So I picked up this new Midi controller/instrument today and I thought I would share my impressions:
The controller is set up like a mandala (duh) with a circle of keys around a center key - each of the keys can be assigned a scale degree and it comes with 33 scales and slots for 7 custom scales. In addition the mandala has four satellite pads, the top two used for octave jumps and the bottom two for repeating your last note. It has arrow buttons to change scales (< and >), but if you use the (<< and >>) buttons you can use the single arrow keys to shift between program, bank, channel number, octave, and tuning (semitone). It has slots for 16 presets saving overall scale, program, octave, etc... Also when you hold a note, if you oscillate your finger left and right you send vibrato signals and oscillating up and down sends tremolo signals. (The vibrato works great, the tremolo is weak... but I can see where there may be risks in making it to strong due to crossover with the vibrato?)
At first I was unhappy that it only has eight keys - no opportunity for key modulation, but then I realized that it also has arrow buttons for changing presets at the bottom so you could feasibly set up the key you wish to shift to on the adjacent preset. Next, I was dissatisfied that I couldn't figure out how to just play a scale up and down (and the manual is rather unclear about this..). However, I have to admit that, once I figured it out, the set up is intuitive and usable... (and I suppose it makes sense on some level to have to decode a mandala )
Features that I immediately felt were lacking: The mandala only takes up about 2/3 of the screen's available real-estate (2/3 of what remains after buttons, etc..). While the buttons are playable, I see no reason to make the mandala bigger. Also, I don't personally see the 'repeat note' satellite buttons as that useful and wish they were mapped to sustain and convert key aftertouch to modwheel or some other useful feature.
I have only tried this app over a network Midi connection playing a VSTi in my DAW (have not tried hardware or Virtual Midi yet). All in all I thought this app to be pretty solid and without a doubt worth .99 cents.
|^||Joined: 12 May 2012 Member: #280271 Location: United States|
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