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Electra One Midi Controller / Synth Programmer
Old 10th September 2019
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Electra One Midi Controller / Synth Programmer

Hi everybody,

I have been working on a midi controller that would address several issues that I did not like on existing products. the project was aimed towards programming classic synths like MKSes, Chromas, DX7s, ie. those with a few knobs and buttons but great sound engine inside.




The project has attracted some attention. So I recently launched pre-orders so that I can rationalize financing a bit.

I am interested in your feedback. More info can be found at https://www.electra.one/

The main idea here is to combine quality hardware with an idea a of smart web editor that would allow people to define and share sysex implementations of their instruments. Covering all those nibbles, checksums, bitmasks. And have the bi-directional communication in place, so that electra always displays what is in the device and never makes abrupt changes in sound. It is not very different from ctrlr.org idea (which is very cool), but runs on dedicated ARM hardware. Also, I am already playing around with OSC integration as well as some sort of SDK for developers to address software world.

if you feel it does not have enough knobs or touch is a bad of option for stage - this was originally meant to be a machine to studio. The USB host port opens up room for all types of extensions (ports, pedals, buttons) and I have some ideas about a stage version too.

Any input appreciated. thx!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
Gear Addict
 

Very cool.
So for input I would much prefer to have the 12 knobs in one row with the display put close above the knobs so that you see directly what you are editing when you jump to a new knob (display at half the height and double the length) and when you push the buttons the editing values jumps down in the display to the lowest row. Like it is now you have to look at two places when you want to edit a new parameter. At least you have to look at the screen first which is not optimal.
For parameters that only have few values like waveshapes it would be nice to be able to change the knobs in an editor to corespond better, if not already possible. Would like to see more buttons as well for on/off switches.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
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Sarrova's Avatar
It looks awesome! This is exactly the controller I've been waiting for: high quality build, lots of hardware controls, a beautiful big screen, midi ports (!) and even an editor. Wow - preorder done
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hearteh View Post
Very cool.
So for input I would much prefer to have the 12 knobs in one row with the display put close above the knobs so that you see directly what you are editing when you jump to a new knob (display at half the height and double the length) and when you push the buttons the editing values jumps down in the display to the lowest row. Like it is now you have to look at two places when you want to edit a new parameter. At least you have to look at the screen first which is not optimal.
I was actually trying this idea with 8" 1280x400 LCD, but I was not very happy with it. Please note that electra has touch sensitive knobs. When you touch the knob the corresponding control is highlighted on the screen. Right now it is the Label but it is possible to make it more obvious. check this video where I am testing the functionality:



Quote:
For parameters that only have few values like waveshapes it would be nice to be able to change the knobs in an editor to corespond better, if not already possible. Would like to see more buttons as well for on/off switches.
I am not sure what you exactly mean. The controls are physically aligned with knobs. The knobs linked to parameters with low number of values also change their sensitivity so that they act more like encoders.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by electra.one View Post
I was actually trying this idea with 8" 1280x400 LCD, but I was not very happy with it. Please note that electra has touch sensitive knobs. When you touch the knob the corresponding control is highlighted on the screen. Right now it is the Label but it is possible to make it more obvious. check this video where I am testing the functionality:





I am not sure what you exactly mean. The controls are physically aligned with knobs. The knobs linked to parameters with low number of values also change their sensitivity so that they act more like encoders.
That looks much better than I imagined. I have used a lot of controllers and never been really satisfied. I would have prefered it like I said, but maybe I will get one and try.
Ok its great that they change sensitivity thats what I meant.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
I think this has real potential. If this works with most soft synths and plugins I’d definitely be interested.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TEMAS View Post
If this works with most soft synths and plugins I’d definitely be interested.
the project really started as programmer for hw synths. But it attracted quite some attention of people with soft synths. Right now you can use it with soft synths via MIDI CC. There are not many means to read their settings that way though. That's the reason why I started playing around with OSC. Honestly if anybody provides good pointers on how to get info about parameter values from soft synths, I will be very thankful for that.

For me the aspect that you can fetch and display values is crucial. Electra has 360 degrees pots to avoid abrupt changes, if you change patches or modify sounds on the synth panel. Displaying the value as it is set in the synth, gives you the reference and you know what will be happening when you twist the knob.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Progmatic-Studios's Avatar
Cool!
Definitely interested when it can be used with software synths and fx! (possibility to save control presets per synth and effect etc)
Old 3 weeks ago
  #9
Lives for gear
Re: softsynths : ideally, the Electra One would rely on the DAW / host automation system rather than CCs (the way Push and (IIRC) NKS controllers do). I’d certainly buy one if it does
Old 2 weeks ago
  #10
Gear Addict
 
Sarrova's Avatar
Just a quick push to get this into attention again. Only one month for pre-order and to kickstart this project.
I really believe this is a fantastic controller, totally worth the money. I think the possibilities are amazing, and really hope this project can be funded!
I can't wait to show some vids when my presets for this device are finished (I pre-ordered).
Old 11 hours ago
  #11
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Progmatic-Studios's Avatar
Any updates on this?
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