The Electrix Tweaker is a new MIDI controller from Electrix created in partnership with Livid Instruments and aimed at DJ/producers, with a user interface that is easy to learn and flexible enough to use with a range of applications including Traktor Pro and Ableton Live.
You may remember Electrix from about a decade back, the company made that those brightly colored effects that seemed to appear in everyone’s studio in the late 90s and then disappeared from sight for a while. Well, Electrix (the brand) is back and this time they are taking aim at the computer market with a new product for digital DJs: the Electrix Tweaker.
The Tweaker is a USB-powered, class-compliant MIDI controller designed by Livid Instruments and Electrix to offer a new type of control device for digital DJs and computer musicians. With 32 buttons in a grid layout, two sets of knobs (think three band EQ), two sets of faders and a crossfader, the device is a new take on an old concept: the two-channel DJ mixer redesigned for a new generation of performers who didn’t necessarily grow up with a conventional mixer. The Tweaker skips right over the traditional jog wheel method of control and substitutes velocity-sensitive pads and a crossfader for a more direct approach at DJing. At the top of the device is a four-way pad (useful for navigation in Ableton) and a big scroll wheel (useful for finding songs in your Traktor library). On the back of the device you’ll find MIDI in and out ports as well as a USB connection.
Out of the box the Electrix Tweaker feels solid. The build, weight, and quality of craftsmanship are immediately apparent. Pads are soft and responsive, dials click and turn nicely, and the faders on each side offer resistance for mixing as well as a click point in the center (matching the feel of older Technics 1200 turntables). The crossfader is well built and fast enough to meet the demands of controllerists. These elements all feel well-tuned and the Tweaker comes across as a pro device. One nice addition to the package is a set of four legs that bring the Tweaker up to standard turntable / mixer height, making it fit perfectly in a DJ rig.
The Tweaker is class-compliant and MIDI-capable so it can be used with DJ software, DAWs, VJ and video performance software, or anything else that will accept MIDI input. The Tweaker is entirely customizable and can be programmed to do whatever you want it to do with the included editor software, and it comes ready for use with Ableton Live, Serato, and Traktor right out of the box; Traktor and Ableton also get their own plastic overlays indicating what each button does.
Tweaker In Use
We had a lot of fun playing with the Electrix Tweaker in our test sessions, with Traktor in particular. The visual feedback of the rotary encoders and pads make this device very useful in the dark while the layout still feels traditional to some extent (and comfortable to someone who is used to a conventional DJ mixer as well). I know where the fader level, cross fader, and EQ sit without having to look. The knobs also perform triple duty as EQ, effects and loop effects in the provided Traktor template, and the pads perform are set to jump to cue points, nudge your tracks, trigger effects and other functions.
One thing to note is that the Tweaker does not have a built-in soundcard, so if you are comparing this device to something like the Traktor Kontrol S2, you’ll want to check out a two-channel soundcard such as the Electrix Ebox-44 or one of the Native Instruments devices that support multiple outputs and cue capability.
- Two-channel DJ mixer-style interface
- 32 button grid with multicolor LED feedback
- 8 backlit velocity-sensitive pads with aftertouch
- 6 push encoders with LED rings
- Intuitive navigation controls with 5-way selector and large push encoder
- USB bus-powered
- MIDI in and out ports
- Removable height extension legs
- Plug and play on Mac and PC
- Dimensions: 11″ x 10.5″ x 1.75″ (279mm x 267mm x 44.5mm)
- Traktor LE 2 DJ software with overlay
- Ableton Live Remote Script with overlay
- Traktor Pro 2 and Serato Scratch Live mappings
- Tweaker Editor software
- Removable legs
- USB cable