One of the many things traditional DJ’s gripe about when it comes to touch screen type controllers is the loss of the tactile feel. Well that argument is now invalid thanks to a new product called Tuna Knob. Tweetonig, the company behind Tuna Knobs, is looking to go the crowd-funding route in order to get these babies in to production. Their campaign is set to go live on Kickstarter July 7th.
Why am I excited and why should you care?
Tuna Knobs is not only bridging the gap from tactile and digital gear, but they are also creating a space for new controller advancements and music applications. As someone who has played live in front of people using my iPad as a mixer, I can tell you that sometimes, it leaves me wanting. All of last year, I traveled with a remapped Moog Minitaur as my mixer control because I loved the knobs. My actual MIDI mixer was big and impractical to travel with and I don’t have any other controllers with enough knobs. It kind of sucked because I was traveling with a $700 synth that was basically pulling MIDI mixer duty.
When I got back to Miami, I started working on a new Ableton performance template and a matching Touch OSC template to replace my Moog synth with my iPad. It’s lighter and easier to carry and doubles as my on flight entertainment. I played a few shows that way, but I still wanted the feel I got turning the knobs on the Moog Minitaur. I also noticed, as the mappings got more complicated, the knob response became less accurate.
A New Hope
Tuna Knobs are meant to remedy this. I will once again be able to have that feel of twisting the crap out of a knob for a huge build. I’ll also be more at ease knowing one of my knobs wont accidentally spike because my finger got too close to the sensor area. Accuracy counts so much more when it’s live. They’re also detachable and pretty small, so portability is high. The more I learn about this product, the more I can see the potential to exploit it for other means during live performance. I’ll let you know once I get my hands on a pair and cook up a free mapping or two!