Synth Jam With Conductive Labs NDLR Polyphonic Arpeggiator

This video, via Genshi Media Group‘s Craig Anthony Perkins, explores jamming with a Conductive Labs NDLR polyphonic arpeggiator prototype.

Here’s what Perkins has to say about the video: 

In this demo, I have the NDLR Paired with the Waldorf Blofeld.

Since the Blofeld is Multitimbral, it’s quite easy to have the NDLR play the various parts on the Blofeld.

A perfect example of the ultimate minimal setup for live jams!

In the second video, the NDLR is playing the Korg Minilogue for the PAD sound, and three Moog Mother-32s for the BASS, MOTIF (arpeggiated lead) and DRONE sounds.

We talked with the creators of the NDLR at Knobcon 2017, and they described it as an ‘ultra-arpeggiator’ for people with lots of synths:

Pricing and Availability

The NDLR is being produced via a Kickstarter project and is available to backers for US $199. See the project page for details.

14 thoughts on “Synth Jam With Conductive Labs NDLR Polyphonic Arpeggiator

  1. This thing looks awesome… however, after getting burned by several kickstarer flame-outs, and considering my education and work experience in manufacturing, my spider-sense is tingling on this one.

    1) It doesn’t appear any of the founders have significant experience in hardware manufacturing. Look at the line of bodies on kickstarter that resulted by the founders not being able to execute quality manufacturing at scale.

    2) the funding they are asking for is rediculously low for something like this. If this was as legit and viable as it appears a few guys should have no problem coming up with $30k to fund this… Granted, they may be using Kickstarter as a way to judge market demand, etc. which is a great way to use Kickstarter.

    And kind of on the idea of execution and management… the fact that they do things like post videos on YouTube that don’t even have links in the description to the kickstarter page (i.e. Marketing 101) kind of calls into question their ability to execute beyond just a few dude knocking out a really really cool prototype device.

    For my part, I would LOVE to have this thing, and I really really really hope they pull it off. But I’ve been burned on kickstarter gigs too often (some by large established companies even!).

    If this thing ends up being built at scale and it works I’d gladly pay 2x the kickstarter “price.”

    So I wish them luck and hope the folks funding this have a better experience than I’ve had.

    1. Hello Drümünkey, totally understand your concern on delivery of Kickstarter projects. Really disappointing to see some really cool looking products in this genre fail to deliver.
      Some things you will notice about our Kickstarter. We won’t add wild stretch goals. We are allergic to feature creep. Obviously we want input and have made adjustments as development progresses, but meeting the timeline is critically important to us. We have headroom for feature upgrades and bug fixes after version 1.0.
      We have a very simple chassis design, no fancy custom silicon buttons, and a drop-in PCB/faceplate assembly. We expect minimal iterations on the mechanical design side, though we have time for some. If we were going for plastic injection molded chassis we would need more time and lots more money. We love the retro synth boutique look, and the eco-friendly bamboo chassis.
      You guessed right on the money, we could have funded this ourselves. We decided up front that we didn’t want to make it if we couldn’t secure @200 backers. Its about building a desirable product, and having enough volume to keep manufacturing prices down. While I appreciate your “viable” comment, we do not anticipate high volumes. In our prior industry high volumes are at least 10’s of thousands. We are making these in 100’s.
      We didn’t price this one on Kickstarter to make a big profit, which may seem weird to some, but we have a long term goal to be in this business in a big way. Getting a really cool product out there and creating a solid reputation for quality and service is what we are after. If we can do that by making something we want for ourselves, that’s awesome.
      The two of us have over 50 years combined experience in hi-tech, in product development, application engineering, and software development, but we aren’t marketing people. We also have friends who are assisting, including a mechanical engineer and an EE who worked in the electronic music instrument business for 25+ years. It’s good to have smart friends. Being in Portland OR is also an advantage because its home to a great community of effects and eurorack module makers that we can draft off of.
      It’s a bummer we can’t get you on board for the Kickstarter, but we will have units for sale after the promised delivery date of late March 2018. There will be a link on the Kickstarter page 🙂

  2. Wow, looks and sounds great! (Though of course it makes no sounds on its own, it is the “sound supervisor” or “music maestro”, lol.) I am seriously checking my finances (and fiancé) to see if i can contribute.

    Some requests (eventual or maybe impossible. Or maybe it is already included in the NDLR, i may be misunderstanding the specs). Is “ratcheting” of notes possible? Like quick little note fills?

    Also, a basic sequencing of an arp. By which i mean similar to a “walking bass pattern”. Or for example, an arpeggio starting on root note then going to the fourth then fifth intervals/positions. Preferably automatically, without having to press a button for each change.

    And for way way down the road… integration with a dedicated iOS/iPad app? That might help with the pattern saving and parameter editing perhaps. But that is too much to ask for at the moment. You guys have your hands full! But i love how crammed full of musical features this is. Simplified, but definitely NOT dumbed-down. Keep up the great work!

    As for colors… Does it come in “Cornflower blue”? (sorry, bad Fight Club joke)

    1. Hi Haulin,
      “Is “ratcheting” of notes possible?”
      Not in the current plan, though we have a concept for something that might work for that. It involves “extra” notes in the pattern that are played based on a probability source from the modulation matrix.
      “basic sequencing of an arp…”
      It is a sequenced arpeggiator, but the sequences (patterns) are currently predefined. We are targeting editable patterns in a future release. You can also change length, rhythms, accents and other parameters on the fly by turning the knobs. Accents require a velocity sensitive synth.
      The box does look a little like an “Ikea” design 😉

      1. Thanks Darryl for your reply. Sounds good. Just trying to fathom the depths of all the features. And the depths seem… er, deep! As it sits now, seems like a very useful tool. And definitely worth supporting.

  3. A big THANK YOU to Synthtopia for the generous coverage of our project! We are looking forward to a busy next few months as we have a lot to do, but there’s nothing we would rather be doing. The very definition of “a labor of love”.

  4. We just posted a new video demonstrating external CC modulation of The NDLR parameters using an iPad app. Soon, this capability will be built into The NDLR’s Modulation Matrix. In addition to modulating internal parameters, it can send MIDI CCs to your prefered MIDI destinations, so you can modulate synth parameters like filter cutoff, PWM, etc.

  5. Its a little late, but we’ve added another stretch goal. This is something we prototyped but had not decided to commit to.

    Get The NDLR Kickstarter to $50K and we will add ~ Hardware clock/sync output on an 1/8″ (3.5mm) jack.

    ~ Configurable for common clock at 1 Pulse Per Quarter note (1 PPQ)
    ~ Supports Korg Volca @2 PPQ
    ~ Clock divide for slowing down an external sequencer*, great for slowing down chord sequences.
    If we see a good reaction to this, there are a couple of other CV related interfaces we could do.

    *In our tests, not all sequencers can clock much below their internal minimum clock rate. Expect some trial and error to determine how slow your sequencer can go.

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