Author: Matías Padilla DJ TechTools
In this guide, learn from Ableton Certified Trainer Big Jerr how to use the Midi Fighter Twister for deeper control during Ableton performances.
Hi DJTT! My name is BigJerr. I’m an Ableton Certified Trainer and an Instructor at ICON collective. In the tips below, I talk a bit about some of what you see in the performance video above. Keep reading and learn how I use the Twister to get deeper control during my Ableton performances – and how you can too.
Tip #1: Effects Rack Selector
Use an encoder knob to instantly switch between 3 different effect sounds.
I made an effects instrument rack (similar to the ill.gates 128 drum rack, but populated with just three effects). Twisting an encoder selects which effect you will hear. Using only 3 effect sounds means I can easily find the sound I want on each third of encoder: hard left position, center, and hard right.
For finger drummers like me, this means I can keep the same sound on the same pad instead of wasting valuable controller space with extra samples. For example, some finger drummers choose to separate a “dry snare” and a “reverb snare”. This is valuable in some cases, but I prefer to switch between effects as needed and load more unique samples onto my controller. This one isn’t easily seen in the video but still very cool.
TIP #2: Instant Beat Stutter (zero lag)
Get an instant stutter effect without latency
Seen at: 0:44 and again at 1:01
To get an “instant stutter” effect without lag, set the beat repeat effect to your desired sub-division – like 1/16 notes – and make sure to effect repeating 100% of the time. Map the Twister’s “button press” to turn on/off Ableton’s gate device. This means the duration of your button press dictates the length of the beat repeat, so as soon as you take your finger off the button the effect will stop, giving you a perfect “beat masher” style effect.
Pro Tip: try lining up a few different beat repeats on the Twister set to different subdivisions for more beat mashing – this will be familiar to any DJ who ever used the classic Midi Fighter Instant Gratification mappings for Traktor.
TIP #3: Performance Pad Flip
Switch between two different samples per pad.
Seen at: 0:29 and again at 1:22
I think one of the cooler things I did was use the Twister’s “push encoder” function to switch between two samples. Mad Zach and Choke are known to randomize samples using a similar switch function (see tip #3 here) on the pad itself, but I choose to set this up a different controller to switch samples to gain more control. This makes the playability of the Push 2 exactly the same, but the sound is different when most appropriate – like a breakdown or transition.
To do this, I mapped Twister’s “button press” (set to toggle) to switch between 2 stacked sounds in an instrument rack. Click the encoder down, and one gets muted when the other is active.
For example, at sec 29 in the video, I hit one of the blue knobs to switch hi-hat sounds from open to closed. I marked these knobs with blue Chroma Caps to be able to see these knobs when performing in dark environments, but obviously it’s not a requirement.
I hope you enjoyed the performance and found these tips helpful and useful. Keep on rocking guys! – Big Jerr
Have your own performance tips to share? Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know.