Brian Crabtree and Kelli Cain of monome.org have announced Arc, a high-resolution knob controller designed to complement the monome.
Here’s what they have to say about Arc:
arc embodies the same basic design principles as our other devices. this time instead of having numerous controls with low detail (grids of on/off), arc has few but highly-detailed controls. by decoupling the encoder (knob) input from the light (ring) output we establish the opportunity for adaptable interaction.
encoders are typically low resolution, normally detecting large-ish jumps and few ticks per revolution. analog pots have resolution, but send absolute position, and can suffer from noise and latency. the high-resolution optical encoders we’re using provide a level of flexible control that is uncommon. add a programmable led ring and the single encoder becomes an intuitive control system.
The video above, via tehn, demonstrates using Arc to control a live micro-looper.
$250 A Knob?
Two versions of Arc will be available:
- arc two: $500
- arc four: $800
For a lot of people, paying $250 a knob is hard to imagine. With the Arc, though, like the monome, you’re buying a hand-crafted instrument made of walnut and aluminum and you’re buying into a community of monome users.
Arc introduces introduces expressive control in a format that fits with the monome’s minimal aesthetic. More importantly, when you pair the arc two with a monome 64 and turn it the right way, it looks like a little robot dude.
This will be a no-brainer purchase for a lot of monome users. For everybody else, there are plenty of MIDI controllers.
Check it out and let us know what you think of the new Arc.
Update: Peter Kirn has an interview with Arc creator Brian Crabtree at CDM.