Reflex Products is a newly-launched maker of computer music gear; Jamez writes us to tell about their new Sonia MIDI controller. Vitals:

  • 12 soft-touch knobs, 5 'virtual transport' buttons (or whatever else you want
  • 25 preset memory banks for instant compatibility with Live, Logic, Reason, Cubase, etc.
  • up to 44 user banks for whatever wasn't instantly compatible
  • High-brightness LED
  • No wall-wart — USB-powered, cable included
  • MIDI I/O only (not via USB, apparently to keep the price low)


Availability:
Now
Cost: US$145 (limited-time $25 rebate); $175 with more memory banks
Compatibility: MIDI/USB, no drivers needed

Instant compatibility is all the rage; at this price and nice, compact
size, this is another great interface option, though we're still
waiting for the killer 'this is the only interface you need' moment.
Reflex promises more stuff soon.

  • Guest

    Looks like no direct usb interface. What were they thinking?

  • admin

    Yes, I agree, I'd rather have USB connectivity for software; I'd pay extra!

  • reflex

    When we were working on Sonia, a lot of people told us that they already had a MIDI interface but wanted knobs – we targeted the product at them. Its processor is pin-compatible with the new series of USB enabled microcontrollers from Microchip, so adding USB is a possibility in future versions. But that means more complex software and additional memory, which raises the price. Personally, I'm happy we hit the $145 price point ($120 with rebate).

  • Indicator

    So in order to power it, we have to connect it to the USB port, but in order for it to transmit MIDI data from the knobs, we have to connect it to an external MIDI interface? I can understand – and fully appreciate – hitting a pricepoint. And listening to user feedback is rare in this industry – kudos. But if you've already got to have it connected via USB, it can't be that much of a stretch to implement a USB interface as well. It may seem like overkill, but it offers the ultimate flexibility for the end user at what I imagine is a minimal price increase. Perhaps writing a stable USB driver(s) is really where the added costs would come in…?

  • reflex

    You can use a wall-wart to power the unit as well. Indicator is correct – the cost of integrating a USB driver into the firmware is the biggest additional cost involved with integrating USB. So let me ask you this — would you consider buying a USB enabled version for about $25 more? If enough of you are interested, you may get your wish. đŸ™‚

  • admin

    I'm for USB-enabled for $25 more, yes, absolutely. This looks like a great box. I love having MIDI on there, but there are times & gigs where you might just want the knobs and wouldn't have another MIDI box. It's nice to have the option.

    Readers, feel free to contradict me!

  • Guest

    Maybe I am missing something here but how is this any better than a BCR2000? Heck the BCR2000 is only 129.00, has MIDI, USB, 24 encoders w/ LEDs for each, 4 buttons, and many many more features. Sure, it may not LOOK as cool but it sure does a lot more and for less.

  • Indicator

    Many working musicians have opted not to purchase Behringer gear ever again – myself being one of them – because of their highly questionable business practices, low-quality components, and artificially-low pricing. I'd take a unique product from a smaller, independent developer any day of the week over a Behringer "Let's see whose idea we can steal this week" product…Just my $.02.

  • admin

    . . . it probably is. I'm with Indicator. All this gear is manufactured in the same manufacturing plants from the same components. Behringer stuff is cheaper and is notoriously unreliable. If the ethical argument doesn't get you off them, Behringer's ultra-low quality control should.

    The Behringer in this case appears to be ripped off of JL Cooper's gear.

    See today's story where the big B is ripping off Roland again. And don't get Mackie started on them.