Soundmachines have been developing a performance orientated touch interface for Eurorack. It’s called Arches and they released a preview image of the front panel design on Facebook.
What struck me immediately was the rake of the controls. Finally, someone has understood that touch control doesn’t have to be, in fact shouldn’t be, straight. Faders are straight and all lined up because it makes sense and you can grab faders with any part of your finger. When you are dealing with fingertips on a flat surface they all fall in different places and do not move in straight lines. So SoundMachines have actually thought about where the fingers fall and how our hands work – awesome. But then SoundMachines are the company that brought the first brainwave-to-synthesizer interface to market. They are all about the thinking.
The Arches uses the same capacitive touch technology that’s found in their LS1 Lightstrip and LP1 Lightplane products. But this is 84hp wide – that’s the size of a modest case. There’s a whole bunch of expressive control on offer here and you can configure it however you need. It can handle Eurorack and Buchla signals, as well as wired and wireless MIDI.
You get 12 sliders, 8 with record/loop capabilities, 2 XY pads, 8 buttons, transport and navigation controls, internal sequencer and arpeggiator, quantized direct voltage outputs and 30 patch sockets.
Soundmachines are planning to release this on a crowdfunding site in the very near future. It will be very interesting to see what sort of response they get. Follow them on Facebook or check out their website for news on when that will happen.