24 Knobs, 8 Faders, 16 Buttons, in a Launchpad Form: Launch Control XL

If you’re reading this, and if you care about controllers at all, you’ve probably got one. Now the question is, what are you missing? LaunchControl XL is coming with a whole mess of handy faders and knobs if you’ve got more controls than you can map. In fact, while it would make an utterly horrid marketing statement, I would dub the slogan of this hardware like this: Twist knobs without having to constantly press shift and select keys or give up having some faders. There’s Push, of course, the Ableton-controlling flagship, complete with pressure- and velocity-sensitive grid. There’s AKAI’s former …

READ MORE →
IMG_8889

Midi Fighter Spectra: Crazy-Sexy Arcade Buttons, US$175.99 [Live+Serato+Traktor]

If you want to mash on some arcade buttons for your DJ or live set, your perfect hardware may have arrived. Sure, okay – you’ve seen this before. DJ TechTools followed up on their original, DIY-centric Midi Fighter with the swanky-looking Midi Fighter 3D. The industrial design was gorgeous, replacing the homebrewed original with a crisp-looking case, subtle side buttons, and features like a custom USB cable. But we heard from plenty of readers who weren’t interested in waving the hardware around to take advantage of the gyroscope features. At a lower price (US$175.99 to the $249.99 3D model), and …

READ MORE →

Moldover, Playing Live with Latest Sensor-Laden, DIY Controllers (The Mojito!) [Music Video]

Matt “Moldy” Moldover helped champion the notion of controllerism, focusing live performance on manipulation of digital parameters. In his latest music video, he shows off his latest creations. What’s nice about what he’s doing currently is that he’s able to augment traditional live rigs with buttons and sensors. Having your controls clamped to a mic stand? Eminently practical for vocalists and instrumentalists. The guitar gets the full sensor treatment, too. Moldover explains to CDM: Both the guitar and mic controllers are prototypes I made for my recently completed Super Villain Tour. The microphone attachment is called The Mojito. It’s simply …

READ MORE →
4trackside_t

The 150-Button, 4-Deck, Obsessive-Compulsive Traktor Controller: 4TrackTrigger [Gallery]

Oh, sure, other controllers may be sleek and compact. They may have spacious, easy-to-hit controls. But if “pushing buttons” has been controversial, well… some DJs want more buttons to push. Some want something a little over the top. Meet the 4MidiLoop 4TrackTrigger. It’s nothing if not a maximalist DJ controller. And with a build from one of our favorite makers, Germany’s Faderfox, and design for the latest version of Traktor (2.5) via Switzerland’s Glanzmann Digital DJ Solutions, it’s something else, too. It’s the DJ controller you’d absolutely want to take with you to your secret DJ lair in your secluded …

READ MORE →

Choppertone, Wooden Ableton Jazz Controller, and Folk Music of the 21st Century: Video

“Folk music of the 21st Century” – radio broadcaster, jazz aficionado, and jazz-based Ableton Live instrumentalist / remix artist Nick Francis really sums up what this whole site is about. As he chops up jazz greats in Ableton, his mash-up music chops are as much musical analysis as they are performance. He walks through his controller moves in a pedagogical way, highlighting the meat of the jazz legends he puts into play. It’s a kind of digital transcription, transcribing re-imagined for Ableton’s colored blocks in place of. Of course, you’ll only be able to reflect on this once you can …

READ MORE →

Handmade Music: NYC Thursday – Wearable Sound, DIY Dance Music + MP3s

From Sarah and Lara Grant, we have a dress that makes music, with tube-like apparatus made of felt for connecting sound, modular fashion. From the raucous duo Great Tiger, we get a homebrewed arcade controller Ableton Live that mashes loops into dance music with a quick button push. Yep, it’s Handmade Music time again in New York tomorrow Thursday. If you’re anywhere in the area, come on down – and feel free to bring your own projects and/or expect some surprise technological appearances. If not, we’ve still got some MP3s, visuals, and how-to information to share. If you do make …

READ MORE →

Livid Block: Open Grid Button Controller Adds Knobs, Faders – and Choice

The grid is in. While the monome remains the standards bearer for hardware with grids of buttons on it, arrays of buttons are suddenly everywhere, in the commercial Akai APC40 and Novation Launchpad, and, from Livid Instruments, the Ohm64 and now the Block. I think it’s a real compliment to the monome’s creators – and the community that has authored ingenious open software for the monome – that there is this excitement around the design. The latest entry is Livid’s Block, a compact, aluminum-and-wood controller that’s easy to carry and which weighs less than 3 pounds. It’s not a monome …

READ MORE →