Want to make your own custom MIDI controller for DJing, production, or visuals, but don’t have the money or time to make a DIY controller? In this article, we spotlight a project that DJTT friends Traxus Interactive have been working on that allows multi-touch control of Traktor in Google Chrome.

The Age of Touchscreen MIDI Instruments

When large touchscreen mobile devices started coming on the market 6-8 years ago, it made a lot of sense for app developers to start building digital MIDI interfaces for them. Apps like TouchOSC and Lemur were developed to create new interfaces for controlling MIDI-accepting apps.

But all of that changed when webMIDI was first introduced in 2015, and integrated into the Google Chrome browser. Suddenly, developers can quickly and easily build MIDI-capable applications inside of Chrome.

That’s exactly what the team at Traxus Interactive set out to do when rebuilding their Traxus Control Traktor Multitouch Interface – they explain:

“we hand coded our own JavaScript library of multi-touch objects including faders, knobs and button arrays along with a versatile MIDI I/O binding framework that allows us to quickly whip up browser contained interfaces similar to what some iOS and Android apps provide but without the clunky editors.”

WebMIDI + Traktor

The Traxus team sent over a demo video of the new setup in action, video above. To explain what you’re seeing, they’ve included this description:

The setup consists of one PC running Google Chrome and Traktor 2.6.8 atop of Windows 10 with two monitors connected. The Interface uses the webMIDI API to send and receive midi to Traktor through a pair of loopMIDI virtual MIDI ports. An optional Python script translates a small range of MIDI notes into QWERTY keystrokes to manipulate the search box in Traktor’s file browser.

The Future Of Rapid Instruments + Prototyping?

So what makes this project so compelling? Creating MIDI instruments for touchscreen mobile devices has always been cheaper and faster for users – but making it a webMIDI / Chrome-based tool is even better. It’s a great democratizer:

  • There are tons of casual developers in the world who know their way around Javascript and HTML.
  • Chrome will run on almost any type of device – regardless of operating system and hardware.
  • There’s no complex or costly app to purchase
  • You can run Traktor and the interface on the same computer – no dual devices required.

Want to try it out for yourself? It’s currently in a closed beta – but you can learn more and apply for access here on the official site. Alternately, discuss it in the DJTT forums or comments below – the creators are active DJTT users!