MIDI Keyboard Defined DJ Performance System

Dewey, Christopher and Wakefield, Jonathan P.

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

This paper explores the use of the ubiquitous MIDI keyboard to control a DJ performance system. The prototype system uses a two octave keyboard with each octave controlling one audio track. Each audio track has four two-bar loops which play in synchronisation switchable by its respective octave’s first four black keys. The top key of the keyboard toggles between frequency filter mode and time slicer mode. In frequency filter mode the white keys provide seven bands of latched frequency filtering. In time slicer mode the white keys plus black B flat key provide latched on/off control of eight time slices of the loop. The system was informally evaluated by nine subjects. The frequency filter mode combined with loop switching worked well with the MIDI keyboard interface. All subjects agreed that all tools had creative performance potential that could be developed by further practice.