The Emulator - transparent touchscreen mixing desk puts DJs center stage


November 27, 2011

Emulator DVS system

Emulator DVS system

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While traditional mixing desks can bury DJs behind bulky equipment in a dimly lit corner of the club, this transparent, 46-inch multi-touch system from software development company Smithson Martin puts the person spinning the discs - or in this case the touch display - front and center.

Billed as the "world's first and only multi-touch midi controller PC software for professional DJ and music," Emulator is a MIDI controller that shows all the information on one single screen and gives the user a colorfully lit display of all tracks and controls.

The Emulator features 130 controls covering all the usual functions of DJ'ing (of course there's no need to lug around your old vinyl) and the screen is made from durable toughened glass - useful if a disgruntled raver hurls a beer can in your direction. Being see-through, the set-up also adds an extra dose of audience interaction to the whole process as the crowd can watch you mix, add effects and loop tracks ... and hopefully applaud you in the process.

The MIDI controller PC software is designed for Windows 7 (a Mac OSX version is currently being developed) and right now it only works with Traktor Pro. Smithson Martin says that Emulator for Ableton, Serato and Virtual DJ are currently in development. The minimum system requirements are Windows 7 Home Premium or better (32/64 bit), Dual Core 1.3 Ghz CPU, 1 GB RAM and an ASIO sound card (though 4 GB RAM and Native Instruments Audio2DJ sound card or better are recommended).

The whole shebang comes with the multi-touch screen in 32", 42" and 46" versions, Emulator Software, stand and projector mount, 2200 lumen short throw projector and technical support. Depending on which size screen you choose the full package Emulator costs between GBP4,300 (approx. US$6665) and GBP5600 (approx. US$8680). Custom sizes are also available by request and the stand-alone software for use on your own tablet or multi-touch device costs US$249.

Source: Smithson Martin


Looks awesome...

The only thing that is a bit worrying though is the response time on multi-touch devices. Yeah on dual touch you don\'t notice it, but to tell a pc to control and keep track of 6 - 10 simultanious points without giving any lag , is a bit to much in my opinion.

The only thing that might control lag , is the ASIO driver of the software and optimizing the MIDI interface. I SO hope this works , because being a veteran DJ for the past 13 years myself (still using my Technics SL1200-MK2\'s) and also a Technical Manager for a company that develops Android tablets; I will be first in line to buy it if it works in the real world environment.

Ruan Smith

Yeah, you COULD spend GBP4,300 (approx. US$6665) for the base model, "or" you could buy a few $500 iPads (if you would even need that many), mount them, link them via Bluetooth or WIFI and add about $20-$30 worth of software to each and have functionally the same thing.

It seems amusing to suggest Apple products as the low end solution!


You could buy 2 Lemurs from Jazzmutant for that price - multitouch MIDI control that has been around for quite a while......

Jonathan Jenkins

That looks like a cool Emulator. If I was rich I would buy this for my business. Well thanks for the awesome post.

Kane Trusy

We bought an. Emulator 42 is awesome. Charging $2000 per event pays it off quickly and there are only 4 of these in Texas so we are somewhat exclusive.... response time is very acceptable..usually only use two touch points at a time.... this is better than any ipad setup because the audience can see through the glass and see the DJ at work. We also put a client company logo on the screen..emulator program has section where you can rotate ..stretch and play with image which the crowd likes to watch...check to see what we do...


This looks really amazing. A touchscreen mixing desk that too transparent. This will definitely going to put DJs centre stage with electrifying performances. And so the party goers grooving wild with the moves and dances going absolutely crazy. Any body having any idea on premium DJ packages for this Christmas please lemme know. Would love to host a in-house party for friends..

penn rafael
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