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NEW: Midi Fighter 3D
NEW: Midi Fighter 3D
Posted by Gizmo on February 27, 2012 :

midi, fighter, 3d

While DJs who use controllers are often referred to as controllerists, or indeed class themselves as controllerists, the vast majority actually aren't. But Ean Golden is, and that's where he blazes a trail with his DJ Tech Tools company, by making hardware that has a specific need for a particular niche group of DJs and performers. The arcade button laden Midi Fighter Classic now gets a major upgrade - not just RGB buttons, but also with motion sensors. Say hello to the Midi Fighter 3D.

First the words and video from DJ Tech Tools:

DJ TechTools Creates New Paradigm in DJ Performance with
Midi Fighter 3D

SAN FRANCISCO – (Feb. 27, 2012) – DJ TechTools has introduced the Midi Fighter 3D, a groundbreaking MIDI controller that introduces a new dimension of performance for DJs and musicians.  Midi Fighter 3D brings the controller off the table, using physical movement to control sound in a expressive and intuitive way.

The hardware combines a grid of 16 high performance arcade buttons with three dimensions of motion tracking for unlimited creative expression. Three sensors track the controller's orientation in space with absolute precision, and each button has a unique analogue expression message for endless creative possibilities. All motions send out messages that are easily mapped to any software supporting MIDI.

The Midi Fighter 3D also features another industry first: fully customizable RGB arcade buttons that can be freely configured to display a wide range of colors, patterns or effects.  Rather than labels, anyone can re-configure the buttons in seconds to display unique colors.

"I wanted to add expressive, analogue control to the Midi Fighter without adding complexity and think we have succeeded," said Ean Golden, founder of DJ TechTools. "By combining highly accurate motion tracking with a simple, intuitive interface, the 3D brings a dimension of analogue expression that has been missing from digital controllers."

For more information, photos, and video about the Midi Fighter 3D, visit

Whatever your pre-conception of controllerism is, this is undoubtedly clever, and thinking quite a long way outside the box. Yes, it's button bashing with the added dimension of waving yourself around more than you might feel comfortable doing previously, but it's hard not to be impressed by the thought and execution.

This will require a certain change in mindset from DJs. If you're used to hitting inanimate boxes, or twiddling knobs to make effects changes, the idea of picking something up to make a change might take a little getting used to.

And that's the key to this for me - a complaint about many DJs is how they're pretty static and hunched over their gear. But the Midi Fighter 3D aims to coax a more visual performance out of an otherwise stationary DJ. Range wise, this is of course limited by the USB cable, even if it does look to be a fancy custom one. So you're still pretty much tied to your setup. But I suspect that a battery powered wireless model is on a drawing board somewhere.

I am deeply impressed with the light show. How cool would it be if the colours on the buttons could somehow trigger a projected light show at the same time? Actually drawing your audience into your performance on a scale larger than watching you make a tit of yourself is compelling.

It goes without saying that it's not for everyone, but at the same time can be made to do within reason what you want. With software becoming more complex, a 4x4 block with 6 shift buttons over 4 layers can do an awful lot if you use it properly. You don't have to pick it up at all if you don't want to, and may be much happier turning knobs instead. But as the video says, performance and expression are the key points with this little box. And for those DJs who like to stay less than sober when they perform - expect the unexpected.

The Midi Fighter 3D is available for preorder only right now for $249 and will ship early April. That is twice as much as the Classic, but for many it's a no-brainer upgrade, and considering the technology included, it's a pretty good price to me. Unlike many controllers out there, I feel that this can stand the test of time, as its core use is likely to be relevant for a very long time to come.

More info: Midi Fighter 3D

NOTE: No further comments are being accepted.
15 comments to this story

On February 27, 2012, yeahdef said this:
I... umm... hmm... its too early in the morning for something like this.

On February 27, 2012, dj cross+fade said this:
o hell yes sw_smilie.png

On February 27, 2012, jasonmd2020 said this:
I'm scraping up my pennies for this now. I love my traditional MF but this would be perfect to add some motion live. Now I can spazz out with the rest of the industrial band I'm in instead of just being stuck behind a CDJ, mixer & laptop!

On February 27, 2012, The_K said this:
Can't believe they've copied the Otus design.... Also don't like the concept, it sucked for most of the iphone / ipad apps so I dont think i will work well in a controller...

On February 27, 2012, AENSLAED said this:
Great! Midi Fighter has gone badass, now its definitely a desirable product, it can give many possibilities...

On February 27, 2012, LolMan 9000 said this:
@ The_K

What suck are the iphones/ipads and not the concept. Skratching on ipads sucks too, doesn't mean skratching sucks, ok?

On February 27, 2012, nem0nic said this:
"Can't believe they've copied the Otus design...."

Really, how? The feet (kind of, but not really)? I'm not sure ANYTHING on this screams Otus.

On February 28, 2012, el-oh-el said this:
"On February 27, 2012, The_K said this:
Can't believe they've copied the Otus design...." exactly?. Because it's black and the rings around the buttons are illuminated?. Allen & Heath does that too, as does the Akai APC40, and numerous other controllers.

On February 28, 2012, Johbremat said this:
The accelerometer is a bit kack, as far as picking up the unit and waving it around like a mup. Would have been cool if there was a thumbstick attachment as an alternative.

Other than that, it's their best effort to date. Applauding the use of banks and the six shift buttons.

Not tht I'd buy one toung.gif

On February 28, 2012, DJ Don said this:
That is one of the douchiest things I have ever seen second only to the Wacom nextbeat.

I would laugh my ass off if I saw some clown dancing around trying to look cool with that thing.

On February 28, 2012, Gizmo said this:
You might laugh DJ Don, but the crowd is going insane. Sometimes, DJs need to step back and look at the crowd reaction. You you, it looks like "some clown dancing around". The crowd (who he's playing for) sees something entirely different. And that's the whole point.

On February 28, 2012, Loudist said this:
The best thing about this MIDI Fighter update is the most overlooked new feature; the four Bank buttons. Add them to the changeable RGB LED button rings and it's going to be the perfect device for controlling large chunks of the upcoming Traktor 2 revision. Personally, I can't wait to try one.

On February 28, 2012, DJ Hessler said this:
I find this to be a great step forwards and a great idea!

Very interesting pice of gear IMO toung.gif

On February 28, 2012, Pressure Wave said this:
I don't believe the 3D is twice the price of the classic, it's my understanding that the Classic costs around $189, fully assembled with a silicone casing. Am I missing something?

On February 29, 2012, DJ L-BIZ said this:
I liked it off the knuck, however my mate quickly pointed out that its very expensive wii controller

I'd still like to see one in the right hands

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