Touch Screen DJ Interfaces – Hot or Hype?

First came the insane press attention for the iPad DJ and now we have two more touch-screen DJ concepts making serious waves in the blog-sphere. It’s safe to say that the DJ world is fired up about DJing with touch interfaces and chomping at the bit for something mind-blowing. Even though Gizmodo seems to think so, are these latest videos really that amazing? After the jump, we will share the videos in question, talk to some creators and evaluate what the latest buzz in DJing really has to offer.

THE EMULATOR

Re-engineering Traktor into a touch-screen interface is an exciting concept that was created by Pablo Martin, creator of MonoTouchLive. I like that the browser disappears and becomes a controller interface during playback, making a tiny 15″ screen much more workable.  In this case the touch aspect does not add much functionality to the Traktor UI but it does turn a low-cost touch-screen laptop into an all-in-one DJ solution that could offer a glimpse into the future.

Assuming you don’t have a touch-screen computer, an Emulator system will cost around $500-800:

  • $49 – Emulator Software
  • $299 – HP L2105tm
  • $199 – Traktor Pro

You could, alternatively, purchase a mid-range Traktor LE controller like the Typhoon and a Traktor Pro upgrade for under $400. That’s not to say that this concept does not have potential – it does. Once touch surfaces become more prevalent then the entire idea will become very cost-effective.

Where touch-screens fail

In the first video, everything seems incredibly usable on a 60″ transparent touch surface. Unfortunately, a touch-screen laptop  is the only way to use this concept today if you want a portable solution. When evaluated under those conditions (see the video above), the user interface starts to have some difficulties.

  • Loop Buttons – Multiple loop buttons for each value take up more space than a more effective encoder and they are easy to accidentally trigger.
  • Low Res Faders – Divide the length of the virtual fader by the width of your finger tip and calculate the effective resolution of a touch fader. Not only are they awkward to use and very low resolution but trying to do fast DJ throws is very difficult.
  • Waveform Interface – Unless it takes advantage of gestures a mouse may be more precise than the finger tip when skipping through a visual waveform.
  • Rotary Knobs – Unfortunately, touch surfaces are just not very good at knob emulation and certainly don’t improve on the physical alternative.

Where It Works

  • Browsing – Searching and loading tracks is very natural via a touch interface. It works better than a mouse and we are very used to the work flow. The drag-and-drop loading action presented in the video looks very natural.
  • Dynamic Interface – While this could be done with a non-touch interface, a dynamic touch surface that changes depending on environmental conditions is a big improvement over static control surfaces.
  • Transparent Screens – When the audience is able to see what your doing and the entire interface is eye level, everyone wins.

GERG’S LIGHT TABLE

First, to clarify some confusion, we spoke to the creator of this project about how it was made. Contrary to some reports, this video does not feature a real touch-screen interface. Instead, it is a very convincing non-functional mock-up that the creator, Gerg, used to demonstrate his video and graphics skills for a final thesis project.

Q. How did you create this prototype?

Gerg: To visualize my idea, I mocked up this prototype with Adobe After Effects, camera work and editing. The first thing I did was record a mini-set. Then, I animated my design to the music and played the results back through a flat-screen monitor. While the animation was playing, I ‘performed’ the hand gestures as if I were really using the touch-screen.

Q. Where did you pull inspiration from for the FX, scratch and cue interfaces?

Gerg: My college professor sent me a quote from an article in DJ Mag interviewing Carl Cox. While talking about his setup, he stated,

“What I am worried about and don’t want to fall into, is dependence on too many screens to play a set. It’s bad enough having one computer screen. After all, it’s all about the performance and the people. I want to be looking at the crowd and them looking at me, interacting with one another. If we start getting dependent on screens it is going to ruin the art of performance.”

This really got me thinking about utilizing the capabilities of a multi-touch surface. If you could apply a gesture to large areas on the screen without having to look down to be precise, then you can interact with the crowd more.

Q. How has the response been so far to the installation?

Gerg: So far, the response has been very inspiring. There are lots of people very excited about my idea. I’ve gotten both a lot of positive and negative comments. I’m glad its gotten people participating in a dialogue, good or bad. I have to take negative comments with a grain of salt because this way of doing things is not for everyone. This is by no means the only solution, but the beginning of something new.

We Like

  • Blob-Like Circles – Rotate to give you a real sense of distance travelled and a unique look!
  • 4-Finger Volume Swipe – Yes! One question: does Apple own the 4-finger swipe?
  • Cue Points Tied To The Waveform Position – Way cool.
  • 2-Finger Pinch For Loop Setting – Great concept, but problematic for longer loops.
  • One-Touch Effects – The intuitive touch-and-pull action replicates the Fader FX concept found on our VCI-100SE, so of course I love it! 🙂

Could Be Better

  • As the video points out, a touch-screen interface is problematic because you have to keep a careful eye on finger position to avoid accidents. He reduces the issue by using large spaces and big gestures but does not solve the core issue: many DJs want to close their eyes, listen to the music and gently ride the faders.
  • The intro to the movie is fairly misguided, but I like the totally outside perspective on a DJ interface. The results speak for themselves; they are original and well thought out, without sticking to the obnoxious status quo of DJ gear today.
  • Three essential DJ functions are poorly recreated and won’t work as presented: start, stop, tempo adjustment and phase adjustment.

WRAP UP

The big-picture concept here is really compelling. Sound card, computer and controller all wrapped up in one portable object that replaces an expensive and complex DJ rig. Unfortunately, realizing that dream is still several years off. While these videos may be a great glimpse at what the future of DJing could look like, they fail to deliver a vehicle or the road-map on how to get there.

Of course, knobs, faders and touchscreens are only the beginning… how about some 3D motion control?

djemulatorgerginterfacenewNewstokentouchTraktor Tipswerk
Comments (111)
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  • Manquin DJ

    whre can I get one of those screens for sale?

  • sam ramirez

    yes !!! this is the furture and if all those people can’t dig it ; leave those behind and don’t look back cause i see so many good things to come with this technolgy. i mess with music and this is not only hot . people will want this…  sam

  • Darkpartys

    One of The djs I manage Tfoxxx uses a 32in 10 digit multitouch flatscreen monitor in no bigger of a case than a full turntable setup. She has gone from vinyl to laptop and says she’ll never go back since even with just a laptop and sometimes 2 she spins and mixes up to 8 turntables simultaneously a lot easier to carry a flat panel or even two, and a laptop or CPU than 4-8 turntables, a conroller etc. I think it’s one of the best things to happen in djing in a long time. Since full laptop dj programs. Plus it’s great for show. The audience can see the turntables watch her work, without interfering with what she’s doing. And being a dj since the e
    Late 80’s I find it very impressive and entreating watching a dj work 4+ turntables and up in the air instead of on a table. Btw the laptop is an everyday laptop@ 500.00 and both flat panels together were 700. The software 350.00 so there’s a huge savings. Plus easier to travel with. I think it’s just another choice and preference. There will still be people that insist on using what they’re used to. And being a dj/producer it only matters how good you are not which equipment you use.

  • Miladin

    does anybody know if i can controle Traktor, using multitouch, direct on the HP-tm2 touchscreen without the emulator software???

    thanxx

  • DJ Shadowcaster

    Love it would love to have one put it threw the test. just wish it would force you to beat match, cause like alot of this digital stuff does it for you. Sad cause we dont know who is a real dj and who isnt. Its no longer about who has skill but who has the cash cause with a computer that beat matches for you, anyone can do it.

    • Darkpartys

      I manage several djs……Trust me no matter how automated these things get, there’s a lot mor to being a dj then beatmatching. Ignoring distractions, working the crowd, playing appropriate music, etc. You can still tell who sucks! Just cuz mommy and daddy buy you the equipment doesn’t mean your a dj!

  • The HoloDesk

    We have been watching this column and would like to advise Deadmau5 used our 74 inch HoloDesk at his 18 Dec Earls Court London concert where the crowd was enthusiastic to say the least. Search google for earls court arguru or simply go to HoloDesk’s wed site. http://www.holodesk.biz The technology used to create the surface is available from ICE AV Technology Ltd in New Zealand and shipping world wide now. The actual components to make your own interactive touch screen have been shipping from ICE AV edgeless and framed for the last few years. http://holodesk.wordpress.com/media/deadmau5-concert-video-links/

  • Nan

    CHeck this out!!! Reactable for iPhone and iPad!!!!

  • LUCAS BAR

    In 2006 i wrote a letter to apple explaining how beneficial multi touch technology will become

    In 2007 i wrote to SolidStateLogic ,I had a dream, this very same dream a touchscreen all in one audio mixing console to compose a 64 track mixing console in one digital tabletop, digital patchbay, and plugins.. studio room is no longer an issue.

    I also dj all the time and see this is the obvious future music performance, i give it until 2012,this technology will be freshly available to consumers, i just wish i could be part of it, how about we all put our cash together and develop a prototype for Serato to program and Apple to Build

    Another idea is you can get these touch sensors for projectors, project and image onto the glass like in the first video and then use the sensor to document movements, latency is the only current limitation here..

    Regards, Lucas Bar
    GCAUdio

    Soundcloud.com/phonik

  • midihendrix

    some facts:

    99% of ppl interested in touchscreen seem to be amateur wannabes who cant play an instrument.

    humans have developed musical interfaces for 50,000 years. they are so accurate and finetuned and capable of expressing a great variety of emotion. now ppl want to replace that with a touchscreen to control filter cutoff.

    almost all comments and news on controllers and touchscreen seem to pertain to live performance. does anyone not see the enormous potential of a giant touchscreen to replace most studio controllers? and completely change workflow

    • Irishladd_rreep3

      yur gay..

  • john john

    No anticipation for me, using touchAble right now, an awesome controller for Ableton live on IPAD, wow!!!

    http://www.touch-able.com

  • Jérémie Cholette

    For the GERG’S LIGHT TABLE I think is possible to use it with 2 magic track pad for the deck and an 3 for the mixer.
    Both i think the touch screen djing it’s not good for the moment except with the jazzmutant lemur!

  • Falko

    I’ve been trolling this site for a while now, as I’m about to make the jump into laptop DJing (after 2 years of CD, having dropped my beloved Vinyl because where I gig no longer has turntables). And what amazes me is with all the talk about knobs and scratching, absolutely nobody seems to be looking for a solution to what I find is the biggest loss when I stopped using vinyl: digging through my record box. Those big records with colours and pictures always helped me find the next great track, whereas a CD – especially one of the hundreds that I’ve burned myself – provides no visual clue as to the music it holds.

    Fundamentally, I DJ to listen to great tracks, and share it with other people. The artistry comes from the composition of the 2-4 hour set. I don’t care about knobs, nor scratching. I just want to find the next great piece of music to play.

    This is what excites me about the iPad. I watch people browsing their photos and folders with photos, and I imagine those are my album covers in different crates. Tap on the album, and the tracks show up with waveforms (another vinyl clue lost with CDs – the “fingerprint” of the track). No need to browse menus and submenus with filenames (as i have to do with Ableton) – give me pictures!

  • tauket2

    I started DJing on the Stanton SCS.3 system. I think they were probably the first ones to put out a %100 touch controller and i think they’re the only ones who got it right up to now. The think actually looks like a DJ controller, even when it’s off, so that it makes it feel that much more realistic and intuitive

  • Proze

    Definitely hybrid is the option in the short term. In fact until Native Instruments or Serato accept it and go back to I/O as an input and get the hell over Midi, touch screens can work effectively for fast-paced sampling or high bpm style mixing. Great for a minimal set I guess but way too much latency to work for the style of DJing that’s fun and entertaining.

    A mate and I spent most of last year creating prototypes of most of the available touch screen and infra-red sensitive screen surfaces out there in the hope of making a fold away DJ table without the equipment. No matter how cool and intuitive you make the interface (we even had Traktor pro projected onto a table and re-programmed the signals to incorporate pinch loops etc) there’s too much latency because the signal has to be converted to midi by a software program before it can run anything on a DJ software program.

    This just kills it for those on the beat drops and any kind of sampling that requires more timing than Psy-trance. There will need to be a change in DJ software before this kind of hardware will be effective. That or a highspeed processor inbuilt to convert the HID/I/O signal to Midi in a matter of nanoseconds before it reaches your computer.

    Still in the future maybe… let’s face it it would be pretty awesome

  • Bez Wanker

  • sameoldsong

    It’s a hype.

    First, people often underestimate latency. E.g., the iPhone takes up to 80ms to process a multitouch gesture. I know much lower numbers are floating around but I suspect people are measuring trash. That is, they only measure the time AFTER the app has learned about the input.

    Second, there’s no tactile feedback on a touchscreen. Of course, this is something Ean discussed.

  • DJN

    Hype – it’s not new just has some more options now then years ago.
    Back in 1998 I was playing with a touchscreen to control and select music in Megaseg on the Mac and tried the same on PCDJ when it came out ( I dubthe Sir Crasholot of Neverwork) It worked on the mac and got better as they added a graphical dual deck interface. Not supper fast and not dual touch but there really wasn’t anything remotely like a DJ interface besides a keyboard (no midi support yet…) or the Contour Shuttle Pro ( if it’s good enough for video editors it will work in a pinch for me) Flash forward to now… not too much has changed for touch interfaces but I’ll grab for the old Kaoss pad for fun… They got the right idea touch control with real buttons and knobs – using that may be closer to a winner. Just my 2 cents

  • KasperFalck

    everything is becomming “appled” everything has to be touching on a screen, it’s sad and it’s sucks, but this is how the world is changing. I doubt that DJ’s will change to these systems within 10-15 years. it’s this style which works and what everybody loves.

  • PABLO MARTIN

    We start sell screen very soon, please follow the Emualtor site.
    Some big news soon.

    Pablo

  • Nikolaj

    I really, REALLY want a screen like the one in the 1st video 😀

    wonder were it’s available ? 🙂 any one?

  • 6StringMercenary

    To both Pablo and Ean, many thanks for bringing this stuff to the right environment. I actually did a quick email-of-interest to a couple friends about trying to dupe, music use only, what Pablo worked up. Very impressive. In the same vein though, I really value tactile feedback – a significant holdover from guitar land. This is definitely a look toward the future, but in all honesty, I’m going to stick to mashing stuff on my APC40. I find the review fair in that it does acknowledge the intent and platform from an educated perspective…and while I don’t have my sources nearby, I can cite a few research works defending the notion of “intuition.” Cheers y’all.

  • john

    I used to own the first of it’s kind. Jazzmutant’s Lemur.
    Never got it to work properly.
    This might be a new angle to look at it.
    We’ll see, so far I’ll stick to 2x VCI-100’s.

  • 2010

    DJ software and transparent touch screen surface, this is brilliant.
    There is no secrets to hide, show the people what is really going on in front of today’s digital dj.

    Embrace and control technology, don’t be afraid of it.

  • KingRichard1st

    I’m loving the way DJ’ing is going with regards to the touch screen side, ie. with a large transparent interface, the crowd can see what the Dj is doing and this can become a great visual/audio performance…

    NOW…

    Someone please tell how the hell I can scratch with a touch fader!? Crabbing???????

    As much as i love the idea, there’s nothing like hangin off a control when you’re jumpin around mid-set!!

    Hey all, this is great stuff, yes I agree with the tactility side but what about a blend of things??? ….. Hey Gerg?

  • Funky B

    I remember a touch screen interface for djs that “surfaced” before the ipad…

    http://www.attigo.co.uk/about.html

    This project was intended for decks only – no touch screen mixer interface.

  • Flex Boogie

    I have been reading this blog for sometime now and this piece has finally prompt me to leave a comment. I have been spinning vinyl records in public and for a living since 1988. Being a “Disc Jokey” requires use of the turntable. No one calls in-line skating “skateboarding”… do they?

    I heart technology and I love my Traktor Pro + midi controller (I still spin with a analog mixer and two 1200’s too). However, I never fully embraced performing digitally until the introduction of Final Scratch 1.0 for PC. I completely leapfrogged CD players.

    In 2010 I have noticed that “main stream” crowds don’t give a damn what the DJ is spinning on. Technology levels the playing field but, the best artist are still the best athletes. Any DJ worth his weight performing “the art of scratch mixing” was (and still is) in no hurry to jump to a 100% digital interface.

    The “wow” factor of watching a DJ perform/rock the crowd on the delicate turntable is what inspired me to try it. I believe there is still a certain class of musician/artist (NOT DJ Lektro)who will head the call of the SL-1200MK5!

  • URBSTAR

    This is whats up. I saw this “token” device running emulator on Engadget last week. I love how everyone places pro’s and con’s on things that the have not taking the time to use it. I love the idea of having a 40 inch see through touch creen so the crowd can really see when a DJ is actually affecting the music.

    1st off the term DJ has a wide gamut.

    They are mix DJ’s .
    They mix songs together with no loops or crazy effects.
    They are the kings of the fake knob twist. You know the guys you twist a knob on a empty channel to make it look like the actually controlling the build up on that Daft Punk Track
    Theres no Bit shift on that stanton 2 channel..lol

    The Scratch/turntablist
    The vinyl kings…1200s or nothing.
    They use Serato the same was as records No more no less
    You can see what the Dj is doing Visually with the hand motions matching the Sounds you hear.
    You cant fake what they do….its a skill your must practice

    And Where I fit in… a title i made up to explain what i do.

    The Production/Live Remix DJ
    The Kings of Software……. “I Must Control Everything”
    Constantly have at least 3 decks going at the same time. and probably ableton running synths and effects. The real knob twister. It can take months to create a super mapping of about 50 or more buttons/pads/knobs. Your constantly getting asked who did that remix at the end of your set. Secretly knowing that you have all your tracks keyed and tagged so you made that remix live on the fly and you kinda wish you recorded it .But you reply just a remix Ive worked on for a few weeks while you look back at your set trying remember the setting on the delay.

    This is what touch screens are for. The Production/Live Remix DJ needs hand on control of a lot of parameters. If the crowd can see whats going on in the software the will realize your doing more than just being a “mix dj”. Technology does not make you artist or a DJ. The way you use your tools is the key. So if touch screen isn’t for you stick to what you use……its the next in line to jump from vinyl,cdj,dvs,controllers then “_________”

    How about some pro’s and cons on that!

    But i guess a lot of “DJ’s” on this site want to hide that there not doing anything more that being a human ipod.

    • Djteeze68

      Love your comments and views on the touch screen. I cant wait to try it, although im only a home dj and have never played out. I really cannot understand anyone not wanting to keep up with technology its the way forward. Picture being in a club surrounded by a number of touch screen playing to a large crowd. They would go nuts!! I know I would!!

  • DJ Lektro

    Pablo: Thanks for your input man, and thanks for your evil genius side that came up with this. If it were available for the mac I would have one just for the show of it.

    I wish people would stop crying about what is and what isnt DJing. Without technology you purists would just be human record players. Jumps in technology ARE what have made the DJ.

    Eat my shorts purists, learn to play several instruments instead of a record player, and you too might become a musician one day.

  • ajkdfsa

    touch screen controllers are like flying cars, everybody thinks that’ll be the future, but the truth is it just doesn’t work, and it’s not a matter of technology… there’s no way to emulate a knob, and faders couldn’t be controlled so easily.
    Think of the touch screen QWERTY keyboards, they’ve existed for a while but even if they work seamlessly, you wouldn’t swap a traditional keyboard for those, the chances of an accidental typo increase.

  • touch-a-holic

    [quote comment=”35275″]I have the same problem with touch screen DJing that I do with the iPhone: I like greasy fried chicken. Knobs & faders for the win.[/quote]

    that chicken grease makes it easier to scratch on a touch-screen

  • DJ FDRK

    I have an idea on how Pablo Martin got the Traktor to work “inside” the program. 🙂 Since the position of the decks are just the same as in the Traktor interface, I think he solved this with just overlaying his intefrace on top of Traktor and that there are “holes” for the decks to apear. 🙂
    So it’s basicaly a graphical screen overlay/inteface.

  • funkythunderstuff

    and yes! the music , not the technology! Learn to play a bass guitar instead of playin weak ass 1998 music

  • funkythunderstuff

    fucking awesome listening to them ( ean and pablo) go at it!!! more Ean fights on posts!

  • Marz

    No wonder why all djs play crap music these dayz. The r all preocupied by technology and have lost focus. Focus is music not technology

  • sairiwou

    unbelievable how the writer of the article likes better a poor master thesis concept than an actual real thing that works and looks great!

  • Sugeye

    Did you see another multitouch software:
    Cue play DJ on Ipad. It can be a non professionnel option perhaps.

  • djproben

    “Unfortunately, a touch screen laptop is the only realistic way to actually use this concept.”

    Not really — check out what can be done with some ingenuity and a couple of Wii controllers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7uLuYG62sY

  • DJ Phaidon

    People were screaming hype when the first CDJ’s came out. People screamed hype when MIDI controllers came around. Now, people are screaming hype when something that has already been proven to work via the Jazzmutant Lemur is brought to affordable levels. Coming from someone that has both a Lemur and an iPad, I really would urge you all to rethink the possibilities when it comes to what you claim is and isn’t possible with touchscreens, cause you might just be surprised at what could be accomplished if more people would quit screaming hype and start creating.

    Griid, touchAble, and touchOSC aren’t going anywhere, and are just the beginning…

  • PABLO MARTIN

    Please not missunderstand my words not ego is just my point of view.
    Ean i contacted to you 8 july for offer more info…….check your repply in that moment….
    Anyway all is ok Ean, this is your point of view, and i repply with my point of view, all is ok.
    Best regads.

    Pablo

  • Chris Abraham

    Whoa – is this a DJ battle? (I had to)

    Decent review, Pablo’s gettin a lil defensive – Touch screens have a long way to go before they’ll be worth replacing my knobs – you can’t pretend a touchscreen knob is super hard to turn during that build up!

    seriously though – a combination would be cool – but who wants to be touching a screen while DJ’ing?

    DJ’ing is tactile, always will be… I love buttons, knobs, and faders….and so do you.

    Hybrid would be great to get rid of the mouse, but my controller already does that.

    I love where the tech is going but its not there yet…

    !

  • Ean Golden

    @ PABLO MARTIN:

    This article was in no way intended to be a review of your product as it has not been tested. We requested a copy of the software nearly 2 weeks ago for testing and never got a response.

    Instead this article intends to:

    1) expose our audience to the concepts and videos

    2) draw some observations about those methods of control

    3) discuss where touch fails and succeeds for djs.

    please send us a copy of your software and we would be happy to provide a proper dj techtools review.

    @ftaudio:

    yes- we would be happy to use this site as a platform for community development of new open source software. Anyone that is interested in working with us on multi touch interface ideas is welcome to shoot me an email to ean @ djtechtools.com

  • holotropik

    LOL!
    DJs egos are so funny to observe….

  • ftaudio

    I never liked the idea of a touch screen interface for its lack of tactile feedback like you pointed out. A touch screen interface would only be great if it offered (i) versatility (ii) eye candy for the patrons and (iii)ease of use. So far, most touch interfaces today owned by big-name producers only use them (i.e. jazzmutant) for the minimal genre where there’s less of an emphasis on speed.
    To widen the scope, add directional control (N-S, W-E) the pacemaker uses in addition to the finger swipe for added control.
    I’d like to see curved faders instead (versus straight) as it would be better for performance and also it suits our arms a little better (while compensating for the lack of tactile feedback you get with knobs and faders).
    When pushing the boundaries to the extent you’re no longer the norm one must provide true added value/functionality en masse. For example, imagine a row of knobs aligned in a “V” configuration with two on each side. You could use your two fingers from each hand to control a sum of four parameters simultaneously by sliding each hand across the screen in a straight line (for equal gain on two knobs) or by following a curve (for unequal gain on two knobs as one finger will be covering more distance than the other). Here, you’ll be controlling four parameters simultaneously (double the amount you could be getting on a mixer). It could leave a colored trail for you and the audience to see. Here, you’re getting visual feedback. My point is using visual feedback as an alternative to tactile could definitely work and even end up bettering it. It just needs to be done right. Like you said, pinch and zoom would be cool too.
    In the last five minutes, another dozen or so ideas have sprung to mind on how one could intuitively create a better control interface with the use of touch and graphics. The DJ community would really benefit if a project like this was carried out openly (much like Linux) as doing it properly would be too costly in such a small and concentrated market (i.e. jazzmutant can only really be used for all its intents and purposes in the studio).

    Ean, how would you feel about using your site as a platform for spurring such a project? We’ve got a very enthusiastic and active community here from all backgrounds (DJs to college students to industrialists): Pixie dust for product design and development.

  • PABLO MARTIN

    Oh i forgot one comment you can pinch waves for do zoom : )
    Traktor support that!
    Best regards.

  • PABLO MARTIN

    I read a comment about you love your ipad………….ipad just have 10 inch screen the less size i support is 12.1, the size is ok….anyway if not is ok, that is the better part of touchscreen…….i can change the interface, and users just have update, simple like that.

    About knobs, yes i absolutly agree with you, i have some ideas about how knobs should work using gestures, but most widnows 7 multitouch devices only support dual touch, use a gesture for every knob make you can control one knob at time.
    At this moment standar knobs are ok, in the future i see if implement some crazy ideas i have, but for now standar knob is ok

    Lower resolution of knobs?
    I really sorry but i not feel that, i have experience like dj for more of 20 years, from all analog to all digital and i not feel nothing wrong with resolution.
    Usually tocuhscreen resolution have 1mm or 2mm of resolution, if you make large slider all is ok, and the size i use is ok.
    You can see some little jumps on slider on that video……….but that is a screen builded with IR cam…..home builded, no spect the best results with devices like that or with opticla screen form nextwindow company, sued in HP touchsmart models.

    The visual information traktor show is needed specially when do complex loops and faster mix on very special part of the tune etc etc.
    Th visual info is there, so why not use…….?
    And i repeat on standar touchscreen controllers you not have all what you need in one single screen…………..not at this moment.

    Ean, what you see on videos is the beta version, very stable, i use this for more of 2 months in all my gigs with HP TM2, and with touchsmart 300, i have a lot of work to do, lot of things to improve and fix.
    I no want flowers over my head, but if you not tested and base what you wite on videos ad in this eraly stage of new project……mmmm
    Dont know probably you should be a little more flexible, anyway i repeat, i agree with you about knobs, but until we have dveices with 10 fingers over windows, knob is ok.
    Please aplogize for english i use, my native language is spanish not english.
    Im not super happy with this review, any way thankyou ! i use all criticizes for improve and make the product better.
    Best regards !

  • Shane

    Not sure if this is even possible but maybe magnetic knobs and tabs for the fx/himidlo and faders would be a possibility? Just stick them to the light table and it could sense the location of the knobs and tabs as you turn and slide them. Probably wouldn’t be the same feel as a real mixer. Just an idea.

  • MiL0

    As someone else said, hybrid controllers would be a much better alternative. Use touchscreens for their stengths and keep the hardware physical controls for their respective strengths.

    As to how Emulator interfaces with Traktor without an API, it seems relatively simple to me. The Emulator program window merely sits on top of Traktor (bourne out by the fact that it needs to run at a specific resolution) with ‘holes’ in the interface for the Traktor waveforms to poke through.

    All the controls within the Emulator executable will output midi or keyboard commands. Then it’s just a simple case of using a midi loopback utility and routing all the midi output back into Traktor. A lot can be achieved just by using something like autohotkey macro scripting language so I’d imagine someone who knows their way around Visual C++ or whatever would find writing something like Emulator relatively simple.

  • Mr Draxx

    “Dear Mr. Uh-oh. I am sorry to report that the crack you smoked this morning disabled your ability to read. Hopefully the effects have worn off by now and you can read the following quote from my article”

    Ean,
    that was freakin comedy!!

  • Phil Morse

    It’s DJing Jim, but not as we know it! You’re right, knob ‘n’ faders (and keeping things in time by ear, and no waveforms etc. etc) is where most DJs want to be… now.

    But the very fact that around the edges progress is being made and radical ideas are being touted (and the second of those two prototypes is the most exciting of the two, isn’t it, even though it’s the least impressive to watch) must be a good thing.

    I’m always fascinated by new ways to connect our musical instincts to technology – MixMeister is a fantastic concept to me, as is using Ableton, although both pull away more radically from either of these regarding technique.

    So let’s have more of this “off the page” thinking and see where it takes us. After DJing on vinyl for 15 years (I can still remember my disappointment around 1996-7 or whenever it was when someone had the bright idea to duplicate vinyl DJing but with CDs. Yawn!), this is all MUCH more fun.

  • Ean Golden

    [quote comment=”35273″]”DJTechTools: we love controllerism, homebrew DIY DJ solutions, and democratic use of technology…..unless somebody hacks native instruments products in a way NI doesn’t like….then, it’s just “meh.” i mean look at that guy’s traktor touchscreen hack….it costs too much and it’s just kinda lame. PS. plz purchase my new NI traktor controller for $999″

    -Ean[/quote]

    Dear Mr. Uh-oh. I am sorry to report that the crack you smoked this morning disabled your ability to read. Hopefully the effects have worn off by now and you can read the following quote from my article:

    “We have no idea how Pablo Martin, the creator of MonoTouchLive, has managed to hijack the Traktor browsing interface and get a direct hook into a non-existent API, but the fact that he got it working somehow is quite cool.”

    I love the idea of hacking NI stuff- especially with no permission.

  • Luis Enrique

    What about Numark’s iDJ Mixing Station for iPad?
    I think that big touch screen will do some tricks and FX while you can control physical knobs with great tactile feedback

  • Wishyoudefeat

    Just picked up a Touchsmart 600t and its awesome. Runs traktor nice and fast and Ableton has never been more fun to use.

  • Dj PcTre

    Yea I agree, this is the way…. yet. I love faders and knobs, and I don’t think there is really anything out there that can replace them.

    But if they were able to get very accurate gestures, it might work…

  • z0r

    the only touch “stuff” i use for djing / music production is the kaoss series by korg.

    those are very awesome products though, and work exactly like they should.

    my signal chain is korg R3 -> kaossilator pro -> kaosspad3 – the live improvisation possibilties are endless.

    i think companies that make touchscreen gear should follow korg’s example and go a bit off the beaten path and try to do something new. a controller for traktor is great, but its been done before and works just as good (or even better) with a hands on interface instead of a touchscreen.

  • jasonmd2020

    I have the same problem with touch screen DJing that I do with the iPhone: I like greasy fried chicken. Knobs & faders for the win.

  • ToS

    JUNK-HYPE

  • uh oh

    “DJTechTools: we love controllerism, homebrew DIY DJ solutions, and democratic use of technology…..unless somebody hacks native instruments products in a way NI doesn’t like….then, it’s just “meh.” i mean look at that guy’s traktor touchscreen hack….it costs too much and it’s just kinda lame. PS. plz purchase my new NI traktor controller for $999″

    -Ean

  • Chris

    Cool, funny….but i personally need physical controls…better precision and better feeling …

  • Luis Enrique

    The most awaited post in the past 2 weeks!
    Thanks for the reviews and comments, Ean!

    @photojojo about hybrid mixers, what about that iPad DJ Docking Station from Numark? looks like a toy, but I liked the concept…

    I guess Ean could make a review about that too!

  • JuanSOLO

    To me there is something special gets lots in touch screens, I still prefer hardware for knobs, buttons, and faders.

  • Mr.Nicklebe

    Gergs Light table looked great, one of the best touch interfaces I’ve seen.

    Like others have said I dont think any of this could replace a physical knob or even fader. Touch screens just dont have a good feel or enough fidelity.

  • dj-react

    I think the idea is cool but there is something about being able to have physical knobs and fades to control what I’m doing. I think it is a long way off but is def cool. Maybe if the controlling surface wasn’t flat and actually had contour that matched the controls now we’re talking.

  • photojojo

    I see a hybrid of touchscreen and physical mixer as the next logical step. What I really want to see is the ability to create your set up at home then walk into a club and plug in a USB stick or connect over wifi and the controller in the club matches what you have at home.

  • Paddy

    Until they find a proper replacement from knobs, hype :/

  • ManDingo

    Greg’s Light table is cool though!!!

  • ManDingo

    Pooie, yuk…what high tech!!? It looks like something outta of B scify movie from the 60’s. Only, it’s in colour. It looks like it was pulled from 60’s-70’s Hollywood set. They should display it at Toy r Us!! (drum roll…tsss!)

  • Polo

    I’d say let’s all come back in 10 years with all the piezoelectrical interfaces where you’ll actually feel physical feedbacks from touchscreens and all. I think everyone would agree, knobs are still the way to go, at least for now.

  • Glitchfxxx

    this sums up the whole article ”Many djs still want to close their eyes, listen to the music and gently ride the faders.” very true. This touchscreen concept probly wont be accepted till the next generation djs who are growing up on dj hero atm…

    • Kast

      dude, i’m a 13 year old DJ , and the whole concept of ths touch screen has blown me away,, i love it,, i just wish i had the money to buy it.. if my generation had the money, we would buy it. for sure. xD

  • Ando

    EdanUk this is the idea! a startrek next generation interfaced traktor!

  • EdanUK

    Is this even DJing anymore?

    To me it looks like star trek meets DJ hero

    It does look cool though..

  • holotropik

    It’s early days yet! This road will have a good destination and as the tech evolves and ideas move away from simply replicating the hardware style interface things will make more sense…

    I love it! and look forward to the future 😉