Background and Challenges
Digital audio pioneer M-Audio tasked Nectar with the development of a new mixer and controller that would allow professional DJs to cue, mix, and mash up digital audio files from a single unit.
Industrial Design, Mechanical Engineering, User Experience, Consumer
The M-Audio Torq Xponent USB MIDI DJ Controller represents the next generation of digital DJ production, providing the advanced effects, dynamic control, and intuitive software interface that today’s DJs need “to get the place rocking.”
Nectar worked closely with M-Audio’s electronics engineers on the M-Audio Torq Xponent USB MIDI DJ Controller to ensure that the product met all engineering requirements, maintained the original design intent, and was completed on-time and within budget. To link the look and feel of the vinyl-scratching, turntable-thumping DJs of the past with the techno-blasting, digital MCs of the present, Nectar designers leveraged large, tactile scratch wheels, sliders, and faders to create a visual reference to the turntables and mixers of “old school” DJs.
Nectar faced an aggressive timeline for developing the Torq Xponent controller. Not only did Nectar have to bridge the gap between analog and digital MIDI technologies, the firm also had to complete the assignment on a rush-to-market basis. Making the unit compatible with both Mac and PC systems via USB presented additional challenges.
The M-Audio Torq Xponent USB MIDI DJ Controller ushered in a new age of professional DJ production. Professional DJs have embraced the Torq Xponent for both its range of capabilities and rugged, reliable construction. The professional-grade system seamlessly integrates high-performance Torq DJ software—which is easy to use thanks to the Nectar-designed intuitive user interface—with a fully functional hands-on controller, delivering a variety of powerful creative tools at a DJ’s fingertips. The Torq Xponent system allows DJs to go beyond basic beat matching and crossfading between tracks to utilize sampling, looping, multiple-cue, reorder, remix, and extend capabiliies to really get inside the mix.