Controllers come in all shapes and sizes, yet producers will still tinker with the device to create a custom workflow. iPads and other tablets make nice alternatives because an artist can build a custom controller within the app, however, the amount of space is always an issue. Then there are artists who take tablets to the next level and use a giant touch screen, for example the Microsoft Perceptive Pixel screen, to create enormous, tactile controllers. A prominent example is Deadmau5 who can be seen creating a custom controller using a 55’’ touch-screen, below.
Giant Tablet, Multiple Possibilities
The tablet shown in the above video is Microsoft’s Perspective Pixel device. At 55’’, this is one of the biggest touch displays running as a functional touch device. Deadmau5 purchased the device in order to be implemented into his future tours and performances. This device runs Windows 8.1 just like any other Microsoft tablet would and a producer or DJ could run any compatible app to create a custom MIDI controller, such as Touch OSC.
Here’s his just-posted Instagram view of a 1st person view from his onstage booth:
Everyone has seen a producer “play” a set through a pair of CDJs. Tablets and especially ones of this magnitude can be used as either a custom controller or platform to play a song using clips and live production, taking the whole set out of a traditional festival DJ feeling and into a true live performance vibe.
Future Trend in Music Performances?
This way of performing may not be any less complex than working with synthesizers, turntables, mixers, and sound machines, but it does seem a lot more engaging. A system like the one Deadmau5 demonstrates will keep a performer much busier during the entire set. That being said, this system isn’t cheap and I wouldn’t recommend it for the average DJ. However, if this were to become a more accepted form of performing, we may see a lot more producer creating a more hands-on experience. Giant touch screens are offering what the tablet offers as a medium for DJing only on a much better and bigger scale.
What are your thoughts on Deadmau5’s giant tablet? Can you see your favorite artist using this in their set?