Converting A Dead CDJ-1000MK3 To A MIDI Controller

In a followup to last month’s CDJ-1000MK1 conversion project, DJ Legion has hacked the more modern CDJ-1000MK3. In a highly detailed series of videos, DJ gear technician Lee Smith walks viewers through his complete process of taking a dead CDJ and turning into MIDI controller.

Hack The CDJ-1000MK3 To Work Via MIDI

So first off – be warned: this gets extremely nerdy. To follow the instructions for this entire process will take a bit of time, but you can learn a lot about how a CDJ works by watching these videos. Lee has done an amazing job of cataloging all the steps of this intense conversion.

The process is pretty Dr. Frankenstein – starting out with a completely dead CDJ-1000MK3, and bringing it back to life with a Teensy 3.6 board as the brain. Watch all 7 videos in the playlist below if you’re ready to dive in!

Up Next: A Kit Of PCBs Instead?

As you can tell from the above playlist of videos, hacking a CDJ-1000MK3 takes a lot of time. Lee notes in the end of the videos:

 “It’s quite a lot of work to do this conversion, and there’s a lot of factors that can go wrong. So what I’m working on is designing some PCBs that you hopefully can buy as a kit to basically do the conversions yourself. So this means you don’t even need to have the boards inside”

One of the prototype kit PCB boards that Lee has designed

Effectively, his plan is to make custom replacement PCBs for the CDJ-1000MK3 which can be slapped into the case, and either fitted with the original knobs and faders or fitted with brand news ones. This would avoid a lot of the stress of this type of conversion, making a quick-and-easy job instead.