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Ribbon or Roli?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Modular Synth General Discussion  
Author Ribbon or Roli?
Umcorps
I've been following the development of the Roli Seaboard Rise since it was announced. Also watching the threads about it here like a hawk.

I got pretty close to pulling the trigger this week when it occurred to me that, with a bit of tweaking, I could probably set up my much loved Eowave ribbon controller to give me 5 dimensions of control.

The Ribbon simultaneously puts out both midi via USB and CV x2 on a stereo jack. So, via midi, the Ribbon will give me note, gate and pitchbend. Its pressure pad will also give me CC1. The CV out will give a voltage related to pressure on the ribbon - not on the pad.

By my maths, thats 5 dimensions of control right there.

So I set up a little demo using the Ribbon over both midi and direct CV to control Braids and a Dual Osc.

It went like this...






Not polyphonic I know. But then using the Rise for polyphony in a modular context is spendy to say the least.

SO, for monophonic use, I'm thinking I'll stick with what I've got.
Jamnuska
Thought about a Linnstrument? Seems like it can do more than a Rise.
Dcramer
Great patch Umcorps! thumbs up

Your video would be a great fir for my controller thread:

https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=161502

applause
Sleipnir
Umcorps wrote:
SO, for monophonic use, I'm thinking I'll stick with what I've got.

Plus, you didn't even use your Planar yet!
I have a Doepfer R2M, Synthwerks FSR-1T, and IJ Planar (very similar to your setup I think) and I love love love it.
nanners
I saw the Roli, briefly thought "maybe", then spit-take at the price. No.
Last time I got suckered into that kind of a deal was a VAX77 - never again. cry angry

P.S. I could listen to that for hours. Nice!
Umcorps
Sleipnir wrote:

Plus, you didn't even use your Planar yet!



I ran out of hands.


Happens a lot round here. lol
loustic
very organic! thanks!
scottmoon
Umcorps wrote:
The Ribbon simultaneously puts out both midi via USB and CV x2 on a stereo jack. So, via midi, the Ribbon will give me note, gate and pitchbend. Its pressure pad will also give me CC1. The CV out will give a voltage related to pressure on the ribbon - not on the pad.

By my maths, thats 5 dimensions of control right there.


I've been eyeing the Eowave ribbon. I use to have the Doepfer Ribbon but I am currently using a Linnstrument (which is pricey).

So basically you have 2 cables coming out of your ribbon, a USB and a ⅛" stereo?. I was wondering if it's being powered through the USB connection? Is yours the version with the built in synth sounds?

Oh, and the video sounds cool. thumbs up
Umcorps
scottmoon wrote:

So basically you have 2 cables coming out of your ribbon, a USB and a ⅛" stereo?. I was wondering if it's being powered through the USB connection? Is yours the version with the built in synth sounds?



Yes, there's just the two connectors, a mini USB and a 3.5mm stereo socket. The Ribbon is powered by USB and shows up as a midi device if connected to a computer. There is a software editor that lets you configure the behaviour of the device and what comes out of the 3.5 socket.

With mine, the USB is hooked into an iConnectMidi4 interface and the 3.5mm output is set to send pitch on the tip and pressure on the ring. The touch pad is set to send CC1.

Midi implementation is interesting. On first touch you generate a note on message but if you keep your finger on the ribbon, as you slide it, it generates pitch bend up or down from the original note. As long as you get the scaling right on the target synth the pitch bend scaling matches up with the note values. So you can hit a note, slide up an octave, take your finger off and, as long as you touch the ribbon exactly where you left off, you'll get a new instance of the same note as before.

Easier to do than explain but, in effect, that gives you a kind of pitch quantisation without any stepping. And you don't lose the ability to apply vibrato. So its easier to play in tune via the midi out.

If your midi to CV interface adds pitchbend to note automatically (e.g. the Intelligel uMidi) then its simple to set up. My midi/CV (Vermona) puts PB out on a separate output so I need to fiddle a bit with an adder and attenuator to mix the note and PB CVs correctly.

The CV out much more simple to use directly in the modular but is less forgiving about your intonation. The Ribbon has track and hold built in so the pitch CV stays where it is when you lift your finger.

You can set it up to generate a gate on the ring instead of pressure. I prefer to use pressure to control a VCA rather than gate an envelope. I find its more expressive. I usually send the pressure through a slew limiter before the VCA to smooth it out, especially on release.

I've never used the synth built in to the Ribbon so I've no idea what thats like smile

As a controller, the MkII is pretty much identical to this MkI. The differences with the new one are around the capabilities of the built-in synth which is irrelevant to me.

I think its probably the best ribbon controller around. It's very well thought out, incredibly compact and doesn't need anything other than a power source to work as a CV controller. When out and about I just power it from a phone charger. As a midi device, it needs a host, which bumps up the kit requirements.

I've had this controller for a few years now and I've not yet found anything better.
scottmoon
[quote="UmcorpsI think its probably the best ribbon controller around. It's very well thought out, incredibly compact and doesn't need anything other than a power source to work as a CV controller. When out and about I just power it from a phone charger. As a midi device, it needs a host, which bumps up the kit requirements.

I've had this controller for a few years now and I've not yet found anything better.[/quote]

Thanks for the in depth info and reply. applause thumbs up
franman69
This is very helpful.. your explanation gives me much more info than I've been able to get from the Eowave website. I don't have a midi/cv interface yet, as I've shunned midi control, but I like this ribbon and it's expressiveness .. at least the way you've learned to play it. I guess I'll get the ribbon and experiment with the CV outs and see if the additional control of using midi is required. I assume the side pressure sensor is only available as a midi cc?? thanks umcorps...
Umcorps
franman69 wrote:
I don't have a midi/cv interface yet, as I've shunned midi control, but I like this ribbon and it's expressiveness .. at least the way you've learned to play it.


I've had the ribbon for a few years but it's only very recently that I started to use the midi out. Until this thread I used it exclusively as a CV controller.

Quote:
I assume the side pressure sensor is only available as a midi cc??


Yes. It's a nice extra if you can use it but probably not worth getting a midi to CV converter just for that.

One thing I didn't mention above is that if you want to power it with a phone charger or similar it needs to be a good quality one. An old iPhone charger powers mine flawlessly but some of the really cheap generic USB chargers the I've tried don't give a stable supply and the Ribbon really doesn't like that.
a100user
Umcorps,

Great video.

re: ran out of hands - look into the Pulp Logic foot controller and breath controller tiles. I have both and they are cheap and work very well.
sascha.victoria
I have a Mint in box Roli for sale.
stevebryson
Wow, Umcorps, that's a really great demo applause applause applause Inspiring! we're not worthy Somehow I missed it until today.

I use a Roli Rise 49 as the main controller for my modular, so I'll give you my perspective.

If all you want is good, expressive monophonic control and you don't need to play fastish melodic lines, then the Ribbon probably really is good enough. Your video is proof.

I'm a long-time conventional keyboard player and I really like how the Roli lets me seamlessly integrate conventional keyboard and ribbon techniques, including everything in between. That works for me because I really do like the keys where my fingers expect them, though I've had to learn new techniques to play lower or higher on each key. While I typically play monophonically because that allows more creative modular patches, I've found that duophonic hits a very nice sweet spot of expressive controllability. On the other hand the Roli requires a very capable MIDI-CV converter to get the most out of it. I use an Encore Expressionist, whose latest software release allows ribbon-like gliding over the whole range of the Roli. Before I got the Roli I was looking lustfully at the Eowave Ribbon 2, but the Roli gives me all the ribbon-like control I want.

Of course the Ribbon is a lot cheaper, if you can get it. Who knows - maybe I'll still get one in the future.

One more point: if you're going to count the left-hand pad as dimensions of sound, the Roli gives you an x-y pad and three sliders for a total of 10 dimensions. Just sayin'.
Jbarkley00
Nice thanks!
thetechnobear
Lovely piece!

if you don't mind (currently*) a computer in your setup, and midi to CV - the Madrona Labs Soundplane is great controller for this kind of thing.
not only multi-dimensional touch , but its completely continuous in x,y and z , this means you can configure the surface in anyway you want.

so you slice it into quite a number of 'ribbons' of notes (5d), or x/y/z pads, or vertical/horizonal sliders.

I think thats alot of dimensions, if your going to start counting sliders,pads as a dimension wink ... or just the normal 5d if your doing for Rolis marketing wink

I say 'currently' requires a computer, as madrona labs have talked of building a CV interface, but its yet to emerge.
Umcorps
thetechnobear wrote:

I say 'currently' requires a computer, as madrona labs have talked of building a CV interface, but its yet to emerge.


It's a good call. I've been tempted with a Soundplane like forever but the computer issue has always been the sticking point for me.

If the CV interface ever makes it to reality I'll be all over it for certain!
thetechnobear
Umcorps wrote:
thetechnobear wrote:

I say 'currently' requires a computer, as madrona labs have talked of building a CV interface, but its yet to emerge.


It's a good call. I've been tempted with a Soundplane like forever but the computer issue has always been the sticking point for me.

If the CV interface ever makes it to reality I'll be all over it for certain!


I don't know how far along Randy (Madrona Labs) is on his CV interface,

But Im working on something that also may yield this, which is a Beaglebone Black + Bela connected to the Soundplane. I have most of the soundplane code working... and Bela have already demonstrated their board working with CV,
so the 'components' are there, I just need to finish it off and test I can get the performance I'm looking for smile

,



there is also 3rd project planning on connecting the Soundplane to Eurorack.

so think its more 'when' rather than IF smile
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