Midi Fighter Twister: 5 Hidden Features You Should Know

Did you know that DJ TechTools manufactured and released a powerful controller for DJs and producers that was designed by you, our readers? If not, that’s probably our fault. We haven’t talked nearly enough about this amazing controller. In this article, we reveal a few of its hidden features which make it a great studio controller and beloved by many stage performers and DJs.

Midi Fighter Twister: A Valuable Controller

One of DJTT’s guiding principles is to make tools that are genuinely helpful and designed for real working musicians. The Midi Fighter Twister embodies those ideas, by packing in five unique MIDI tools that make its 16 push encoders some of the best knobs ever found on production gear. Watch the above overview to learn what the controller is capable of.

What’s The Big Idea?

Most controllers are just simple knobs – you map them to a one thing and control it with a turn. Not terribly exciting. The Twister is special because you have four banks of 16 push encoders, which provide visual feedback and pack three functions in each knob:

  • Turn
  • Push
  • Second Turn

The magic sauce lies in the push. You can configure each knob’s button to modify the turn in many ways:

All 16 encoders have a built-in durable and robust push button. The button unlocks extra functionality and doubles the potential of MIDI mappings. DJTT has engineered a suite of handy MIDI tricks that are completely unique to the Midi Fighter Twister.

  • Encoder Fine Adjust: In this mode, hold down or press a knob, and it becomes high-resolution. This allows you to control a tiny range of values with bigger movements. It’s ideal for precise adjustments to controls like EQ, tempo, resonance, etc.
  • Push to Reset: In this mode, pressing the button on an encoder will reset its value to zero, effectively turning it off instantly. This is very useful for controls like the Ableton FX sends, which don’t have an ON/OFF button that you can map to.
  • Shift Encoder Hold: One of the most unique features on the Twister is the ability to have two different capable knobs on a single encoder.
    You can map the encoder to one parameter, and then when held down it will send out a different value. This second value allows control of a totally separate parameter on the same knob. In this mode, it’s just like having 32 knobs in the space of 16.
  • CC Toggle: More useful than traditional notes, the push buttons can be configured to send out toggling CC values. These are required to turn things like effects units in Ableton on and off, while still keeping the LEDs in sync.
  • Filter/EQ Mode: This turns the knob into a dual-pole (left-right) filter/EQ-style control. This gives each knob a center detent that is ideal for Pan, Filter, or similar parameters.
  • Super Knob!  Turn any of the encoders into super knob mode and they will send out a second CC in the upper range to easily layer FX or other commands.

Finally, one often overlooked part of the controller are six stealthy buttons built into the rubber sides. These can be used to change banks, send MIDI notes, or anything you want to map to them.

2016 Twister Firmware Update

To take advantage of these features you will want to download the latest firmware, which is available directly in the Midi Fighter utility.

  • Plug in your controller
  • Open the Midi Fighter Utility app
  • Update the firmware to the latest version
  • Do a factory reset to make sure all the newest changes take effect

Download Midi Fighter Utility OSX
Download Midi Fighter Utility Windows
Learn more about the DJ TechTools Midi Fighter Twister

ableton liveencodersknobsmidi controllermidi fighter twistersecret featuresstudio controllertwister
Comments (27)
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  • lokey

    all this needs is an easy mapping for ableton, which remaps the 16 knobs to new cc messages as you switch the highlighted track. this way, each track can have 16 dedicated controls, in one easy package.

  • Scoox

    So basically its not really 3-in-1, because with the Shift Knob you lose the Button action. What this thing needs is at least 4 top-facing buttons to switch banks instead of those ridiculous and awkward side buttons, and possibly another 4 for user-defined actions. I’d add a couple of 3.5 mm jack connectors on the back for foot switches. Boom that’s the perfect controller.

  • jacobius wrex

    Twister rules!
    I was struggling to get the function I wanted out of a pair of Numark Orbits totally hijacked with Bome MIDI Translator. Then I found the Twister, although it added another cable to my guitar, is the most amazing and flexible controller I swear. I have not seen a better looking, full featured mapping program. Extremely well thought out, and well built. I have instantly fallen in love with how easy and trusty these knobs are to set up to do ultra-dope stuff.

  • Dr Beatz

    Thanks for the sweet video. I am going to go play with my knobs now 😉

  • Anonymous

    Been DJing for about 5 years now. Finally getting into music production.

    I was thinking of getting the KORG NANOKONTROL STUDIO for ABLETON LIVE.

    The only Caveat I have with it…is it has only ONE KNOB.

    *** Yes…I know I do have the option of choosing to go with another control surface that has more knobs…but as of right now…I am really loving the way the nanokontrol studio looks and the way I think it will perform for me in my live PA/DJ set. I have looked at other control surfaces and I don’t like any of the current ones on the market. ***

    With that said…I was definitely looking at getting another midi controller that has ONLY KNOBS to accompany the nanokontrol studio for more functionality and control of Ableton’s Macro Control Effect/Instrument Racks.

    So…that’s where the MIDI FIGHTER TWISTER comes into play…

    1. Does anyone know if its definitely possible to pair up these 2 controllers together without too much hassle and midi script/setting know how…???

    2. Its definitely possible to setup the midi fighter twister to control virtually ‘any’ parameter/setting that I want in Ableton…correct…???


    • Dr Beatz

      the only issue may be the default midi channel that the controllers send on (but this can be changed on the MF Twister, to avoid conflict…you should be fine) You can use the Twister to control ANY parameter in Ableton that is able to be controlled by mapping it through “midi map mode”. The controller is awesome IMHO. As far as knob controllers, it is the best. It was crowd sourced and well thought out, and is well supported. I hate to be a fan boy. but for real, this gear is a beast!!!!

  • LichenChips

    Great product, I love mine! I think this article is a great idea too as this product might be underestimated. Keep up the good work DJTT!

  • Jap_

    This update looks great!

  • No Qualms

    I use the MF Twister on every gig. I’ve mapped it in Traktor in a more practical way for gigs. I find it’s a lot easier to fit in booths and in many ways better than an X1.
    4 hot cues down the left side for deck A.
    4 hot cues down the right side for deck B.
    The centre 2 knobs I have:
    Top row, filters.
    Second row, flux.
    Third row, delay & filter combo
    Bottom row, browse tree & songs, load A B.

    Also don’t forget that it is a drum sequencer for Traktor remix decks, this is an awesome product I highly recommend it!

    • Martin Weiss Hansen

      Could you please tell me which device is sitting next to your Midi Fighter? The one with the big red CUE button.

      • No Qualms

        It’s just an old Numark CDMix that’s still embedded in the DJ booth, from back in the day.

  • Be

    Can these modes be toggled by sending the controller MIDI messages or can they only be toggled with the Windows and Mac only MIDI Fighter program? If there are MIDI messages that can be sent to the controller to switch its modes, I can’t find any documentation of them. IMO mappings should be able to switch the modes of the encoders as needed via standard MIDI messages.

      • Be

        Any chance this functionality will be added in a firmware update? I’d like to get a MF Twister and map it to Mixxx, but requiring Windows or Mac OS shouldn’t be necessary for the mapping to work :/

        • No Qualms

          Each knob has many possible functions and many possible layers. These functions wouldn’t be accessible via generic MIDI mapping only. They are on top of the mapping you do in your DJ program. You can still map it in your program, you just can’t control what the knobs are. The MF twister has way more possibilities than every other standard MIDI controller. If you actually used it you would see why this is needed.

          • Be

            Mixxx’s mapping system uses a fully functional programming language (JavaScript), so it could dynamically send MIDI messages to change the behavior of the controller as appropriate. Requiring a proprietary program that only runs on Windows and Mac OS leaves out users (currently just GNU/Linux users, but hopefully Mixxx will be ported to Android in the future).

          • No Qualms

            Only 1.5% of computers in the world are running Linux. If you choose such an obscure OS, you can’t really complain when companies don’t waste money and time on making programs for such a small market.

          • Be

            You’re attacking a straw man. I’m not asking for a special program, I’m asking for a way to configure the controller via class compliant MIDI signals, which would work with any hardware or software, including stand-alone devices not connected to a computer.

          • No Qualms

            Actually that was exactly what you were asking for. You complained that the MF utility was only available for Win and Mac, but not Linux. Therefore they should create a version for Linux.

            Sorry, wasn’t attacking you, I was defending DJTT & Ean. There are a hand full of people that give there time and energy to help and improve the DJ community and a whole bunch of takers and wingers that complain that they don’t give them enough. Especially when they choose to have a particular setup that is generally unique to them and then complain when things don’t work for them. Ean has given back more to the community than you or I ever will, and I will always defend him, nothing personal ?

          • Dubby Labby

            It could be possible do a pure data patch to make it OS agnostic and open to comunity improvement as they did with firmware.

          • Chris Wunder


          • CUSP

            Yes Be, you’re absolutely correct in asking for increased controller feedback functionality… (probably through Python). One thing that’s bugged me about controllers with lighting feedback is that they have to use proprietary interface programs, and even then it’s a hassle when not used as intended.

            Why not be innovative, and more user-friendly?

          • Be

            I don’t think a Python or PureData program would be the best approach. As long as the controller can be configured through MIDI messages, any program on any platform that works with MIDI would be able to set its own configuration for the controller.

          • CUSP

            That’s quasi-true. Most consumer computers use off-the-shelf operating systems, and the kernel on these systems is UNIX. While Linux is a flavor of UNIX, most of the commands are easily implemented in nearly all consumer computers. JavaScript and Python should also be easily implemented (as long as they’re enabled on the computer).

            I’m not sure why anyone wouldn’t want their code easily portable.

          • Ean Golden

            @be It’s something we should certainly consider in the future but right now is not realistic for the development team.
            @noqualms:disqus thanks for having our back – I appreciate it 🙂 I do think Be was just asking for 2 way midi access to these features – not a linux editor though.. Thank you both for your passion!

          • Dr Beatz

            so currently there is no way to program lighting feed back via midi? Lighting with the MF3D was a breeze, but not so with the twister?