Synthesizer Database


here's a new place (I will fill it up over the next days) with some interesting non-keyboard and standard controllerbox kind of controlling parameters with all your senses..

new section:
ADD MORE TO THE LIST ON THE WIKI.. here - kennst du weitere Controller? Hier hinzufügen.. (Wiki)..

old section:

the midi glove.
midi glove by no DNA
there was one by doepfer (mogli data glove) which is discontinued and another new one still for sale: the midiglove from noDNA

some videos from my visit..
the glove can have each finger bend as a controller, each finger has a touch sensor and a thing that checks if you shake your hands or nod it some way, so it is 12 controllers.
additional to that you can controll program changes or any other things by a gestur like a nice "fuck you" for reset it all or send the loudest note you have.. they can be trained in, atm it is pc only.

video will follow here: midi_glove_bend.MP4

the "enterprise controller": touch screen TFT
lemur from jazzmutant

this one is a 800x600 Screen you can touch with all your fingers (and more) and control many more than just one parameter with 2 fingers (knobs): there are rubberbands, balls with fricton and refelction at the wall (real physical bounce) and they can have a "lifetime". there are of course sliders and buttons like on enterprise NCC-1701D and E =/\=.
it communicates via ethernet / IP and uses the OSC "standard" (well ,that can be read by reaktor, Max/msp, PD etc, but it can not send controllers but via a very simple helper in reaktor, max etc.. it can change it all to midi or even higher resolution)

it is in fact a tft with a computer and net connection aboard. 2k€ is not cheap but it is really a cool control toy..
all controll "fields" can be set up by yourself (of course..)

video - play with vlc..
Lemur tft touchscreeen movie:
->>with sound lemur_soundAVI.MP4

update 1.3
they are at above 1.6 now and improved a lot with 1.5 and 1.6..

The Jazz Editor


Mono Touch Live: uses a normal Touchscreen (so it is just one touch at a time instead of multitouch on the lemur, but cheaper..) but Windows only ;(

Another Alternative: Tablet to Midi, cheaper and also Windows only

Light Table:
James Patten has a thing I call Light Table Controller: He calls it "Audio Pad". It has a Projector Beamer above a Table on which you push round little "cursors" around (don't know if they are inductive and scanned by the table or recognized by a camera and detection software) if has menus that are beamed on the table which control the sound and music, so it is in fact an intaeractive sequencer where no mouse is needed but "ice hockey"-kind of "push around"-plastic.. ehmm.. objects ;)
it is more a complete arranging and improvisation performance controller than just a "midi controller"..

Video: James Patten
another Video

another Table Controller
more on this..

a List of Table Controllers is here..

The Lego Blocks Segment Sequencer?
and Sonys Block Jam, which is some sort of LEGO™ that communicates.. means: one segment of it is a "chase light" or a direction that can be connected to any of the 4 sides to other segments. there a switches and coloured lights that show you what each of it currently does.. so the whole thing is a sequencer
block Jam Video and info

a bit similar or related to the light table and Block Jam idea:

The Continuum by Haken
this is a biiig ribbon like controller, it is a flat lengthy band on which you can play like on a ribbon controll, but it also reacts to pressure and velocity, if also has a second direction, so one could be for pitch , the other one for any other parameter plus danmics.. carla scaletti (she did Kyma! long life Carla!!) shows it fine on Haken Audios site..
Video list
Carla playing Continuum (Video)
some info on the forum etc..

D-Beam and Alesis Beam Controll (AirFX,Airsynth, X25/X49 etc.)
the Dimension Control "d-beam" is available on some Roland products such as the Vsynth (keyboard only), mc909 and others. It reacts to the distance of any body part (or something else) to the controller and can be played quite exactly. since the vsynth has 2 of them it is nice to have 2 parameters under control that can be controlled and modulated by one hand or just 2 or 3 fingers..
the d-beam is 1 dimensional but you can narrow the "beam" from any direction.. the alesis version measures 3 dimensions of your moves and so the position of your hand controlls the output of 3 controllers. the Air FX and Synth series do not have midi ,so they only use it for internal functions. but the newer remote keyboards can do..

there are some other boxes (all in the us), one if it being the inventor of the d-beam himself "eyris" and another machine, that works quite similar..
it's a shame that roland never had a twin (!) d-beam box for sale.. not even a single d-beam..
see my live performance on dada-inn (30.4.2005) or/and moogulator (2005), if you like a video ..
(check video sections..)

lets not forget the (hard to play) theremin, it works as a controller as well, .. most thremins are no midi instruments, but if so check if the pitch and volume antenna can also send controllers.. it's the oldes one of the controllers listed here..
the 20ies made THEREMIN aus den 20ern:

more controllers and sensors:
Augezählt werden folgende Systeme:
- ribbon controllers like the R2m by doepfer..
- simples movement sensors or pressure sensores like FSR -
(D) einfache Bewegungssensoren (druckempfindlich, Infrarot, Ultraschall)
- 3d controller - ball pen like - The Bat (stiftähnlicher Controller - mißt Stellung im 3-D-Raum)
- Lightning (Donald Buchla)
- measurement of skin or muscle tension - I-Cube-System (Haut-,Muskelspannungmessung)
- hands (Michel Waisvisz)
- a body suit - body synth (Daten-Anzug - Laurie Anderson)
- for dancers - Diem Digital Dance System (für Tänzer)
- video based things - BigEye (auf Basis von Videos)

and bio feedback, measurement of alpha waves in your brain.. hard to control, especially on a stage or with a lot of people in the place..

simple things like the wacom tablet or the cinqtiq screen that can be used with a pen - directly write on the screen (virtually) etc.. for music?? well.. the pen is pressure sensitive and both ends have different functions.. high price.. 2500€ for a 1600 pixel wide screen with sort of ribbon on the left upper corner (zoom).. made for painters.. but..

..imo the mouse is one of the most overrated controller.. there should be more contact to the diaplay / the picture itself.. and why it is still 2D only? ...

ABOUT KEYS/KEYBOARDS: german + english:

Howdy! Keyboard- Reloaded: hey, why don't you manufacturers do not make keyboards where the keys themselves are 2D fields: means: the higher my finger slides, the higher is the first controller, same with left to right, so he first Third of a key is a 2-way controller plus note on/off plus velocity.. since you can pres the key down you have to "borders" of the neightbour keys, when you touch them, you might be able to use these as 2 special controllers for things like FX etc.. so they keyboards is something for electronic musicians and not only pianists.. and don't forget: they are 3 octaves!!

Tach auch.. also mal ne kleine Idee: Wieso mŸssen eigentlich immer Tasten normal sein? Wieso kann eine Keyboardtaste nicht ein 2D-Controller-Feld sein? Sprich: DrŸcke ich eine Taste, dann wird der Ton gespielt, aber ich sende pro Taste 2 weitere Parameter, die ich durch die Fingerposition einstellen kann.. Die wei§en Tasten haben damit bis zu den schwarzen Tasten ein gutes Feld, die schwarzen Tasten sind zu gut 1-2 Dritteln sensitiv, der Rest kann ein weiterer Controller sein, der auf Position reagiert. Wenn das "runterdrŸck"-Prinzip bleiben soll ,kšnnten auch die Seitenkanten der anderen Tasten Druckfelder sein, die sich fŸr div. Ereignisse wie Hall und Co heranziehen lassen wŸrden.. Dann muss man nicht mehr so oft die HŠndchen von den Tasten nehmen und kann einen Sound besser spielen.. und 3oktavig bitte! alles andere ist zu gro§ oder zu klein für die meisten zwecke (wir reden ja über Synthesizer) __

ADD MORE TO THE LIST ON THE WIKI.. here - kennst du weitere Controller? Hier hinzufügen.. (Wiki)..

more to come..