Cue Point Chords

When I first started experimenting with cue point juggling last year it was a blast but playing the same sample a million times can get a little stale. This led me to explore various ways of working with cue points and FX to create a richer palette of sounds. The results of that exploration became a new concept that could be called cue point chords. The fundamental idea is very simple but can be applied to a wide range of samples for amazing results. Check out the video above for a demo and read on for the technical stuff.

Cue Point Chords:

The key to cue point chords is a setting up a group of buttons so they have a spacial relationship to each other. Ideally, you should have a controller with at least 3 rows of buttons, and 4 columns. The controller should also have a close button spacing so you can press up to 4 buttons at the same time. Obviously, a nice grid of arcade buttons is basically perfect but you could implement the basic concept with other controllers.

  • The first row (root note) triggers cue points
  • The 2nd row divides the root note into musical values depending on which note is played, using the beatmasher or other time effects
  • The third row adds a musical color to the sound using different FX per button

Playing various combos of these rows with the same 4 root notes results in a wide variety of chord shapes and sounds that are easy to remember and fun to play. More on this subject including a tutorial and mappings soon!

more info on the midifighter

  • Tim Maguire

    Wow this is a really cool idea. Is this mapping available?

  • B3N1KUN

    Wow, what a concept Ean, you must have been drinking some funky cactus juice to have thought of that!!!! Good work bro!

  • Hi. Was wondering if you can advise on how to set multiple cue points in a track in traktor. thanks lots. AD

  • Ricardo

    [quote comment=””]Ow, midibox-er. Greetings mate.[/quote]
    ditto p1554nt!

  • ToS

    Ow, midibox-er. Greetings mate.

  • Timmmy

    the controller looks like an awesome rocksolid unit…. im still building my midibox unit, wanted to have cuepoints, more beatjumping options and also some more rotaty controls to pair up with the vci-100, I dont want to chop up my vestax, too sexy to mess with it.

  • p1554nt

    can i get the tsi for that. i have a controller that is very similar to that & i can change what i need. i just want to see how the midi settings are. thank you

  • Thanks!

  • [quote comment=””]…
    Hi,
    I asked about leds because when you push the second file button all the leds are glow up. I noticed it wrong or is it?

    It seems like when you push any button in the grid all the (ghost button asociated) leds were lighted up…

    I’m just curious…

    …[/quote]

    its a traktor thing- not the controller. For those values I can only send midi data to all buttons per row because they are essentially controlling the same thing.


  • Hi,
    I asked about leds because when you push the second file button all the leds are glow up. I noticed it wrong or is it?

    It seems like when you push any button in the grid all the (ghost button asociated) leds were lighted up…

    I’m just curious…

  • ToS

    Funny thing how one simple controller like midifighter can be used so well wiht come creativity thrown at it.
    This is the true potential of traktor midi mapping and midi itself, it is all still simple but it rocks.
    Anyone interested in building something like this from a USB keyboard(no joystick offcourse) let me know in forums. I have IDEAS…

  • sick !

  • midifidler

    [quote comment=””]…
    The Led behaviour is correct or it is a non well diodized matrix?

    Thanks
    …[/quote]

    Im not really sure what your asking here as LEDs are diodes and they are arranged in a matrix formation but it uses a Ti TLC 5924 to control the LEDs, they are all driven on individual channels.


  • The Led behaviour is correct or it is a non well diodized matrix?

    Thanks

  • @Torq users:

    4 Cuepoints in a track where you put together the four samples you’d like to use is no problem.
    4 samples in the sampleslot, also very easy
    triggering a sample or a cuepoint and add an effect is only a snapshot. you can midimap a snapshot to shortcuts on your keyboard or a midicontroller pretty easy.
    But as I’ve seen in the video it looks like Ean has one button to play the “sample” and to add the effect he is pushing two buttons at the same time. So we don’t even need to care about snapshots. Just map to the on/off button of the effectslot in Torq is needed.
    Mapping the joystick of the Midifighter could be tricky, but should be working for effectparameters of Torg.

  • couldnt i use something like a midi translator to map more than one thing to one button for torq (if snapshots aren’t working for me)

  • mpetersen3

    Oh and the midifighter looks beautifully simple, now I want one!

  • mpetersen3

    [quote comment=”18412″]How did you configure the expression joysticks? what software did you use?[/quote]

    Actually configuring the joysticks would require nothing more than the internal midi mapping abilities that are in traktor, just map it to control fx knobs 1 and 2 or 2 and 3 or whatever combination of parameters.

  • duerr

    this a really cool technique, great idea Ean !

  • ss714ss

    [quote comment=””]How did you configure the expression joysticks? what software did you use?[/quote]
    [quote comment=”18365″][quote comment=”18357″][quote comment=””]what controller is that? and do u know if it’s possible to do this with torq?[/quote]

    +1 for Serato with its new sample player?

    I’m curious about the controller as well. Probably another bit of awesome customization Ean has made. I would love to buy one if possible.[/quote]

    Impossible for Torq and Serato.
    Torq doesn’t have a deep enough level of midi assignment to make it practical… or maybe it does thinking about it but it’s not at easy or deep as Traktor.
    Serato doesn’t have any effects so all your doing is beat/cue-juggling which is nothing new or interesting.[/quote]

    snapshots on torq might be a good idea with sampler and cue points.. it is possible… not to the extent of traktor where u map everything to one button like this.. very fu@#$@ impressive!!!! nice..

  • David

    How did you configure the expression joysticks? what software did you use?

  • gfocus

    Sweet demo, Ean. When I first heard you talking about Cue Point Chords a few weeks ago I thought you’d actually map the cue trigger and key adjustment together in order to play something like ‘mary had a little lamb’. Of course, my expectations have been exceeded. 😀

    Can’t wait to try this out when i get my 2nd nanopad.

  • [quote comment=””]It seems that pretty much all of your controllerism routines require very specific MIDI assignments. How do you manage that, especially in a live performance?[/quote]

    For me it works like this:
    The Midi-mapping stays the same, no difference if you’re just playing some tracks like a normal dj-set or if you feel like doing a little routine and showcase. all you have to do is prepare your tracks (set cuepoints, that can also be done on the fly) and find the right Midi-mapping for your combination of soft- and hardware.
    There’s only one point which might give you some limitations and that’s your mind. You can’t do what you can’t imagine and what you don’t think about.
    Just play around, make mistakes (they are necessary to learn and understand) and have fun.

  • It seems that pretty much all of your controllerism routines require very specific MIDI assignments. How do you manage that, especially in a live performance?

  • now that i think about it grizu ur right! us torq users would just have to use the transpose +/- buttons with a snapshot. but how?

    im horibble with making snapshots, because i’m a begginer with torq. can u email me the snapshot file? that way i can just put in the right folder and its there. thanks

    my email is djremike(at)yahoo.com

  • [quote comment=”18365″][quote comment=”18357″][quote comment=””]

    Impossible for Torq[/quote]

    Sorry you’re wrong. It is possible!

    I think it’s even much easier than in Traktor, because you only have to rightklick a button, poti or fader in the Torq software and then push a button or move a poti or fader on your controller and the mapping is done.
    No endless clicking around in menues like in Traktor.
    The so called snapshot function in Torq is doing the rest.

  • Really impressive.

    I can’t wait to have one of those midi fighters as well 🙂

  • [quote comment=”18367″]Please put me on the wish list for a midifighter.[/quote]

    Well, you didnt hear from me 😉 ;), but you may be able to get a midi fighter soon. We created a sign up list for those that are interested here:

    http://eepurl.com/bo7p

    [quote comment=”18367″]
    Curios about the controller, the first two rows in particular. It appears that when a single button is triggered the whole row of LED are enabled. The last two rows only individual LED are enabled. Could you explain a little?[/quote]

    sure- that is a limitation of the midi output in traktor 🙂

    I wish I could light each button when pressing a cue point but there is not a midi out command for that.

    [quote comment=”18354″]Might you find it a little more comfortable to trigger the samples as chords if you put them on the top row? I’m just sayin’, like![/quote]

    not quite sure what you mean, but I found putting the root note at the bottom was the most expressive and ergonomic.

  • RjW

    [quote comment=”18352″]cool! any chance there will be a mapping for the padkontrol?[/quote]
    +1 for that!

  • I’m really feeling the musicality this brings to the routine. Sounds awesome

  • midian

    Dope stuff.

    Midifighter is awesome. <3 mine :] Kudos to Midifidler on the builds.

  • frederikaard

    You da man! This is fantastic. I can’t wait to wire up something similar. Where would a guy go about getting a nice case like that? My cardboard skills are not holding up these days. 🙂

  • mtvstinks

    fun stuff. Will pick one up when available. Please put me on the wish list for a midifighter.

    Curios about the controller, the first two rows in particular. It appears that when a single button is triggered the whole row of LED are enabled. The last two rows only individual LED are enabled. Could you explain a little?

  • Remote

    [quote comment=”18357″][quote comment=””]what controller is that? and do u know if it’s possible to do this with torq?[/quote]

    +1 for Serato with its new sample player?

    I’m curious about the controller as well. Probably another bit of awesome customization Ean has made. I would love to buy one if possible.[/quote]

    Impossible for Torq and Serato.
    Torq doesn’t have a deep enough level of midi assignment to make it practical… or maybe it does thinking about it but it’s not at easy or deep as Traktor.
    Serato doesn’t have any effects so all your doing is beat/cue-juggling which is nothing new or interesting.

  • vic

    next to traktor in live, I think this demo pushes the controllerist scene in a positive light. maybe the idea is simple, I think that speaks to the nature of the audio manipulation and also that the nature of the demo itself, without complicated talking or words (like this long winded compliment), really drives the artistic points home. good job ean. now get midifighter to let to sell that controller in your store and it’s on like donkey kong

  • WOW! Nice routine…I need to get my hands on a midifighter…. Midifidler where do i mail you the cash?

  • ps. oops didnt mean to quote that

  • [quote comment=””]It’s Midifidler’s Midifighter. Not a commercially available controller. (not yet, hint, hint!)[/quote]

    Ean Golden IS the digital revolution.

  • Zac Kyoti

    It’s Midifidler’s Midifighter. Not a commercially available controller. (not yet, hint, hint!)

  • DJ Cubed

    [quote comment=””]what controller is that? and do u know if it’s possible to do this with torq?[/quote]

    +1 for Serato with its new sample player?

    I’m curious about the controller as well. Probably another bit of awesome customization Ean has made. I would love to buy one if possible.

  • what controller is that? and do u know if it’s possible to do this with torq?

  • Fatlimey

    Might you find it a little more comfortable to trigger the samples as chords if you put them on the top row? I’m just sayin’, like!

  • Boyku

    cool! any chance there will be a mapping for the padkontrol?

  • mpetersen3

    Looks nice, excited, creativity is definitely the life of this site, have been doing a lot of cue sampling so this makes it even better and is really practical for me.
    Thanks

  • Buch

    Thanks alot..

    Nice video, it seams like at cool device.

    BTW, sorry for the 2. post 🙁

  • [quote comment=””][quote comment=””]Hi There..

    I can’t seam to get the video working, I get a message that stats that it is a privat video, and I have to accept the sender as a friend. Do any of you know how that is?[/quote][/quote]

    Thanks for the heads up- the privacy settings were wrong somehow but its viewable by all now so everyone can check out the vid.

  • Buch

    Hi There..

    I can’t seam to get the video working, I get a message that stats that it is a privat video, and I have to accept the sender as a friend. Do any of you know how that is?

  • Chris combe

    says I need to be on your friends list before the video will play…

    please fix, I have also requested to be added to your friend on youtube.