Most DAWs seem to have standardized on 8-knobs control macros in a 4x2 layout, which is in itself a reasonable thing.
So why are there no small USB MIDI controller boxes with 8 encoders in a 4x2 layout on the market? Why does something that seems like a no-brain product simply not exist?
Would the price point be wrong? Do people really rather have this on a keyboard or pad controller? Why is the closest thing a big rubberized €280 DJ product with 16 encoders and LED rings that aren’t needed when you’re looking at the screen anyway (not bashing this product; it’s great for what it is)?
I guess it would have a bit of a limited market. If you look at most controllers, it’s become really hard to find a feature-specific one and that’s because it would be a bit of a hard sell.
Everybody has different needs, a different workflow and considers certain things more essential than others. Add to that that there’s a lot of different DAWs, millions of plugins, etc. It’s really hard to do something specific as that, sell it for a low price and still sell enough to pay the shareholders, the manager’s bonuses etc
The more features you add the more likely that at least 50% of them will be needed, and if you have more overlap, you also get more overlap in the potential customer’s needs.
Yup, I just think maufacturer’s have for the most part thought the two trains of ‘beatmakers’ or ‘riffmashers’ has been what they chose to jump on as a base market coverage. So many of the same things.
But I hate personally having to clutter my desk and drag out said products just to get ‘hand’s on’…
I hadn’t noticed the 2X4 thing myself… Does it have to be 2X4 though? If not, then there is the Kenton Killamix controller. Although it also has a couple of extras…
Otherwise… Make one! Doepfer, Livid instruments have the core parts you need. There are also Arduino options.
Looks like the most straightforward way to DIY this might be the Teensy-LC since it’s relatively inexpensive, has enough pins to connect 8 encoders directly and Teensyduino comes with a MIDI over USB library.
Does it have enough digital pins? Eight gray-code encoders needs sixteen.
Of course, you could read them with a mux relatively straightforwardly. And I’d probably go with something like an Atmega 32u4 - USB bootloading, you can write in Arduino for it, and just have the chip on a bare board. I could probably be convinced to sketch something up…
(I have been thinking about something somewhat similar - namely, a 16r controller, something like a Doepfer Pocket Control for 2018, and based on my work on 16n).
Of course, what I’d really like is an easy source of the sine/cosine endless-pots as used on the new Elektron boxes; much prefer them over notched encoders.
Yes, that’s the nice thing about it. It has 17 interrupt pins and then you have 9 pins left for buttons if you use clickable encoders.
Seems like the less straightforward option if you want MIDI over USB at first glance. The nice thing about the Teensy would be that it would be trivially easy for a not-so-technical person to use the Arduino IDE to program the thing.
OTOH, the goal is to make this as compact and as simple as possible. It really is supposed to be nothing more than a dumb 4x2 encoder box to control the macros in your DAW.
Nice! Really nice!
Have been looking for those too. If I make this, I will use encoders without notches, which are also annoyingly hard to find.
So - 32u4 can, iirc, just be compiled as a HID MIDI device relatively straightforwardly - it’s basically what’s in an Arduino Due, and those work as HID devices relatively easily. Anyhow, I was spitballing on the train to work, rather than confirming based on what’s in the world. But I have some time off at the moment so I might see what I can rustle up.