Kontrol S1: DJDoubleYou sawed a deck off a Kontrol S4 to make a new DIY controller
We’ve heard it for years: when will Native Instruments make a single deck DJ controller? What if they made a single-jogwheel device? In a new DIY project, DJTT forum user DJDoubleYou has chopped off a single deck of a Kontrol S4 and build a functioning “Kontrol S1” concept controller. Keep reading for the details so far.
Kontrol S1: born from being tired of deck toggle
You can read the full build log of the Kontrol S1 in the DJTT forum if you want – but I’ll share the highlights in this article. Let’s start with the genesis story as shared by DJDoubleYou in the thread:
“It still happens to me (after almost a decade of owning S4’s) that I’m accidentally controlling the wrong deck (C/D instead of A/B) because I misread the deck switch button.
The “toggle” style button doesn’t allow you to build muscle memory and when things need to be done quickly this becomes a major pain in the ass (it should have been a big chunky flip-style toggle).
So after 8 years of thinking about it, I finally bought an extra S4. The MK1’s are really affordable second-hand these days, got mine for €80.
When I opened it up I was pretty happy to see they used a neatly panelized PCB design, I tend to waaaaaaay overengineer things so now I could just leave the PCB on, cut the traces on it, and connect the components to my own PCB.
The concept is simple enough: cut down the Kontrol S4 into two additional deck controllers – to be used on the outside of a Kontrol S4 MK2, like so:
So far the project is going well – with LEDs and basic mapping working. They have a standard USB-B port on the back and might eventually feature audio output.
The next phase of the project (set to be in April) might even include “a monochrome display with track title, time, progress etc” that would look similar to the mockup below:
We’re sharing the project here to give it a bit more focus in the limelight. When asked how much he’d charge to make them for others, DJDoubleYou wrote:
I wouldn’t really know to be honest. I could do two things:
Provide a kit for people.
This would mean you’d still have to disassemble the S4 and cut the plastic body in half but apart from that it would be super simple, no soldering, foolproof.
Mod them for other people.
The nice thing about this is that the design is simple, stable and super error-proof. It would essentially mean no support to provide and the modding of the physical body gets easier and cleaner the more of them you do.
It eventually comes down to what I want the most, which would not be making money, but sparking DJ DIY enthusiasm and getting freaky DIY controllers back into the scene. […]
If I would sell them pre-made they would probably end up costing €150-250 per controller.
A fellow forum user, kooper1980, probably said it best: “This is old school DJTT. ” Let’s get back to our roots of DIY and hackery. Did you know that the first Midi Fighters started as an idea on the DJTT forums?
Would you buy a Kontrol S1 mod or DIY kit? Share your thoughts in the forum thread, or chime in below in the comments section.