Developer Geert Bevin has come up with a way to make the Apple Watch useful beyond updating you on stocks and shares and making sure your heart’s still beating. MidiWrist turns your Apple Watch into a wireless MIDI controller.
This is a nicely implemented idea. With the MidiWrist app the Apple Watch can give you 4 knobs that are controlled via the winder knob on the side either individually or grouped together. You can switch this with a swipe to transports controls for easy stop/play/record functions. You can have buttons that toggle or can be held for momentary switching or send program change messages. Or you can give the screen over to being an XY pad with mapped parameters. And if you like the Watch can buzz you with haptic feedback. It’s all wireless over Bluetooth MIDI and fast and responsive.
It’s really nice, except that all this control and functionality is packed into a screen about the size of a single finger-drum pad. Watching the video of the digital crown being used to control the 4 knobs was pretty painful. It works, and there’s no doubting that it’s a great app but it just makes me question the usefulness of something so tiny. I mean, at least it’s not the Synthwatch. I think there’s something useful here in terms of transport control and even the XY control could be interesting but it’s all probably done better on an actual phone or a dedicated MIDI controller.
Technology should enhance our lives, make things easier. There’s one video where Geert is demonstrating the wireless voice control feature and, although the potential usefulness is obvious, it makes me want to pick the thing up and smash Siri against the wall.
MidiWrist definitely works, Geert has done an excellent job on the app and for only $4.99 I can see the appeal but for me, life is too short to be fiddling with something so small.