Bulding a Reason devices MIDI-Controller

Want to talk about music hardware or software that doesn't include Reason?
Edin_16
Posts: 34
Joined: 12 Aug 2017

Post 10 Sep 2018

Hey Hey Hey,

I just question myself if it would be possible to build something like this, maybe via Kickstarter or a similar platform to see how the resonance is:

https://scontent-ber1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/ ... e=5BED4E61

Only for subtarctor (?) in the beginning (a MIDI Controller only - no real synth!), like in the attachment below. Do you think it is possible and somebody wants that? Are here folks around who come from Leipzig / or Germany who want to build one? I can do Photoreal 3D Visualisation, CAD, Marketing and Graphicdesign. I can't program software and all the other electronic stuff but it should be possible. it would be awesome to have a real subtractor controller in the studio, wouldn't it?

What do you think?

Info: 3d visualisations found by google
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Last edited by Edin_16 on 25 Oct 2018, edited 1 time in total.

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amcjen
Posts: 169
Joined: 14 Apr 2017

Post 10 Sep 2018

I think this would be great, I’m all about the hardware controllers.

polysix
Posts: 24
Joined: 09 Sep 2015

Post 11 Sep 2018

I build a dedicated Midi Controller for Basimilus & Manias (not on picture) based on teensy 3.2. 90 % of controller elements of the rack extensions are able. I´m with you ! If i foind more time we can start a talk about dedicated Midi Controller :puf_smile:

Image

Grüße aus Brandenburg

Greats from Brandenburg

Edin_16
Posts: 34
Joined: 12 Aug 2017

Post 12 Sep 2018

Cool,

so it seems you are more in the practical technical part than me, what would you suggest how to start? Shall I draw a pencil sketch of all sides of the controller to have a start? Note that I am in Holiday 15-25 of september (:

Grüßchen

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theshoemaker
Posts: 557
Joined: 21 Nov 2015
Location: Germany

Post 12 Sep 2018

I could provide a python based controller implementation with a generic remote codec. where you would just have to create. the controller with fast prototyping cycles. based on my scripting environment. Have a look here
:PUF_figure: latest :reason: V10 on MacOS Sierra

polysix
Posts: 24
Joined: 09 Sep 2015

Post 14 Sep 2018

Unfortunately, I'm wrong for your project. I am much too unprofessional and started to work on it in March with homemade controller :puf_smile:
To build a subtractor is my view a bigger project. And if you ask me I would not be dependent on a software company. What are you doing when Reason has presented such an instrument? I already had this boulder on my controllers for Noise Engeneering but they are small with few functions. Then there is also the question how will your controller be usable afterwards? Potis, Encoder ? Motorized? And what is the price at the end?

Edin_16
Posts: 34
Joined: 12 Aug 2017

Post 25 Oct 2018

Thanks for the replies & excuse my delay. Okay, I thought about what you wrote and u are right - maybe its not the right way to think in "subtractor controller universes" only.

In my opinion, there should be build a midi-controller, who really gives u the feeling controlling a device (like a subtractor synthesizer), but at the same time you should have this feeling with every other device in the reason rack. I have a beatstep pro, Panorama p1 and had a Behringer BFC (selled it) and none of them give me this feeling, even to 50%. I dont want to buy a synth, because I want to control reasons VIRTUAL devices with my hands very fast and direct. I made researches an I did not found any controller that could give me this feeling - so why not???

The biggest problem - in my opinion - is that there are no automatically "motorized" knob and faders .

So what should knobs / names / faders do?:

- show what you control under each motorized fader and endless knob (name of the controlled cc channel, for example "pan - 13" in red little led display)
- show the amount (example "Decay = 127")
- show the actual position of the value -> knobs maybe with round leds (like the behringer bfc has), faders motorized at all and buttons I don*t know now..

I have a Nektar Panorama p4 and its good but I think there could be so, so, so, so much more feeling and I think many would spend 3x price to have the this feeling. (The P4 seems to be one of the best DAW controllers up to date) The BFC of behringer is great, too, but everything I read and tried did not give me the WOW feeling I am looking for.

So, when you have for example 3 devices in your reason rack - one subtractor, one malsröm and one nn-xt, you always have to look at the display or move the faders to react with the actual position of the virtual devices faders (for example when you switch between the 3 to play some chord). In the end its a kind direct feeling but to use the software with the mouse is in my opinion still way more direct .

What do you think?

Here is some little sketch attached:
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Edin_16
Posts: 34
Joined: 12 Aug 2017

Post 26 Oct 2018

a fast new graphic & a better understandable one, I made some notes to a Behringer controller, which is near my idea ...
....but is suboptimal, too, because of:

- no "live" information what you control (-> no display text, no motorized faders)
- to less faders for a synth ( at least there should be 12 (filter, amp and mod)
- to big faders and to big buttons -> waste of space
- to less knobs & to big knobs (the double amount would be a good start, size is a huge waste of space )
- to many similar buttons -> only on / off buttons (like in my graphic, too) (->no 3, 4, 5 point buttons where you can click for example 5 different modes)


Graphic-Info:

-> red is display with text / led
-> black is the fader / endless knob / button (fader is always (!) motorized)

For example the Roland Aira System one has the optimal amoount of faders, knobs and bbuttons. It just sucks as a synth controller because there is no display info or text what you actual control, you don't see any amount of the knob level and what the knob controls and you don't have motorized faders (which is a really big problem). And it has a keyboard what I don't need.
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Edin_16
Posts: 34
Joined: 12 Aug 2017

Post 26 Oct 2018

I made a little overview of the total amount of usable elements which the subtractor has. Its a lot of stuff, so there has to be a compromise I think? See the graphic
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Edin_16
Posts: 34
Joined: 12 Aug 2017

Post 27 Oct 2018

so i continued a bit and made a first sketch. with select you can select devices, too. there should be maybe 50% more buttons and knobs, everything is not in correct measurements... its just a start to have a start & and a kind of visualisation for the firts ideas, this ist only a very rough orientation. Again, the faders are motorized and i think it would be to much work to motorize the knobs and the buttons, too -> solution is with LED there. The Display shown what you control & the value. The Display text + the LEDs + the motor fader + button on / off LED change automatically when you change the device in reason. Feel free to bring ideas or critique!
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Edin_16
Posts: 34
Joined: 12 Aug 2017

Post 02 Nov 2018

Hi,

there are so many new inspirations. Since 3 days I got a Korg Volca keys, running it with midi and audio input + playing it with the Panorama P4 and the beatstep pro.
I have the first time the feeling to CONTROL really a synth. So its an other sound in the end and it is an other feeling making music a t all a bit. I thought about to compress the knobs and faders in size, so that the "kontrolleur" (the product name, or an idea of a product name :)) is much more compressed than the graphic shown above - like the korg volca series. The difference is only that you have a LED around the knobs, you have displays instead of the knob describtion print & you have motorized little faders.

I control the volca key's knobs now without problem, they are not too small. Ok, sometimes its bad that you don't see values and sometimes it is bad that you cant't cntrol very small values because the knobes move so fast (because they are so tiny) - but the knob size is still okay. I think you can bring easy 75% of all buttons, knobs and the faders of a synth like malstroem or subtractor together in one midi controller - when you just tinify them.

What do you think? I would be really happy about input for the project! Would you buy it? Would you join this project? I appreciate criticism & feedback :)

In christmas time, maybe in the week beetween 26.12.2018 and 30.12.2018 a friend and me will visit "Musikhaus thomann" to get inspirations in music and I will research other synths. If someone is interested to meet....

Edin_16
Posts: 34
Joined: 12 Aug 2017

Post 02 Nov 2018

With the new idea of tinified knobs there is a whole new world of control, see attachment:
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Edin_16
Posts: 34
Joined: 12 Aug 2017

Post 11 Nov 2018

Hi all

I continued the concept of the controller, you will now see the Version 4th Concept changes. I decited to kick out the motorized faders and the deep menu, replaced it with endless rotating knobs (without displays), becaus AMP, MOD and FILTER Envelopes will be most of the time assigned automatically there. Neverless you will see the actual value in the red LEDs around the knob and in the main display in the left top corner, when you touch the knobs. I added 2 "Push buttons", they are only active when you push them and become inactive when you stop pushing them. I tried to put as much as possible in it, in the other picture you see a 100% scale print in comparison to the Arturia Beatstep Pro. The size of the kontrolleur is 35cm (length) x 15cm (width)

What do you think, any wishes or did I forgot something? please give some feedback about the controller.

Cheers
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Faastwalker
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Post 12 Nov 2018

Edin_16 wrote:
11 Nov 2018
Hi all

I continued the concept of the controller, you will now see the Version 4th Concept changes. I decited to kick out the motorized faders and the deep menu, replaced it with endless rotating knobs (without displays), becaus AMP, MOD and FILTER Envelopes will be most of the time assigned automatically there. Neverless you will see the actual value in the red LEDs around the knob and in the main display in the left top corner, when you touch the knobs. I added 2 "Push buttons", they are only active when you push them and become inactive when you stop pushing them. I tried to put as much as possible in it, in the other picture you see a 100% scale print in comparison to the Arturia Beatstep Pro. The size of the kontrolleur is 35cm (length) x 15cm (width)

What do you think, any wishes or did I forgot something? please give some feedback about the controller.

Cheers
This is looking awesome as a concept. I've come to a similar place with my idea for an ideal Reason / soft synth controller. But it's great what you have down to flesh out & illustrate your ideas here. My ideas have just been in my head! But I also thought of a knob heavy controller with endless rotary encoders. The problem with that is identifying what encoder is controlling what with having a large number of physical controls. The only real solution is visual feedback, which your concept has. You also need to see what value each encoder is mapped to. Your concept also takes this into account. Looking very, very good so far. I would love to see something like this in production. Would be perfect for Reason but beyond that any MIDI controllable software.

Edin_16
Posts: 34
Joined: 12 Aug 2017

Post 13 Nov 2018

Thanks for feedback, I appreciate that! I think there are a coule of fixes but the concept has now a clear position and a solid conceptional fundament.
How I should go on, I mean, now the concept is clear. Should I model a 3D visualisation? Where I can find people for building a prototype or collaborate? Where I get the technical feedback, for example the exact sizes of the displays, the style of the knobs and the shops. How shall I or we (if somebody is interested) go on?

Greets from Leipzig.

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Faastwalker
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Post 14 Nov 2018

Edin_16 wrote:
13 Nov 2018
How I should go on, I mean, now the concept is clear. Should I model a 3D visualisation? Where I can find people for building a prototype or collaborate? Where I get the technical feedback, for example the exact sizes of the displays, the style of the knobs and the shops. How shall I or we (if somebody is interested) go on?
Good questions. This is the part I stumble at unfortunately. I'm stuck between an idea & a Kickstarter campaign! Building a full working prototype in the middle is the hard part. I really wouldn't know where to begin. I have a friend who is building a custom MIDI controller for his DJ'ing. But it's going to be a bespoke device centred around an Arduino. So I don't think practical for something that you may want to put into production. He's pretty good with this stuff I believe. I'm always trying to hit him up to get bits of information. But I'm still trying to fill in a lot of blanks before I can do anything else. I'll keep going though ;)

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artotaku
Posts: 355
Joined: 09 May 2015
Location: Munich, Germany

Post 15 Nov 2018

Edin_16 wrote:
13 Nov 2018
Thanks for feedback, I appreciate that! I think there are a coule of fixes but the concept has now a clear position and a solid conceptional fundament.
How I should go on, I mean, now the concept is clear. Should I model a 3D visualisation? Where I can find people for building a prototype or collaborate? Where I get the technical feedback, for example the exact sizes of the displays, the style of the knobs and the shops. How shall I or we (if somebody is interested) go on?

Greets from Leipzig.
If you don´t want go into the technical stuff building the prototype or there are no people around here who can build one you could also ask e. g. (since you are living in Germany) faderfox.de to build a custom midi controller. Have a look at their web page.
It will be very expensive, though. Expect it goes into a few thousands of Euro. But maybe this could be funded by the Reason community?

Edin_16
Posts: 34
Joined: 12 Aug 2017

Post 16 Nov 2018

Grreat Idea! Sent them an e-mail already

Edin_16
Posts: 34
Joined: 12 Aug 2017

Post 16 Nov 2018

Its possible! But there are some fixes to do that it is affordable in the end. I will reconstruct and write again, can take a bit. Greets

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Faastwalker
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Post 18 Nov 2018

There was a kickstarter a while back for bespoke, high quality MIDI controllers. You sent your requirements & the company would build the controller. Fantastic idea. But unfortunately the prices would have been very high because of the high quality of the device. The Kickstarter never reached its goal. I think they would have achieved their funding goal if the end product would have been more affordable. But if something like your design was available I'd go with this in a heartbeat. There's plenty of controls, good feedback on currently assigned parameter value & destination. It's got everything you need in a nice sized, desktop controller. Spot on :thumbs_up:

Image

electrofux
Posts: 570
Joined: 21 Jan 2015

Post 20 Nov 2018

I have composed myself a kindof universal controller for my Reason setup a couple of times now and i settled in the end for a setup that i find nearly optimal.
I have a Launchpad Mini which provides me all the buttons that i need with some color feedback, a Doepfer Pocket Dial which provides for the needed 16 encoders and an Ipad which is basically the Display of the setup.
As a device controller, the Lauchnpads displays 2 times 16 banks for the upper and lower 8 encoders on the Doepfer and an additional 8 push buttons for the selected device ( and a means to quickly compose a user bank of 16 controls).
I can quickly setup the controller to eg make the Doepfer to control the Filter bank with the upper and controls and whatever other bank i want to control with the lower 8 controllers. So that i dont run intor a situation where i cannot control 2 controls that i want to reach at the same time.
I found that buttons are the most important thing when it comes to making a controller work for different Reason devices. For example most controllers provide 8 bank buttons or a next/previous bank. But you need more banks 16 at least. Take Europa, it has a ton of controls for each Oscillator or REspire.
Also i wanted my controller to not only serve as a selected device controller but also being able to lock it to further devices like the Mixer and its 8 send effects. Therefore another set of buttons where needed to make the codec switches.
I also had a Behringer and while it has nice encoders it had too many to provide overview in every situation and that is mostly because of the lacking color coding. Color coding helps alot and can save some LCDs or is even quicker when it comes to figuring out what is being displayed to you- i wish Novation had a rgb launchpad mini version.

Now in an ideal world this would all come together in one device 80 buttons 16 controls and a shitload of displays but i have given up on that and stick with what i got- it has everything i need just not in the best places (Ipad as Display is not ideal).

If you want to stick to a more dedicated layout (eg having dedicated oscillator controls or Envelope controls) i would suggest having one section each with enough controls to accomodate most devices in Reason and provide buttons to switch between the number of eg Oscillators a device has. For example you provide 4 controls for the envelopes but the devices in Reason have more controls. Subtractor has 4 for the Amp, 6 for the Filter and 7 for the Mod Section. Other Synths have even more.
When it comes to Oscillators 8 controls will not do. Europa has i dont know how many for the Oscillators and three Oscillators in total. Antidote has more than 8 too.
So in your last example i would split the Env Section into one bank of 8 controllers and 8 buttons (buttons 1-4 for switching the envelopes and 5-8 for invert and other button type envelope controls) and another 4/8 section for LFOs or pack them together in one Mod Section.
I love how the Aira Synths show which controlls or active by the lighting which could be used for a dedicated Reason controller too to show that this synth has a 4 control envelope section and this synth a 8 controls section.

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artotaku
Posts: 355
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Location: Munich, Germany

Post 20 Nov 2018

electrofux wrote:
20 Nov 2018
I have composed myself a kindof universal controller for my Reason setup a couple of times now and i settled in the end for a setup that i find nearly optimal.
I have a Launchpad Mini which provides me all the buttons that i need with some color feedback, a Doepfer Pocket Dial which provides for the needed 16 encoders and an Ipad which is basically the Display of the setup.
I like your setup. You could get rid of the Launchpad and Pocket Dial by replacing it with an Akai APC40 Mk2 since it has 16 LED Encoders and a LED button matrix and is fully programmable with MIDI bidirectional with remote protocol, quite similar to the Launchpad communication protocol. It has fewer buttons than Launchpad Pro, though.
Shame it has no display otherwise it would be ideal for Reason IMO.

electrofux
Posts: 570
Joined: 21 Jan 2015

Post 21 Nov 2018

artotaku wrote:
20 Nov 2018
electrofux wrote:
20 Nov 2018
I have composed myself a kindof universal controller for my Reason setup a couple of times now and i settled in the end for a setup that i find nearly optimal.
I have a Launchpad Mini which provides me all the buttons that i need with some color feedback, a Doepfer Pocket Dial which provides for the needed 16 encoders and an Ipad which is basically the Display of the setup.
I like your setup. You could get rid of the Launchpad and Pocket Dial by replacing it with an Akai APC40 Mk2 since it has 16 LED Encoders and a LED button matrix and is fully programmable with MIDI bidirectional with remote protocol, quite similar to the Launchpad communication protocol. It has fewer buttons than Launchpad Pro, though.
Shame it has no display otherwise it would be ideal for Reason IMO.
Yeah that one has alot of stuff. But it is huge and i love the progammability of the Launchpad Mini, i just wish it had more colors. Also currently i use every single button on the Launchpad. And eventually i will replace the Pocket Dial with a Midifighter Twister for its better encoders though the Dial has a crazy good built quality.

I was actually thinking myself of building a dedicated controller but the day i realized that you can have more than one input/output in a Reason Remote Codec i also realized that there are enough controllers on the market that provide you with buttons and encoders. And the display issue could be solved by an Ipad/Iphone/on screen web display.
The issue with the layout not being as hands on as on a dedicated controller is actually not really an issue because something like a perfect layout doesnt exist anyways and alot can be solved by color coding or having the same location throughout all maps and keeping the order of things like they are on the screen.

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emilng
Posts: 83
Joined: 03 Oct 2017

Post 21 Nov 2018

Looks like there's an indiegogo for a 60 knob midi controller


There's also this 60 knob diy solution from bastl https://www.bastl-instruments.com/instr ... ixtyknobs/

I wouldn't be surprised at all if the former were based on the latter

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Faastwalker
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Joined: 15 Jan 2015

Post 22 Nov 2018


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