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New video demo of my alternative midi-controller! Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 23rd December 2010
Gear Head

New video demo of my alternative midi-controller!

Better quality at:

A little video of an improvisation jam on an alternative midi-controller.

All sounds you hear is straight out of a Nord Modular G2, straight into the camera. No audio-editing whatsoever.

The G2 is using 2 slots:
The first for collecting and sorting out the data from the controller and making the synthesizer sounds.
The second running some gate sequencers as well as making the drumsounds.

So a bit deeper information about the first slot. The data from the controller (position and pressure) is sent as 24 discrete CC-messages. These are going into separate "Sample and Hold"-modules that are clocked by midi on slightly different time-divisions.
The synthesizer patch is actually 2 simple monosynths, controlled by each sides 6 control-strips on the midi-controller.

The first strip from the left on each side is controlling pitch (quantized in C-minor) by position and waveshape (from sinus to ramp) by pressure.

The second strip controls amount of tracked FM from the opposing synth's oscillator on the oscillator by position and cut-off frequency of a 24dB LowPass-filter by pressure.

The third strip controls amount of Osc-FM on the filter by position and amount of filter resonance by pressure.

The fourth strip controls a WaveWraping waveshaper by position and how much of it that will be mixed with the preWaveWrapped signal by pressure.

The fifth strip controls amount of LFO-modulation of the oscillator-pitch by position. (Same LFO for both synths). And the pressure controls whether or not the Oscillator will sync with the LFO.

The last strip controls final amplitude of the synth by position and varies the reverb sound by pressure.

This was mainly an exercise in how you can make very expressive patches by simple means with an alternative way of control.

If you wanna know more about the controller I'm using, please check out this link:
Alternative Musical Expression: A DIY, Pressure-Sensitive, Multi-Ribbon Controller


Rasmus Nyåker
Copenhagen Noise Lab
Old 23rd December 2010
Lives for gear
asynchro_nous's Avatar

Very nice work!

I've imagined something just like this -- I think there is a real need for a controller with multiple ribbons.
Old 23rd December 2010
Gear Addict
nice! i think it might be usefull for some experimental music artists
Old 24th December 2010
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MonoBrow's Avatar

Thats great!
Old 24th December 2010
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djmukilteo's Avatar
Looks like a fun type of controller....I would add lights to it that flash....reminds of those slide controller strips you see on many electronic keyboards like the Motif's and Casio's have....
As far as making actual music that way...I don't know...not my cup of tea.....for adding triggered sound effects and random sounds it would be fun...but I'm not sure that's what you were trying to demonstrate there...
Old 24th December 2010
Lives for gear
DSK's Avatar
Nice man been following it from the start! thumbsup

People often forget when they see stuff like this or the Monone or the Manta or the Madrona Soundplane ....... that all alternative cool midi controllers start with an M... .eerrr I mean that these are just nice creative people that have a dream and want something else and actually create them rather than waiting for all the moneyhungry let's sell more crowd that makes up most of the big companiesthat eject electronic waste (that have budgets and entire units for research and design) ...
Old 24th December 2010
Lives for gear

I play notes on iMS-20 like that using the "Kaoss pad". I like touch/ribbon controllers :D
Old 26th December 2010
Gear Head

Originally Posted by djmukilteo View Post
Looks like a fun type of controller....


As far as making actual music that way...I don't know...not my cup of tea.....for adding triggered sound effects and random sounds it would be fun...but I'm not sure that's what you were trying to demonstrate there...
The first point you make is correct. It is a lot of fun. And that's the reason I make music and play instruments - for the pleasure. Sure, it pays for a roof over my head, but if it wasn't fun I'd work in advertisment or somewhere else...

Making actual music can obviously mean different things to different people. I work mainly with a 88 note polyaftertouch capable keyboard when I write music. But when it comes to producing songs I like to play different instruments and use different instruments to come up with melodies, harmonies, etc. Using one kind of instrument only often leads to the same kind of improvisation, so using different instrument, controllers, etc is a great way of finding new inspiration and new patterns.

The thing with this controller is that it puts you inside the sound-engine - you play the parameters of a synthesizer just like you would play the pitch and envelopes of one with a regular keyboard. So instead of being a tool for playing melodies it is an arbitrary surface to play a synthesizer. Instead of envelopes it is your fingers and the movement of them that shapes the sound.

So what I'm trying to do is breaking away from the old keyboard-paradigm when controlling synthesizers into something that's a lot more avant garde. The video linked was just one application of use - the strips can control anything that is midi CC-controlled. You can play FX-boxes or whatever you want.


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