Don’t call it a comeback. Hardware step sequencing is becoming the must-have accessory for even computer users.

And the boutique Digital Warrior controller, which neatly combines knobs with colored pads, is a great solution. I’ve been messing about with the Arturia BeatStep, as well – review coming – but the Digital Warrior has some tricks of its own. It integrates nicely with Traktor, like the still-forthcoming MIDI Fighter Twist from DJ TechTools. But the reason I wouldn’t buy or recommend the DJTT piece is – no MIDI┬áDIN connector. And that spoils the fun.

Here, the Digital Warrior is comfortable not only integrating with your computer but with MIDI gear, as well. Note the cable making its way into the volca beats. And the volca beats I think has become most popular of the volcas with good reason: the touch strip at the bottom is ideal for quick sequencing. Some of the sounds I think are better than others, but it does have a grungy and unique sound, aided by the PCM and grain controls. And, crucially, the bass drum is deep. (I remain interested to hear what Akai’s rival Rhythm Wolf will sound like, though the tiny size of the volca is perfect when you’re cramming a live rig into cramped quarters, which always seems to happen onstage – hey, half a meter square is enough for you, right?)

You can output MIDI clock (as with volca beats), or use the MIDI port as MIDI thru, turning the box into a proper MIDI interface.

Bottom line: whether working in something like Ableton or Traktor, you can layer hardware step sequences over top so that you actually have something to play (rather than waving your arms around while some scenes or tracks play automatically – bah).


Digital Warrior a compact open source Traktor Remix deck sequencer and MIDI Controller. Sequencing Korg Volca Beats through the on-board MIDI out connector.

Designer’s blog:
Track: Sobamonk – Back and Forth (Paul Gutschmidt Remix)

More video: here’s the box driving Bitwig Studio – and did I mention I really like how Tomash, the creator, plays?

Good stuff.


  • Sergio Alvarez

    I just thought it should be mentioned that the Midi Fighter Twister from DJ TechTools will have Midi Hardware capabilities in the future through what seems to be a future accessory.

    • Ezmyrelda

      Like some sort of USB breakout box or something even more integrated than that? I’ve been trying to watch the twister news as closely as possible because I think it will be a great addition to my Traktor setup but I haven’t heard any glimmerings like this from their camp.

  • Nick Shepherd

    because you mention the Beatstep… i was close to picking one up yesterday.
    i couldnt find any info if the beatsteps sequencer part is able to sequence different midi-notes or just pitch … still looking for a sequencer to drive my mfb522 but if its only one note + pitch sequencing it kinda fails for me

  • Foosnark

    “Hardware step sequencing is becoming the must-have accessory for even computer users.”

    Call it a *fun* accessory for *some* computer users. For myself I am firmly unconvinced; it goes completely against my workflow. It’s like saying an abacus is a must-have accessory for Excel.