In our “Whatever happened to these synths” article I mentioned the Tinami customisable MIDI controller as one of those interesting ideas that was missing in action. Tinami got in touch and have given us these exclusive update details ahead of the intended February launch.
We covered the concept back in the summer, but now it has a name – MD-1. The MD-1 is a square hardware MIDI controller that you can design and customise when you order it online. It’s made up of a 4 x 4 grid of interchangeable parts. You can choose between buttons, faders and knobs and lay them out as 16 components in any way you wish. Once you’re happy, Tinami will build your controller and ship it to you. It’s a neat and versatile idea.
Since the summer they have been working through the feedback and now have a bunch of new features. The most helpful addition is a software utility that lets you configure every control component. All of the parameters can be saved as presets including the position of all the controls. The knobs now have a memory so you can refind their correct position. Until that position is found the knobs are disabled to prevent unwanted value jumping. Sysex and NRPM support is now built in. Extra buttons have been built into the side of the unit to provide access to presets and MIDI channels when not using the software utility. And finally, they’ve added physical MIDI in/out ports so it’s not all just USB.
Many of these updates seem pretty vital to me and are perhaps things that should have been there from the beginning. They certainly make it a more rounded and complete product. And it’s great to hear that rumours of their demise were greatly exaggerated.
They plan to release on crowdfunding sites in February or March and they hope to keep the price under €200. You can still try out the MD-1 designer on their website.
Tinami Lab webpage.