Routine: DJ IZN “Magic Fingers” Deep House Controllerism

We last featured DJ IZN when he sent us a 38-minute-long mix that incorporated elements of controllerism and finger drumming. He’s back at it again with a quick four-minute live performance routine entitled “Magic Fingers” – watch below and then read our quick interview with him after the video.

Thanks for sending over another routine, IZN. What’s the breakdown of each controller and what it controls? 

IZN: Here is a break down of the equipment used:

  • Kontrol F1 #1: trumpet sounds
  • Kontrol F1 #2: vocals and synth sound
  • Maschine (MK1): drum sounds
  • Midi Fighter: echo-y bassline used in first break down

The Maschine made sense for anything that required quick movements since it has touch sensitive buttons and is easy on the wrists. Because of that I assigned it to drum sounds, which were the most demanding to pull off. The F1s are basically the opposite; they have clicking buttons and are designed for loops. I didn’t use any loops in this routine, but I found the layout of the F1s ideal for my trumpets, synths and vocals. Just having your pads coloured helps with memorizing the routine and the faders are helpful as well for effects and volume.

How did you go about assembling this routine? 

IZN: I went to see this improv jazz band a few weeks ago and was incredibly impressed by their skill level, and the vibe that they set. I wanted to capture what I saw that night and put my own spin on it. I found a sax loop that I liked, chopped it up into the individual notes (with some added delay and reverb to add some tail to the sounds). I also sampled a single note from a baseline and synth stab. I made a full scale of notes out of those by using the keyboard feature on Maschine. My drum sounds were sampled from a variety of songs and from the Maschine library. I did produce a few of the sounds used in this routine, but my aim was to make this fairly sample heavy.

After choosing my samples it was simple a matter of producing a song (writing verses, melodies, etc.) and figuring out how I would be able to perform it live. I wanted to capture a variety of moods with this routine, the way the band did through out their set, so I made the breakdowns ambient and spacey while having upbeat verses. After producing the track, I uploaded each sound and note onto my drum pads and rehearsed the routine into memory.

How much prep work did it take to get this routine ready to perform?

IZN: I had this idea knocking around in my head for a while. When I sat down to actually put it together I probably spent a good 4 full days (8 to 12 hours per day) on this.

[…] This routine was made almost entirely with samples. My approach to sampling is that I try my best to make each sample incredibly different from the original. I use a fair amount of effects and pitch changes to try and create my own sound out of the samples I use.

Have a routine by a digital DJ that you think we should feature on DJTT? Let us know in the comments. More routines to watch are linked below in the “related” section.

dj iznfinger drummingKontrol F1magic fingersmaschineMidi Fighter
Comments (17)
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  • Galvanix

    Great routine again!

    I’d love to have a dance music jam session with some setups going like this, I’m surprised that more producers/DJ’s don’t set something up like this.

  • Marco Hooghuis

    Nice to see deep house controllerism in detail! This is definitely something I want to look into in the future (after I get fully fluent with Traktor and my Mixtrack Pro 2).

  • danny

    Yeah love ya sound mate, just keep up what ya doing, you just chop up the sample in ableton then make a scale, of the one sample?

  • Father Loz

    Very nice, must have taken a while to put that all together, cheers to that !. If i may, i was curious as how you connected your controllers, ex: into a powered usb hub or what controller in a single usb port, etc. Because i am thinking of getting Maschine soon and trying to see how others are set up.
    Thank you,

    • Izn Shahab

      Hey man! I just used a powered usb hub. I recommend using it for all devices that drain a lot of battery (even if you don’t need more usb hubs), its just better for your laptops health 😀

      • Father Loz

        Thanks for the feedback !

  • Anton_P

    Love it! Very simple, yet danceable. Definitely a fresh move from all this brostep that makes your ears bleed.

  • Dean Zulueta

    I really enjoyed the vibe! I love it when people absorb a feeling for a track rather than worrying about how hard the song hits.

  • enorjy

    There was this mixing for the Stage a while back but none ever got picked….

    • Dennis Parrott

      Nice work!!!

      I really liked this. That little horn thing running through the whole piece was pretty sweet.

      Very cool.

    • anon

      I was wondering about this also. Youtube no longer allowed you to reply to a video with a video so I am guessing they scrapped the contest as hardly anyone entered routines. I never finished editing my video cause I couldn’t figure out where to upload it but I did put the audio on soundcloud.

  • o

    so refreshing to see controller routines that aren’t glitchy brostep. This is just lovely and you could easily see this song working in a club environment. Very danceable Love it!

    • Izn Shahab

      Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed it! That was definitely what I was going for. I didn’t want to make a routine just for the sake of making a routine, I wanted to make some good music!

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