MIDI controllers with incremental knob encoders



  • Beautiful box!

    I think I'm going to keep my LC-2 for a while, it's a very old model but still has loads of encoder banks, joystick, 6 faders and a crossfader. Quite handy for Drambo.

    I wish you great fun with it and don't hesitate to discuss anything MIDI-related here.

  • Im interested too. I saw a used Nocturn at 29€ in a shop this morning.

  • edited June 2020

    Would someone here who owns a Nocturn please try mapping in Drambo or record a few MIDI messages from knob turns, button presses and the crossfader? (Hexler Protokol is a nice iOS MIDI monitor).

    I wonder what kind of MIDI messages the Nocturn sends, as it was always used in conjunction with the infamous AutoMap software driver.

    Edit: I'd love to be proven wrong but I've found a github repo with some python code to make the thing compatible with MIDI communication under Linux which basically says that the Nocturn doesn't speak MIDI by itself. For $29, that would be great though 😉

    From https://github.com/dewert/nocturn-linux-midi


    The protocol was reverse-engineered by felicitus (timoahummel on github). This project will eventually allow the Nocturn to be used as a normal MIDI control surface in Linux. There is basic functionality now, but much is still broken. Notably broken/unimplemented things are:
    * the GUI, for the most part - no on-the-fly config. it's really just a display
    * smoothness - the rotary encoders seem to be a bit "jumpy", and I'm really not too sure why
    * specifying inc/dec vs. value mode - all encoders just send a 0-127 value
    * specifying key presses as actions - this is super useful in the original Automap, since you can assign random keyboard shortcuts to easy-access buttons (you do need to buy the "Pro" version though!)
    * touch sensitivity - only turning encoders works, not just touching them

    So it seems that the Nocturn doesn't send anything useful over USB.

  • Seconded... 👍️

  • edited June 2020

    @rs2000 so i got the faderfox ec4 and could only try it quickly as i have my daughter but quickly mapped a control and guess what i get a jump in sw as soon as control is mapped. This must be a problem in Drambo no? Because this controller has incremental updates for sure. @giku ?

  • Would be great if we can find a solution so that i do not have jumps after spending quite a lot of money on the midi controller ;)

  • @stellaremodular Hi, if you have problems like this contact me directly.. Save your controllers! :)

    Have you tried different control types? I would need a midi stream (may be just a screenshot) when you move a fader.

  • @stellaremodular I think the EC4 encoders may default to absolute, since lots of software expects that. You probably need to configure the knobs to transmit incrementally.

  • Yes that was it, I did not had time to look into it until now but when I set the encoder to the 2nd Relative mode it works :) the displays dont work then but I guess thats to be expected.

  • There is one thing, sometimes Drambo recognises the control as Absolute while its Relative....happens randomly.

  • edited June 2020

    To make the automatic detection more reliable, the user would have to be instructed to turn the knob following a certain pattern and Drambo would have to wait longer... probably not what everybody wants.

    BTW, on the EC-4, Name Mode is independent from Command Type, you can give each encoder a name. The value cannot be shown though because that would require bi-directional communication.

  • Yes makes sense...Drambo is already way ahead of the rest of IOS Music world, its crazy to see such little support for Relative Midi CC even in AUM :(

  • I think it's due to different reasons.

    First of all, the iDevices are touch devices which is already much better than using a mouse, and second, most cheapo MIDI controllers only have pots instead of encoders so many developers just don't care.

  • Its actually not that bad with the EC-4, I can setup each synth outside Drambo on a different group with Absolute Control and I do not get jumps it remembers the last position :)

  • I have the finger on the buy button for this one

    Looks like a good interface for drambo

  • edited June 2020

    @lala Have you checked the MIDI spec?

    Are the bank switches and play modes supported on the hardware when used standalone?

    Do the transport buttons send CC or notes?

  • edited June 2020

    Are the bank switches and play modes supported on the hardware when used standalone?

    I guess the bank switches happen on the hardware

    the rest is just buttons ?

    I looked a little into it

    it seems be able to send program change so ...

    I already molested giku


    no software on iOS currently does support all these controllers out of the box

    so its on the to do list

    I guess the pads are great to trigger sounds and (clips)/patterns on another bank ...

    and simply send notes on the other bank so I can play melodies too ...

    (note repeat I dont care for)

    I just midi learn it something cool I haven't thought of yet, ^^

    it will be the make interesting music button ^^

  • edited June 2020

    looking at the editor software not all buttons appear to be remapable

    so I guess tab tempo clock and note repeat are hardware funktions

  • edited July 2020

    I have been enjoying my Beatstep as a Drambo/AUM controller, but I was finding that the big encoder didn't cut it as a fader. Especially since the rubberization on my knobs was giving out.

    After waiting ~2 months I got a new aluminum knob in from China and its such an improvement. The weight and ridges along the side allow a lot more expression. Looks solid too!

    This is the eBay listing I went with. You can also get it for ~$7 and not wait for China shipping.

  • Looks good @quartzite!

    How do you fix it though? I can only see a flat bore, no screw, no detents...

  • Just to chime in with my experience. I got the Behringer Xtouch Mini controller. It offers 2 layers of 8 encoders and 16 lighted buttons, with 8 encoder push as well, all configurable using a computer editor app. I configured the layer B encoders as relative 2, which Drambo recognizes. Made a StreamByer script implementing 8 banks of 8 encoders, selected by buttons, and 8 CC toggles for the remaining buttons. Added a little acceleration to the knobs, so fast turns are faster. Handy for making large changes.

  • edited July 2020

    @rs2000 It has a hole for a tiny hex wrench screw (1.5 mm, and it doesn’t come with it). I did have to put a tiny bit of aluminum foil in the main hole to raise up the knob a tiny bit.

    @uncleDave that sounds rad. How do the double button presses work? I love streambyter but every time I use it I feel like I have to spend half an hour reminding myself the basics of the language.

  • @quartzite not sure what you mean about "double button presses". The device buttons send Note On/Note Off. For the toggles, I trigger on Note Off and toggle (x=1-x) a local variable, then send that to the app as CC value 0 or 127. I send back a note to turn the light on/off matching the toggle state.

    I agree on the oddity of the language. Reminds me of Basic.

  • edited July 2020

    @uncleDave that makes sense. Sorry, I misread first thing in the morning :p. I’ve been thinking about adding additional functions to my controller as well. I had been thinking of doing a “hold one button then press another” which would also work with streambyter variables.

  • Like a Shift key. I've thought about that too. If your buttons send notes, it should be easy to set a flag on the specific Note On, clear it on Note Off. Then, other events can detect the flag and decide what action to take.

    Just a note on my Xtouch Mini experience: the button press and release turn the light on/off locally. So I use the note off message for my action. Then I can set or clear the light as desired. Doing it on note on didn't work, because the light always ended off.

  • edited April 2021

    I'm back to looking at controllers. Thought folks might find this search page useful https://controllers.cc/

    This page had me looking at the midi fighter twister. Looks pretty awesome for a compact controller.

    (Sorry to revive a dead thread, but its a good thread :) )

  • @quartzite What's the advantage of the Twister over the Arturia Beatstep 1?

  • edited April 2021

    I guess quality..

  • Yep, maybe. I've heard from people who had issues with the encoders.

    The Twister would happily use LED feedback though, do you have a rough idea when you're going to work on such controller support? The community offer to build hw controller templates for Drambo still stands.

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