You may remember Smithson Martin as the guys who made a splash a while back with this crazy monstrosity touchscreen DJ controller which smacked of vaporware.
Well apparently that thing was real and now it’s even realer because they have released a beautifully designed desktop version that’s infinitely more practical. Unfortunately it’s like $5000 so it’s not happening. But one can dream. Personally, I still haven’t figured out whether touchscreens are my thing for live performance. I got an iPad with the hopes of incorporating it into my live workflow but it still hasn’t happened. I personally don’t like having to be constantly looking down at gear the whole time and I need the tactile feedback of knobs and sliders.
Still not sure if I’d dig the Emulator for live music, but I think it would be great in the studio. And not just for music either, I think this would make a great Photoshop or Lightroom controller if set up properly.
If you make music or follow artists like Daedelus you’re probably familiar with the Monome, the grid based OSC controller that gave birth to new ways of composing and performing music. The same people that make the Monome are back with a new controller, this time in the form of the Arc, a high-resolution OSC controller with two knobs which double as push buttons. Like the Monome before it, the Arc is beautifully designed, outfitted in the signature walnut/aluminum casing. At $500 I can tell you right now I’m not getting one, but the Arc sure is pretty to look at; that led ring is absolutely stunning.
Whenever I see an elegant interface like this I’m always left to wonder why we don’t have more control surfaces for Photoshop (I know people have found ways to control Photoshop with midi but I’m talking purpose-built controllers). Really, if Adobe were to open up to native osc or even midi support, we’d be off to a running start with all the pre-existing musical devices out there.
Beamer turned me on to the new Akai APC40 last weekend. It was just announced at NAMM and looks to be a great alternative to the Monome for Ableton Live. Seems like a safe bet as a VJ app controller as well. More Info