On Saturday, we bumped into the prolific Mr. Hawtin, a digital DJ pioneer and the guy who originally paved a road for much of our work today. Ironically, January 2011 is the 10-year anniversary of the ground breaking announcement that really kicked off the digital DJ movement. Final Scratch 1, co-developed by John Aqcuaviva and Richie Hawtin. We took a few minutes to talk to Richie on camera, and he got into the above interesting conversation with Ean about the anniversary of DVS, what’s next for him and what’s next for the DJ world.
Check back in with us over the coming days as our team continues to compile video, photos and data into a series of articles on our favorite moments from NAMM.
Great interview. He is obviously someone who thinks a lot about how technology is changing the nature of musical performance. Seems like a nice guy too.
I like how Hawtin speaks of ending the idea of “industry standards”.
I’m in total agreement…since I pretty much went my own way when we ended up with loads of choices in software and such.
Very nice. I want more!!
yeah, these little button devices will soon rule the world (if they don’t already do)! arcade buttons (and joysticks as i can say) are made to last forever i think. i did build my Playstation-MIDI-Controller around 5 or 6 years ago, and it still works perfect, though the device in its “original form” is about ~15 years old…
Heh. I bought a “little button device” before Hawtin. That makes my day.
And the guitar pedal comparison ins funny to me, because I always tried to convince the guitar guys that all their analog pedals were really a modular synth!
Excellent interview, kudos guys. This is a very exciting time for the DJ because he can break free of the “industry standard” while at the same time achieving more and spending less.
Love the guitar pedal comparison!
did I dream or was there a post with video reviews and interviews from NAMM yesterday?
what a great interview – cheers ean. I’ve only been fully digital for about 1 year now. I’ve gotta admit I felt a bit uneasy buying the S4 because I wasn’t sure if it would be the standard or not. After hearing the wise words of richie…I feel a bit better. It doesn’t really matter what controller because it doesn’t seem likely that anyone is going to be able to create the next “1210s” for the digital domain.
The analogy of the controller being the DJ’s customised instrument like a musician’s guitar is awesome too…love that idea. It adds another layer to DJing. Yes it’s always going to be about the music #1. But now we can look forward to what special equipment a DJ might bring along and what special skills they have with it. In a way bringing the attraction of turntablism to normal djing.
Love this guy! short interview, says long about the future. 100% agree with him, let’s see what will happen in the next 10 years 😉
Thanks Ean for the interview. I really appreciate seeing/hearing what a name dj is thinking about in regards to what is going with technology.
[quote comment=”43403″]Heh…he called a midi fighter a “little button device.” Cute.
sound like another midi-fighter t-shirt to haha 😉
excuse me but why he should like the midifighter when he can play with mixers like xone db4 or xone 92 and 2 xone 1Ds?
Because none of those have arcade buttons.
i dont understand what all the noise about “Little button device” is. theres no argument that its a device, at least i hope not. its main feature is the BUTTON grid. and when compared to most controllers out there its little. Richie may just have come up with the most accurate definition of a midi fighter that you can fit into 3 words.
Soul and digital DJing…there’s a can of worms.
I really find Mr. Hawtin’s music to be a a bit monotonous and mundane, but I am still a fan of his. In all his interviews he seems very engaging and to be a genuinely nice man, this was no exception.
This interview states EVERYTHING…..
Now why would richie never use a midi-fighter as a serious performance tool? I think he is the guy that WOULD use a little button device like that as a serious performance tool!
Wow, Richie exited about a MIDIfighter! Cool guys! Can’t wiat what this will lead too! 😀
I really love this because I actually mmake my own custom guitar pedals and I would really love to be able to do something like that with djing
Hey I know someone who built a nice 8 pedal midi interface and it works well…So go for it, use it for dj’ing!
are you going to make a mf for the plastikman that looks liek a 92 guarded by by two 1d?^^
He looks old!
a bit off topic but this Ean guy really have the thing to speak on camera, explain things and interview people. Maybe the calm pace or projected security that he knows what hes talking about but really congratulations and keep up the good work.
Finally someone mentions Standards. All these fucking midi controllers and proprietary hardward is getting out of hand.
[quote comment=”43443″]A smart Ean would have GIVEN Hawtin a free “little button device” (MIDI-Fighter) right there on the spot! ;o) If Hawtin ends up liking and using it,,, inexpensive advertising and publicity for MIDI-Fighter and DJTT![/quote]
Maybe Hawtin asked for a custom MF
A smart Ean would have GIVEN Hawtin a free “little button device” (MIDI-Fighter) right there on the spot! ;o) If Hawtin ends up liking and using it,,, inexpensive advertising and publicity for MIDI-Fighter and DJTT!
[quote comment=”43440″]Great !!!
I love this kind of artist interview (too short but nice)and hope there will be more of them in the futur 🙂
I really think there will be NO controller standard cuz controllers need to be customized to fill the needs of each dj….only one controller can’t be good for all type of Djing…so find the one who fit with your kind of djing and don’t chose one because of a well-known dj is using it[/quote]
yes listen up CLUBS ne don’t need no mixers no cdj’s or turntables just some where for our master out… 😉
I love this kind of artist interview (too short but nice)and hope there will be more of them in the futur 🙂
I really think there will be NO controller standard cuz controllers need to be customized to fill the needs of each dj….only one controller can’t be good for all type of Djing…so find the one who fit with your kind of djing and don’t chose one because of a well-known dj is using it
“…and I can’t wait for your little button device.”
[quote comment=”43429″]Richie came off a little bit as a douche.
“Little button device”? How condescending is that?
But then again, a Midi Fighter is small peanuts to him, considering what he usually does. And it’s doubtful that he has any need for a device like that, especially with the genre that he specializes in.[/quote]
I used to think Richie was a douche as well. But if you read the interviews, and watch the youtube videos, you get the impression that this is a guy that still loves music and the tech side of music. It’s not just a job for him. Even though Richie didn’t know the name of the midi-fighter, I have no doubt that he’s going to explore it to it’s fullest potential. It’s how his mind works. I wonder if they’ll do a custom TSI for him? And you know he’s getting a custom midi-fighter, I hope they do an article on it.
That guy goes through equipment faster than than I go through my underwear.
I’m sure that even if he does play around with the Midi Fighter, it will never EVER be a serious performance tool in his collection.
Nice video. Thanks for posting. Its what a human does with the equipment, well said!
I don’t really find that condescending, it is little, and is a button device, and he now owns one….
I really enjoyed that. I hope to see a day when DJ’s are expected to bring their personalized rigs to play gigs, and not frowned upon. It has always amazed me how collectively, DJ’s try putting the whole community in one box. For years bands have hauled mass amounts of various equipment to clubs to personalize their gigs. Only in RARE cases would a band of any genera show up at a club with some “in house” gear provided for them to use. Band members just dont stand for such standardization of their creativity. Why have most of the DJ community and club owners settled for such behavior? I hope that changes and DJ’s quit being a lazy lot and more dedicated to their art and equipment used to showcase it.
Richie came off a little bit as a douche.
“Little button device”? How condescending is that?
But then again, a Midi Fighter is small peanuts to him, considering what he usually does. And it’s doubtful that he has any need for a device like that, especially with the genre that he specializes in.
Its probably the first time he’s seen one and he bought it – so that says he probably does want to use it, no?
Erm, douche, really?! I think your being a little to protective and maybe suffering from DjTechTools tunnel vision, “little button device” is hardly rude and actually a pretty good summary. Despite the fact how much us Techtools readers all love the midi fighter you gotta remember there’s millions of dj’s outside the Techtools boundaries that wouldn’t be seen dead with something that to them resembles a button bashing plastic toy.
On the contrary, I think the Midi Fighter is nothing more than a novelty controller. Maybe a lot better than that gimmicky cheap mouse for DJs, but still a novelty.
And the point of it? Maybe there’s some secret ultra awesome feature built into it that I’m not aware of, but I might as well be using one of those pressure sensitive pad controllers like the ones that M-Audio or Akai or Korg have.
I’m pretty sure that guy can afford to buy and try out every new gadget out there, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be using it.
Maybe he saw a video of Ean playing with those? Still Richie is the kind of DJ that play with a big 12 people dining table worth of equipment and a midifighter would easily get lost in all that equipment making if barely noticeable. If I find a use for the device I would get one in black or some other non screaming color. Yes it is a novelty but kinda useful definetly. If stores like Spencers and Hot Topic live out of novelty anyone can get a bit of business doing that.
Hmm now whos being condescending about midi fighters, sure it does have some novelty about it, but it also has its place as a unique little dj friendly instrument for many reasons, but mainly its the only 4 by 4 grid controller where neat 3 or 4 finger crab combos and rolls are piss easy to perform on thanks to arcades buttons that are likely to last longer than your fingers. It’s difficult to compare midi fighters to MPC esq pad based controllers. Yeah they have the same layout, but they offer a completely different feel/options when drumming or cue point juggling. Sure in certain hands more can be done on touch sensitive pads (not that the average dj would push that far), but there’s also a handful of tricks that are unique to arcade buttons.
[quote comment=”43405″]I personally believe that the future of djing will see a convergence of performance instruments with studio gear. More and more will see ability for Djs to mashup, remix, and create on the fly with the same tools use in the studio. Studio and performance lines will blur more and more.
hasnt this already been happening over the last 2-3 years?
Yes, but the point the mans trying to make is that type of dj’n will eventually become mainstream.
Great interview! That was well done. I wonder what Richie will think about the MIDI Fighter.
What a cool fucking guy 🙂
Richie was really on the money with what he was saying there. Everyone needs to find their digital soul now! I don’t think I’ve quite found mine yet.
Hey ean did you sell richie a midi fighter? can’t wait to see what he does with it:D
Great interview Ean!
Richie’s looking old
Init! All them late nights :o)
The Future is the past:
Now we are re-writting the forked history, turntablism bizarre was great but we must re-find the crowd and the show.
I personally believe that the future of djing will see a convergence of performance instruments with studio gear. More and more will see ability for Djs to mashup, remix, and create on the fly with the same tools use in the studio. Studio and performance lines will blur more and more.
@DoubleDutchDJ: I will most definitely agree, that modern dj standard is the laptop computer. Will we move away from this digital workhorse one day, who knows? But right now the laptop is the hub of the modern dj.
At the end of the day it is not about what the gear can do, but what YOU can do with the gear. The trick if finding the technology that allows you to express yourself in the best possible way, and letting your creativity drive the technology, instead of the other way around.
Heh…he called a midi fighter a “little button device.” Cute.
If I ever wind up with one, I’m having a sticker made.
Also, I very much enjoyed the interview. I don’t always listen to Hawtin’s music, but it’s always fun to listen to him talk.
Really interesting interview. I’ve been hammering on for ages (against mentality of the masses) that industry standards in this era is a think of the past. The demise of Technics, and now with Pioneer moving into controllers will soon see the booth being a fluid melting pot of all sorts of technologies where each DJ makes a name for themselves in not just what they play, but how they play it too.
@DoubleDutchDJ – interesting parallel with old school Hip Hop DJs. They were the guys who took the established formulas and messed around with them, rather than accepting that DJs simply played records from A to B and back again. And now we’re in an age where music and technology are being mashed together (often against their will) to create something else. It doesn’t always work, but who’d have though that pushing a record back and forth would have such a profound effect?
So death to industry standards. Instead of this vs that, think this AND that.
Awesome interview with what has to be the digital equivalent of Kool Herc and Grand Master Flash, where would we/industry be now without these two?
I totally agree with the hope that “industry standard” is a thing of the past. Considering how fast the new tech is developing how could there be any time for one product to settle. (That said the Apple logo is certainly an industry standard of virtually every dj booth.)
I like the comparison to guitar pedals, instruments ect, for a long time now turntablist djs are rightly recognized as musicians who use the battle setups like instruments. Which is really one of the best things about this current digital era, obviously it’s hard to compare to Turntablism, but with new tech the mass’s have access to production tools made dj friendly. Gone are the days where all you could buy is a playback device with a few extra controls from there domestic counterparts.
Despite all the haters and so called purists, I love this transitional crossed road we’re currently in. How often did we encounter innovation before everything went digital? Its a very exciting time to be a dj!
Amen my brother!
Great interview. I’m always interested in what Richie is doing, glad to hear he’s getting a Midi Fighter.
BTW, I just noticed the categories feature on the sidebar. Nice stuff, this will make finding articles much easier.
The categories drop down has ben there since at least April when I first visited the site.
Wow, I remember I bought the Final Scratch 1, I loved it and hated it all at the same time. Had a bunch of problems and I switched over to Serato after it came out. Now I do Traktor Scratch, crazy.
BTW, If Hawtin has a MidiFighter, then I must certainly order one too. I know It’ll make me as good a dj, and not to mention as cool a dj as he is. haha. But on a serious note, it’s awesome he knows what’s up with DJTT. I know it’s cliché but, Great interview Ean, you guys here at DJTT really do provide a great service to the DJ community, both to new comers, and as we can see by this video, the seasoned professionals as well.
It’s a cliche, yes, but I nevertheless second what you said: wonderful interview, Ean, you’re really doing something for the community here!