When I was packing for London, there were several sidelong glances at the various pieces of DJ gear lying around my room as I tried to estimate how far over the 50 pound luggage limit such an accessory would put me. I eventually decided not to bring my trusty all-in-one Kontrol S4, but to go modular. The two main ways people approach digital DJing are with either big slates of hardware that combine a sound card, a mixer, and an arsenal of deck controls, or an array of smaller, specialized controllers that combine their strengths to provide all the buttons and knobs necessary to bring the house down. The first class of controllers are usually referred to as all-in-ones because it's all you need to hook up to a sound system and play music. The second type of setup is modular, allowing for a whole range of creativity using several specialized devices.
I wanted to pack light, but I also wanted to bring some DJ stuff so I can practice, and maybe even play a little event or something. So I've brought with me my Midifighter Pro (with the newly finished FXB mapping), an Audio 2 sound card, and my iPad. I have an app called TouchOSC that lets mobile devices broadcast MIDI signals over a wifi network. So if my computer and my iPad are on the same network, I can use it as a controller in traktor. The really cool thing about TouchOSC is the editor, which lets you design your own interfaces and specify which midi notes they produce.
Prior to leaving I'd made a couple of single purpose layouts and mappings for my iPad, but only as a supplement to my S4. Now I'm using it for all the cueing and mixing, with my Midifighter pro handling effects. These past couple days I've been struggling to come up with a cool, usable design for this template. I was reading a review of the new Electrix Tweaker on DJTechtools, and was inspired by its funky design. I've just finished making/mapping this baby:
The controls are split into two halves, told apart by color. The left side can be toggled between decks A and C, and the right side between B and D. The outmost columns are EQ knobs, volume, and play/pause. There's a section for hotcues, mainly intended for setting up decks, the buttons are a little small for cue juggling. This mapping was created to be a companion to the Midifighter Pro mapping I just finished, which has much better cue controls. There's also a section for loops - a 2 x 4 grid for selecting the size, then a button to drop the loop, and two for shifting it left and right. If no loop is active, they work like beatjump buttons using the same value as the loop size. Up top, there's a little seek wheel, a shift button, a monitor cue button, and a switch for toggling sync. The center jog wheel scrolls through the tracklist, and there are buttons for loading to each deck. There's also a fullscreen browse button. The filter by default is only active while you're touching the knob (for sweeps), but if you hold shift and use the knob it leaves the filter on after you release the knob. I've considered reversing that functionality, but I'll see how it works in the moment. All the knobs jump to the correct positions when you flip between decks too, which is pretty nifty.