Tinami will build you a custom MIDI Controller
Tinami is a hardware start-up, currently in the development stage, who gave us a sneak preview of their customizable MIDI controller at Sónar 2017. The idea is that you design the arrangement of knobs and sliders you want on your controller and they’ll build it and ship it to you.
They are currently working with a small 4 x 4 form factor. It can support 16 knobs or buttons, or 8 faders on a grid. Each fader takes up the space of two knobs. On the website there’s a simple graphical builder application that lets you lay out the design of your MIDI controlling dreams. Once your design is complete, you can choose the finish and hit the order button. It’s not fully working yet but the builder is online and you can try it out here.
It’s a simple and quite beautiful idea. They’ve kept the product stripped down and very minimal. They are slightly angled and wood ended. They look somehow vintage and pretty funky to me with reflections of Mooger Foogers.
At the end of the day, it’s just a MIDI controller. The usefulness of this comes down to whether wanting something more elegant and personalised than the rest of the crowd is cost effective. I think they’ve got the look just right – all we need to know now is the price!
More information can be found on the Tinami website.
If only this offered PITCH BEND + MODULATION WHEELS as a possible hardware choice, besides the obvious knobs, buttons and slider controllers – which you can buy anywhere, a dime a dozen.
So many 88 key digital pianos, or Kawai VPC1, make wonderful MIDI master keyboards until it comes to their lack of pitch / mod wheels. Combine those with custom knobs, fades and buttons and you’d have a great peripheral – maybe adding small LED or LCD numeric readouts of 0-127 value of each controller’s current position would be useful too.