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Anybody tried the Sensel Morph?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> General Gear  
Author Anybody tried the Sensel Morph?
pd_inc
I'm in the market for a new midi controller and the Sensel Morph has caught my eye. The price, specs, extensibility, and quality of documention are impressive, but I can't find many user reviews. Does anybody here own one, or has at least tried it? My main priority is highly accurate, low-latency midi CC and note input; but it's MPE, Live control and programmability / extensibility are nice extras.
https://sensel.com/pages/the-sensel-morph
pd_inc
Nobody? I wonder why the Morph isn't more well known. Does Sensel just not have the venture capital backing and subsequent marketing budget of say, Roli? Or is it overlooked as a midi input device because the form factor is too close to an iPad or Wacom?
Panason
Hasn't this just been released? Maybe that's why there aren't any takers yet.
Personally I don't trust anything that follows the Apple style and features Bluetooth but this looks pretty useful.
pixelmechanic
pd_inc wrote:
I'm in the market for a new midi controller and the Sensel Morph has caught my eye. The price, specs, extensibility, and quality of documention are impressive, but I can't find many user reviews. Does anybody here own one, or has at least tried it? My main priority is highly accurate, low-latency midi CC and note input; but it's MPE, Live control and programmability / extensibility are nice extras.
https://sensel.com/pages/the-sensel-morph


I've had a shortish play on one owned by a friend...

Was working mostly direct on surface, with a homebrew max4live granular patch...

Surface was a bit odd as there's no give at all, but is very accurate in position and response to pressure!

Also tried one of the overlays, the music production one. Didn't really gel with that in the short time I tried it, again because there's no 'feel' compared to my Quneo, and I didn't like the (slight) ridges on controls

If I were to buy one it would be to port the work I'm already doing with my multitouch graphics tablet in MaxMSP rather than any of the existing overlays...
zeit
Yeah, I've seen this but not a lot of talk about it online. The fact that you can use overlays rather than buying another piece of hardware is smart. But, I'd be interested in it * a lot* more for controlling synths in Max if it didn't focus so much on "beats". confused That's a lot of space taken up for drum pads, when I might use a kick/hi-hat and that's it....even if I use them. Would be nice to see an overlay with a more experimental approach, where there's at least 16 knobs/"tone shaping pads" for dials/sliders and some vertical sliders for gain control, etc. Sure, you can configure those drum pads like knobs- sort of- but it's not the same feel as the 'tone shaping' pads or sliders. A wider range of overlays for synth control would be nice. I still might get one though. looks pretty cool. cool
pd_inc
As far as I can tell, it's not too difficult to create custom overlays in their app or via their API. You can sketch out controls on paper as a guide, designate their functions, even get the overlay 3D printed etc... So you aren't beholden to the standard overlay templates.

I'm still undecided, but after looking around a bit, there doesn't seem to be much that beats the Morph at that price point. I'd love to hear suggestions. I'd rather not settle for another traditional bulky plastic midi keyboard with stiff pads and jumpy knobs.
zeit
Quote:
As far as I can tell, it's not too difficult to create custom overlays in their app or via their API.


Didn't look into it enough to even realize that was possible. cool That definitely changes things for me. was about to buy a nakedboards midi controller but I need to look into what into how much custom overlays are. thanks!
thelizard
I bought one the week after NAMM this year, as it was the coolest thing I saw at the show. I use it as my travel controller and primary MPE tester for development. I highly recommend it!
scottmoon
I picked it up withe music controller bundle. Easy to custom program. Keys are nice, drum pad is nice (using it with Battery), just tried out the music production overlay yesterday on Arturia's Easel app. I'm going to pick up the Innovators overlay when I get back from vacation. That looks like the best option for what I want to do with it.
Looks like a good travel setup. I'm taking my Deluge, Laptop and the Sensel on vacation. Leaving the Linnstrument at home and traveling light. I love MPE controllers. I've heard that they might be coming out with a Buchla 218 Touch Keyboard pad. That would be cool.
pd_inc
I'm unclear on what the Innovator overlay offers that isn't possible by simply using the Overlay Designer without an overlay.
pd_inc
Also, how's the latency on it?
And if I map say, a knob or slider to send CC's to the cutoff on a synth, is there any kind of visual indicator on the Morph of that knob/slider's resting position, like the indicator on a physical knob?
scottmoon
pd_inc wrote:
I'm unclear on what the Innovator overlay offers that isn't possible by simply using the Overlay Designer without an overlay.


As far as I can tell, It doesn't seem to do anything without an overlay.
scottmoon
pd_inc wrote:
Also, how's the latency on it?
And if I map say, a knob or slider to send CC's to the cutoff on a synth, is there any kind of visual indicator on the Morph of that knob/slider's resting position, like the indicator on a physical knob?


The latency was pretty good until I started opening a lot of other apps and working for awhile on my old 2012 13" MacBook pro. Then I started noticing more latency.

There is a light strip above the overlay area that accurately shows the position of your finger when you are adjusting things.
thelizard
pd_inc wrote:
Also, how's the latency on it?
And if I map say, a knob or slider to send CC's to the cutoff on a synth, is there any kind of visual indicator on the Morph of that knob/slider's resting position, like the indicator on a physical knob?


There's an LED strip on the top of the unit. When turning a knob, it will show you the current position.
Doublecoolbossman
scottmoon wrote:
pd_inc wrote:
I'm unclear on what the Innovator overlay offers that isn't possible by simply using the Overlay Designer without an overlay.


As far as I can tell, It doesn't seem to do anything without an overlay.


You can set it up to work without an overlay.

scottmoon
[quote=You can set it up to work without an overlay.

[/quote]

Nice. I'm curious what parameters you're controlling and how you set it up. I have to experiment with it some more.
rparmar
Biggest problem is that this is a USB device only and requires a computer. So you cannot use it with your modular setup otherwise.
rparmar
Also check out the similar Joue.
Doublecoolbossman
rparmar wrote:
Biggest problem is that this is a USB device only and requires a computer. So you cannot use it with your modular setup otherwise.


USB Midi... So any module that converts USB midi to CV should be fine..

Also fine plugged into norns USB, for the record
Doublecoolbossman
scottmoon wrote:


Nice. I'm curious what parameters you're controlling and how you set it up. I have to experiment with it some more.


For that patch I set up 8 strips of pressure sensitive areas, sent those 8 CCs out of the Shuttle Control to various parameters (mostly in the 301's manual player and various parameters in one of mudloggers custom units).
scottmoon
Doublecoolbossman wrote:
scottmoon wrote:


Nice. I'm curious what parameters you're controlling and how you set it up. I have to experiment with it some more.


For that patch I set up 8 strips of pressure sensitive areas, sent those 8 CCs out of the Shuttle Control to various parameters (mostly in the 301's manual player and various parameters in one of mudloggers custom units).


Thanks, I thought something like that was going on. Now I kinda miss my Shuttle Control and modular setup. waah
eclectics
I got one of these a few weeks ago, along with the Innovators overlay (and the Buchla thunderbird on preorder cool ).

I think it's great. I haven't tried the low level API yet, but the overlay designer is quite capable, and the software is under active development. They just doubled the number of touch points you can have per overlay (now 96 iirc).

As far as modular goes, I have had only limited luck with the FH-1-- I can get it to work through the Axoloti, but not directly, probably because it presents as a composite HID. Apparently the synderphonics mantamate works.

Having done that, of course, I quickly ran up against the fact that my modular isn't polyphonic. It's still possible to get a nice expressive monophonic line out of it using the FH-1 on midi channel 9, with a few extra control channels for other stuff. I love having the envelope under manual control. At some point I'll make an controller overlay for the FH-1 LFOs.

So far I'm having the most fun with MPE capable instruments -- bitwig (it comes with bitwig 8-track),vcv rack, some ipad mpe-capable apps (it can connect with bluetooth), and some axoloti patches. I've run it through the axoloti to get a midi din connection to an old roland sound module, and found I had to filter the midi data to avoid buffer overload, and I'll need to work our some sysex stuff to get channel pressure to be recognised.get the expression I want.

My understanding is the the overlays have deeper programming than is possible with the easy to use sensel app. Overlays each have a different magnet arrangement which lets the morph load up the relevant behaviour when the overlay is switched. The forthcoming buchla overlay is the only one that can have multiple behaviours switchable directly from the overlay. For others you'ld need to load the new map into the morph using the app.

You can create overlays for the bare morph, without the innovators overlay. The innovators is just acts as a nice surface, and can hold a printout of the overlay so you can see where your controls are.
Pugilistas
Just ordered one with the thunderbird overlay. Impressed by real world assessments of the sensitivity. Always wanted a Buchla Thunderbird; the Sensel version is probably better for my purposes anyway.
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