This dazzling bright pink DJ controller has star-shaped jog wheels
Designed by Tigris Li using the UNO R4 32-bit microprocessor, the controller certainly breaks the mould of conventional designs.
Image taken from Tigris Li’s Instagram
Tigris Li, a London-based, Canadian creative technologist, artist and designer, has shared an intriguing new DJ controller design and the process that went into building it.
The DJ controller is small with a bright pink transparent plastic casing. All the key features are there – jog wheels, EQ knobs, browsing knobs and load buttons, volume faders, BPM control, a filter, cue and play buttons – however, not as we know them.
The stars of the show are the jog wheels. Rather than adopting the standard circle shape as with most DJ gear, they’re shaped like twinkling stars with a silver finish. The groovy – in more ways than one – shape allows you to smoothly adjust the position of a track or backspin in a dramatic fashion.
In the centre of the unit, there’s a basic LED screen that displays retro bitmap symbols such as hearts and aliens akin to early gaming devices. The visuals are activated each time you touch a knob, spin a jog wheel or adjust the faders.
The funky DJ controller is also apt for portability. It comes with a harness, custom-designed by Isabella Smith. This straps around your body, leaving the controller to sit at the front, so you can make the most spectacular entrance of all to your DJ set in the club.
The controller was made using Arduino’s UNO R4 Minima, “the first UNO board featuring a 32-bit microcontroller, the RA4M1 from Renesas”, says the brand. In an explainer video posted to Instagram, Li also shouts out North London laser cutting for turning her designs into [hyscial components.
In the video, Li takes viewers through the build process. She began by gathering measurements for the buttons and switches to create laser-cut design files. She incorporated drum pad buttons, soldered wires for EQ faders’ potentiometers and rotary encoders for jogwheels. Li also handled slider soldering for volume faders and BPM control, adding an LED matrix for visual effects during mixing.
Assembling the frame, Li went on to design unique cue and play buttons, she says, and 3D printed them with a resin filter. With their partner’s assistance, she airbrushed these to achieve a metallic finish. Lastly, Li coded all functions, mapping MIDI data from their Pioneer DJ controller onto their customised setup and creating bitmap designs for the LED matrix.
Tigris, originally from Montréal, Canada, educates millions on Instagram and TikTok, inspiring future electronic engineers and experienced designers. Recently, Tigris published a limited edition book for her Data Romantics exhibition, delving into modern dating’s digital impact. Co-founding Lychee, Inc. in 2022, she pioneers social technology hardware to capture memories, emotions, and cultural moments.
See more of Tigris Li’s work via tigris.li.
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