This year’s Next Big Thing™®© was Native Instrument’s Kontrol F1 and corresponding Remix Decks. Along with it came a lot of words (mostly written by me) about their decision to lock the Remix Decks to the F1 and not allow anything more than the most basic of mappings. Fortunately for the DJ community at large, “can’t” is not an acceptable rule.
While DJTechTools went one direction, hacking the backend of Traktor to make the MIDI Fighter work natively with the Remix Decks, that had its own limitations (as one needs the MIDI Fighter for it to work), other people went in a different direction. Vincent Cox, aka DJVC, had initially created a MIDI Translator file to allow any controller to map to the remix decks via emulating mouse movements. This wasn’t perfect either, as many people don’t have MT and have very little interest in another $90 purchase for something that (this writer feels) should be open regardless.
So Vincent took that to heart and wrote a program (Windows only at this time – Ed) to allow any controller to work with the Remix Decks. In his own words:
The main feature of the program is to control the remix decks ( all the 64 pads like the F1) in Traktor Pro.
It lets you map the pads of every controller to the samples in Traktor, and you can also change the sample-page via buttons on a controller. The software can let you do almost the same as with the F1 (except “punch-mode” which is not possible, we come back later on that)
Other features (like volume control/filter-control) are map-able in Traktor, so they’ve been left our of the program.
To get an overview of what the program can do:
HOW IT WORKS
When you press a pad on your controller, your controller sends a midi-command to the computer. This program recognizes the MIDI command and simulates the right mouse-click in Traktor. Inside the program are a lot of features to make it easier to use.
So it basically can do:
- Launch the samples of the remix deck
- Change the sample page, so you can control all 64 samples
And the program
- Works with every controller
- Works with every screen resolution
- Guided setup of your controller (there is also a setup-video for the users who cant get trough the setup. So even unexperienced users can setup their controller.)
- Visual interface to map the pads of your controller
- Autosave/autoload function. So you have to do the setup only 1 time. The next time it will load the settings so you can start immediately.
THee’s a tutorial on how to setup your controller with the program:
Most users don’t need this trick. It’s for users who don’t have 4 free buttons to map in traktor. Those 4 buttons are mapped to the play/pause button of each slot.
I recommend users to let the last sample of a slot empty. So when you want to let the sample of that slot stop playing (and let the other slots keep playing), you launch the empty sample.
The program is free to download.
For more information, and to be informed when a new version comes out, you can check out this page on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/djvc93
Latest versions will always be posted there. In a few days, a shift button will be added. This let you delete samples from the remix decks.
This is not the perfect solution, but if you don’t want to buy a MIDI Fighter, Bome MT or the CNTRL:R from Livid, this is the best we got. There is no MIDI Output, but for those few of us fortunate to have Bome MT Pro it can easily be coded in for any controller on the market. All it does is map your MIDI signals to mouse movements to trigger any of the remix cells.
Setting it up is not complicated, you don’t even have to set anything in the Controller Manager. The instructions are pretty straight forward and it’s as simple as pointing your mouse at the cells and hitting a bunch of buttons with your keyboard. From there you tell the program which pads or buttons you want to trigger which features. Anything that gives self-feedback like the Maschine, PadKontrol, or QuNeo is easily mapped and will give adequate press-and-release feedback. If you want anything more complicated, however, that is just not an option.
Vincent has, however, expressed interest in adding features if/when demand increases (just contact him on his Facebook). If nothing else, download the app, hook your controller up to it and see how it runs. It gives just enough control to make the Remix Decks really useful for someone who doesn’t want to buy a new controller.