Our friend Shawn Wasabi is back on the Midi Fighter performance train, this time with an epic three minute performance that mashes up samples and sounds from over 150 different songs. What makes this performance special the use of a custom-made Midi Fighter 64 that we built exclusively for Shawn at his request.
Behind Shawn’s Performance
We wanted to learn a bit more about how Shawn puts these types of routines together, and he was nice enough to answer a few questions. We asked how we remembers exactly what he’s triggering with so many pads and samples in a routine:
“It’s a lot of muscle memory and strategic sample mapping! Instead of remembering where each individual sample is, I try to remember the pattern that my hands move in. There are parts where I press 6-7 buttons simultaneously, so I always map the samples so that my hands are in the least awkward position possible when playing through the controller routine.
In Ableton, I have banks within banks. I place drum racks within chain selectors within even more chain selectors. There are 5 buttons on the bottom of the Midi Fighter button layout that are mapped only to chain selectors. Everything else is mapped out to drum rack cells across several banks.”
Behind The Midi Fighter 64
There’s plenty of 8 X 8 pad controllers out there, but none that have the insane responsiveness of the Midi Fighter controllers – which is why DJTT’s Michael Mitchell took on the challenge of crafting a unit just for Shawn.
“As the original Midi Fighter was somewhat inspired by the Monome I had always wanted to build a Midi Fighter with a lot of buttons, but had never had a great reason to, so when Shawn emailed me early last year and asked if I would be willing to build him a 64 button Midi Fighter it was reason I had been waiting for.” – Michael Mitchell
The interesting thing is that it’s not really just one unit – the Midi Fighter 64 is actually made out of a number of different unique parts. The guts of the unit are actually four Midi Fighter Spectra PCBs chained together, running a custom firmware.
Also needed was a unique enclosure for the 64 button controller, so Michael designed and 3D printed the entire chassis.
Right now there are no plans to bring the 64-button version of the Midi Fighter to mass production – but maybe someday! The midi fighter 64 is finally going into production – get on the list here.