Working with electronic music can be a very static experience, whether you are a dj or a producer. During performances it can be very difficult for the spectator how tracks are created and what the performer is actually doing. With the Midi Fighter 3D a live performance dimension is possible, comparable of that of a guitar. Next to the live aspect, the MidiFighter 3D is also a valuable midi controller within your studio.
The Midi Fighter 3D is the newest edition of the “classic” Midi Fighter Spectra from DJ Techtools. The biggest difference is the ‘Total Motion Control’, which is added next to the 16 ‘Arcade style’ buttons. It is now possible to control midi messages with motions (pivoting, turning). The controller is shipped with a flexible blue midi cable, which connects with a hooked connector, preventing it from disconnecting during intensive use. You can download driver software from the DJ Techtools website and installing the unit is easy. Before you know it you are playing around in ways you haven’t before with midi controllers.
The Midi Fighter is built in a sturdy and solid housing with a rubber feeling for a good grip. The 16 buttons are real arcade style and look and feel very sturdy. You instantly notice the loud clicks that they make while playing with them. The fun factor makes sure that you forget about these clicks soon, although you need to keep your mics away from this device if you use it in a studio session. The controller has specially shaped feet, which makes it easy for you to pivot and turn it around, in order to play with the 3D aspects of the Midi Fighter. After playing around with this controller for quit some time, we are confident this is a product made to last for years and can stand a few bumps on the road.
It takes a little time to get used to all the possible interactions and getting the settings right. But if your done with the technical stuff, making and controlling music can be a intuitive and creative experience. With recording (in our case with Ableton Live 9) all midi data is properly processed. After a few sessions the Midi Fighter feels like an extension of your body and you almost forget about the fact that you are working with a midi controller, it becomes an instrument.
Mapping the Midi Fighter 3D
The learning curve to program the Midifighter can be very steep, especially when this is the first midi controller you will use. If you are familiar with mapping functionality to a midi controller it is much easier, since everything works like any controller. This also give you the same challenge: Make a working mapping which resamples your ideas and design.
Sometimes you need to program settings ‘reverted’ in order to be to control the Midifighter in the right way.
How you program you Midi Fighter is completely up to you of course. Within your DAW or DJ software you choose which function will be on what button. If you map sounds on the buttons it is advisable to choose them well, since the buttons are not velocity sensitive. It is also possible to customise the colors of the led rings around the buttons. Within the software that comes with the Midi Fighter 3D this is easily done and you can edit both the on/off state as the way the lights react the the motions of the controller itself. Note that the default settings are already nice to work with.
– 16 Arcade style buttons (no velocity sensitivity)
– 6 (2 x 3) buttons on the sides
– 4 shift buttons for multiple banks of functionality! – Turn
– Turn and Pivot combo
The Midi Fighter 3D is a unique midi controller which gives an extra dimension on live performances as well as in the studio or dj booth. It stimulates expressiveness and creativity, especially with the motion controls.
– High quality casing and feel
– Extensive control options
– Very good technical support and information on the DJ Techtools website
– Good thinking on the hooked connector on the midi cable
– Quality comes with a price
– The loud click of the arcade buttons
– High learning curve if you are not familiar with mapping a controller
This review is written by SONICrider
SONICrider is a new musical adventure of Jurgen Winkel, who toured as musician through Europe in the nineties with the “electro rock band” BLIND. SONICrider brings experimental dance music, which is accompanied with visuals during live performances. His next show is at LIVEDM and is the start of the “Welcome To The New World” tour on the 20th of september in the venue Altstadt in Eindhoven the Netherlands. Info: www.sonicrider.nl/live.htm
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