Re: Universal Controller Concept - knobs on oled screen - What do you think?
mixalis Contributor - Level 1 3 weeks ago

3 weeks ago

Universal Controller Concept - knobs on oled screen - What do you think?


I would like to share an idea for a new midi controller and would love to hear some feedback.
I am not affiliated with any company or have any other commercial interest.

Prologue: If you are not familiar with the Novation Nocturn and their Automap technology, the Nocturn maps controls on its 8 endless knobs on the selected plugin in the DAW. For example, if i select the Logic EQ in track 1, then all the knobs of the Nocurn map there, if i select the EQ in track 2 it maps on track 2 and so on.
The leds on the controller also get positioned to the corresponding values on the plugin upon selection.
I also do the same with my BCR2000 in Logic. I premapped some knobs to plugin parameters i use frequently and when i have the plugin selected in Logic, controlls i use mostly are on my disposal on the BCR2000.
I mentioning Logic here as an example but this can be done with most popular DAWs.

So, the idea is a controller like Nocturn or BCR2000 with endless knobs. Imagine a similar controller with 32 or even more knobs, HOWEVER the background of the actual device, instead of plastic and the red leds, would be an oled or amoled display (similar to a high res mobile/cell phone screen). 
So, we will have the real knobs and the background of the controller would display an 'arranged' version of the VST/AU synth/plugin selected in the DAW. 

For example, if i select the Sylenth1 in my daw, the background of the controller device changes to the Sylenth1 (and the knobs would be automapped to the Sylenth1 of course). So essentially what i am suggesting is an oled screen with real knobs/faders/buttons on top of it.
That would be awesome!!! (imho)

Perhaps the real product would be something like this photorealistic 3d design:

I understand that there would have to be templates for each synth or plugin from different vendors (and that opens up to a whole new market, people could be designing their own templates for existing plugins - synths and effects - and this controller could become the new standard)

I have seen some people making overlays for the BCR2000..imagine that when selecting the plugin from the DAW, the background of the controller becomes...well.. the plugin. 

Why? What would be the benefits of such a controller?
When you do sound design, you want to control the instrument. You know what i am talking about. You need to be able to reach to the controls with both of your hands, trying different things. It's not the same with the mouse. And no, with a touchscreen controller is not the same experience. I have seen these tuna knobs but again, far from what i am describing.

With a controller like the Mackie C4 or the Nocturn or the BCR2000, it becomes very difficult to reach and remember the controls. The user experience is really poor. We want to be looking at the actual instrument, when looking at the controller.
So, similar to the photo in the link, i want to see each section separated from the rest, osc/envelopes/modulation/filter etc like looking at the plugin on my screen with similar colors and section arrangement. You could even have pages and on each page the controller background changes along with the assigned knobs (like it is with the Nocturn).

I would pay $500-$800 for such a controller - given made of good quality and have templates for many plugins DAW & 3rd party - and that would be the last controller i would ever buy.
I discussed this with many people in the music scene/industry and they loved the idea. From film conmposers to edm producers and they were really excited.

What do you think? 
Would you find it usefull? 
Would it increase your workflow and overall music making experience?
What would be the biggest difficulty in making something like this?
Which company do you think could make something like that?
How much would you pay for it?

I would love to hear your response.

Last, I was just reading the comments on this Dragon midi controller video.

People really want this. I am amazed.
SandThruFingers 10 years ago
Probably the sickest thing I've ever seen. Makes me want to cry.

The Robot That Stole Your Jawb!!!
10 years ago
holy **** i would kill santa for this.

10 years ago
i wouldnt surprise to see your work over on stores in some months 
i would recommend you to patent your work

Ace Picante
10 years ago
Absolutely amazing. Where should I send my check?

and here towards the end, this guy is explaining how he did, seems he got a BCR2000 apart
If you believe in the product, please post a message here. Perhaps someone may decide to build one.


Re: Universal Controller Concept - knobs on oled screen - What do you think?

Volunteer Moderator

Hi Michael @mixalis,


A friend of mine @DonMcLellan built a footpedal to control his XR18 digital console (link here). He is currently using ethernet to connect to the console. But it could be configured to use midi instead. And the switches could be changed to rotary knobs. I know Don would be willing to help you get started with your project.


Paul Vannatto, Volunteer Forum Administrator and Moderator