Musical Instrument Digital Interface, or MIDI, is an open-source language for musical instruments. MIDI guitars, MIDI drums and MIDI pianos have been available on the market for years, but up until recently nothing existed in the form of a MIDI turntable. That is, until the introduction of the EJ MIDI Turntable™.
Video has become essential to 21st-century DJs, and the ability to edit film in real time has never before been possible. As a bridge between the analog world of the vinyl record and the digital world of streaming video, the EJ MIDI Turntable is the first product that allows DJs to “scratch” video—that is, to synchronize standard techniques such as scratching, rewinding and beat matching with other MIDI equipment, such as sound, video and lights. Other products use an analog record and needle, a method associated with problems such as feedback, skipping and grounding. Since the EJ MIDI Turntable uses light instead of grooves to read the record, it provides a pure digital pathway from the vinyl to the processor.
The EJ MIDI Turntable components consist of the EJ Vinyl, Optical Cartridge, MIDI Converter and ScratchTV®:
• EJ Vinyl: A real vinyl record picture disk that contains a black-and-white checkerboard pattern instead of a traditional groove.
• Optical Cartridge: Installs on the tone arm of the turntable, where the needle normally goes; instead of a needle, it uses two beams of light to read the checkerboard pattern on the EJ Vinyl.
• MIDI Converter: Box that converts the light data into MIDI messages: code that can be read by other equipment, gadgets, and software.
• ScratchTV®: A software program (Mac and PC compatible) that allows users to load any media file onto a computer and manipulate it in real time.
A lot of other products on the market only work inside their own proprietary systems. In other words, they don’t play nice with others. Since MIDI is an open standard, the EJ Turntable is compatible with many other products on the market.
In 2006, Kent earned a patent on the EJ MIDI Turntable—more than 5 years after he started work on a prototype.
The newest version of ScratchTV® is Universal Binary/Intel-Mac ready and works on Intel® Core™ Duo processors for a speed increase of 40 percent, as well as the ability to scratch HD video in real time—another world’s first.
INTO THE FUTURE: Justin initially manufactured 100 EJ MIDI Turntables, all of which were sold to cutting-edge musicians and videographers around the world.
Currently, Justin is using the MIDI Turntable system as a tool in his own performances.