In one of our recent members-only newsletters, I presented an open question to DJTT readers – if you had endless time and money, what gear would you design? There were some great responses – so today read some of the most interesting and unique dreams some of our community members have for the future of DJ and production hardware.
TECHNICS 1200-DZ / NUMARK V7 UPDATE SINGLE PLATTER CONTROLLER
Simon Beckett emailed a response in dreaming of what essentially sounds like a good version of this old Technics player – something closer to the Numark V7. Here’s his description:
“I dream of a MIDI controller with a motorized platter and 12-inch vinyl on top. 1200-like controls, no extra buttons. Just an ultimate scratching maschine without needles and DVS records. Something like Numark V7, just much more simple, with Traktor support and a 12-inch [platter]”
Futuristic Heads Up Display + Neural Link
I really enjoyed Dave Smedly’s strong commitment to the open-endedness of the question. Instead of just being limited by current hardware and software, he drew inspiration from movies for his imaginary DJ project:
“I’d work on a heads-up type of interface to the music software like that of the movie Iron Man, where you can interact with 3D objects using your hand. You can face and watch the audience as they watch you work the controls. The waveforms would be rolling by, pushed buttons blink to the touch […] track names would be available for them to see as well. It would be projected by a few small portable devices (yea, right)!
The harder controls would be done via a neural link with feedback via special glasses. You would be able to assemble a set in your head.
One obstacle would be the need to have something solid to pound on because [controllerists like] Ean would not be satisfied poking at “MIDI air buttons”. So perhaps a hybrid. At one point, you would be able to project a 3D panel with limited controls out into the crowd and let them put their own spin on the production and maybe get them hooked on being a DJ.
The best part would be that they wouldn’t be able to spill beer on it!”
Completely Customizable Cases
There’s a demand in the DJ industry for customization – and Ronan McDonnell‘s idea reflects that:
Something with customizable face plates and shell, in addition to buttons and faders. That way people could customize the appearance to suit their own live rig.
The controller itself would be designed for intuitive, performative use. So much of DJing involves staring down intently. I want a controller that provides haptic feedback so I can work the crowd at all times and still retain a high level of precision […]
Also, I want it to fit in a backpack and be drink proof and drop proof.
Combo XDJ-RX / Kontrol S8
Elliott Spender (aka Big Spenda)’s idea was one of our favorites – and even came with a complete Photoshopped mockup! Great work – it takes the XDJ-RX and Kontrol S8 and combines them into an epic oversized DJ platform:
If I had a team of engineers and software developers then I would create a DJ controller that takes the idea of Rekordbox and adds the features from popular Traktor and Serato controllers. The final device would have on board screens, similar to the NV and XDJ-RX but have an on board hard drive for complete portability. The device can be connected to a laptop and the entire music library, effects settings etc are then all synced to the device.
It has a standard two deck layout with four deck capability, dedicated S8 screens on each deck with a central browser screen from the XDJ-RX. A full standalone mixer from the DDJ-SZ that has many ins and outs, including full DVS support. The sample pads from the S8 add the remix deck style functionality and possibility of midi mapping while the addition of the S4 jogs, gives a bit more control over mixing than a touch strip. The overall unit has a feel of the Xone 4D but with Pioneer and Native Instruments design. This unit can also accept USB sticks so could be installed as a centre piece of equipment in a club with control vinyl so any type of DJ can perform.
Bring Back The Numark MPC DJ
If you can think back about three and a half years ago, you might remember Numark teasing a controller that never came out – the MPC DJ. Elemental Smurf‘s idea sounds similar:
If I could create my very own DJ controller. I would make something that was similar in size to the Pioneer DDJ-SR, but I would have a drum sequencer with jog wheels and a mixer as usual. This would be used to create tracks live while entertaining the crowd with normal DJing.
The DIY Solution: The Forge
It being the DJ Techtools community, odds are always pretty good that someone is going to already have put their ideas into action. Timothy Reese designed and built a massive controller that has loads of controls and a great Battlestar Galactica shoutout.
I ran into this question last year, and developed a new controller called The Forge. It’s an all in one MIDI/HID/Bluetooth controller, with 118 buttons, 16 knobs, 4 faders, 2 rotary encoders, 20 toggles, and 4 hardware switches. I embedded a keyboard, and an Apple trackpad to let me access my laptop without having to take my hands off of the controller. It has well over 200 LEDs, to give me visualizations on everything. I even used some Chroma Caps, they’re great for the faders, pots and encoders.
Since I use this for songs I’ve written, I didn’t include a crossfader. It’s entirely based on clip launching and performance, rather than mixing.
The Drum Machine Of 2015
Brandon Matlock‘s idea – essentially a cross between a classic MPC and an Ableton Push, is especially awesome because of the backwards compatibility. When was the last time you heard of a new piece of gear with a floppy drive on it?
I would design a new school music production center with an integrated drum machine and onboard FX as well as integration into Ableton software so tracks could be routed separately. The display would be much larger than MPC displays and would have a touch screen.
There would also be multiple SD card slots, USB drives and a Floppy Drive and Disk Drive so old or new samples could be used on this production system. Other features would be 8 outputs, assignable outputs, and outputs for just the integrated drum machine. Also this machine could connect via USB and track into DAWs (like the TR-8 can over USB).
Macbook Keyboard-Sized Traktor Controller
The controller idea that Pete Schirmer / thisispete sent in shows a blatant disregard for keyboard based DJing. And why not? For many DJs, a controller more than replaces your keyboard, except perhaps for when searching for a requested song.
A controller that is the exact same size and shape of a Macbook Air keyboard that has a mix of functionality of the S2, S8, and Z2 but sits atop the keyboard. [Features include:]
- 2 main channels + some Remix Decks control mapped to option keys or whatever (no dedicated primary controls)
- volume, low, mid, high, filter, cue
- transport & loop controls
- 8 pads for hotcues / remix decks
- 4 FX per deck that can act like the Z2’s meta filters (0’ed at the center point)
- browse, preview, load into deck
- master, booth, mix,
- headphone out, main out, USB hub
Midi Fighter 64 With Audio Interface
Donny / No Left Turn has made plenty of appearances around DJTT over the last few years – so it’s no surprise to see him send in a submission – and this one hits close to home for us:
Question: What type of DJ equipment would I invent?
Answer: An 8×8 Midi Fighter with a built-in audio interface that has 4x low profile, stereo outputs.
When I do my controller sets, setting up my rig is definitely what I look forward to the least and this is even with a minimal rig (laptop, Launchpad, and some flavor of Midi Fighter). I don’t need a sound card because I am fortunate enough to be able to have promoters provide a DJM-900 for me when I ask for them, but the thought of “What if they got the wrong mixer?” is still always at the back of my mind. Sure, you can say I should always bring a back up sound card, but then that’s adding one more thing to the process which I dislike the most.
A product like this would solve numerous problems for me and a lot of other DJs, I would imagine. This would eliminate the need to specify an exact mixer in order to play your set and have one less piece of kit to setup in an already cluttered environment.
This is 100% my dream product. Life would be complete if such a thing existed.
Another take on this would be if you had a Midi Fighter 3D/Spectra/Pro with a stereo output that could be aggregated together into a single interface. So if you have 2 MF’s as your rig, each controlling a deck, you can have them both connected to the computer but acting as a single interface to pipe 2 separate channels of audio into the mixer.
Have your own idea on what type of DJ gear you’d make? Submit your ideas and drawings in the comments below.
Read More: See the winning community-designed controllers from the Midi Fighter X project in 2013
[…] What DJ Gear/Production Would DJTT … – In one of our recent members-only newsletters, I presented an open question to DJTT readers – if you had endless time and money, what gear would you design? […]
[…] What DJ Gear/Production Would … – In one of our recent members-only newsletters, I presented an open question to DJTT readers – if you had endless time and money, what gear would you design? […]
I should have included the “feature” of not being able to search for requested songs on my description of the macbook keyboard sized traktor controler!!! #no_requests
a mixer like the xone:92 only with a full audio interface so all you need is to plug in one usb for all your channels. would want it to look better so maybe them rane2015 rotaries but definitely keep the faders. add a filter per channel and have the option to add fx on the two independent filters like the in the djm series.
Also someone should make a fully midi dj mixer interface, some people do want a modular setup but with the audio mixing happening in the box.
HUD display would be amazing to use
thats my dream mixer
I would make a product similar to the midi fighter pro but would work in any daw for sampling/have built in fx. It would also work with its own plugin like the pionneer rmx-1000
we have vst players… why not a device designed just to run rekordbox/traktor/serato etc… with an output to connect to a monitor or tablet or something 🙂 of course a soundcard and usb hub too
So my year was just made being featured on DJTT. Now if I can just make it…
aw guys, still ignoring me? 😉 https://youtu.be/RulXZKglV8Q
Nope. Just not listening. (Audio is blocked due to copyright)
well I’ll be…
well, just play this track in another window, as seeing as it’s the one that got flagged (rolleyes)
Dvs inside turntable. Screen where the pitch fader is. Move the pitch fader to where the 45 adapter is. Lose the power knob on top, just one power switch like on the side, but put it on top by the tonearm. Really surprised that no hardware company is teaming up with djplayer to do exactly this. I have serato, traktor, vdj, mixvibes, and mixxx, and djplayer dvs sounds and feels more like real vinyl than all of them.
I would also make a “midi plate” a 6″*6″ flat surface that is essentially one giant button or fx x/y, and along the side of it would be a row of traditional buttons that would act as selectors for the large surface.
A dvs inside mixer with a fold-down locking (like a laptop screen) touch-screen. And make it ios compatible and charging.
A build your own mixer kit, nice connectors like those on arcade buttons on both the board and the hardware. No programming everything is labeled so you know where to plug in on the board side. Then you can pick your own layout and desing you own box.
I still can’t believe we don’t have a scratch mixer with a monome…
Tkrworks have. Google it.
yah ,been aware of that project for some time, seems dead in the water since they claimed to be releasing it “later this year” in 2011. i would expect bigger companies to have come to this idea by now. wheres rane, akai/numark and even NI? the z2 or the s8 are about the closest we have, and they both miss the mark like goldilocks, with them being too big or too small…
What do you expect really? Maybe there is something done (fittable) or maybe it is possible to be done with livid or even tkr… There is the source code about all.
i have my own solution in the form of a hacked akai apc40.. i just think the market needs a “real” turntablist/controlerism hybrid mixer.
Did you see the new samson conspiracy? In other hand akai amx + F1 or launchpad mini could do the trick and has innofader…
Bigger ttablist stuff has not enough market anymore (sadly imho) but rane and dj tech have some stuff which cover the field.
What do you miss from these stuff that you would like to see in a hybrid mixer controller?
buttons to map for one thing…well placed cue buttons are absent from every mixer on the market. yet every DJ benefits from cue buttons. why???
Ha , im beginning to think you might believe i live under a rock. yes i have heard of dicers and every other thing you throw out. i would need 2 dicers on each deck to get the functionality im talking about. the sad fact is there ISNT a mixer that fills the needs im describing. all this modular stuff is great but has a huge footprint at the power strip and the booth. i prefer the traditional style of having all controls in one place , between my turntables, and not reaching all over for different functionality. i already have a work around for this like i said. my device is awesome. im just suprised there isnt a market presence for a digital era mixer for the typical DJ workflow and footprint.
Well I wasn’t try to seem obvious but the “issue” (imho) is your last statment…
“I’m just surprised there isn’t a market presence for a digital era mixer for the typical DJ workflow and footprint”
There is not “typical DJ workflow and footprint” and “digital era mixer” other than Rane (and even these aren’t really typical in turntablism “standards” booth) due to the initial neglect from ttablist comunity about digitalism (includding dvs) so it was a ungrowing market with true difficul to be “standarized”.
Rane did its deal with their hybrid mixers and Native did it with Z1/2 mixers (?), vestax & ecler died by the way even trying to find the “best” solution or investing in new technology taking in mind the ttablist comunity (c-one, pdx3000, vxt vinyl dubber/recorder… Vci380/400 with analog mixing cappabilities and innofader ready…) but ttablist is by definition “no standard”. It is encoded in the DNA of ttablism itself: hacking to fit your own style (“from slipmats to hex decoder” should be a good tittle for a documentary…) but this spirit become crystalized and forgotten to match the “rules of true scratching” which killed the Culture itself (or push it into unrelevance (for the music market) “musically ghetto’s” like Jazzy players smoker’s clubs) being only defended by few (like John Beez and Steelkut with fretless fader technology in example).
Tkrworks, DjSniff, ScratchML comunity, Fuzzywooble dj controller framework… Are few of these examples too.
So, it seems easy to imagine a “perfect” mixer or addition to but find the right which will be supported by the whole comunity isn’t and even doing it maybe there is not enough market sales or the price becomes too much expensive to make it sustainable. Most of “these essence” was taook by Ean Golden with the first vci modding hacks but (imho again) the necessity of people to fit a name for each “new” iteration of the same essence stablished a gap between what was in the essence the same. I try to explain it with the “tooltablism” conceptualization but if the reader keeps the name far than a finger pointing to the moon… Then he/she keeps stuck in the same “organized dessesperation” for the eternity.
Turntablism? Controllerism? Tooltablism?
No. Just human beings finding themselves throught music self expression like circle without circumference.
There wasn’t a true re-generation of ttablist, only few disciples fitting themselves in golden jails described by their masters like Martial Arts… Solidifying “those” which was fluid once upon a time… And people still look at “fingers” even fingers look at themselves (sometimes stealing ideas from thise who look to the moon) and marketting them as “fresh, cool and original” stealing not from who looks… Stealing from the Moon itself which was forever at “look” distance instead to teach to look by themselves, which of course is a bigger effort and less reliable (from money pov).
It is better to sell “black belts” than teach the inner feelings because “it is only for a man in a million” who usually grow themselves up and came with the next gen hack…
Could do you feel what I’m talking about my friend? Maybe you are the next “one”…
Wake up, Neo…
Well blue pill is a option too. Continue dreaming… Sssshhhh 😉
a SCRATCHOPHONE http://www.scratchophone.com/?page_id=1061 incluing TRACKTOR
could you used a theremine as a TRAKTOR controler, one hand for the cross fader, the second hand for platter mouvements and so we could do air-scratching lol
I’ve seen someone use a Theramin as a midi controller to control FX in Traktor. I imagine it’s pretty simple to map it to the jogs to scratch.
I really like the idea of the Twister and Spectra, but have yet to get either because what I really want is something that can take the sequencing in the Twister a little further to play nicely with external synths and drum machines. So I did a cheesy mock-up! I know you love those. 🙂 I’ll post it here now and explain the ideas further in another comment later.
Half of this integrated in each deck.
Some software that would let me alter the midi message of one controller, with another. So i can switch between layers without having to map modifiers in Traktor or dedicate a controller to 1 program like traktor or live. Adding the ability to have all drivers and other controller related software(scripts, mappings,…)in one library with an “update all” function would seal the deal for me.
You could put the software in a small midi/usb box trough with you’d route the other controllers into the software of external instruments like synths.
The s8 combined with an Lpd8 could turn into a beast for maschine, traktor, ableton and any other software you would be running, all that without having to switch between it’s user and midi mode.
What I would like to see, is that Pioneer would bring it’s Rekorbox-driven product line to 2015, pull away from the still very CD-player driven thinking. I would like to see a product that utilizes all the best parts of the best parts of Rekordbox and the modern digital DJ workflow.
Essentially, what the product would be is a 4-deck media player, which can be also used as a controller. Think of it as 4 CDJ-2000 Nexus’ crammed into one device. The base layout would be similar to 4TrackTrigger, but with a large tilted LCD screen, USB-ports for memory sticks and RCA/SPDIF-outputs for each 4 channels.
Comparable functionality of 4 CDJ-2000 Nexus’ is achieved by replacing the jog wheels and pitch faders with rotary encoders and one multifunctional LCD. This device would enable one to mix with 4 decks without a laptop, and still be fairly portable – not to mention probably a lot more cost-effective than 4x CDJ-2000 Nexus.
Mine isn’t a specific controller wish but more a functional design requirement.
What I’ve found it that, unless it’s a handheld controller like the MIDI Fighter, I like my gear to fit cleanly into a hard road cases so that everything integrates nicely with my mobile DJ mixer, CDJ and turntable road cases or coffin.
I love using controllers like the K1/K2 and my D2, but they don’t integrate cleanly into my mobile setup without unpacking it all from the hard cases (I’ve integrated all the connectors into my cases to make setup super fast).
I really like the NI’s aluminium stands and the retractable feet on the D2 (so much better than the A&H K1/K2 solution) but it’s still a PITA to get them to tie in with the rest of your setup (see DJ Sneaky’s video with the S8 – one of the few examples where I’ve seen it work).
So either mounting points for ears, pre-fab standard height hard cases or some sort of chassis that gives them the same footprint as a CDJ2000 or T1200 (time for me to do some photoshopping!)
The Roland MX-1 is ALMOST my dream controller.
Maybe someone else could take on the idea.
It would be better if it was more like a Traditional mixer, here are some features I wish it had:
-Dedicated High Mid and Low adjustment for each track. (3 knobs instead of one)
-MASTER OUT RECORDING!!!!!!!!!! (wtf, why is this not there in the 1st place)
-Classic Midi in/out ports, in addition to the usb ports. Sorry CV
-No silly FX sequencer. It’s an amazing Idea but the effects are a little flat sounding, especially if you’ve dealt with guitar pedals or euro racks, these sound like plastic.
Get rid of this crap and you have money/room for everything else.
-and while we’re dreaming motorized faders with pages like a BCF2000
SUMMARY: Roland MX1 + BCF2000 + Mackie 8 channel Mixer = DREAM CONTROLLER!
The layout on the Livid – Ds1 is also a good template for how it should look/function.
If I could will this into existence it would be the ULTIMATE match for an ableton push.
[…] Check out the full article here. […]
My dream is if someone restart producing modular controller like livid instruments modular gear…it could be fantastic for me. I think, i can finally build my perfect controller.
I actually made my own to pair with Denon DNSC2000 controllers. 🙂
I wrote up the project here if anyone is interested: http://imgur.com/a/uiudH
I love that Mac sized DJ controller idea.
But 17″ with jogs!
i think Numark made something quite similar, it’s called the Mixtrack Edge. I’ve hesitaded between this and a Z1 but in the end I took the Z1
Exactly, but with a screen and built in computer.
Basically just replace the keyboard with a Mictrack Edge type controller!
they don’t make a 17″ anymore do they?
Nope, they stopped making a 17″ when they stopped having disc drives, reduced the amount of USB ports, glued in the RAM, soldered in the hard drives, and pretty much left the ‘Pro’ on the label as an ironic slap in the face! 🙂
this is something i have cooked up that i call the cd fighter
one question you probably have is
ERMAGURD WERE DA BUTTONS AT not ENUF BUTTINS !!!!!!!!!!111!1!!
well mister ermagurd i am glad you asked you see,
when you see today’s CD players you see lots and lots of buttons
while fun to use, this would give consumers the jitters, users a new way to press the wrong button, and producers of the product a way to legally and ethically set the price at astonishing levels to the point where it can dissuade beginners with such a sheer price, however, on the CD fighter you have less than two thirds of the buttons, making this an experienced level product. and for the first time in DJ media playing history, this product is pre-formatted to accept almost all forms of library management including and of course not limited to, crates, recordbox, beatport pro, beatunes, and much MUCH MORE!
when in USB or traktor mode and playing on a stem format, the three knobs on the right control the individual stem track
this device is midi compatible, made specifically for traktor, and comes bundled with a thumb drive full of useful mappings.
on the left is the audio waveform showing you what you are working with, on the right is the tempo fader and a little bit to the left is a pitch bend fader. above the tempo fader is a little bpm identifier showing you what your bpm is
This is rad. I love the waveform layout and the PITCH BEND wheel for pitch bend is a genius idea haha. I don’t like using platters in general so even though you don’t like buttons, my version would have a big grid in the middle haha.
maybe one day….
hmm a big grid lemme see what i can do
OK HERE YOU GO
Haha this is pretty dang cool.
Did you see the sequencer mockup I posted? It’s almost all buttons. You probably hate it.
actually thats a good idea to be honest
I’d love to see a crossfaderless jogless 4 channel controller with audio interface that is all rotaries and drum pad buttons. That would be the dream i’d design.
My suggestion is in this video review that I did of the Korg Kaoss DJ:
I want a very portable all-in-one controller with lots of functions (think Kaoss DJ size, with 100mm pitch sliders, lots of hot cues, etc.). Kind of like a hybrid between a Kaoss DJ and a DDJSR or Mixtrack Pro 3
+1 for first idea… But I actually did one based on a V7 customization. It’s not an expensive mod but it works perfectly… maybe I would ask for a screen to be the ultimate turntable ever !!…
Watch it in action:
Very nice. I used to do something similar and put 12″ on my scs1d.
Another great piece of gear when it comes to SL1200 replacement…
You made it work with Serato? Traktor ? any pic ?
A Midifighter 64 with an audio interface would be fantastic!
This was a cool article. I saw some interesting stuff The Kontrol S8 mixed with the XDJ-RX? That’s genius!
Kontrol Z4. If that came out tomorrow I’d buy one no questions asked.
Found a way around it with a DJM 850 and Lemur on a tablet, but yeah… a Z4 would be pretty sweet.
something that can be used for production and for djing with a built in audio/midi interface. I’m thinking an ableton push with some faders……
4 channel DVS ready jogless controller for SDJ. Twitch on steroids / S8 for SDJ essentially. Fit it with RGB arcade buttons too.
I love my Twitch. I was so excited when I saw this mock up. This would be AWESOME. I’m really hoping Novation put out a new controller soon.
Wow, Hyper Twitch! I think Novation is a bit too busy focusing on the Launchpad line right now to go back to DJ gear.. :/
Reloop should give it a shot 🙂 Or Akai – stitch a bunch of AFXs together into my portable dream machine.
i love the twich as well. i always wanted a dvs ready one with a better xfader. has to have the the fader fx but.
software, I’d make an auto-mapper tool for the midi figher or twister, that you just fire up different reactor plugins and the auto mapper, pulls up a recommended mapping for that plugin (the mouth, finger, mangle, xosphere etc) and gives you instant fun. Likely doable for the midi mappin experts out there, hurry up make it… i’ll pay.
software, app, for the ipad
trakor remix decks control on the ipad, you can plug kontrol f1, or more so you plugin twister, load remix deck and have fun. No laptop required, just you and your ipad/iphone and twister.
Bomebox and traxus.
To start, I’m a big fan of Builder by Livid and lemur. Lately a friend and
I have been tossing around the idea of a light weight aluminum wheeled frame with a scissor lift for under coffin cases.
A quality USB HUB. 6 USB Ports and even a Midi interface. Similar to the Audio 6/10 design but with a USB HUB. An all in one solution. That would just save one less piece of gear to bring with you.
The only other thing I would tweak would be Denons S3700 with a better screen.
Soory I’m not a drawer 🙂
Soundcard with a USB hub is an amazing idea.. better than half of what made this article!
vinyl deck TRAKTOR
(excuse my english, I’m french lol )
Imagine a deck like a TECHNICS MK2 upgraded for TRAKTOR…
All the button as you can see on a track deck on your laptop screen, a screen on the bottom with the track informations, a touch strip for the pitch and other tonctions like FXs, and a revolutionary CIRCLE screen for seeing the wave form around the disc.
So you can still playing your old (and new) vinyl discs and playing your mp3 without looking your laptop
Perfect with a Z2 and a D2 for playing remix deck or STEMs.
My favorite photoshop mockup so far!
Yes! But without the tone arm.
Wouldn’t you want a tone arm for control vinyl? That way you could play vinyl as well. I could see this being built as a “mod your decks” kit if someone was genius enough to put it together lol
No, more like a 12″ V7.
With the waveform around the platter a marking on the platter would give you the same cue that a needle gives. But you don’t have to worry about crowds jumping your needle. Plus the tonearm would go over part of the waveform, blocking it from view.
This is genius. The wave form round the platter is inspired.
I’m definitely interested in a simple, good quality, jogwheel controller with good Traktor compatibility. A moving vinyl platter would be the icing on the cake, but not essential.
I recently thought about a controller with build in turntables or a verry realistic big Jogwheel which are designed to take up less space but feel as realistic as real turntables + all the stuff we already have. In my opinion the ideal controller is every controller, its just the matter of how you use it. I am building an Midi controller atm and plan to build other prototypes as well in the future for privat use in first place. The best possible future controller should definitively have screens, a mixer section, 2x midi fighter 2x midi fighter twister, usb Ports, an fx section, a sound interface and it should work out of the box without any further pc or anything.