Novation Twitch Review

novation twitch dj controller

It’s been interesting to watch the evolution of DJ controllers over the last 10 years.

As more and more DJs become ‘digital natives’, DJ software and DJ controllers are breaking away from the two turntable interface tradition and are exploring the possibilities of two digital audio channels.

‘The world of the DJ and controllerist are colliding,” is how Novation puts it and they’ve come up with a new DJ controller with that collision in mind.

novation twitch touchstripThe Novation Twitch, aka ‘The Touchstrip Controller’, is one of the latest examples of this trend towards controllers designed for ‘digital native’ DJing.

Instead of focusing on mixing two turntables or analog tracks, the Twitch is designed for live remixing and controllerism. And, instead of turntable-style scratch controls, the Twitch features 8 trigger pads and a touchstrip controller on each channel.

Notable Twitch Features:

  • Twin touchstrips let you ‘grab hold’ of your tracks and swipe them back and forth, like touchscreen scratching
  • Two 8-pad banks of trigger pads let you trigger cues, loops, etc.
  • Slicer Mode – lets you chop tracks into slices and rearrange them on the fly, while staying in sync
  • Built in audio interface – the Twitch has a 2 in, 4 out USB audio interface and a headphone amp.
  • Comes with Serato Itch Professional
  • 1-to-1 Control In ITCH – Dedicated controls for all ITCH performance functions.
  • USB Bus-powered
  • MIDI Compatible – controls any DJ software, such as Traktor or Ableton Live.

Here’s Novation’s official intro video for Twitch:

6 thoughts on “Novation Twitch Review

  1. Great controller – but I wish they’d include some sort of overlay for Live. They might have to include some blanks for a few controls that you could fill in.

    Not really necessary, but would be nice.

  2. This controller is so very powerful and yet under-sung. The amount of energy poured into this controller clearly shows through it’s tight integration with Itch, Traktor and Ableton. Many people will simply dismiss this as a toy but when you compare a jog wheel to the touch strips, you’ll find that the touch strips are more capable (A Jog wheel cannot make the pinch/expand expressions that the touch strips can). If you’re looking for buttons, it’s important to note that (in Traktor Pro), there are 8 buttons per each of the 4 modes per each of the 4 decks (that’s 128 assignable buttons).

    Within Itch, the Twitch is a 2 channel mixer, but within Traktor Pro, the Twitch is a virtual 4 channel mixer (meaning that each side can toggle decks via a single button push). It’s very nice to see that Novation planned ahead when they created this controller noting that each of the pad buttons has two LEDs (one Green, one Red) which can combine to make at least 4 discernible colors (with various levels of brightness) for each pad (this behavior is not locked to one color per bank either), each button can be assigned any color (in the available pallet).

    In Itch, the up-faders can double as effects (the toggle uses a soft-take over so you won’t have to worry about accidentally changing the volume when switching back from the effects. This level of thinking seems to be everywhere on the Twitch, it clearly rivals (and often beats) the best of the other controllers on the market for HALF the price of the most expensive. This is one of the very few controllers which is designed to be used in Ableton, Traktor and Itch.

    Nothing is perfect… Two major concerns about the Twitch are: it’s “USB only” powered so you can’t use it without a computer and it’s sound card. While it sounds great, it doesn’t generate the output power that powered controllers do… that being said, I’ve never been accused of playing too softly in a club.

  3. I’ve been eyeing this for quite some time. Can anyone tell me if you can bypass Twitch’s onboard audio out when used with Serato? (I heard the master out is kinda weak) I’d rather use my Motu ultralite’s outputs.

    1. No problem with the outs being weak here. If you’re going into a relatively noisy system, maybe it would be a different story.

  4. fantastic DJ controller in my view, should be a strong consideration for anyone looking to perform seriously with serato itch or traktor. especially lovin’ the 8 trigger pads and their multiple uses, as well as the touchstrips!

  5. Can you add other devices to this, such as run a vinal, drum machine, sampler, or anything like that along side, or would that be difficult?

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