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This Is Not The Next Midi Fighter

In June, it will have been four years since the introduction of the original Midi Fighter, a community powered project that sprung from the shared passions of people from different corners of the world.  Today, to keep that tradition alive, we’re announcing the next addition to the family. This new controller will be a companion to the now-classic arcade button grid, but with a focus on expressive analog control. The twist? Instead of trying to guess what you want, we have decided to crowdsource the design and let our community build the next Midi Fighter.

The concept for this new Midi Fighter (code name: Midi Fighter X) is simple:

Pick a wide range of useful analog controls, and put them in the classic Midi Fighter chassis with customizable tops and rubberized cases so DJs and producers will have a simple, playable surface with a few great controls. 

The hard part was deciding what to put on it. Instead of making a guess, we’ve decided to take a gamble and let you design it.



Today will launch the start of a week-long contest in which we’re asking you to show us what the community really wants from a new controller. This is your opportunity to directly influence the final design of the Midi Fighter X – resulting in one of the first controllers with a truly crowdsourced design. Our hope is to come up with something in the end that everyone really wants – and to include you in the process from start to finish.

In order to help designers build the ultimate performance interface, we’re providing a set of graphical assets that anyone can use. The graphics pack, (downloadable here) includes:

  • The controller body with a grid on it
  • 17 different interface elements (they can be placed anywhere within the grid on the body)
  • an Adobe Illustrator file with all of the above elements labeled and layered (this is the best way to build an entry)
  • A submission form for you to drop your final design into and enter into the contest
  • a full list of rules and requirements if you need additional reference

Even if you don’t have Adobe Illustrator, you’ll be able to use the included assets to make your own design in a free program like Paint.

The final entry should look something like this the image on the right! Be sure to come up with your own name for the design just like Michael’s “Midi Fighter Modulate” example.


The rules for this contest are super-simple so that anyone can enter:

  • Each contestant can submit no more than three designs
  • All components must be placed within the pink grid in the template
  • Components cannot share a square with adjacent components
  • Contestants can add line art and text to the top, but only in white or grey
  • All entries must presented in the supplied frame to be considered

When you’ve finished your design(s), you’ll want to submit your entry by posting it onto the the Midi Fighter Facebook Page wall (see the example at right). Remember to include a description explaining how you would use the controller.

The deadline for entries is Monday, April 29th at 12:01 AM, PST. We’ll then publish the six winners on the following Friday, rendered to appear like they would in their final manufactured form.


Rather than make a large, complex controller – we thought it wise to make things simple, but expandable. This new analogue controller will have a USB hub built in, which allows chaining of other devices so each night’s set-up can be as simple or complex as you need.


Winners of the contest will be chosen based on community feedback and discussion – one of which will be the most-liked design on Facebook. The other five will be at the discretion of the DJTT staff.

The winning designs may not be exactly the final controller, as we may combine elements from the most popular submissions.

Prizes: All six winners will get their choice of a Midi Fighter Spectra or 3D. The winners will also be admitted into the exclusive beta test program for the Midi Fighter X project. This means they’ll have early access to test units and be the first in the world to receive the final product when it’s done!

Even if you don’t submit a design, we need everyone to comment on the entrants as they come in and talk about what will make this controller perfect for you.

Got questions about the contest or thoughts about the next era of Midi Fighter? Let us know in the comments below. 


  • Here my layout, if you like it vote with one like it!

    Thank you!


  • Great idea guys! I hope you pick me! I want a midi fighter! haha

  • Shomba

    does voting end at the same time you stopped accepting entries?

    • Shomba

      oh. no one answers 🙁

  • a lot of people have crammed in too many buttons and faders into one tiny controller.

    i know this is not a mixer style controller but just imagine playing one of mad zach’s sound packs on a midi fighter with this controller to compliment it with its clip launch and effects rack. you could have a bassline beat goin on this controllers clip launch while jammin out to mad zach’s pack on the mf3d or mf spectra and add a filter or any other effect you want with the effects rack.

  • Jordan Brawer

    Will there be another coupon given for all the contestants?

  • Matthew Goldstein

    I’m beginning to think that allowing people to design their own midi fighter layout is the way to go… Keeping them small and modular would allow people to use them as supplimentary controllers or combine units to create the controller equivalent of Voltron…

  • glad i’ve seen this i have had to do a design in paint (whilst at work) so its a bit sketchy. looking forward to submitting it later… just hope people can excuse the poor finish on it) 🙂

  • where is the elements PDF mentioned in the readme.pdf?

  • There’s some nice designs there. And some hideous creations. Here’s my attempt:

  • CHAS3R

    Just want to confirm that there will be buttons on the sides similar to the MF3D?


  • i just want to verify that the line/cross faders do in fact take up two squares width wise? and 4 squares in length. I’m just mentioning this (as someone else already has) because i see so many entries where they are crammed together.

    • oh there is a “mini fader” i hadn’t really looked at. scratch my comment!

  • Anonymous

    Holly molly Batman. Have you seen the number of entries already? I counted around 250!!! Amazing….

    Hey Ean. Maybe you could just come up with a way to simply add the different control elements you’ve created for the contest into your manufacturing process and let customers just add the controls to the midi-fighter-X as they’d like and also let them map them as they’d like to too. How cool would that be? An absolutely totally customizable and modular MF system (and make it price conscious too of course.;)). Looks like that is what could be the hit!


  • Nick

    Can we change the size of knobs?

  • Anonymous

    Though it may not be the aim of this controller specifically, is there any way to just get a box with a either few faders, or knobs, kinda like how the MIDI fighter spectra is essentially a box with a bunch of buttons on it? Seems like having a set of small devices like that would be more customizable than any one controller.

    Though, it has occurred to me that maybe that ends up being expensive?

    • Hey RavensKrag – That was our intent for this product, but given the variety of designs we may end up making more than one

  • drew

    I may be one f the very few but 1 thing that isn’t on the market is one big beast with the ability to control all the functions in traktor. yea there’s the s4 and numerous other dj controllers on the market but not one with the ability to run the remix decks, track decks and all the effect banks without with 100 shift functions, in a live environment not many DJs can remember all of this.

    I use a zone 4d for djing with traktor and it been great but it is a little dated now but wont swap a tried and tested simple plug and play unit that can also run the dmx lighting the VJ rig and traktor all at the same time for 6 other separate bits of gear that can do the job a little better.

    I would love to see one unit that can run all aspects of traktor with intuitive shift key functions and a app flexible layout or user interface that doesn’t have to fit in a bag or take up the same footprint as a 17″ laptop.

  • I have an idea but I don’t have or want a facebook account. Is there any other way I can post my idea?

    • Anonymous

      have a friend with an fb account?

  • make one with a joystick that replaces the jogwheel, and I will buy one 🙂

  • Is the touch strip has LED feedback for its position?

  • JazZmutant

    everything i have seen so far screams out faderfox

  • What about using LED color changing buttons. it would give people more reference points without needed extra components.

    • Hey Stephen, You are right – The buttons will all be illuminated with full color control via MIDI, we just kept the assets grey scale so people focus on the actual layout.

      • You all rock thanks. I’m sure you are all busy with this contest for thank you for your time.

      • I’d kinda’ like to see different chase patterns for the LEDs around the buttons as well. This might be helpful for tempo, or loop counts.

  • frank bash

    modular is the best and keep it handy

  • I’ve got a few questions. Can we please have a bigger version of the “design-package-elements-mf-x” image above? I’d like to have more info about the elements. For example: Is the super knob a push encoder? The super knob appears to have some kind of led ring around it similar to those on the APC40, is this the case? Also, will the six side buttons on the chassis be there like with Spectra and 3D?

    • Hi Jesse, Good point! If you download it again you will now find a file called “Component Descriptions.pdf” in the Image Collection folder.

  • Man, I wish I could get some (read: any) customer support for my MF 3D, I bet I would care more about this if that were the case…

    • Zach Dero

      It looks like you filled out a support ticket on Sunday and Chris G is helping you. I’m sure he will be able to resolve your problems for you

  • midi

    How about making the whole controller modular, such as sell different 1×4 unit of buttons or faders or joy sticks or as others suggested a small lcd screen. That way people can really customize their setup and change the face of the unit to their liking over time. Kind of like livid instrument’s elements controllers.

  • What program Can i use free on my Mac?

  • Kai

    Had a lot of fun with this contest, good luck everyone!

    check out my design here:

  • doclvly

    Hey could the segment display be programed to show tempo?

    • doclvly

      i guess thats a no

      • Wassup Doc – The one shown only has 2 digits, however 3 would be possible – just include that in your description.

  • Johnathon

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE guys, read the directions. I’ve seen like 20%+ of the entries with things crammed together where grid squares overlap. Just because you space something out on the chassis and erase the grid doesn’t mean it will work.

    • At least it gives those of us who can follow directions a better chance of winning haha

  • Akiem

    Please Make an all Rotary Encoder 4×4 to perfectly complement Midi Fighter. Encoders work really well for switching between banks. It would be the perfect complementary design.

  • do shares count for anything?

    • I’d think not, but they will get you more likes so have your friends share as much as possible so there area broader amount of people seeing you design as opposed to just your friends

  • Is this the place where I suggest the discoball, trackball-buttons as replacement for MidiFighter buttons? (heh) I kinda’ like the idea of running LEDs up and across the edge of the button so you can see the position of the x-y pointer… like limitless encoders with LEDs running around the ring.

  • Denis Nov

    I would like a participation award 😉

  • Kai Taylor

    Will the Touch Strips have LED position feedback similar to the ones on the Ableton Push?

  • Kai

    Can the mini fader be rotated to use as a crossfader?

    • Anonymous


  • doclvly

    Haha, I see this design contest has learned a lot from the previous 🙂 Nice clear contest here guys. Thanks again.

  • 2 quick questions:
    1. Can you give us more details about how the “Switch Toggle” would look like? Right now it looks very odd and distorted.
    2. The “Button Tactile Wide” takes about a 1.5 squares. Is it possible to place 5 of those in a row?

    • Hi Gilad,

      The toggle switch is a throw switch with an aluminium shaft on it – just like on the Z2. The wide button takes up two squares so only allows placement of up to 4 in a row

  • Nice digital meeting the analog

  • Just submitted my entry! Really excited, I’ve always wanted a MF.

  • Initiative very appreciated ! Really ! modular by design is the future, and you guys understand that, you are not only engineer but also users. But de you think your future product could be better than the new behringer cmd controllers ? Their price are so low and actually i don’t think we can expect more innovative design. Hope the participants will surprise me :p

  • Nick Powers

    So, don’t laugh, I’m using MS paint, I have a design I like, but I can’t get it onto the chassis to put it on the presentation template, any tips on how to do this?

    • Try inkscape its a capable free multi plaform vector editor

      • Nick Powers

        That didn’t work either

  • Anonymous

    Do the likes count on our posts on the DJTT facebook wall, or will they be added to a photo album like the DJTT Spectra laser cut top design competition and then those likes are counted?

  • I’m truly so speechless at this moment. I can’t wait to see the end results and I wish I could design one myself but it won’t work on my mac:(

  • yolo swaggins

    I’d love to see a modular build-a-controller where you can swap out or rearrange components yourself and change the controller to suit your needs. the housing would be a grid of connectors for data/power and each component slots into place. kind of like changing buttons on a normal midi fighter, but instead of just buttons it’s pads/pots/touch strips/jog wheels

  • Can’t wait. Find it totally awesome. Already in love with the 3D. Since 2007 following and proud to be a fan! Can’t wait for more DJTT gear. DJTT rules. Big up!

  • Are the encoders push encoders like the X1 and K2?

    • Yes – They are push encoders just like the X1 and K2 except fatter and easier to turn. We might (wink wink) also have some new technology that allows you to choose if the encoder is endless or has end positions just like a regular knob.

  • Basically you are entirely winning at this in every aspect. I salute you 🙂

  • You could also release multiple models, each one for different purposes, like a 16 knob version, an 8 slider version, ect. If it’s going to be modular, you might as well release modules

  • I have got this… Stay tuned DjTechTools… I have a game changing mind blowing idea… I will draw it up and post it… I was thinking about contacting you guys to see if you could build one for me custom style… this contest is perfect.

  • This is awesome. This is why I LOVE DJ TT, they know how to include their fan base and really show how appreicated they are. Much love from the Kontrol team.

    Do you follow EDM news? Releases? DJ gear?

    Check us out on Facebook at

    and on Twitter @Get_In_Kontrol at

  • Great idea! Very similar concept to the project of Fuzzy-Wobble on easy custom modular controllers! Even if your designs don’t win, you can always turn them into reality when this launches!

  • Juergen Tolksdorf

    This is awesome!!!!!!!!!! And funny too, as I thought before about sending you an e-mail asking for a midifigter with knobs on the first row instead of buttons… haha. I’ll download the shapes and follow the instructions. Thanks!!

  • I kind of have a feeling that all these will more than likely need to be traktor friendly instead of more geared towards djs who use ableton.

    • “DJs” who use Ableton?

    • Personally I want this controller to be something I can use in Ableton every day for production. There are remarkably few small, fun, tactile controllers for general production use other than the low quality kinds.

  • Guy&Girl

    Curious about the size of the pots, they seem to be larger than their proportionate size. They’re 80% as wide as the Sanwa buttons on the AI file.

    • The knobs shown are our chroma cap fatty knobs so are a bit wider than standard

      • Guy&Girl

        Ah gotcha, thanks Michael.

  • Boss… This is so Boss…

  • I would be very glad if the Dicers would get an update!
    Are there any news ? They are glorious !! I Love them so much!

    • Then why do you want an update? Sounds like they are perfect for you already.

      • i love them already!!!
        they keep me so often from looking stopid with serato face 😉
        because i can dejay like usual but still place loops and cues etc.
        just by using my hands and my ears… no looking at some screen or so… perfect!!!!!
        I would like to see more banks and maybe one rotary on it 😉
        and to be honest… I hate the dicer like dots.. but thats now a fact… and in the name, so nocanChange there 😉
        Big ups to you all!

    • It’s something we are actually seriously considering. can you please send us an email and tell me what you would want from new dicers? ean (at) ean golden. com

  • I’m curious to know if DJTT has found a velocity sensitive X-Y pad… preferably transparent enough, you can LCD or LED backlight the pad in some assignable grid format. This (to me) means the highest form of interoperability with the least amount of constriction… like an iPad mini you can really press into. All I’d add at that point would be some push-in, endless rotary, encoder dials (with light rings). In this way, DJs could define what their gestures mean, while still having good ol’ fashioned knobs for direct tweaking control.

    • agreed- at minimum we can offer pads with great after-touch but it’s also technically feasible to put in a pad with X-Y roll control. Spec that in your design

  • Devin

    this is really only good if NI makes mapping controllers a little easier, because right now i wouldn’t even know where to start on this stuff.

    • I don’t restrict my creativity to Native Instruments’ rules. I used to really love NI until they tried to force me to buy a piece of proprietary gear to use advanced functions. There are other DJ software programs that are just as good (if not better than) Traktor right now… it all depends on what you want to do.

  • IF, and only IF, this is going to be a real modular system, then it’s going to be awesome!

    “so each night’s set-up can be as simple or complex as you need.” –> This is great!

    I wonder if one day we’re going to see controlers acting as really small units that can be put together, like a puzzle, in order to create a bigger and custom controller, the same way we can do with TouchOSC for iPad (where we have endless layout possibilities), but in an analogue way. Maybe some “MIDI controller construction Kits”? 😉

  • Great idea, but where did the X-Y touch pad go ??? I saw it on one of the teasers you guys posted before this, but it’s not in the design pack as far as i can see…

    • The X/Y was really large, and would cost a lot. As one other commenter mentioned we could achieve the same function in a pad (which is a lot smaller and less expensive)

  • kstarr

    Love this competition. Really good idea.
    One additional element would be the ultimate to have though: There is all this talk about Serato-face, DJs staring at screens etc and really you can do everything from a controller. So ideally you could put your computer away.

    Except for one the thing: the browser.

    So my ideal would be the addition of a mini screen that could display only the brower list, so you can scroll through your tracks directly on the controller.

    Does anyone know whether such mini VGA screens exist (at a reasonable price) that you could build into a custom controller?

  • Guest

    I posted a controller on your facebook page called the “MiniXer” – I was the first entry. I went to check on it this morning and it isn’t on the page anymore… WHY???

    • Guest

      Never mind… I found it. My bad!

    • nice job on the first entry. make sure to include a description in the comments about what you imagine each section doing.

  • modularity <3

  • type_omega

    this is a grate idea but PLEASE dont let this turn into a mini midi mixer. you can already buy one of those for 50 bucks (m-audio x session) and it would hardly be innovative. on the other hand if you can somehow manage to pack in a hi quality internal sound card and all the outs to hook it into a club system or stand alone PA and all the ins to hook up external decks then by all means DO make it a mini midi mixer.

  • Rukks

    So I have a controller design that I think would be really popular. It will not fit in the midifighter template but I would still like to talk to someone at DJTT about producing it. Who would I contact? I can send NX, ProE, or Catia files given a few days. The only request is that I get one for free if it is produced…this is beyond crowdsourcing.

    • Prof_Strangeman

      Drop it in the controllers section of the forums! Lots of builders there.

      • Rukks

        Lots of DIY builders…I’m talking about a production controller. I like DJTT thats why I want to keep it here, plus if I put it in the forums then it is up for anyone to develop. There have been many controllers proposed in the forums that have then been developed by NI and other companies.

    • email it to us! 🙂 ean (at) ean golden .com

  • Great community idea guys !! .. I think I may take a stab … this is the ultimate “made by Dj’s” project.

  • I’m on it, this is a fantastic concept.

  • grat idea, affordable than most, over club eq mixer, I may wana wait for a z4 for prefs, but got my own hack 😀

  • rafiq

    Been waiting for this moment for too long. It’s about time…thank you DJTT.

  • HFR1

    Awesome. I was just thinking about this last week when trying to decide if I want a MF or if I should make my own controller with different faders and knobs. Really excited to jump into this. Can’t wait to see the winners.

    • our new DJ TT mind reading software actually picked up your idea last week which prompted this entire contest. Good job! ;P