I am addicted to DIY controllers...
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  1. #1
    Tech Mentor
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    Default I am addicted to DIY controllers...

    Hi all,

    I realized that I just keep planning to make controller after controller each time trying to do something different...I'm starting to think I'm more into the DIY than the actual DJing...

    Does anyone else feel like this? And has any good come out of your many DIY endeavors?

  2. #2
    Tech Wizard pushplay's Avatar
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    I feel you on that one friend. COntrollerism is where its at for me. And I kinda feel alone till I found this site.
    So much so I recently went into a very reputable gear shop here in Montreal and they couldn't understand why I woudl want to do what I do. (guy did not even believe it was possible to control Traktor with MAschine)

  3. #3
    Tech Guru Fatlimey's Avatar
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    I feel like am a "Guitar Tech" to the controllerist world. I may not be the one who live to shred and solo like the greats, but I am the guy who can specify, build, set up and maintain the very finest instruments for those people to fly with.

    It's not a bad place to be. The artists needs their tech, and the tech needs to be stretched by providing new and interesting capabilities for the artist.

  4. #4
    DJTT Super Moderator midifidler's Avatar
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    lol with you on that one - I spend at least as much time sketching out new ideas for interfaces and related products as I do practicing

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fatlimey View Post
    I feel like am a "Guitar Tech" to the controllerist world. I may not be the one who live to shred and solo like the greats, but I am the guy who can specify, build, set up and maintain the very finest instruments for those people to fly with.

    It's not a bad place to be. The artists needs their tech, and the tech needs to be stretched by providing new and interesting capabilities for the artist.
    How did you get into it?

  6. #6
    Tech Guru Fatlimey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmauve View Post
    How did you get into it?
    I started digital DJing with "Carrot Productions Virtual Turntables" (VTT) back in 1997(?), helped the developer with some suggestions, used it on a daily basis for years until I switched to Traktor.

    VTT had a very specific way of working that it took Traktor three versions to even partially match:
    • You had 8 cue points that were set by listening not visually. There was no clock matching so all drops had to be done by ear. You can get good at that pretty fast, and you find that releasing a key is far more accurate than pressing it. This is why I prefer CUP to CUE.
    • I had no hardware with multiple outputs, so what the audience hears is exactly what I hear. This makes you very sensitive to your mistakes and forces you to match perfectly instead of matching on the CUE channel and mixing through. You end up with a style that's a lot more drops a a lot less crossfades!
    • It could match tempo (not key), but phase matching was entirely manual so you got good at starting cuepoints at exactly the right time and very very fast at phase matching with nudges. This forced you to *know* your tunes, cos once you dropped there was no going back.
    • You could open as many players as your hardware could cope with, so 4-deck matching was a given since day one. The ability to open as many decks as you want, essentially using the decks as samplers and layers, is something that 12 years later Traktor is still struggling to find a solution for.


    The reason I wanted to get into control devices is that I have had the "advanced" playback features of Traktor for over 10 years and playback hasn't advanced one iota. Ableton Live has new ideas that almost entirely require setup beforehand. It just can't perform live. I was stuck doing one thing at a time using the mouse and a good keyboard map can be a godsend if it becomes second nature. The holy grail at the time was mouseless DJing using control surfaces, and even today none of the surfaces (including the VCI-100) can do the kinds of things I want to do. They're stuck in the two-turntables-and-a-mixer world and I want to be doing live restructuring of multiple layered tracks and loops. There is no "DeckA", there are only sound sources. There are no "FX on DeckB", there is only routing sound through banks of effects to the master.

    So that's why I am driven to do this. I have tasted the future 10 years ago, and I'm trying to recreate it and extend it!

  7. #7
    Dr. Bento BentoSan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fatlimey View Post
    I feel like am a "Guitar Tech" to the controllerist world. I may not be the one who live to shred and solo like the greats, but I am the guy who can specify, build, set up and maintain the very finest instruments for those people to fly with.

    It's not a bad place to be. The artists needs their tech, and the tech needs to be stretched by providing new and interesting capabilities for the artist.
    I kinda feel the same, i spend more time creating and researching new ways to make the software side of things possible. My latest move to M4L has been really good for me, i was pretty much stretching Traktor as far as practically possible with Bomes / Traktor which got a bit annoying and boring after a while of constantly running into limitations in the software. Now my tool set is mammoth and isn't hold me back so its like i have fallen in love again with the craft

    I really only enjoy djing when i am doing something unique and interesting, so creating tools helps keep my love of the craft of djing topped up

    Sadly i just don't have the time to do that hardware and push the limits of the software - so i focus myself on the software side of things and leave the hardware to the guys who specialize in the hardware. I have spent a little time dabbling in hardware to learn a few things but it will probably be a while before i actually do make something significant due to these time constraints. Hopefully with Midifidler and Fatlimey on the job i wont need to make the hardware and i can just focus myself on how that hardware interacts with the software
    Last edited by BentoSan; 03-01-2010 at 01:57 AM.

  8. #8
    Tech Guru Fyoog's Avatar
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    I must admit this was always something that has always interested me but I have never really had the technical know how to carry it forward, I remember back in 1996, me and a couple of mates, when we were about 15 making a set up with my two decks and mixer, a CD walkman through one of the outputs and casio key board through the other and we used to rock all our mates parties with a totally wierd set looking back on it!!! This was, at the time, my ode to trying out new surfaces to DJ with. I know this is not exactly what we are talking about but i know but Bentosan said it best:
    "I really only enjoy djing when i am doing something unique and interesting"
    Now i love Djing all the time but that feeling that you are doing something no one else is doing is the best.
    What would be the best way of getting into modding controllers as I still love the though of it?
    Are there any good books or websites that give you the best footing for starting this kind of electrical work for beginners?
    What sort of things would it be worth researching? (sorry for all the questions and highjack of the thread)
    MBP, 15.4", Ableton Live 8 Suite, Novation Remote SL, Pioneer XDJ-RX, Traktor, VCI 100SE!

  9. #9
    Dr. Bento BentoSan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyoog View Post
    Are there any good books or websites that give you the best footing for starting this kind of electrical work for beginners?
    The arduino website is a very good resource for info on electronics and how it relates to controllers

  10. #10
    Tech Wizard Gameboy's Avatar
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    Maybe it sounds weird, but I somehow feel the same ^^

    Everytime im djing I think 'damit, this controller doesn't give me the control I need to do this and this'. But there is no gear available that would fit my needs, so I started building my dream controller in my mind. Everytime I go to bed after I practised I think about this controller, put a fader here, some knobs there, etc.

    But I have no equipment and no skill to build one, thats why Im still dreaming of it, waiting for someone to build something similar ...
    Xone 22 -- Kontrol X1 -- A4DJ -- TPro -- 13" MBP

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