Dj-101 DIY Guide

Our new dj tech tools mantra for this week is:

“we go through the annoying stuff so you dont have to”

That certainly applies to my current attempt to offer a simple, inexpensive midi controller that most people could find useful. In the end I succeeded, but it required some serious investigation and re-thinking the fundamental concepts. This design is not meant to be sold or duplicated but rather to show the basic steps required in building your own midi accessory or moding an existing controller.

While there are many, many different ways to boil this particular egg- i was shooting for the most straight forward method that could be tried out by anyone with access to just a few house hold tools. This meant it had to fit the following:

  • 8 controls or less
  • be useful as a single deck control
  • cost under $100 in parts
  • not take more than a few hours to assemble
  • plug and play USB connectivity with cross platform support
  • not require any coding

It was a frustrating experience because there really are no fantastic plug and play midi systems out there for a low price. In the end the best solution was to abandon MIDI all together and instead go with an HID interface. These interfaces boast lower costs, easy setup, high resolution and universal plug and play compatibility.

Step 1: Read this post

Step 2: Check out the video for more on HID and a step by step guide to building your own dj-101

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