A MIDI controller is an essential part of your DJ kit. It’s the hands on interface to your software based decks, mixer and record bag.
After experimenting with keyboards, BCD2000’s and Novation remotes I found that M-Audio’s Trigger Finger was a fantastic tool for DJ’ing. I love my Novation Remote and still use it, but not for DJ’ing. Designed for the drummer, the M-Audio trigger finger is also a great tool for the digital DJ. Here’s a few good things about the trigger finger.
1. It might seem easy in the bedroom, but using a midi controller in a live situation is 10x more difficult, so keep it simple. The Trigger Finger, is small but has well spaced and good quality knobs, faders and pads
2. It’s designed for the drummer not the studio engineer, so it’s rugged
3. It’s small and thin. It fits in my laptop bag
4. It is bus powered so I don’t need an extra power cord
5. It has 4 long faders which have a nice solid feel. They don’t slip and slide all over the place like some. The length means you have room to move
6. It has 8 knobs which are well spaced (this is important) and they are a decent size. They feel more like the knobs on any standard DJ mixer.
7. It has 16 LARGE velocity sensitive pads which can be used to program any midi function. Not all controllers are fully programmable eg BCD2000.
8. Most controllers cram large amounts into a small space. Big pads mean that you don’t need a microscope to see what you are doing.
9. It has 16 presets so, that means 64 pads, 32 knobs and 16 faders are available at the touch of a button
10. People will always say that controller doesn’t have enough buttons. I say keep it simple. Smart programming means fewer requirements for buttons and more fun!!!
It also comes with a software based tool called Enigma for programming presets which a lot of people hate. It remained an Enigma to me for some time. There’s room for improvement, but it does work well (most of the time). It just takes some time to get your head around MIDI programming. Prepare yourself to get to know midi if you want to be able to program any controller to do exactly what you want it to do.
In another post I will explain how I overcame the enigma that is Enigma
READ about Trigger Finger at the M-Audio website: