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Catalyst Controller by Bob Kruijer

  • Location: CASSIOPEIA / Berlin
  • Symposium: 2019
  • Event: Sample Music Festival
  • Topic: Music Tech

The origins of the Catalyst Controller date back to 2014 when Bob Kruijer cut up one of his DJ mixers and attempted to make a ghetto version of the 'fretless fader' - a concept that adds a Y-axis to the traditional x-fader on common DJ-mixers and was invented by John Beez. After much tinkering and conversations with like-minded individuals (such as Sir-Cut, the inventor of Syntablism), the concept was expanded, and this is what the Catalyst Controller is today: an add-on for DJ-mixers with a key feature of being able to control hardware and software (VST) synths with tools familiar to turntablists, such as vinyl and x-fader movement.

In other words, instead of scratching a 'sound on the record', you can scratch a Synth in real-time. As a side-project, Bob also started tinkering with wireless control back in 2018. Coupled with a gyroscope, he managed to create a device that gives even more parameters to 'make sound with': the position of vinyl (i.e. what time is it on a clock) and the movement direction.

During his lecture at Sample Music Festival 2019, Bob Kruijer, shared his wealth of knowledge on the development process of the Catalyst Controller and how the advancements in technology have enhanced the musical possibilities for turntablism.

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