Simple control surface solution

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SpencerMartin
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Simple control surface solution

Post by SpencerMartin » Tue Dec 15, 2015 1:47 pm

Anyone have any ideas for the simplest way to set up a single parameter control surface? Ideally, it'd just be a single knob. What I'd like to do with it is assign a single plugin parameter at a time - what initially comes to mind is a pitch shifter in order to "play" a generated harmony part for a given sound. Controlling the feedback of a delay or writing other types of automation would be cool too. Super simple, straightforward, and cost effective are the main factors!

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Post by kslight » Tue Dec 15, 2015 4:30 pm

I think one of those Korg Kaoss Pads or maybe they have a controller only variant?


Alternatively, if you have an iPhone or iPad, you could set something up in lemur.

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Post by The Scum » Wed Dec 16, 2015 10:03 am

DIY?

Teensy 2.0 with a pot, slider or rotary encoder (+optional LED ring).
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Post by SpencerMartin » Wed Dec 16, 2015 10:44 am

The Kaoss Pad would have a lot more features than I'd need!
The Scum wrote:DIY?

Teensy 2.0 with a pot, slider or rotary encoder (+optional LED ring).
This definitely seems like it's on the right track. Disclaimer: I'm very technologically challenged - it's safe to assume that I know absolutely nothing about electronics. Can you control plugin parameters in Pro Tools with MIDI controllers? And is that how this would interface, or would it be via USB?

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Post by T-rex » Wed Dec 16, 2015 11:03 am

I had this great idea (in my mind) a few years ago and when I researched it I found out a bunch of German college kids had basically already done it. But my idea was a computer mouse that had a volume pot on it instead of a scroll wheel OR a large volume pot that could act as a mouse (imagine the TC Electronics Level Pilot as a Mouse.

You would move it over any thing on the screen and when you click it, it basically disables the tracking so no matter how you physically move the mouse the pointer stays in the same place on the screen - basically this would let you pick any parameter and lock onto it without any software involvement. Then you simply turn the volume pot, or whatever and write your automation / panning / mix / order pizza / etc.

This is probably of no help to you, but if any computer savy people want to take a crack at it and build one, please send me one - and a bajillion dollars in royalties. . .
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Post by T-rex » Wed Dec 16, 2015 11:14 am

I can't find the video right now, but what you are looking for is exactly what these kids were using their's for, they did it as a music technology experiment for a class.
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Post by Magnetic Services » Wed Dec 16, 2015 3:29 pm

How about one of these thingies?

https://search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?p=s ... mp=yhs-001

Pretty much just some transport and DAW controls plus a fader for writing automation (or as a master fader)

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Post by The Scum » Wed Dec 16, 2015 6:21 pm

This definitely seems like it's on the right track. Disclaimer: I'm very technologically challenged - it's safe to assume that I know absolutely nothing about electronics. Can you control plugin parameters in Pro Tools with MIDI controllers? And is that how this would interface, or would it be via USB?
My thought is to use the Teensy in MIDI-over-USB mode. When you plug it in to a USB port, a new MIDI port would appear to the host, and you'd select in in your DAW.

I really don't know much about how ProTools assigns incoming controller messages to the plugins. I'm assuming it can do it, but I don't know how flexible it is, or easy to configure at runtime.
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Post by ashcat_lt » Thu Dec 17, 2015 3:51 pm

I take it you don't have any MIDI keyboards/controllers in your studio? IDK how you'd do it in ProTools, but if you can't get it to map any MIDI CC (pitch bend, etc included) to any plugin parameter, then...well...Reaper! ;)

In Reaper you could also do this with a simple pot wired as a volume control. Run a steady tone through it into an unused input. As you turn the pot, it gets louder or softer and you could use Parameter Modulation to follow that audio level.

Honestly, though, I'd just go grab a Korg NanoKontrol. It may look like overkill for what you want now, but once you get one knob, you're going to want more. The originals go for almost nothing and work just fine. The second generation had one more button per "channel strip", but one less actual strip.

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Post by Trick Fall » Fri Dec 18, 2015 9:38 pm

I would think any cheap midi controller could probably do this. If I get a chance I'll see if I can do it with my Behringer BCR2000. I'm not really using the computer for recording anymore, but the Behringer is a pretty decent cheap control surface. Eight faders and eight rotary encoders. I think they go for like 150 bucks.

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Post by norton » Sun Dec 20, 2015 8:15 am

There's a crowd funding effort going on right now for almost exactly what you're describing. Nob.

Put the cursor over anything and the knob controls it. Also some other unique functions but otherwise a very simple device.

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Post by SpencerMartin » Wed Dec 23, 2015 8:53 am

norton wrote:There's a crowd funding effort going on right now for almost exactly what you're describing. Nob.

Put the cursor over anything and the knob controls it. Also some other unique functions but otherwise a very simple device.
This would be perfect. Or the Teensy DIY approach The Scum described. I don't know why, but I've never really liked the idea of the more traditional control surfaces. Just my honest opinion - they seem like glorified mouses (mice?) whose actual utility doesn't compensate for their ergonomic bulk. Like they don't REALLY allow you to do anything you can't already do with a trackpad. One knob though, I mean come on! That'd be super pimp. It's like the Tape Op interview (with Glyn Johns I believe) where they bring out the single rotary knob on a platter when he requests the ability to pan something.

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