Tinami MD-1 Custom Midi Controller (Kickstarter)


#1

This could be an interesting midi controller to add to the Organelle

basically modular, so you can change not only the software configuration (cc sent etc), but also the hardware configuration (e.g. select more knobs, or buttons, or faders) , all just with a screwdriver.

200 or 250 euro, depending if you want faders or not - so not the cheapest controller, but if you want to have something customised seems reasonable.

If they do well could have an interesting future, perhaps different size cases, different components, which could swap things in an out of.

(Note: Im have no involvement in this project, just saw it and backed it, as I thought it be useful to use with my Organelle and Axoloti, so thought Id mention it here.)


#2

very nice idea

(although I already found my perfect midi controller for the moment http://www.nakedboards.org/mc8.html :slight_smile: )


#3

Looks cool.

But one thing I still dont understans in midi controller world is the lack of displays. Few have a 3 digit display that shows the current dialed value and even less have a proper display that shows all values.

This one got my attention a bit, but still not 100% sure about it, cause its hard to find reviews on it:

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/nektar-panorama-p1


#4

P1 - yeah, they were marketed, I think, more for daw integration, I don’t know how well they act as more generic midi controllers, or even if you can program them yourself (e.g. to make custom displays), which would be pretty cool.

another one was the Novation Zero (?) iirc that has a fully programmable display.
(theres also a keyboard variant as well, which was almost the defacto controller many years back)

I think the issue with displays on controllers is you start needing more complex software to be able to make it do anything useful, and it makes sense to use encoders rather than pots - this all starts putting up the price.

I think theres also possibly a reluctance for midi controllers to be too complex… so we get either

  • fully integrated controllers (so little/no effort) : push2, komplete kontrol, arturia key lab, nektar
  • one knob per function controllers (so its just a simple midi learn) : something like bastl 60 knobs :slight_smile:

(of course, here we also see the first can demand a ‘premium price’, and the later, is usually pretty cheap)

but for sure it would be nice to have some choice… Id certainly like a controller with some encoders and a programmable display.


#5

For the P-1, you can code it to do almost the same as the above, except sysex. even rpgram changes and so on When used in “internal mode” its like a generic midi controller and can be used like any other midi controller. Though it doesnt have sysex, it does have the option to send QWERTY key commands.

Id say actually after checking up on some of the specifications, it sounds pretty nice. You can assign each knob to their own cc and its own channel. But you can also set up a “floating” global channel, where you can use the same midi channel for all knobs, so if you use it for a multimode synth you can switch part very easily.

http://support.nektartech.com/s.nl/sc.26/category.4/ctype.KB/KB.1129/.f

And it also has endless encoders, I just discovered. Wonder how that works, when using it as a controlle for external synths.


#6

@junklight reckon you could give a few details about how you use a midi controller like this with the Organelle? Creatively I mean.

Do you just assign the Organelles four knobs and some of a patchs parameters to the sliders?


#7

Basically yes - the goal is to have the parameters I twiddle mapped to it without needing to dive into orac modules (Which can be a pain navigating). As ever the trick is to pick the parameters that make it work musically rather than just mapping stuff you might need


#8

increasingly now i feel like i need per function labels or a display - midi controllers are an unfortunate aspect of electronic music, remembering locations of controls or just spending all that time assigning them is a bore and takes my mind off the music. i’ve had a few and always sold them after trying to make it work. i like the way the ableton push seems to aproach this problem by integrating with software without the users effort.


#9

I totally agree that it’s a pain.

Ableton with cmd M and learn is borderline ok, push2 gets it right a lot of the time (although I still do assign stuff to an external controller because I play multiple tracks at a time normally). I like instrument racks in Ableton too - again it makes it a tiny bit easier once you’ve done the work (and why oh why can’t you right click and synth and say “add into a rack but keep all the settings I’ve just changed”?!!??!)

dunno what the answer is though - machine learning and it should just figure out what things I’m likely to want to tweak perhaps! :slight_smile:


#10

Yeah, the more complex the patches gets, the more you need proper feedback. Having a full liveset set up, with several pages on several midi controllers is pretty hard to remember. I tried about everything, even putting velcro on the device and the have some small laminated peices of paper so they get stiff, with velcro on, that I can switch out as I need them… But its just too messy keeping all that and swithicng around. And I think the result is to get a proper midi controller with display build in.


#11

I also like to use some of the keys for other purposes, than keys.

For example I use the first 5 keys on the right side to access parameter pages. Its MUCH quicker to only have to push ONE of those buttons on the right to get to the right page. It is litteraly just one click to get to a page, no pushing aux 3-4 times to get to the right page.

I have also been experimenting with having 8 parameters on one page and the the first 4 parameter i can acces directly, but to acces the 4 extra parameters I have to HOLD one of the buttons on the right. Kind of giving them multi functions, to give very quick access to parameters, with out menu diving.


#12

yeah, I think Ableton and Native Instruments are going in the right direction.
(though, I’m really disappointed that NI have not made NKS open source!)

that said, Ive come to see this partly as ‘my issue’ …
see what I’m looking for is auto/intelligent mapping of instruments, because I don’t want to spend the time doing this mapping manually.

ok, at first glance this seems reasonable

but I wonder if this is an issue because I’m using too many instruments (be it vsts, patches, presets whatever), rather than spending time with fewer, where id be willing to ‘invest’ the time to do map it properly.

comes back down to the paradox of choice…


going back to controllers, the Push2 is underestimated (imo) as a 3rd party controller, great display, decent encoders, playing surface, loads of buttons - its really good to repurpose.

disadvantage, display needs to be coded in something like C++ (there are a couple of alternatives), its quite expensive (viable only if you are invested into Ableton!?) , draws a bit too much power, quite large.

the Push1 is a great alternative, as display is coded with midi (sysex) - I wish I hadn’t traded mine in, as they are still holding good residual value.


unfortunately, my experience with the organelle/orac is the bigger issue is parameter/pot position misalignment , switching pages is pretty quick, its the ‘getting a lock’ on a parameter than is the niggly
bit. (but unavoidable, as you don’t want jumps either)

also I found the organelles display a bit too small… its only just big enough for ‘reasonable size’ parameters names, its why I don’t display the page name , theres just not enough space imo.

but I’ll be interested to see what you come up with, always willing to ‘borrow’ good ideas :slight_smile:


yeah, this was why I thought midi learn was a must have for orac.

I wonder, perhaps for those without external control (or just to make organelle more useful),
I should do similar to Ableton, and have a set of 4 ‘performance’ parameters assigned to a preset, quick to switch to.

this is what I liked about C&G original patches, they had carefully chosen which were the important control , its like ‘curation’.

so perhaps with performance parameters, we’d get the best of both - full control when you need it, but hands-on control when your performing .
also when sharing presets, it allows new users to the preset, an ‘entry’ point into using the patch.


#13

Yeah I agree the display could be a little bit bigger, but yeah just trying to make the most of what we have.

After I FINALLY got a proper PSU Oganelle started to behave normal and now the first I want to build is a proper page system. I did make that expanded o-knob system but when saving/loading it sometimes kind of froze Organelle so it was not the best solution.

This page set up is a test version:
IMG_0174

In this setup you have on the left the 4 knobs that you can access via the knobs…
The ones on the right are toggles, that you control form the right side of the keyboard. You can acces them all the time also. You can use the right side to turn things on/off with or even make an increment/decrement selector, to for example choose a filter type.

I found a way to format the numbers into having a fixed amount of digits, which makes it alot easier to have more parameters in one line. Using the old fashioned “screenline” message. But it works pretty well.

So all in all you then have acces to 8 parameters pr page, 4 knobs and 4 toggles. Which is pretty decent.

I am thinking about “confiscating” the volume knob too and then use that as a fifth parameter. There are many situations where I’d rather use that knob for example for an envelope amount knob, so you have the 4 knobs for a d s r, then the 4 toggles maybe one of them turn the envelope on/off and finally use the vol knob for the amount of the adsr. One could always make something with “hold X and dial Knob1” to acces volume, still in an easy way. But volume is pretty secondary once its set, its usually not something i play around with too much.

For getting the right value on page change, soft take over can help a lot. I made one which has got a sensitivity function, where you can set a window, like the soft over takes affect with a window of -5 +5 of the actually value, so if the value is 35, the soft taker over will start working from 30 and from 40, depending on if you come from a low value or a high value… It makes it alot better, and reacts every time you reach the values, cause the window is a bit bigger… Using the exact value, like the soft take over only works when reaches exact 35, I dont think works very well. Sometimes you have to pass the value 2-3-4 times before the knob takes control.

I have to borrow my daughters HDMI screen to wrap something up for the community mshe has the only hdmi screen that works with Organelle. So I need to bribe her a bit, hehe :slight_smile: . She doesnt give it up easily. But ill see if I can get something made with in the next days.


#14

@thetechnobear

You can try my homemade soft take over here, I think it works pretty well. I just wrapped it up in a example patch:

Page-soft.pd (14.7 KB)


#15

I was just thinking that something like that would be very useful, though I was thinking it could be done with the modulation bus stuff in a new orac release (which I am looking forward too quite bit btw :slight_smile: ).
Not sure how the mod bus stuff will work, but it could also be neat if you could use it to map one knob to control multiple parameters (like having one knob mapped to four bool parameters so only one is on at a time based on the value).


#16

increasingly now i feel like i need per function labels or a display - midi controllers are an unfortunate aspect of electronic music, remembering locations of controls or just spending all that time assigning them is a bore and takes my mind off the music.

This controller/enclosure for Axoloti seems like the best example of what this would look like that I can think of - 4 small OLEDs with 2 parameter names on each (X and Y), 2 knobs mapped to X and Y under each OLED for 8 total, a joystick controlling X and Y axes for each OLED for 4 total. A wealth of control and visual information in a small format. Then it’s a standalone unit since the Axoloti core is housed inside. Pretty nifty.

If Tinami created an option (for extra asking price?) to include an OLED that takes up a row (so, give up 4 buttons for 1 OLED) and that can be easily programmed in their utility app, they’d really hit this out of the park. I mean, they’ve already hit it out of the park in a lot of ways, but modular customization with OLEDs would be something else.


#17

THhs is not a critique of the waunderlust controller but a critique of the joysticks. They are really not very useful, in my opinion, they are way to sensitive. I got one of the modular thing add on boards for axoloti which uses the same joystick and it really doesnt work very well.

But surely, the display and so on are tempting :slight_smile: