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 Forum index » Instruments and Equipment » MIDI Controllers and Interfaces
LOTS and lots and lots of knobs?
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Kassen
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 1:14 pm    Post subject: LOTS and lots and lots of knobs? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I read the latest wave of "how to get one million knobs on a G2/Live/My first Polka Board and I wondered.

How do people actually use those setups? You see, what I like is four or five faders set up to each controll some defined range of some set of parameters, morphgroup style. When actually playing (as oposed to setting up a mix or a sound) I can't keep track of 32 parameters; it's too much. Just a couple of well placed controlers feels much more pleasant to me; you can touch all at the same time, it'll all fit in your "7 to 8 items short term buffer" and faders give you a touch feedback about "where you are".

It seems like most people work quite differently from that and I'm starting to wonder exactly what it is that they are doing. Could any of you "I wish I had a million knobs" wizzards explain to me how it all fits together?

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elektro80
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I have been wondering about the same.

I might be on the wrong track here, but there is still a big difference between having real analog synths (at least GEAR with physical interfaces like.. well.. you know.. and "fixed" module layouts ) and all these software thingies with programmable midi controllers.
Actually, that is why I picked up the Korg Legacy Collection with the MS-20 USB controller thingie.

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zynthetix



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

well...it varies really. It is easier to remember what knob does what when you have some kind of systematic way of setting them up. When I am conrolling a G2 performace I have built, I usually split each row of the BCR2000 to a different patch slot...so G2's panel has the key stuff for slot A, the first row of the BCR crontrols slot B, 2nd row for slot C, 4th row for slot D. Then I have global morphs and mixing controls for the patch slots on those knobs above the BCR's buttons. This is always systematically set up for every patch, knob 1 of that row is always the volume control for slot A, etc.

The next good thing to do now that knobs are broken up into 8 is to order them as similar as possible. An example of this is making the left most knob have something to do with pitch in all of the patches..so if the patch in slot A is a patch, the left most knob in its control row is the coarse tune, and if the patch in slot B is a drum loop, the left most knob for its control row is a pitch shifter or something.

The whole point is you get used to a row being for a certain "instrument" and certain knobs for certain parameters...it helps muscle memory take over a lot quicker if these things are thought out well before several patches are built.

Other times I use the entire BCR for one huge patch...for example if there is a lot of oscillators or LFO's in that patch, I will divide the BCR's knob rows into groups of four, where the left most knob of each of these groups is pitch control maybe, the next is decay, etc.

Strips of paper with labels to put below the knobs can help a lot sometimes...even if the label spans across the bottom of 4 knobs and just says something vague like LFO controls it can help me remember what each of those knobs does to a particular LFO. I guess what I'm getting at is once a method of ordering knobs is made, its just a matter of remembering where that group of knobs for that module is, not what the knobs do.

I have thought about drawing up a little label sheet in Illustrator that fits over the knobs and led's neatly so I can write what things do when I need to, and just remove it or put another sheet on for a different patch. It would not be hard to draw but I have no idea where to get a lot of things like this printed and cut.
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zynthetix



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Just to add, a knob box like the BCR but has little LED screens above or below each knob would be pretty cool. Those screens could get used for naming the knob and displaying its current vaule. The company that makes the foot control pedal for NI's Guitar Rig software package also manufacturers a device like this...unfortunetly it is only 8 knobs and pretty expensive if I recall correctly
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Roland Kuit



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2005 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi Kassen, i like to 'gear-j'. When i started with this with 2/3 NM's, i liked to have control on everything. But you're wright. It was a hell of a job to keep track of everything. So now i use only a few knobs a pch. For patterns and filtering, and somethimes triggering and decay in 1 morph. In the G2 i do a lot of automation(see pch RM drums III).
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cebec



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2005 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

zynthetix wrote:
...unfortunetly it is only 8 knobs and pretty expensive if I recall correctly


yeah, the IBK 10 Control... it's $649 in the U.S. -- if someone like Behringer, Korg, or Novation could manufacture one for a couple hundred less, with more knobs, I'm sure they'd make a killing...

http://www.ibk-midi.de/e1contr.htm
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windchill



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 5:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Actually I think you are overestimating the difficulty of keeping track. I play live with a G2 and a BCR2000 and I often use all of the BCR's 32 knobs (and some of the switches). And these will be in a different configuration for each of the pieces I intend to play.
How do I keep track of what does what?
Simple... I rehearse!
And then I rehearse again.
It's no harder than learning a piece of music for piano or guitar.
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zynthetix



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2005 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

windchill wrote:

Simple... I rehearse!
And then I rehearse again.
It's no harder than learning a piece of music for piano or guitar.


Well...yeah, that is the real trick. I'd still like my "label sheets" for if I go back to an old thing though.
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mosc
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2005 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hey, BCR2000 users. Please check out my question here: http://electro-music.com/forum/topic-7482.html
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