they both seem pretty cool. How about getting one of each (MF and a DW)? I have a Z1, and a X1? Would that all work together? I have an F1, but I have hardly used it. I am keen to remap my F1 to do cool FX stuff, but have not got round to it, so maybe these devices are not for me. How would that stack up against an Ableton Push? Seems u get more options on the software side to compose with Ableton. I might want to do some creative bits live, but I am more interested in getting into some production. I never tried it, but the idea of using 4 MF or DW at the same time just seems a bit mind bending. Even 2 seems a bit of a blur. How about layering the track one bit at a time, possibly playing the composed track so far on 1 channel on the mixer and then free styling with a sequencer on the other channel until u get something u like. These units have 4 voices, but are u able to isolate each voice and apply FX with the Z1/X1 to each voice independently? Or do u control FX for each voice on the device itself?