It’s no real secret that DJs, engineers, and audiophiles as a whole are kind of control freaks. Hey, we just like to be hands-on with the sound. Which is why we think the Kickstarter campaign for the Umidi custom-designed DJ controller is a pretty brilliant idea.
Created by Australians Bortasz Kowalski and Joseph Chehade to help achieve a fundraising goal of $20,000, the Umidi is an 11×9-inch MIDI control pad cut from anodized aluminum. The pad can be designed from the company’s interface to be setup any way you want, with up to 36 components in a 6×6 configuration. The site allows you to pick your poison from its stable of options, which include knobs, faders, jog wheels, aluminum buttons, and encoders. Further, you can design your own color scheme, lighting, and even have your DJ logo laser etched on the background in black and white.
With your personalized Umidi, you can control lighting schemes, or hook into any DJ software that supports MIDI – so, all of them – putting you in full control of your set and surroundings with a piece that’s tailor made for your own hands. The device doesn’t require a software driver, so it works with any Mac, Windows, or Linux PC
Available jog wheels and buttons are all made from aluminum, while the other components are made using Chroma Caps from DJ Tech tools for a soft touch. Other specs for the device include a high retention USB B power port, and a 32 bit ARM processor running at 120 Mhz. The pad also comes with an aluminum hard shell enclosure for safe travel.
Behind the pad is a stock of 288 RGB LEDs to light up the booth from within. The designers are also working on a graphic user interface for the product’s Umidi Editor software, which they say will instantly recognize your custom pad, display a virtual version of it in the editor, and allow you to set-up the backlighting to flash or turn on/off in an expansive array of over 16 million color choices.
Perusing the Umidi Kickstarter page shows the virtually limitless choice of options put to use, with a litany of Umidis, each one custom designed to be as unique as the DJ who put it together. For the creative personality, it’s a feast of options at your fingertips, just waiting for to be built.
As of writing this article, the Umidi has reached $3,350 of its $20,000 initial goal, with 44 days left to go. A pledge of $835 gets you an “Early Bird” Umidi of your very own if you hurry. After that it will cost you $895, going up from there to the $5000 24 kt gold version, for all you ballers out there. If the campaign raises $50,000, it will also include pressure sensitive drum pads.
The Umidi is just getting started, so we’ll have to wait and see if it takes flight, or becomes another broken Kickstarter dream. The choice is yours, fellow control freaks. Check out more from the device at the Kickstarter website.