MIDI Control Monster Offers Constant Real-Time Timbre Manipulation

Synthesist Claude Woodward shared this video demo of his custom MIDI controller, which allows for ‘constant real time timbre manipulation’.

Here’s what he has to say about his setup:

The whole rig consists of the Loopatron (Mk2) at the back, the 61-note keyboard at the front with Vibe Bar and the Claude Controller Mk 3 in the middle. I call it the MIDI CONTROL MONSTER!

I believe for electronic music to evolve we need an ergonomic ‘standard’ interface. Constant real time timbre manipulation is what acoustic instruments do so well. It’s time synth players did the same thing to breathe life into those electrons.

If anyone would like to build one I can supply the code (Arduino 3.2) and laser files for the acrylic.

This design (the Claude Controller) is my bid for a ‘standard’ MIDI controller. When set up properly it can precisely control everything. And if you need more controls – add more octaves.

It’s a sensible alternative to a chaotic conglomeration of wires & knobs which is often the case.

Endless articulation + endless fun!

Details on the custom rig are available at his site.

via Andrew Cordani

5 thoughts on “MIDI Control Monster Offers Constant Real-Time Timbre Manipulation

  1. I’m impressed. Claude gets it. That’s quite a lot of intriguing real-time control. His intent certainly passes the hands-on test. The only problem for me: I’m not sure my brain has enough address lines left to fully play the thing. Still, its admirably Eigenharp-like in being tuned in to playing a synth AS a synth.

  2. Lovely device, I like the wheels instead of knobs. Unlike knobs to could grab a bunch of wheels at the same time for a multi-parameter tweet. Very nice, I’d buy one.

  3. Nice demonstration of its capabilities. The sound kept changing in interesting ways.

    Most people would find that array of controls to be a bit overwhelming– especially with the brightly colored lights. But as far as functions go, it’s a nice way to have easy to use controls and see the current state– not have to deal with pages & null points, etc.

    What a spectacular accomplishment– and it is up & running. That’s astonishing.

  4. I seem to be missing the point. Exactly how is this different from rows of knobs that you see on many MIDI controllers? Also, talking as if “constant real-time timbre manipulation” is some kind of new thing that wasn’t built into the design of just about every analog and virtual synth since the minimoog triggers my “unreasonable hype usually means little substance” alarms. Maybe you like wheels more than other options, but that’s a pretty small distinction. It’s very pretty, and I may want one for that reason alone, but in the end this is just a lot of unlabeled controllers.

    A standard may or may not be a good idea (I’m skeptical) but clearly a “control everything with the same physical one-dimensional interface” is a terrible start for a standard.

  5. Just to clarify – like Benny said you can move a bunch of wheels simultaneously. Can’t do that with knobs. And the most important feature is the keyboard-like layout to differentiate between controls. That’s how it’s possible to make sense of it – as easy as remembering where the notes are on a keyboard.

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