People be hatin on the Continuum

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richardm123uk
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People be hatin on the Continuum

Post by richardm123uk » Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:38 pm

I was wondering what the groups opinion is of the Haken Continuum a lot of friends keep saying that it is over priced and I should buy (X...instead).

I am getting ready to part with the cash on a 1/2 size (CVC at a later date). It looks perfect for my needs (a really, really versatile controller) as I am not much of a keyboard player.

Any thoughts on this. I have only seen the many demos online.

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Post by 3vcos » Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:50 pm

what do people recommend over a continuum? I'm having a hard time thinking of something similar to the continuum...

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Post by alt-mode » Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:53 pm

It all depends on what you are trying to achieve. The Continuum is very expressive but can be a challenge to master. Like any instrument, it takes practice. If you are willing to dedicate the time, it can be very rewarding. I wouldn't get one without a CVC though, unless you are happy to use the internal sounds. MIDI just doesn't have the capacity to reveal the expressiveness of the Continuum.

The price is very reasonable when you think of the mechanical hardware involved and you will get fantastic support from Lippold.

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Re: People be hatin on the Continuum

Post by panda30y » Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:59 pm

richardm123uk wrote:I was wondering what the groups opinion is of the Haken Continuum a lot of friends keep saying that it is over priced and I should buy (X...instead).

I am getting ready to part with the cash on a 1/2 size (CVC at a later date). It looks perfect for my needs (a really, really versatile controller) as I am not much of a keyboard player.

Any thoughts on this. I have only seen the many demos online.
I personally don't think it is overpriced, and I don't think there really are that many things that you could say is comparable to it to make that statement. My approach to gear is, if I want a Haken Continuum, I'll save up money if it is within reason and buy it, not compromising my decision unless there is clearly another route that is comparable or better to be taken.

So I say buy it, I'm sure it will be fantastic. Half size seems like it would suit most needs, and I think Richard Lainhart (a.k.a. the man) puts a half size to great use, unless my eyes and mind deceive me. If you don't like it, I'm sure you could resell it and recuperate most of your costs on this forum, or just give it to me! :love:

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Post by bar|none » Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:12 pm

My thought on it especially with a Modular is that you need to do a lot of work to map the expressiveness of the controller to parameters that make sense on the modular. This might be quite a bit of work for each sound. You need a midi interface that can send CV for all those params as well.

Even experienced keyboard players find it challenging to learn, so could be amazing but I'm sure there is a learning curve.

I'm kinda wondering what kind of quantization you can do and even whether you can quantize to a scale, cus, for example, keyboard is not my native instrument either and I find it more productive to use a monome where the pads are quantized to a scale.

I have the feeling that if you do get one, a pacarana is going to be in your future since that is probably the best integrated piece of hardware at the moment for the continuum.

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Post by richardm123uk » Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:40 pm

Thank you for the advice. 60% of what I do is in Ableton 8 using the Modular as purely a sound design tool. I only discovered KYMA recently and to be honest it is looking like a very real option with the Continuum. This music thing is purely a hobby but I would like to get into perfoming again and the idea of a laptop, continuum, APC40 and KYMA seems very, very appealing.

I am definatly going for the Continuum and will investigate KYMA more. Problem is to get KYMA the modular would have to go :(.

Cheers,
Richard

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Post by panda30y » Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:46 pm

richardm123uk wrote:Thank you for the advice. 60% of what I do is in Ableton 8 using the Modular as purely a sound design tool. I only discovered KYMA recently and to be honest it is looking like a very real option with the Continuum. This music thing is purely a hobby but I would like to get into perfoming again and the idea of a laptop, continuum, APC40 and KYMA seems very, very appealing.

I am definatly going for the Continuum and will investigate KYMA more. Problem is to get KYMA the modular would have to go :(.

Cheers,
Richard
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Post by science » Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:54 pm

Is the CVC able to output 1.2v/oct?

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Post by richardm123uk » Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:05 pm

Looking at the website it looks like only 1v/oct but Richard Lainhart uses one with his Buchla.

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Post by science » Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:40 pm

That's what it looked like on the site to me as well, but I was curious exactly because Richard Lainhart uses it with his 200e. I've been looking to add an alternative type of controller to my setup for a while, but if it only does 1v/oct, I'll pass.

I guess I'll just e-mail the manufacturer to find out.

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Post by science » Tue Aug 25, 2009 3:06 pm

Update for anyone else who was wondering about this... I got an incredibly fast response from Lippold, and yes, it can do 1.2v/oct.

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Post by ndkent » Tue Aug 25, 2009 3:27 pm

From my knowledge -

There are a number of multitouch instruments but nothing commercially available specializing as a pitch interface let alone scaled to a standard keyboard size. Mostly multitouch interfaces are intended as virtual control surfaces.

There are a number of monophonic ribbon style controllers at lower prices. Nothing polyphonic unless you consider a multitouch surface. Nothing with a Y axis. Nothing with comparably advanced quantitizing algorithms.

I'd say if you want to play pitched material polyphonically there are no other choices. If you only want a monophonic ribbon device you do have some options.

I'd say if you want an X-Y input device you can find something better and cheaper. If your goal is a pitched instrument you won't find something better or cheaper.

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Post by cerebrosis » Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:07 pm

the hotz box is the only thing close to it buts not as good as from what i gather.

id get a haken if i had the money but a few things are on the list before it.

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Post by felix » Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:23 pm

I don't find it to be overpriced at all. These days, where the most accessible musical equipment costs less than $400, a lot of people frequently use "overpriced" as a replacement for "expensive".

You'd be hard pressed to find anything that has the precision control over tuning and quantizing in all three axis in a monophonic arrangement, let alone polyphonic (I think it tracks 16 points - so get your feet involved).

When you look at something at least somewhat *similar*, like maybe the French Connection (I did say similar), you're still looking at close to $3k.

I've only played with them at tradeshows, but it's always extremely fun and I've always wanted one, but I think it's more (both in features and $) than I need to work with my system (I must admit that my requirements are pretty low). I'm sure it would open all kinds of doors, but I just don't *need* it.

The CVC box is basically the perfect pairing for analog/CV based devices like modulars (@science - yes it does do 1.2v/Oct). Although I'm sure it's original purpose is for integrating with KYMA, anything that can have 3 axis mapped to dynamically variable elements of sound would be fantastic with the Haken.

I think, if it appeals to you, you should seriously consider it.
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Post by felix » Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:23 pm

I don't find it to be overpriced at all. These days, where the most accessible musical equipment costs less than $400, a lot of people use "overpriced" as a replacement for "expensive".

You'd be hard pressed to find anything that has the precision control over tuning and quantizing in all three axis in a monophonic arrangement, let alone polyphonic (I think it tracks 16 points - so get your feet involved).

When you look at something at least somewhat *similar*, like maybe the French Connection (I did say similar), you're still looking at close to $3k.

I've only played with them at tradeshows, but it's always extremely fun and I've always wanted one, but I think it's more (both in features and $) than I need to work with my system (I must admit that my requirements are pretty low). I'm sure it would open all kinds of doors, but I just don't *need* it.

The CVC box is basically the perfect pairing for analog/CV based devices like modulars (@science - yes it does do 1.2v/Oct). Although I'm sure it's original purpose is for integrating with KYMA, anything that can have 3 axis mapped to dynamically variable elements of sound would be fantastic with the Haken.

I think if it appeals to you, you should seriously consider it.
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Post by NV » Tue Aug 25, 2009 5:23 pm

I agree with felix - I think in terms of what it is capable of, it's not so much overpriced as it is just expensive.

I think the problem with the Continuum is that it has a staggering amount of potential, and frankly most musicians would never tap into all of the capabilities that make it truly worth the price tag. If you're just using it as a somewhat more expressive ribbon controller, then yes it is overpriced, but if you utilize it as a multi-point polyphonic 3-axis controller with high resolution CV and devote the time to truly mastering its uses in that way, then I think you will find it to be priced rather reasonably. In that regard, I think the question for anyone debating purchasing a Continuum is "how do you intend on using it?" For most, I think one or two ribbon controllers like Doepfer's or -sl0th-'s would fit their needs just fine.

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Post by Cat-A-Tonic » Tue Aug 25, 2009 7:01 pm

I think the Haken Continuum looks like a hell of alot of fun,
but there are other polyphonic solutions (with fewer 'axis's) available for less cutter (like the C-Thru Axis 49 I recently aquired).
Of course these other solutions have completely different form factors, advantages, and limitations.

When talking of using polyphonic controllers with modulars though...
Are you really planning on having such a mammoth modular as to achieve good polyphony of the same type of sound for chords???!!!

For me, it is worthwhile using the modular as a complex effects box for processing other polyphonic sources,
but for generating polyphony of a single sound with more than a few preset intervals... forget about it.

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Post by LDT » Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:52 pm

The only thing I can think of that is in the neighbourhood of the Haken, is the Soundplane A from Madrona Labs:
http://madronalabs.com/hardware
It is not out yet, but it is supposed to have 10 "touches", so I think you could lay it out as the Haken (more or less).

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Post by NV » Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:07 am

Cat-A-Tonic wrote:When talking of using polyphonic controllers with modulars though...
Are you really planning on having such a mammoth modular as to achieve good polyphony of the same type of sound for chords???!!!

For me, it is worthwhile using the modular as a complex effects box for processing other polyphonic sources,
but for generating polyphony of a single sound with more than a few preset intervals... forget about it.
I think the polyphonic uses for the Continuum in a modular are less about achieving tonal chord structures and more about the ability to send out 16 CV signals simultaneously under precise real-time control. If one becomes intimately familiar with their system and a Continuum it could lead to some highly controllable soundscapes even without the use of scales or chords.

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Post by rlainhart » Wed Aug 26, 2009 9:50 am

A couple of comments: first, considering the cost of the parts and the enormous labor that goes into making a Continuum, the price is very reasonable. None of you, I'm sure, have taken one apart, but I've had the misfortune to do so, and it's built like a watch inside. There are over 200 thin steel rods under the neoprene, each with a magnet at each end and with a tiny spring below each magnet. Assembling this section alone must take Lippold days - it did for me. And that's without considering all the rest of the mechanical and electronic assembly, along with the massive amount of programming that has gone into making the Continuum such a flexible, expressive controller.

Next, specifically addressing the question of using the Continuum for tonal polyphonic playing - if you've seen some of my performance clips, you'll know that the Continuum is ideally suited for that, but not at all limited to that. Certainly you can use it in a more conventional keyboard manner (although with much more control than any conventional keyboard), but what and how you control on your system is entirely a question of programming. You can easily set up patches in which all the voices are similar, or identical, with similar parameters beings controlled for each axis, but there's nothing to prevent you from routing the outputs from each finger on each axis to entirely different parameters, especially if you use the CVC - horizontal motion can control pitch for one voice, and waveshaping for another, and so on. It's all in the programming.

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Post by Cat-A-Tonic » Wed Aug 26, 2009 6:20 pm

rlainhart wrote:there's nothing to prevent you from routing the outputs from each finger on each axis to entirely different parameters, especially if you use the CVC - horizontal motion can control pitch for one voice, and waveshaping for another, and so on. It's all in the programming.
:woah: I didn't realize that before.
That is truly badass.

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