New Expert Sleepers Module Lets You Plug USB MIDI Controllers Into Your Modular Synthesizer

expert-sleeprs-fh-12015 NAMM Show: Expert Sleepers has announced the FH-1 ‘faderHost’ – a new Eurorack module that lets you directly connect USB MIDI controllers to your modular synthesizer.

This lets you use standard MIDI controllers, iPads and more to directly control your modular synth, with a total of 8 outputs.

In addition, the FH-1 also offers:

  • LFOs on each output
  • Step sequencers
  • Polyphonic MIDI/CV conversion and more.

Here are some video demos:

Expert Sleepers FH-1 with a Korg nanoKEY polyphony

Expert Sleepers FH-1 sequencer demo with Launch Control XL

Expert Sleepers FH-1 and iPad / TouchOSC

Expert Sleepers FH-1 and Lemur

Preliminary Specifications:

  • Panel width: 8HP
  • Module depth: 43mm
  • Current draw: 70mA on the +12V rail, 30mA on the -12V rail (100mA total)
    plus the power requirement of the attached USB device.
  • Outputs: 8
  • Digital-to-analogue conversion: 14 bit
  • Voltage range: jumper selectable between ±5V, 0-10V, 0-5V
  • Inputs: 2 digital inputs for clocks etc.
  • USB socket: Type A
  • The front panel is drilled for both Doepfer and Analogue Systems mounting holes (using a ‘slot’ rather than a single round hole). The power connector is a Doepfer standard 10 way IDC, with -12V furthest from the top of the board.

The FH-1 will be formally introduced at the 2015 NAMM Show and is expected to be available around April 2015. Pricing is to be announced. See the Expert Sleepers site for details.

12 thoughts on “New Expert Sleepers Module Lets You Plug USB MIDI Controllers Into Your Modular Synthesizer

  1. All the expert sleepers hardware looks amazing. But thinking about the amount of cash you’d have to part with to build a polyphonic modular system makes my blood run cold.

  2. yayyyy i was just asking around for this and was going to get someone to make this for me but i think ill grab this one . this guys are in my brain on this build!!!

  3. This looks great! It’s been a little while coming, we’ve been chatting about it for what seems like ages, but fantastic to see iPad integration into Modular taking some serious form.

    Don’t understand the need for the iCM2+ though – shouldn’t this just work over a standard iPad connector cable, 30pin or Lightning.

    Does anyone know why?

    1. For the same reason you can’t directly connect an iPad to a computer and use it as a MIDI controller – both the iPad and FH1 (and computer) are USB hosts. The iConnect acts as an intermediately USB client allowing the two devices to talk to each other. Although it would be technically possible to allow the iPad to appear as a USB client when plugged directly into the other device, I don’t think this has been implemented by Apple.

      1. Hang on a minute.. I’m confused now… this makes no sense;

        Surely the second USB connection works the other way, so the computer hosts the iCM2+ i.e. FH1 should be acting as a host too, it must be.

        If so, back to the original question?

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