Rob Papen Concept Design For USB Controller For His Synths

04-19-2014 06:04 PM

Rob Papen has been discussing a concept design for an RP-Control. The idea is to make a usb controller for their synth products (BLUE-II, Predator, SubBoomBass, Blade).
In the current design Rob says it will be 43cm (17inch) x 23cm (9inch) and the layout is based on what he believes is essential to have under your fingers when using synthesisers. As it is now, it is pretty well laid out. The only thing to consider is whether to have is a vector stick, instead of the X and Y control dials. One thing is for sure, it will not have endless rotary dials as he feels that only the waveform dial needs to be endless.
Their synths already have ‘capture mode’ as feature in their back panel. This means, if you turn a dial at a hardware controllers it starts changing once it hits the value of the preset. This avoids jumps in sounds and makes it very useful for live performance. However it won’t be bi-directional as that will make it much more expensive as each control would have to be motorised. So to make the price accessible it would only work one way, adjust a control and it would update the plug-in and not the other way.
In the plan, as it is now, inside the host or sequencer you need to select the instance of the instrument that you like to edit. For example, if you have a song with BLUE-II, Blade, and Predator, then to edit the instrument and use the controller, you need to select the instrument. Otherwise it feeels it is going to be much more complex and so expensive.
Godd news if you own another vst/au/aax plug-in that can latch midi, you would be able to use this controller for those as well as long as the ‘host’ or sequencer is able to merge midi ports because you need to connect the keyboard and the controller to the instrument at the same time, but as most do already, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
It is an interesting concept design, which he still hasn’t decided if he will make yet. But the idea of crowd sourcing the ideas, and even possibly looking at crowd source funding too, is interesting. What do you think of this design? Do you think that taking the idea to the user is a good idea or could it suffer from having too many cooks? Do let us know….