Ever since it was possible to engage with audio software via external controllers other than a mouse or Wacom, I've been dreaming of the ultimate USB MIDIbox.
I purchased an Oxygen8 almost the week it was launched, but had a waited another two months (as is always the case with IT), I would've had many more MIDI controller devices to choose from.
MIDI software controllers have been around a few years now. The most popular of the low cost ones, although out of my price range, was the Phat Boy. Then there were the German range of devices from the home of Doepfer, expensive, elegant and complex tools that I first saw in Ludwig's studio in Vienna.
Last week someone sent through to the Audiomulch list, a link to MIDIbox from where I feel some of my ideas and needs will be satisfied.
MIDIbox hosts a broad selection of DIY software controller surfaces, some which have been designed for specific applications such as Cubase, Ableton Live, Reason and Tracktor.
What I'm looking for is a controller surface that gives me a great deal of flexibility to engage with a selection of applications, primarly Ableton Live, Audiomulch and perhaps Cubase (if I ever get enough money together to upgrade to SX).
And so begins, perhaps with the help of Frank Buechele, who seems enthusastic enough, the Secession MIDIbox project. Frank is a programmer who worked with us on D3. He has a penchant for soldering irons and cobbling together robots in his precious spare time.
Controllers of note from the MIDIbox gallery are:
- MBHP, designed to use with Ableton Live
- MIDIbox64 with faders, pots, buttons and joysticks
Aside from controllers, there's a few other things on the wish list. Well near the top is Dave Smith's Evolver. Mr Smith is the person behind the Prophet-5. I had a deposit on a 2nd hand Prophet in Sydney in 1987-ish.
It was such an emotional period, those last few years of the 80s, by the time I had the money to pay it off, the blokes at Hutchings Keyboards (Bondi Junction, Sydney) were far too attached to the Prophet to let it go and so too the $500 deposit I'd left them with. Curiously, the Evolver costs as much as that deposit... There's always Christmas, people :)