We’ve seen plenty of Nintendo Switch concepts that explore the console’s modular design and motion-tracking capabilities, from Labo kits to even that absurd Joy-Con that turns the Switch into an augmented reality gaming device, but this is a pleasant first. Designed by Sydney-based Alquemy, who clearly believe the Nintendo Switch is capable of being more than a gaming machine, this unique set of modular controllers transforms the Nintendo Switch into a one-of-a-kind electronic music production and deejaying station in its kind. Inspired by the Akai Pro MPC (a popular MIDI controller), these modules snap onto the sides of the Switch’s screen, turning it into a deejay set. You have buttons, dials, keys, everything you need to control playback, and of course a touchscreen surface that gives you full control over the whole experience. Before we sing more praise for this concept, it’s worth noting that this Nintendo Switch Akai Pro MPC crossover is just that…a concept. However, if anyone at Akai is reading this, you might just want to build a prototype, even if it’s just for fun! I’m sure there’s a little intersection between the game and the electronic music community that will ABSOLUTELY love it!
With two modules that snap onto the left and right sides of the Switch’s screen, this music creation platform is literally a mesmerizing build. It’s a no-compromise piece of kit, with all the controls and ports you could think of, while being incredibly portable. The Nintendo Switch supports SD cards, which is perfect for storing music, files, stems, loops and other onboard effects, while the “MPC Switch” modules allow you to map all your key and button controls to get you ready. to start mixing right away. All you have to do is run the Akai app on the Switch and voila!
What I find really remarkable about the concept of Alquemy is how incredibly detailed it is to the point where it starts to make sense. Sure, it’s easy to think of the Nintendo Switch as a purely gaming console, but what is it if not an internet-connected tablet with its own dedicated app store? The only thing stopping the Switch from also being a device for music creation is just one thing: perception. And probably resources, but above all perception.
MPC Switch modules come with backlit keys for easy control in low light conditions. Built-in speakers on the sides of the pods help pump out music at higher volumes than the Switch is capable of, though you’ve got a whole bunch of ports on the back of the pods for plugging in other accessories, plug-ins, racks, synths, and other instruments. You get two MIDI in and out ports, a set of RC ports, and even two sets of quarter-inch audio ports for connecting speakers, headphones, guitars, and more.
The Switch has everything you could possibly need. WiFi connectivity for cloud-based apps, Bluetooth for connecting to other devices, a USB-C for power or even connecting to your laptop, and a 3.5mm port for headphones because what a deejay not wearing headphones? !