For ever dozen DJs who are happy to buy from the mainstream, there’s one who for whatever reason is looking for something a little different. In this instance, if you’re a dedicated drum programmer, or super-rich and looking for something nobody else has got, read on! We’re going to take a look at two controllers from the “boutique basement” at NAMM 2012: The SmithsonMartin KS1974 and the Livid Instruments CNTRL:R.
The SmithsonMartin KS-1974
Gorgeous is the word. Expensive is another (Got US$2,499 to blow?). Limited is another (there’s only 250 of these hand-built, Canadian models being made). But you can also add “clever” – take a look at how you can map anything to its control surface using the Emulator Modular software. In effect, you can build the touchscreen controller of your dreams.
The Livid CNTRL:R
Here’s something completely different. Designed by Livid with Richie Hawtin to work with rhythm patterns in Ableton Live, this controller primarily lets you chop up and effect drum loops. It’s like Twitch’s slicer on steroids. It’s also beautifully made, and as a groovebox for rhythm jamming and producing, it’s out on its own. There’s a Traktor mapping too, but unfortunately they didn’t have it with them for us to look at. Pre-order for US$699.
Would you like to own one of these devices? Do you think “blank slate” controllers that let you map them how you want are a good thing for digital DJs? Please let us know your thoughts below.