hi all, i’m trey and i’m totally blind.
please can any one recommend a midi controller that will work with and be a good fit for the mutable instruments ambika? in addition to this it must be good for a totally blind person to use.
your help with this matter would be most welcome! kind regards trey.
Hi. I assume you’re looking for something to control the parameters of the Ambika and not just a keyboard controller…
I’ve never really thought much about how a blind person would use a synth like this - I imagine potentiometers and faders are good, and rotary encoders are less useful for you…
I bet a device with motor faders would be great for you, since the faders would move into the position that reflects the parameter setting… Have you checked out the Behringer BCF2000? (link: http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/BCF2000.aspx)
There are some new Behringer Motor Fader controllers coming out soon too - they were announced pretty recently. The x-touch (link: http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/X-TOUCH.aspx) and the x-touch compact (link: http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/X-TOUCH-COMPACT.aspx), but both have a lot of other features (like rotary encoders and LCD scribble strips) that probably make them more expensive, but wouldn’t be all that useful if you can’t see them.
What sort of MIDI controllers do you normally use?
If you’re a DIY person and don’t mind building something yourself, the MIDIbox NG project might be interesting - you could build a device with as many motor faders and potentiometers as you want, and the NG software would definitely allow you to control any aspect of the Ambika that can be controlled by MIDI… It’s an unusually full-featured and totally configurable MIDI controller framework that you can use to build whatever type of MIDI controller you’d like.
But the documentation is pretty confusing at first even if you can see it, so it might be tough for you to figure out.
NG project main page: http://www.ucapps.de/midibox_ng.html
User manual: http://ucapps.de/midibox_ng_manual.html
NG forum: http://midibox.org/forums/forum/46-midibox-ng/
thanks for your reply, i’m looking for some thing to control the parameters of the ambika motorised faders help with daw control but in this instants i think they are not needed. potentiometers are ok as long as they click when you turn them.
i’m looking for a controller to run in to the ambika at the same time as my KMI qunexes so i can play the ambika with the qunexes and controll its parameters with another controller, kind regards trey.
thanks I’ve actually got some one building a midi box seq4l as we speak because i’m totally blind i can’t do DIY electronics kind regards trey.
The V4l is a lot of fun, and would definitely be a great sequencer for someone who can’t see it. It’s pretty sophisticated considering it’s nothing but buttons.
I figured the DIY stuff might be difficult if you can’t see it, but you’re on the Mutable Instruments forum after all, so I didn’t want to assume you weren’t doing your own soldering. Haha. Either way, you may want to look into the MIDIbox NG stuff and consider having someone build a controller for you - you could design and build exactly the controller that would be most useful for you.
If you don’t know anyone who could build one for you, I bet you could post a request on the MIDIbox forums and find someone that would be interested in helping you with it.
Have you got an ambika yet? The controls on the device itself are potentiometers. The problem for you would be that there are many pages of controls on the Ambika and the same pots control different parameters depending on which page you’re looking at…
But using the controls on the device itself might work for you if you can get used to switching control pages, and if you don’t need the position of the potentiometers to always reflect the current parameter setting. I suppose you probably could figure out what you’re controlling by hearing what’s changing about the sound anyway.
no i don’t have one yet but i’m looking in to it i reckon that pared with the rite midi controller it could be an apsolute blast i could get some one from the midibox community to help me design and build me a controller to go with ambika but it would take an age kind regards trey.
If clicks are important, check out doepfer’s pocket dial. They aren’t made anymore but they come up on ebay once in a while. They have 16 rotary encoders and 4 memory banks. As far as I can tell, they can send most forms of MIDI messages. Programming them might be a little tricky because it involves using legacy software. Most every other MIDI controllers only have up to 8 encoders and they are much bigger (like the novation remote SL). I like the remote SL mk1 because of the 2 displays (those won’t really do anything for you), 8 potentiometers and 8 sliders. The SL can send CC and SYSEX but not NRPN.
i reckon the doepher dhreybank would make a perfect partner for the ambika kind regards trey.
Off the shelf controllers at the moment all seem to be targeting the live performance Ableton crowd.
The Kiwi Technics Patch Editor is a good solid bit of hardware but supports only a few classic synthesizers.
So other than the Novation SL controllers and the Behringer ones there’s not much out there for editing synth patches. The Bitstream 3x looks good too, but not available for sale?
Custom seems to be the best option.
The Bitstream 3x is very old and not really longer under support, so it is not really an option.
The BCF/BCR series, well they work only in 7bit mode, which is quite cumbersome for my taste. So finally i am controlling my Tischhupen/19" expander either by CC or my new Novation SL 61 MKII Keyboard, which works flawlessly.
I have never owned a drehbank but they look great. Just to be clear, the knobs are potentiometers that don’t click but you would have access to a lot of parameters at once. Whatever you, do don’t buy a bitstream 3x, the software for programming them doesn’t work and as nightworxx mentioned they are no longer supported and the forum is inactive. The manufacturer released the code to a forum user to be made open source and the last I heard it was sitting dead on github somewhere.