This is the ControllerHub 8 – an exceedingly boring-looking box that’s simultaneously one of the best ideas I’ve heard in ages. I have no idea why their marketing department put out images of it not connected to anything. On its own it doesn’t look like anything remotely interesting or helpful. For heaven’s sake, take some photos of it with pedals plugged in! I had to grab the above image from YouTube – it’s all I could find.
Here’s what the ControllerHub 8 actually does. It allows you to plug up to 8 expression pedals, sustain pedals and on/off switches into a single MIDI device or computer. Each pedal can be mapped to whatever you want. So you can now have, for instance, modulation, pitch bend and filter cut-off mapped to three expression pedals. Start/stop mapped to a footswitch, effects like stutter mapped to a sustain pedal. This box is a fabulously versatile way to add foot control to your live performance while your hands are busy doing other things.
MIDI floorboard controllers already exist but they tend to be guitar orientated, button heavy and have only one or two expression pedals. The ControllerHub 8 is so much more versatile because you can mix and match the controls to however you want to do it.
Editing ControllerHub 8
They have an editor template in the MIDI Designer iPad app which allows you to allocated MIDI controllers and routing. You can assign channel, CC numbers and max and min values. You can calibrate and invert expression pedals, or setup toggle modes for switches. Editing is also possible via SYSEX and so it can work with any SYSEX editor like MIDI-OX, Sound Quest or Bome SendSX. That took a bit of digging – anyone know of any more recent SYSEX tools?
It’s a ridiculously cool idea imprisoned in uninspiring marketing. I hope they can get some footage of beautiful and interesting people using their product in a creative environment. That would help them enormously!
The ControllerHub 8 is available now for $390 and their own footswitch is $60. It’s a little pricey but it’s also pretty unique and is potentially a very expressive tool for the podiatarily adventurous.
More information available on the Amelia Compass ControllerHub 8 website.
The video below gives a much better idea of what’s possible in a very unexciting way. The facts are good – use your imagination, it’s cool, honest.