New Modular MIDI Controller for Software Synthesizers

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pdxindy
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16097 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Post Sun Dec 01, 2019 2:13 pm

rhearhino wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:24 pm
pdxindy wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:16 pm
rhearhino wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:07 pm

Yup – we will connect the modules via magnetic connectors. However, unlike ROLI, which can be combined on each side and has eight magnetic connectors, our modules will have only two and it will be possible to combine them on the right / left side only. This will be a significant saving of money and space, and will allow you to place modules in an Eurorack if you need it. And yes - we will develop special cases, thanks to which it will be possible to transfer the entire set of modules.
One long single line doesn’t seem great to me. IMO there needs to be a way to make multiple rows.
We will consider it, but why exactly one line wouldn't be great for you? Like in Eurorack? Magnetic connectors won't allow you to connect an infinite number of modules anyway due to the voltage drop.
I don’t know how big the modules would be. I suppose in my mind I was seeing a module about 4 inches wide and connecting say 20 would make it 80 inches wide...

Echoes in the Attic
KVRAF
7268 posts since 12 May, 2008

Re: New Modular MIDI Controller for Software Synthesizers

Post Sun Dec 01, 2019 2:34 pm

Your best bet would be to make as small a unit as is comfortable to use which has 8 endless encoders and 8 button (which show a light for on/off), like NI Kore used to be. An alternative with 8 sliders and 8 buttons might be good too, but endless encoders are best for mapping hardware. If there was a modular one of these, I'd probably buy a few.
This is a block of text that can be added to posts you make. There is a 255 character limit. Once I have something clever, I will certainly fill it in.

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rhearhino
KVRer
10 posts since 25 Nov, 2019 from Poland

Re: New Modular MIDI Controller for Software Synthesizers

Post Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:36 am

pdxindy wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 2:13 pm
rhearhino wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:24 pm
pdxindy wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:16 pm
rhearhino wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:07 pm

Yup – we will connect the modules via magnetic connectors. However, unlike ROLI, which can be combined on each side and has eight magnetic connectors, our modules will have only two and it will be possible to combine them on the right / left side only. This will be a significant saving of money and space, and will allow you to place modules in an Eurorack if you need it. And yes - we will develop special cases, thanks to which it will be possible to transfer the entire set of modules.
One long single line doesn’t seem great to me. IMO there needs to be a way to make multiple rows.
We will consider it, but why exactly one line wouldn't be great for you? Like in Eurorack? Magnetic connectors won't allow you to connect an infinite number of modules anyway due to the voltage drop.
I don’t know how big the modules would be. I suppose in my mind I was seeing a module about 4 inches wide and connecting say 20 would make it 80 inches wide...
We'll think about it, although the 4 inches mentioned would be rather a larger module. And 20 is definitely too many – probably it will not be possible to connect so many modules to one host, no matter whether in a row or in the XY axes (due to voltage drop). We will think how to do it right.
Echoes in the Attic wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 2:34 pm
Your best bet would be to make as small a unit as is comfortable to use which has 8 endless encoders and 8 button (which show a light for on/off), like NI Kore used to be. An alternative with 8 sliders and 8 buttons might be good too, but endless encoders are best for mapping hardware. If there was a modular one of these, I'd probably buy a few.
Thanks for your feedback!

You can find similar solutions on the market – I understand that they are not attractive to you? And why? Because our assumption is to give you precise modules (filter, LFO, oscillator, envelope etc.) with all knobs / buttons / sliders labeled (for example, in filter module you'll have cutoff knob, wet/dry knob, drive knob, resonance knob, filter type knob etc.). But we do not exclude the creation of more general, individual modules.

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pdxindy
KVRAF
16097 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Re: New Modular MIDI Controller for Software Synthesizers

Post Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:41 am

rhearhino wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:36 am


You can find similar solutions on the market – I understand that they are not attractive to you? And why? Because our assumption is to give you precise modules (filter, LFO, oscillator, envelope etc.) with all knobs / buttons / sliders labeled (for example, in filter module you'll have cutoff knob, wet/dry knob, drive knob, resonance knob, filter type knob etc.). But we do not exclude the creation of more general, individual modules.
How would one deal with the mod matrix? Step sequencers?

plenty of softsynths have env amount, keyboard tracking on the filter too... and some have dedicated cutoff mod sources.

Echoes in the Attic
KVRAF
7268 posts since 12 May, 2008

Re: New Modular MIDI Controller for Software Synthesizers

Post Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:25 am

rhearhino wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:36 am
Echoes in the Attic wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 2:34 pm
Your best bet would be to make as small a unit as is comfortable to use which has 8 endless encoders and 8 button (which show a light for on/off), like NI Kore used to be. An alternative with 8 sliders and 8 buttons might be good too, but endless encoders are best for mapping hardware. If there was a modular one of these, I'd probably buy a few.
Thanks for your feedback!

You can find similar solutions on the market – I understand that they are not attractive to you? And why? Because our assumption is to give you precise modules (filter, LFO, oscillator, envelope etc.) with all knobs / buttons / sliders labeled (for example, in filter module you'll have cutoff knob, wet/dry knob, drive knob, resonance knob, filter type knob etc.). But we do not exclude the creation of more general, individual modules.
Not many with that exact configuration and that can just fit together with needing an extra usb cable for every unit. I wouldn't be big on the modules that already have sections like filter controls, because those change from synth to synth. I think the best way to deal with this is to hae a small screen for labels. Like Ableton Push, Novation SL, Nektar, Kore etc. But I can't think of a single relatively compact 8 encoder, 8 button device with a screen (could be simple text screen), where you can fit as many together as you want in a modular way. That would be the ultimate.
This is a block of text that can be added to posts you make. There is a 255 character limit. Once I have something clever, I will certainly fill it in.

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VariKusBrainZ
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8776 posts since 16 Dec, 2002

Re: New Modular MIDI Controller for Software Synthesizers

Post Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:57 am


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foosnark
KVRAF
4946 posts since 9 Jan, 2003 from Saint Louis MO

Re: New Modular MIDI Controller for Software Synthesizers

Post Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:30 pm

I have really mixed feelings about hardware controllers for softsynths. They all seem like compromises in some way.

To me it doesn't make that much sense to have controller modules for specific pieces of synth architecture. That filter controller isn't going to be very useful for PlastiCZ or PortaFM or the additive+wavefolding synth I threw together in Bitwig Grid, but a generic MIDI controller will...

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VariKusBrainZ
KVRAF
8776 posts since 16 Dec, 2002

Re: New Modular MIDI Controller for Software Synthesizers

Post Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:46 pm

foosnark wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:30 pm
I have really mixed feelings about hardware controllers for softsynths. They all seem like compromises in some way.

To me it doesn't make that much sense to have controller modules for specific pieces of synth architecture. That filter controller isn't going to be very useful for PlastiCZ or PortaFM or the additive+wavefolding synth I threw together in Bitwig Grid, but a generic MIDI controller will...
Exactly, even old USB controllers will work thanks to plug and play and can be had for peanuts.

Ive visually modded an Evolution UC-17 and UC-33. They work great but more importantly they look like an expensive boutique set :D

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pdxindy
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16097 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Re: New Modular MIDI Controller for Software Synthesizers

Post Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:46 pm

...

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pdxindy
KVRAF
16097 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Re: New Modular MIDI Controller for Software Synthesizers

Post Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:48 pm

foosnark wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:30 pm
I have really mixed feelings about hardware controllers for softsynths. They all seem like compromises in some way.

To me it doesn't make that much sense to have controller modules for specific pieces of synth architecture. That filter controller isn't going to be very useful for PlastiCZ or PortaFM or the additive+wavefolding synth I threw together in Bitwig Grid, but a generic MIDI controller will...
Generic controllers there are already plenty of...

When I think about this concept, I am not so much looking at a general controller for all softsynths... but rather a specific setup that works well for a couple of my favorite synths.

Otherwise the point you make is correct... there is too much variation from synth to synth

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CrystalWizard
KVRian
886 posts since 10 Jul, 2008 from Orbit Sol III

Re: New Modular MIDI Controller for Software Synthesizers

Post Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:15 pm

VariKusBrainZ wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:46 pm

Ive visually modded an Evolution UC-17 and UC-33. They work great but more importantly they look like an expensive boutique set :D
I have a UC-33 that i have considered modding. Care to post a pic?
gadgets an gizmos...make noise
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rhearhino
KVRer
10 posts since 25 Nov, 2019 from Poland

Re: New Modular MIDI Controller for Software Synthesizers

Post Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:40 am

pdxindy wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:41 am
rhearhino wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:36 am


You can find similar solutions on the market – I understand that they are not attractive to you? And why? Because our assumption is to give you precise modules (filter, LFO, oscillator, envelope etc.) with all knobs / buttons / sliders labeled (for example, in filter module you'll have cutoff knob, wet/dry knob, drive knob, resonance knob, filter type knob etc.). But we do not exclude the creation of more general, individual modules.
How would one deal with the mod matrix? Step sequencers?

plenty of softsynths have env amount, keyboard tracking on the filter too... and some have dedicated cutoff mod sources.
We have several solutions that we don't want to reveal for now. Of course, not everything you write about, but we will look at all the possibilities of plugins and how to translate them into a controller.
Echoes in the Attic wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:25 am
rhearhino wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:36 am
Echoes in the Attic wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 2:34 pm
Your best bet would be to make as small a unit as is comfortable to use which has 8 endless encoders and 8 button (which show a light for on/off), like NI Kore used to be. An alternative with 8 sliders and 8 buttons might be good too, but endless encoders are best for mapping hardware. If there was a modular one of these, I'd probably buy a few.
Thanks for your feedback!

You can find similar solutions on the market – I understand that they are not attractive to you? And why? Because our assumption is to give you precise modules (filter, LFO, oscillator, envelope etc.) with all knobs / buttons / sliders labeled (for example, in filter module you'll have cutoff knob, wet/dry knob, drive knob, resonance knob, filter type knob etc.). But we do not exclude the creation of more general, individual modules.
Not many with that exact configuration and that can just fit together with needing an extra usb cable for every unit. I wouldn't be big on the modules that already have sections like filter controls, because those change from synth to synth. I think the best way to deal with this is to hae a small screen for labels. Like Ableton Push, Novation SL, Nektar, Kore etc. But I can't think of a single relatively compact 8 encoder, 8 button device with a screen (could be simple text screen), where you can fit as many together as you want in a modular way. That would be the ultimate.
We will consider this suggestion, thanks for your feedback!
Yes, Midilar came out recently, but it is a controller designed for something completely different. First of all – Midilar offers quite a few functions per module + they are not exactly labeled as we want to do it. This is due to the fact that it is mainly intended for VCV Rack control, to which our modules won't be rather adapted (we do not focus on software modular systems). On the other hand, Midilar does not provide convenient control of much more complex plugins like Diva, Massive, Sylenth, and so on.. We want to take care of it, hence our destiny varies significantly. Of course, you can probably also map them to Midilar, but it doesn't make much sense to me. Other controllers are better suited for this. Here we have a 1:1 modular system controller. And Midilar is only suitable for eurorack, while our controller will be a self-sufficient device like other midi controllers. You will be able to use it on your desk and maybe in Eurorack, depending on your needs. So these are two completely different controllers, after all.
foosnark wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:30 pm
I have really mixed feelings about hardware controllers for softsynths. They all seem like compromises in some way.

To me it doesn't make that much sense to have controller modules for specific pieces of synth architecture. That filter controller isn't going to be very useful for PlastiCZ or PortaFM or the additive+wavefolding synth I threw together in Bitwig Grid, but a generic MIDI controller will...
Ok, I understand your doubts. For sure, I will not guarantee that our controller will be perfect for all existing plugins, because it is impossible. However, our goal is to significantly improve control and workflow, do automatic mapping, etc. – we will work hard at it and will show the results when they are more extensive. We'll see how it comes out and whether it convinces you.
pdxindy wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:48 pm
foosnark wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:30 pm
I have really mixed feelings about hardware controllers for softsynths. They all seem like compromises in some way.

To me it doesn't make that much sense to have controller modules for specific pieces of synth architecture. That filter controller isn't going to be very useful for PlastiCZ or PortaFM or the additive+wavefolding synth I threw together in Bitwig Grid, but a generic MIDI controller will...
Generic controllers there are already plenty of...

When I think about this concept, I am not so much looking at a general controller for all softsynths... but rather a specific setup that works well for a couple of my favorite synths.

Otherwise the point you make is correct... there is too much variation from synth to synth
Exactly. We focus on the fact that everyone will rather choose modules adapted to their needs, not to build a universal controller for all existing plugins in the world. There are many variations from synth to synth, it is indeed a challange. As above – we'll see how it comes out and whether it convinces you :)

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pdxindy
KVRAF
16097 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Re: New Modular MIDI Controller for Software Synthesizers

Post Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:52 am

Nice! Look forward to the next step! Good luck!!

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DJ Warmonger
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3443 posts since 7 Jun, 2012 from Warsaw

Re: New Modular MIDI Controller for Software Synthesizers

Post Tue Dec 03, 2019 3:04 am

There have been some similiar products, but their price is too high - always end up much more expensive than a simple MIDI keyboard, for example.
http://djwarmonger.wordpress.com/
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VariKusBrainZ
KVRAF
8776 posts since 16 Dec, 2002

Re: New Modular MIDI Controller for Software Synthesizers

Post Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:59 am

DJ Warmonger wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 3:04 am
There have been some similiar products, but their price is too high - always end up much more expensive than a simple MIDI keyboard, for example.
This

And I suspect the same for this product. It needs to be bare bones with no case to compete cost wise.

You can build your own controller relatively cheaply these days

https://create.arduino.cc/projecthub/kb ... zer-20d4de

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