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 …


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 …


Random Fun: Novation Launchpad as Live EQ Display, Built in Processing

If you’ve got a whole bunch of colored lights, it seems only right to do something with them. Cacheflow sends a fun little hack with a Novation Launchpad. Of course, turning a Launchpad into a live EQ display means you can’t simultaneously use its lights to, like, play the Launchpad, but provided you have another controller, this could be a fun way to liven up your stage setup. We looked at a free e-book on Processing last week; if you’re playing with Processing, you can now use a handy, free library to integrate this simple and elegant coding tool with …


It Comes in Colors: An RGB Grid Controller from Livid, RGB Grid Roundup

Lovers of the grid for music control now get to reenact the scene in MGM’s The Wizard of Oz, stepping out of the world of black and white into one of color. The OhmRGB, the latest controller from Austin, Texas-based controller and custom hardware shop Livid Instruments, adds multicolor LEDs behind its array of controls. We’ve already seen red, green, and yellow add color feedback on Novation’s Launchpad (and of course the APC line from Akai). The Livid piece bests Novation’s three colors with seven possibilities. For those who prefer their grids to come with knobs, faders, and crossfader, the …


Arc, A New Design from monome Creator: After Grids, Encoders

You’ve just created the design that, more than any other, was the signature of electronic music making in the first decade of the 21st Century. What’s your second act? Having made the monome grid controllers the biggest design hit in music creation in the last few years, then moved to a farm in upstate New York to do some … farming (really), monome’s Brian Crabtree now and Kelli Cain have made public what’s next. Think really big knobs. The design makes some sense to me, intuitively, already. Livid tried the obvious solution of combining encoders with arrays in its Code, …


Protodeck: The Best Ableton Live Controller You Can’t Buy

protodeck first demo from Julien Bayle on Vimeo. Speaking of special Abletronic miracles out of reach of most mortals, meet the Protodeck. Inspired by Robert Henke’s legendary Monodeck, it’s an all-stops-pulled bundle of delicious overkill. The specs are — insane, really. 87 potentiometers 90 buttons 81 rgb leds 2×20 LCD 2 PIC 18F4620 (20MHz RISC processors) fully custom rgb led drivers fully custom firmware 2 MIDI IN/OUT interface The ingenious design of Julien Bayle, the Protodeck isn’t available for sale. You can’t buy one, but you can build one – or treat the copious documentation on his site, from control …


Bliptronic 5000: Tenori-On, monome, Meet Your $50, Hackable Clone

You know the grid craze is in full steam once ThinkGeek offers a $50 clone. The Bliptronic 5000 is somewhere between the Tenori-On and monome. It certainly looks like the monome, with an 8-by-8 grid of light-up pads in a square form factor. But like the Tenori-On, it has built-in sounds and speaker, it’s made of aluminum, and it runs on batteries. The Bliptronic also simplifies its user interface. Its 8×8 pads are simply an eight-note octave with eight steps. There’s a play button, and knobs for tempo and tone selector. There’s also the ability to link up devices and …


Lights and Music: Lo-Fi DIY Game System as Music Toy, on the Grid

Imagine an alternative universe in which simple digital handheld games evolved into sophisticated music tools. Oh, and they also made lots of really purty lights flash. Mmmmm … flashing lights. Well, that alternative universe seems to be right here. Mike Una gave us a massive dump of unusual new DIY sequencers, crafted from the ground up to rework techno into sonic objects. Some are unquestionably indebted to the analog step sequencer, but others take as much from 80s digital toys. Working with the Meggy, Jr. DIY handheld game platform – with a stunning 8×8 pixel resolution – Darius Kazemi has …


A Dreamy Prototype for Ableton Live Control Finally Mimics UI

Ableton Live controllers are suddenly everywhere, in commercial products and DIY creations. But an in-progress prototype being designed by Serbia-based creator Sasa Djuric, found on the CDM Flickr pool, goes the extra distance to integrate more effectively with the software. The hardware looks more like the on-screen UI, for starters – an elusive objective for many controllers. And by working with the Mackie Control protocol, Sasa is able to make communication between hardware and software fully bi-directional, so the controller gives you essential feedback. There’s even a facility for scratching. The design is based on the popular MIDIbox platform. Sasa …


AirPiano: Touch-Free, Sensing Gestural Music Controller

Omer Yosha has created a beautiful, elegant interface that uses infrared sensors to control music applications. Touch-free interfaces, of course, date back to the Theremin, but Omer is trying some new things here, creating an invisible matrix of controls in the air. And I love the way the physical object looks. He writes to tell us about the details: I’m an Interface Design student from the FH Potsdam (near Berlin), i have a musical background, and the idea to create an AirPiano developed as i was playing around with the Arduino board, Processing and some IR sensors in my free …