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your favorite touch controller
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Modular Synth General Discussion Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next [all]
Author your favorite touch controller
Voltage_Controller
Hi!

I am succumbing to the siren song of a touch controller to pair (primarily) with a bugbrand synthvoice. I make loopy, layered sequenced music.

What is your favorite touch controller and why? I would love to know what all is out in the wild that I should be considering.

So far, looking at the FR512 (looks amazing), Verbos touchplate, and the Sputnick.

Any advice? Whats in your system? Buchla 222e help
luketeaford
I like pressure points because it can do 4 simultaneous pressure outputs if you have brains which also expands it to a sequencer with three rows of voltage.

I've not used the others you mention, but touch controllers generally appeal to me.
sduck
I've got a buchla 218, which is a really nice controller, at least for the easel. Needs some coaxing to get it to work with other stuff.

I also have a qunexus, which is sort of a touch controller, in that you have to touch it for it to do anything. I'm not really enthused by it however.

I have on order the new McMillen K-board pro - hoping that works out to be better than the qunexus.
whyfarer
Although I don't have one, I've been drooling over the linnstrument and have started saving up for one (which is always a challenge when the modules keep calling my name). I have a piano background so the string/fret style layout is a little daunting but it seems like they've done a great job making it intuitive. More generally, what draws me to is the the allure of MPE. Whatever controller I buy next will have MPE capability - the demos people do with it are totally amazing and bring so much more movement and life into the sounds.
Dcramer
sduck wrote:
I've got a buchla 218, which is a really nice controller, at least for the easel. Needs some coaxing to get it to work with other stuff.

I also have a qunexus, which is sort of a touch controller, in that you have to touch it for it to do anything. I'm not really enthused by it however.

I have on order the new McMillen K-board pro - hoping that works out to be better than the qunexus.


Looks good, but no CV outs? waah
elmerfudd
Check out the Keen 220. Synthi ks emulation. Zones, free voltage scaling and nanners all in one. Buchla in format, but the pulse drives the gates on my Modcan so should work with Bugs.....
DeanG
+1 for pressure points. I had Brains plus 2 PP which I sold when I sold my euro, but now I would like to have them again as a stand-alone controller/ sequencer in place of my SQ1 to use with my Roland System 1m + Scooper setup.

Another touch controller you might consider is the Pittsburgh Modular Lifeforms one..I had that for a while and it worked pretty well, although I didn't like that it was a one-way controller and didn't accept CVs from my modular (except for clock inputs) as I remember. The MN Pressure points are super flexible in that regard and you can get some nice interactions going.
ersatzplanet
I'm biased of course, but any of these work for me:



and this one too:



Pressure but not position.
tIB
I have a 222e and it is miles better (in terms of touch response) than anything else I've used in modular. Outside of that the hakken looks nice.
MarcelP
Soundmachines LS1 light plane does it for me - either as a filter controller or pitch + modulation control (i.e. filter freq + vco mod depth). Takes some setting up to get range right, etc - but well worth the effort.
Voltage_Controller
MarcelP wrote:
Soundmachines LS1 light plane does it for me - either as a filter controller or pitch + modulation control (i.e. filter freq + vco mod depth). Takes some setting up to get range right, etc - but well worth the effort.


I have a buddy that uses it and loves it! These type of suggestions have opened my mind a bit....
novotnik
i really love the doepfer ribbon controller ! very sensitive and you can treat it like a guitar ...
moremagic
i use a choices joystick, a pressure points, and an ears for in rack control
a lot of different possibilities witth those modules, from transposing pp with the joystick, to using pp and ears as percussion controllers for patching up a kit
windsongstudio
Currently using:

VC Octal Switch for momentary touch and latching switching.
Planar joystick for fun X/Y CV wiggling/exploration.
Ears for percussive banging/scratching.
Olegtron Confuser for happy accidents through manual switch throwing.
Pressure Points for dialed in touch/pressure.

And, waiting for more info on upcoming Intellijel Tetrapad.

Have fun with your music.
snevlida14
Sound machines lp1 is the only touch controller I have but I love it. I would like to get amother o touch controller. I already have a few ideas, but I'll be watching this thread for more ideas.
dopefiend
The Futureretro one rocks.

Also this: snyderphonics.com
MindMachine
Using Planar more and more. Very versatile hub and controller.

Doepfer ribbon gets used some. Mostly with percussive LoPass Gate sounds these days or long exaggerated delays. Not much in between.

Serge TKB - crazy sequence source with horizontal and vertical clocking. Pretty nice tactile interface too if the pressure is adjusted nice. Mine needs adjustment.

I started using my Microbrute as a modular controller recently. It is good.

I've also been eyeballing that Futureretro 512 for a while now and it seems to have a pretty good track record.

My favorite little part of a controller that no one seems to offer (except Korg MS10/20) is the momentary switch for portamento on the ARP 3620 keyboard. Super musical for a hack like me.
Bataserpa
i am not sure if I can call it a touch controller, but Make Noise Teleplexer is amazing, specially to make instant changes in drones and noise setups.
Dunej
I use Buchla Thunder with Expert Sleepers FH-1 / FHX-1 as a MIDI to CV interface.

The Thunder was basically a stand-alone 222e that output MIDI instead of CV.

Don, of course, thought standard keyboards were WAY too constricting--but the 225e was released so you could use the MIDI output of your Thunder, Lightning, Marimba Lumina, etc to drive your Buchla rig.

Thunder has 42 programmable pads, each outputs values based on velocity and aftertouch, most also on location. Each output can be individually assigned to any MIDI number--any key can output pitch values, but none need to. Each of 8 setups also includes up to 8 sequences, each with up to 32 "events" (event include pitch, pulse, duration, translation, fade, jump, scale, and up to 5 degrees of randomization. All controllable realtime, including by ribbon controller. Interface is the clearest technical interface I have ever used--and absolutely amazing given the rest of Don's well-deserved reputation for obfuscation.

E.S FH-1 lets you capture and use as a separate CV: pitch cv, trigger, velocity, aftertouch and 4 continuous controllers (basically, faders). Each expansion module adds an additional 8 cv's.

Built like a tank.

Only one real problem: long out of production, and the very dickens to find!
Dunej
Clarification: I'm using the Thunder with Eurorack, not a Buchla rig, therefore the Expert Sleepers interface.

(And yes, I am very very new to modular. Enjoying it immensely, due in large part to the excellent advice and interesting discussion I find here on M.W.!)
Voltage_Controller
Thanks everyone for all the ideas - I am leaning to the fr512, but also debating a small euro skiff with rene/pressurepoints/brains combo. You gave me a lot to chew on - thanks!
Sinamsis
For what it's worth, I used a Roli Seaboard Rise for a while with an FH-1. This was before the FH-1 editor was available. I didn't really feel like I got the most out of it as I have no clue how to write custom scripts, nor did I have interest in learning. I also found the Rise a little less than ideal in terms of feel. I found in the end I wanted something capacitive. I ended up selling it and I built a skiff with a Sputnik TKB. In the end, the Sputnik worked fine. But there are a few things I'm not fond of. In the end, I found myself not using it much, so I'm selling that as well. I found the excavated keys a little less than ideal, and the width of the keys gave it an odd feel. The polyphony is a nice touch, but playing it polyphonically always felt awkward. The arp is definitely a nice inclusion. I would note that I have never had any issues that other people have described with it.

I've tried everything to get the Buchla 218 feel, and have failed. Haha, I may eventually get the Buchla LEM 218. It seems the FR solution might be close. But the 218 is unique and a classic. And I think there's something to be said for that.
Voltage_Controller
Sinamsis wrote:
I built a skiff with a Sputnik TKB. In the end, the Sputnik worked fine. But there are a few things I'm not fond of.... I may eventually get the Buchla LEM 218. It seems the FR solution might be close. But the 218 is unique and a classic. And I think there's something to be said for that.


The Sputik seems reasonably priced smile I hope someone who has used both the Sputik and the 218 can chime in on comparisons - obviously a big price difference. I will do some searching on the complaints folks have about the Sputnik - I didn't notice any on a cursory search, but my muff site search-fu is probably weak.

From what I can tell, its 218 > fr512 > sputnik. I wish the 218 was a little more affordable waah
Sinamsis
I think it was mostly issues related to specific PSUs I believe. The TKB is a good value for sure. It does require a case though, unlike the other two, which adds to the expense. If you end up going that route PM me, since I'm selling one. But I wouldn't necessarily steer you in the direction. Basically, you have to decide if it's "good enough." I personally didn't love the feel of playing excavated keys. The sensitivity was good though, and it adds features that some other keyboards don't have. The down side of the 512 is the lack of analog clock input, which to me is a big deal. I really liked sending the Sputnik euclidean or more interesting patterns to clock the arpeggiator. That's really what I'll miss from the Sputnik.
Sleipnir
IMO controllers are one of the most important parts of a system. The human-machine interface, as it were.
You'll notice a lot of the previous suggestions here in my skiff:

Big fan of a ribbon for pitch. I use the R2M because of the built in quantizer & config memory features. It really is a lot like playing a guitar.
Couple of PPs with a Brains is super flexible, especially with some support modules (attenuation, switching).
Love the Synthrotek stuff. Keep meaning to build a skiff of nothing but FSR-4s. w00t
LSR-1 is cool for filter control- bonus for the memory.
Planar turns most anything into a Synthi (for better or worse haha).
Since I'm old, keyboard is still my #1 thing for melodies. Samson Graphite keyboard on the left goes into an FH-1. Thing about the Graphite is every button and slider can use a different midi channel, setable on the keyboard itself. Gives you a ton of control over the FH-1 without my having to figure out scripting it.
nanners
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