VCI-100 DIY Arcade Mod

Well over a year ago, I got up the gumption to chop up a VCI-100 that was on loan from Vestax in my quest to create a dj instrument.  To my amazement I didn’t break the controller and Vestax didn’t seem angry that their loaner was never coming back.  Emboldened by successful hackery and equipped with 8 arcade buttons I dove headlong into further developing theories on controllerism and cue point juggling. It was that mod and those ideas that kicked off this great site, and started something that has become much bigger- a community of like minded, creative djs.

In order to share the idea with others, I posted a simple tutorial video on youtube but the primitive techniques used then have improved greatly over time. Today, after modifying many controllers for customers around the globe, we have developed a reliable system that is easy and produces great results. Dj TechTools is now very happy to share that system with you, so that anyone that cant afford our custom arcade editions can produce one of their own.

Step 1. Watch the New Tutorial Video Above

Step 2. Download The Improved Cut Guide (Cad)

Step 3. Get the Arcade Overlays (Shown Bellow)

Step 4. Get some Arcade Buttons

Step 4. Rock Out!




Dj TechTools now offers Sanwa Arcade buttons in the webstore which are guaranteed to fit the overlay, VCI and cut guide. Warning, dont use other buttons as they will not fit your VCI without additional case modifications! I have tested every single arcade button available on the planet and promise that these perform significantly better than the Happ and Seimitsu varieties.

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  • D Witt

    which diode do you use for the mod? I’m having troubles finding this info

  • Ian

    Hi Ean

    I tried to download the cut guide, it doesn’t download, it goes to a page which looks like gobledegook. Is that what’s meant to happen or is it corrupt ?

    all the best, great blog and site.
    IPM

  • Markus Hohmann

    When will these kits be available for purchase again?

  • Matt Godwin

    Another request for more mod kits please.

    Alternatively, what diodes should be getting?

    Thanks,

    Matt

  • ADC

    When will these kits be available for purchase again?

  • Tsou

    Will the DIY kit be available anytime soon? Ive found buttons on the net but im worried ill mess up the diodes and soldered lead connections.

  • jzenso

    Hey ean when will the DIY kit be available again?

  • phil france

    Thks for all your help and time you give up to helping people like me to move from turntables to the world of midi controllers

  • rerunner

    I’m having trouble finding out which diodes I need.

  • dsamplz

    any chance of making something for VCI 300??

  • A VT.

    HI GUYS.

    I’VE GOT TO SELL MY VCI-100 ARCADE…

    EMAIL ME FOR PICS… REASONABLE OFFERS WON’T BE DENIED.
    DETHHERTZ@MAC.COM

  • benny blanco®

    there are to two (2) step 4’s under the header, ‘For the Experienced Moder’

  • nateboogee

    My question is, what about the bottom plate? The original vci 100 is gray. Won’t the black overlay look funny against the gray bottom? How do I get the bottom part painted? And what about the gray jog wheels?

  • Sarasin

    [quote comment=””]WOOT!

    Just placed my order!

    Already had the new overlay….but fuckit…..if this one is gonna cover the holes and make it look TIGHT…..then so be it!

    🙂

    GETTING THERE!

    :)[/quote]

    Already have my SANWA 24 buttons. I notice you are using the clip version Ean. I got the ones with the screw to keep it in place.

    Should not make a difference huh?

  • Sarasin

    WOOT!

    Just placed my order!

    Already had the new overlay….but fuckit…..if this one is gonna cover the holes and make it look TIGHT…..then so be it!

    🙂

    GETTING THERE!

    🙂

  • Jonas

    [quote post=”1598″]Turntablism has gone through about 20 years of development during which many talented musicians have created their own techniques and theories on the concept resulting in improvements for everyone. That is what I mean when I talk about the theories of controllerism.

    I certainly did not invent controllerism or coin the term (that was moldover). The most I can claim to have accomplished is to come up with new concepts in the area and popularize the concept of controllerism through my column in remix magazine and now this blog.

    There are a lot of creative people who have been working with controllers and music for a long time and they all deserve respect. We are interested in how that interaction can specifically benefit the dj. That particular arena, which has been coined controllerism, is very new and fairly un=proven. Thanks for your support and interest in the subject. [/quote]

    Thanks for taking the time. I’m really happy you guys made the VCI far more usable for DJs wanting to experiment with the controller’s capabilities.

    Speaking of which: When will the VCI 100 SE be back in stock?

  • Kilo E

    [quote comment=””]

    Hi Ean, I have a numark omni control and i am eager to mod it first of all do you know if I can buy any new knobs to i.e. rubber ones to replace the existing plastic ones, secondly would it be possible to ad arcade buttons to it. or has any one else done any moding with a numark omni.

  • La Japonaise Moustachue

    Thanks!
    I will look that up when I’m back home

    [quote comment=””][quote comment=”20442″][quote comment=””]
    I have a question concerning the machine shop thing.
    I have difficulties finding a shop willing to do the cut (here in Belgium)
    [/quote]

    I think lots of you guys are way too much afraid of this step. I actually know a guy who cut the plate at home with simple tools (rubber and basic sawing machine) – it is a matter of careful hand job and it takes time. Of course it will be little rough, but hey, thats what overlay is here for. Officialy Ean recommends machine shop but that doesn’t mean you have to franticaly search for place equiped with top notch laser saws and sh*t, one pair of crafty hands, couple of hours and small workroom and you are good to go. At this level, any craftsmen who works with metal (i guess even locksmith) should handle it.

    The CAD file with cut plans is simple task for anyone who does study Architecture, Design or basicaly anyone who does technical drawing (go search your facebook friendlist, you will be surprised how many guys can actually help you)… with some basic research you can handle it yourself.[/quote]
    [quote comment=””][quote comment=””]
    I have a question concerning the machine shop thing.
    I have difficulties finding a shop willing to do the cut (here in Belgium)
    [/quote]

    I think lots of you guys are way too much afraid of this step. I actually know a guy who cut the plate at home with simple tools (rubber and basic sawing machine) – it is a matter of careful hand job and it takes time. Of course it will be little rough, but hey, thats what overlay is here for. Officialy Ean recommends machine shop but that doesn’t mean you have to franticaly search for place equiped with top notch laser saws and sh*t, one pair of crafty hands, couple of hours and small workroom and you are good to go. At this level, any craftsmen who works with metal (i guess even locksmith) should handle it.

    The CAD file with cut plans is simple task for anyone who does study Architecture, Design or basicaly anyone who does technical drawing (go search your facebook friendlist, you will be surprised how many guys can actually help you)… with some basic research you can handle it yourself.[/quote]

    Check out the forum how I did it myself with a cheap file: http://www.djtechtools.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6323

    If you’re somewhat familiar with soldering and modding you can do the Arcade mod yourself.[/quote]

  • Fiffi

    [quote comment=”20442″][quote comment=””]
    I have a question concerning the machine shop thing.
    I have difficulties finding a shop willing to do the cut (here in Belgium)
    [/quote]

    I think lots of you guys are way too much afraid of this step. I actually know a guy who cut the plate at home with simple tools (rubber and basic sawing machine) – it is a matter of careful hand job and it takes time. Of course it will be little rough, but hey, thats what overlay is here for. Officialy Ean recommends machine shop but that doesn’t mean you have to franticaly search for place equiped with top notch laser saws and sh*t, one pair of crafty hands, couple of hours and small workroom and you are good to go. At this level, any craftsmen who works with metal (i guess even locksmith) should handle it.

    The CAD file with cut plans is simple task for anyone who does study Architecture, Design or basicaly anyone who does technical drawing (go search your facebook friendlist, you will be surprised how many guys can actually help you)… with some basic research you can handle it yourself.[/quote]
    [quote comment=””][quote comment=””]
    I have a question concerning the machine shop thing.
    I have difficulties finding a shop willing to do the cut (here in Belgium)
    [/quote]

    I think lots of you guys are way too much afraid of this step. I actually know a guy who cut the plate at home with simple tools (rubber and basic sawing machine) – it is a matter of careful hand job and it takes time. Of course it will be little rough, but hey, thats what overlay is here for. Officialy Ean recommends machine shop but that doesn’t mean you have to franticaly search for place equiped with top notch laser saws and sh*t, one pair of crafty hands, couple of hours and small workroom and you are good to go. At this level, any craftsmen who works with metal (i guess even locksmith) should handle it.

    The CAD file with cut plans is simple task for anyone who does study Architecture, Design or basicaly anyone who does technical drawing (go search your facebook friendlist, you will be surprised how many guys can actually help you)… with some basic research you can handle it yourself.[/quote]

    Check out the forum how I did it myself with a cheap file: http://www.djtechtools.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6323

    If you’re somewhat familiar with soldering and modding you can do the Arcade mod yourself.

  • Kupujte_Pytle

    [quote comment=””]
    I have a question concerning the machine shop thing.
    I have difficulties finding a shop willing to do the cut (here in Belgium)
    [/quote]

    I think lots of you guys are way too much afraid of this step. I actually know a guy who cut the plate at home with simple tools (rubber and basic sawing machine) – it is a matter of careful hand job and it takes time. Of course it will be little rough, but hey, thats what overlay is here for. Officialy Ean recommends machine shop but that doesn’t mean you have to franticaly search for place equiped with top notch laser saws and sh*t, one pair of crafty hands, couple of hours and small workroom and you are good to go. At this level, any craftsmen who works with metal (i guess even locksmith) should handle it.

    The CAD file with cut plans is simple task for anyone who does study Architecture, Design or basicaly anyone who does technical drawing (go search your facebook friendlist, you will be surprised how many guys can actually help you)… with some basic research you can handle it yourself.

  • La Japonaise Moustachue

    Hey Ean, hey guys

    I have a question concerning the machine shop thing.
    I have difficulties finding a shop willing to do the cut (here in Belgium)
    One shop could do it, but only if they start from scratch.
    So here’s my question: Is it possible to have a DXF file of the entire VCI-100 plate? (and not only the plan for the arcade buttons)
    (I suppose vestax will never send me this)

  • Ean Golden

    [quote comment=”20432″]If I read correctly the DIY kit is $45.00 but the modified Arcade edition is a premium of $300.00 over the standard VCI-100 SE. What constitutes the price difference of $250.00?[/quote]

    Arcade Buttons: $20
    Arcade Kit: $45
    Machine Shop: $80
    Time to do the mod yourself: about 4-5 hours

    I am not sure how much your time is worth but I would personally pay professionals an extra $150 to save 4 hours of work and make sure the job is done perfectly. Plus your supporting dj techtools and our work here.

    We could charge a lot more for the arcade kit than $45 but I wanted to make it a great deal for everyone.

    [quote comment=”20432″]
    Just wondering if Tech Tools might offer to take in VCI’s for a legit cost and do the mods for those of us who really want the mods but don’t have the technical savvy to do such modding without effing up our gear?
    [/quote]

    No, I am afraid we cant find a way to make this work a price that makes sense. This Kit is the best way to go.

  • Anonymous

    Just wondering if Tech Tools might offer to take in VCI’s for a legit cost and do the mods for those of us who really want the mods but don’t have the technical savvy to do such modding without effing up our gear?

  • Manotk

    [quote comment=””]hi, Great job Ean And the team! i just dounload the cut guide in this tutorial but i canot openit what aplication do i need to seeit or this is only for the cutmashine program. thanx for help us and best regards![/quote]

  • Djedge

    [quote comment=””]If I read correctly the DIY kit is $45.00 but the modified Arcade edition is a premium of $300.00 over the standard VCI-100 SE. What constitutes the price difference of $250.00?[/quote]

    The difference I belive includes the arcade buttons, the machine shop labor, and the time DJTechTools put into building a reliable modification. There will always be a cost for labor in anything that you hve some one else do. On that note I am not very good with taking apart electronic devices. I wonder if DJTechTools will accept a vci100 an modify it for a particular price..

  • Manotk

    hi, Great job Ean And the team! i just dounload the cut guide in this tutorial but i canot openit what aplication do i need to seeit or this is only for the cutmashine program. thanx for help us and best regards!

  • Just B3

    If I read correctly the DIY kit is $45.00 but the modified Arcade edition is a premium of $300.00 over the standard VCI-100 SE. What constitutes the price difference of $250.00?

  • Anonymous

    Just wondering when you guys refer to a machine shop to do the cuts for you what kind of shop would fall into that category. And how does the cut file work? If I can’t solder where could I take it to get that done

  • Priscilla

    Nice. Yeah I assumed it had to have some other advantage than just look pretty rad. Thanks Kupujte_Pytle

  • Kupujte_Pytle

    [quote comment=””]
    I was curious if it had any hardware improvements such as a faster trigger speed and things of that nature.
    [/quote]

    it is all about the faster trigger speed. i ve tried it once and it is a BIG difference, since then i’m planning to mod it as well…

  • Priscilla

    I was wondering what exactly was the advantage to having the arcade buttons. Here is what I think but hopefully Ean can add some more insight.

    1. Bigger buttons make it easier to trigger in terms of scale. (i.e you don’t have to accurately press the little button that comes stock with a VCI. Which can help the dj add more expression to his/her performance.

    2. Well it just looks that much cooler, which by the way is enough for me to mod the unit 🙂

    I was curious if it had any hardware improvements such as a faster trigger speed and things of that nature.

    Ean and the Team good work on everything.

  • Ean Golden

    [quote comment=”20403″]
    I have been wondering why you always term ‘controllerism’ as a theory. You’re quite literally making the statement you’d invented ‘creative djing’, exluding, of course, everyone else who had been djing creatively with digital equipment before you were there to coin the phrase. [/quote]

    Turntablism has gone through about 20 years of development during which many talented musicians have created their own techniques and theories on the concept resulting in improvements for everyone. That is what I mean when I talk about the theories of controllerism.

    I certainly did not invent controllerism or coin the term (that was moldover). The most I can claim to have accomplished is to come up with new concepts in the area and popularize the concept of controllerism through my column in remix magazine and now this blog.

    There are a lot of creative people who have been working with controllers and music for a long time and they all deserve respect. We are interested in how that interaction can specifically benefit the dj. That particular arena, which has been coined controllerism, is very new and fairly un=proven. Thanks for your support and interest in the subject.

    [quote comment=”20405″]I have a question… If I buy this kit, does it require ANY soldering?
    A- I don’t have a soldering machine
    B- I don’t want to buy a soldering machine
    C- I don’t have the patience to learn to use a soldering machine
    [/quote]

    Then this kit is certainly not for you! 😉 it requires all of the above.

    [quote comment=”20406″]
    I’m hoping that the lazer cutting guys can cut through my vci case and not screw up the original overlay.Do you see that being a problem?[/quote]

    After the holes are cut there are holes left behind where the parts of the square buttons are. Those holes are covered up by the arcade version of the overlay which you should really purchase if your going to do this kit.

  • Mudo

    Well… Ean and Moldover represent Digital djing/controllerism instead of “classical” (?) dijing/turntablism.

    If you check the definition of Controllerism is “do Turntablism with controllers” then is the digital djing and…

    What about the use of turntables?

    Turntablism?
    Controllerism?

    Tooltablism?

    Free Creative Humans (using tools for express themselves)

    Just my2cents.

    PS: Ean good work with faceplate arcade button mod!

  • tr0uble

    [quote comment=”20403″]

    I have been wondering why you always term ‘controllerism’ as a theory. You’re quite literally making the statement you’d invented ‘creative djing’, exluding, of course, everyone else who had been djing creatively with digital equipment before you were there to coin the phrase. ‘controllerism’ is simply someone setting up controllers in his favorite programs click by click to make them work the way he likes. I’m guessing theory is a pretty big word for that.

    Maintaining a lower profile wouldn’t mean that you didn’t deserve the respects for designing great enhancements and sharing them with the public. To me, it would also mean not feeling insulted every time I visit this page for some interesting news in controllers and digital djing.

    Thanks.[/quote]

    Jeez get over yourself. I can’t find any instance of Ean using the word in that way and in any case, aren’t you getting a little hung up on semantics?

    ‘Controllerism’ is just a neat tag to describe an activity that everyone admits has existed for a long time. I don’t see anyone here taking credit for inventing the idea of controlling music digitally.

  • Kilo E

    Hi Ean, I have a numark omni control and i am eager to mod it first of all do you know if I can buy any new knobs to i.e. rubber ones to replace the existing plastic ones, secondly would it be possible to ad arcade buttons to it. I look forward to your response

  • blastmasterdee

    Hi Ean,

    Kudos to you for your hard work and dedication to making this DJing format a reality.

    I have incrementally upgraded my original VCI-100 through your site – first firmware, then SE black overlay, buttons and faders and I have just ordered the new arcade mod kit (minus the overlay).

    On that note, I’m hoping I’ve done the right thing by not buying another overlay. I’m hoping that the lazer cutting guys can cut through my vci case and not screw up the original overlay.

    Do you see that being a problem?

  • Scott

    I have a question… If I buy this kit, does it require ANY soldering?
    A- I don’t have a soldering machine
    B- I don’t want to buy a soldering machine
    C- I don’t have the patience to learn to use a soldering machine

    Also, is it possible to fit the arcade buttons through the original VCI overlay? There aren’t any places where I can do “lazer cutting” where I live…

    Thanks in advance

    Thank you Ean for all your hard work and creativity!

    Big up to the whole Dj TT Crew!

  • ArthurNava

    the?o?ry
    ??[thee-uh-ree, theer-ee]
    –noun
    1. a coherent group of general propositions used as principles of explanation for a class of phenomena: Einstein’s theory of relativity.
    2. a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural, in contrast to well-established propositions that are regarded as reporting matters of actual fact.

    I think the whole Controllerism thing is relatively new, most DJs out there reject it, and therefore it is still a theory. until it is proven and respected in the professional DJing arena without any hesitation will it be a fact. Plus nowhere does Ean ever state the theory is something he completely owns or is completely responsible for. I first found Sunshine Jones at a Sublevel NYE Party Two years ago with a black VCI then found Moldovers site and then this site, both of which use the term. In any case this site is a great place to get to know what controllerism is and what others are doing within it, and I don’t think anyone in here is taking credit for anything except for the advice they give to all the new comers.

  • Jonas

    Ean, you’ve done a great job designing the overlays and modding the VCI to better fit the needs of DJs. As a matter of fact, I’m thinking of buying a modded VCI from you guys right now.

    I have been wondering why you always term ‘controllerism’ as a theory. You’re quite literally making the statement you’d invented ‘creative djing’, exluding, of course, everyone else who had been djing creatively with digital equipment before you were there to coin the phrase. ‘controllerism’ is simply someone setting up controllers in his favorite programs click by click to make them work the way he likes. I’m guessing theory is a pretty big word for that.

    Maintaining a lower profile wouldn’t mean that you didn’t deserve the respects for designing great enhancements and sharing them with the public. To me, it would also mean not feeling insulted every time I visit this page for some interesting news in controllers and digital djing.

    Thanks.

  • Fred

    I bought the VCI-100 ONLY because of your Arcade mod. As of yesterday, I finally have my own modded Arcade Edition VCI-100. Big ups!