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Turntabletar 2.1 + The Story of My Vibe

The 'Turntabletar' is a turntable-style MIDI controller adapted to fit the body of a traditional electric guitar, allowing the DJ to be mobile while he mixes.


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The Turntabletar was constructed with the mobile DJ in mind. Where the traditional setup has kept the DJ behind his station, with little opportunity to interact with the audience, the Turntabletar allows the digital DJ to step out from behind the booth while maintaining full control over his mix. Part-turntable, part-guitar, part-effects processor and sampler, this controller is fully map-able in any digital DJ interface and can be tethered as well, allowing you to use multiple Turntabletars in addition to your setup, or even to replace your turntables altogether. For demonstration purposes, one Turntabletar is here being used to control a DJ mix, while the other controls the accompanying video mix. Of course, you have the option of mapping your Turntabletar to one or more interfaces as well, allowing you full control with the ability to switch between programs during your set. The models on display are both edition 2.1 Turntabletars, while encased is the original prototype. With the help of DJs and producers alike, we hope to further develop the Turntabletar in the coming months by offering the option to fully customize construction to make it as comfortable and effective as possible for each individual style.

MIDI controllers and interfaces are designed to allow the user varying levels of customization. That said, much of the hardware that exists, particularly for DJs and producers, tends to be rather large and bulky, certainly not conducive to moving around while being used. We began by experimenting with hacking controllers for the purpose of redesigning their construction. Because we were interested in bringing the DJ out from behind his typical booth to allow him to interact with an audience, modeling the controller after a guitar seemed the obvious choice. While versions of a similar concept have popped up here and there in years past, the concept has strangely never been fully explored as far as we can tell.

We're looking to market primarily to digital DJs, turntablists, contollerists, producers, and experimenters.

User Scenario
For presentation purposes, this will be mostly a demonstration of sorts, though the user may be encouraged to give it a try themselves if they so choose.

The demonstrate will consist of one or two Turntabletars in use controlling a DJ mix as well as accompanying video. The video will be on a monitor on the wall behind us, while the Virtural DJ interface will be projected onto the floor in front of it.

The next version of the Turntabletar will be constructed out of plexi and wood. The body will house both turntables as well as volume sliders for both tracks, play/pause, sync, and cue-set buttons, while the neck will encase the effects processor side of the controller as well as the EQ and master cross-fader.

This is the second version of this piece. The first being very much a prototype, we've chosen to focus primarily on giving this version of the Turntabletar a clean and polished look, design, and feel. I think our most obvious conclusion is that ultimately, given the nature of MIDI controllers being customizable, we will always be challenged by the fact that what's comfortable for one user might not be ideal for the next. That said, any DJ or producer would probably have an idea as to how to make it work for them, so we would like to offer full customization to those ordering one for themselves.