Pierre Pinard points us to new Logitech hardware that could work well with music software (and other multimedia, graphics, and creative software):

NuLOOQ Professional [Logitech.com]

The NuLOOQ is like Griffin’s PowerMate USB knob on steroids. The top of the interface is a touch-sensitive dial. The spring-loaded collar beneath is a twistable control. There are three customizable trigger buttons on top. There’s also a customizable “tool menu” that can appear under your cursor for still more control. The hardware takes some cues from the PowerMate, including an aluminum base and blue LED lights that “create the after-hours vibe of a martini-lounge.”

Okay, manufacturers, sorry, but your blue LED lights don’t create the vibe of a “martini-lounge,” or what those of us in the real world call the bar. They create the blindingly-annoying vibe of every piece of electronics we buy today. But I’m nonetheless anxious to get my hands — erm, hand — on this. US$149.99 is a little steep, but if they’ve gotten the details of the controls right, this could have some of the versatility the PowerMate lacked — and I’ll always pay extra for quality, if they’ve gotten the feel right. I’d love to think up some helpful templates for music and visual software. Stay tuned.

Mac users: yep, drivers are Universal for Intel Macs, like many of Logitech’s excellent input devices.

  • I wonder how this will interface with music software? Will it come with some sort of app to map keypresses to different functions on the controller? Picturing using it in Ableton Live to zoom – pretty sweet.

  • As I understand it, everything is mappable, from the two ring/twist functions to the buttons on top to the pop-up menu. It means you will need keystrokes for whatever you want to map to, which can be difficult, but it should work. I'm going to try to get one in for review, and if I create any helpful templates, I'll post them.

  • Craig McDonald

    It looks nice, but for $149!?!? Are they on droogs?

  • G-ravity

    It definitely looks to be an aid for visual artists and for custom MaxMSP/Jitter apps but outside of editing audio files I'm straining to think of some applications for music apps that other controllers already do well.

    I suppose if a custom environment is set up specifically to take advantage of the NuLOOQ then perhaps it could offer some kinds of functionality found in using a Lemur. Still that puts us back in the MaxMSP/Jitter catergory.


  • To me the success of this thing all relies on the drivers and customization software. Unfortunately this doesn't give me much hope as my experience with Logitech drivers in the past has been universally awful. I have a Logitech Elite keyboard, which has a fantastic feel and plenty of customizable buttons, but the software for doing the customization is hopelessly crippled, yet bloated and incredibly ugly. There's no program-specific button mapping, and you can't even choose to map to a keystroke, just a preselected list of "common commands", which are completely useless for creative apps.

    By contrast, my MS Intellimouse has 5 buttons which are customizable to any keypress and have program-specific mapping, so I can use the thumb and wheel buttons for a different task in each program.

    The NuLooq could be great, if Logi actually get someone smart to write the software.

  • Jim Davies

    This is truly a cool device. I am a photographer who has been using it for about a month, and it is way cool. Not only can I use it for my photo work with Photoshop (which has made me at least 30% faster), but it is easily programmable to work with any app. I love using it with iTunes, and games! Rumor has it that they are even increasing the usability with a new driver expected in a week or so, and lowering the price! Imagine that….better product, and lower price….you do not see that any more. If you have not tried it, you should…worth what I paid at $149 on their site…can't imagine anyone not trying it for less than that. Watch the blogs, buzz and of course their site.

  • Paul Smythe

    I tend to agree about Logitech drivers on the Mac have been pretty much useless. But it seems the drivers for this Nu looq device are different than what I've seen from their mice. I saw a device on a demo station at an Apple reseller store in NY. The folks at the store didn't know much about how to configure it. But I was able to easily map FCP and GarageBand keystrokes to all the motion of the ring and the disc on top. I don't remember what marketing speak they called it. But I'd have to say it took me about 5 minutes to configure FCP and GarageBand. Ended up getting a device, so we'll see how this works out. Will type more when I have more time to play with it. Anybody know of a place that has any configs to download for the Nu looq device?

  • Thanks for the update on the drivers Paul. I just had a chat to Logitech's Australian PR rep and he doesn't have a release date for Aus yet, so we're going to have to wait for Peter to get the official CDM look at (and templates for) this device.

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  • Paul Smythe

    Sorry to hear about the product not available in Australia.

    Here is a quick review on some early playing with the product.

    I spent a few minutes with the product. Installation on the G5 was surprisingly easy. Took about 1 minute and a system reboot and the device lit up.

    Spent a few minutes playing with it. They had this cool little training app, though finding it was an accident. Not sure what they were thinking about putting this training app in a hard to find place. I'd be bringing that up first right after install as it really helped me learn more about the device.

    I brought up the preference pane and went through what they offer. The driver at the store must have been a bit older as this new driver had some more options.

    I created settings for FCP and also for fun for firefox. I mapped jkl keys to buttons, frame advance, timeline scaling options and other items to buttons, ring and the disc on top. Very easy. Surprised at how easy, considering some past experiences with other products….

    Need to spend a bit more time with other apps to see how well it works. But so far so good.

    I did find a few minor annoying things. I wish they would allow me to create more configs for an app. I didn't see it in their manual and couldn't figure out how to do it. Maybe I'll post a note in their forum.

    The other thing I wish they had was allow me to enter multiple characters. I can do modifer key + character, but I can't put a sequence of characters in.

    That's it for now. More to come a bit later after some more time with the device.

  • Nice one Paul, good to hear that their drivers are improving. I actually own an Logi Elite Keyboard, but I've been using MS Intellitype drivers because the Logi ones are so terrible. Perhaps it's time for me to give the native ones another go.

    How's the feel of the device? What is the ring made of, and does it rotate smoothly or are there detent bumps?

  • Tim Moore

    U know I've never really thought of music uses for the device until reading all these comments…hmmm I'll pass this along to the engineers

  • Tim Moore

    I never thought of using the device with music editing untill now, hmmmm i'll pass this along to the engineers

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  • Paul Smythe

    The ring in the center has no detents. It's actually a smooth feeling ring that twists just a few degrees, maybe +/- 5 degrees at most. Very small movement, but smooth over the entire movement.

    The ring is probably plastic, but has a rough feel to it, to help maintain grip on the ring. Initially I thought the grip wasn't strong enough, but the device is fairly heavy, so the device doesn't move all too much when I use the ring.

    Haven't had much time over the past few days to do more customization, but hopefully more time this week.

  • arendownie

    Check out the Shuttle Pro from Countour:


    Mostly a jog/shuttle controller for video editing, but works great with Pro Tools (my use), and has support for Logic and others. Great Mac interface for programing buttons (13 of em). It's about 100 bucks. There is a "light" version as well, around 60 USD.

  • Nasir

    Just saw this in action at an NYC designer's group meeting last night. The Logitech guy only showed it with Photoshop (looks Adobe CS2-centric). You can nudge the ring left, right, up and down to "nudge" your project to your cursor, then twist left and right to zoom in and out. Still no news on how it might work with music/audio, but I could see this making arrangements and navigating/editing piano rolls much easier.

    Also, the Logitech guy announced a price drop as of yesterday morning: they got off their "droogs" and dropped it to $79.

    I'd buy one now if they had PC drivers (coming "by the end of the year").

  • Marty Daley

    It is a pity that the NuLooq is not on Australian shores as yet. One way to get around it is to do what I have just done. Get a friend in the US to buy it from amazon.com (US$79) and have them freight it over. I should have it in 7-10 days and I honestly can't wait for it to arrive. My productivity on BITMAP to VECTOR redraws will be 10 times faster. And having a WACOM tablet pen in my right hand speeds my work time by 3.

    I will post another comment once I get it.

  • Paul Smythe

    A week ago I found a posting on NAPP's forum about an email account to send feedback on NuLOOQ directly to Logitech. I gave it a try a few days ago with some suggestions on the product, fully expecting to not hear anything, but surprisingly I got a real response back in a day. After some email exchanges, I asked if it was okay to post the email address on this forum. He said go ahead – nulooq_manager@logitech.com.

    Give it a try. For those folks from Australia, I'd say complain about the product not available there. I don't see why it shouldn't be. When I sent my email I actually got a response back from a VP. Not bad.

    By the way I'm still liking the product.

  • Thanks for that contact Paul. I've had some replies from one of the guys at Logitech, and they're very happy to hear from people at that email address.

    Here are the most interesting (for Australians) parts of the reply I received:

    As for having our product available in Australia, I have received numerous requests from folks all over the world from UK to Canada and Australia and more. It's definitely good to see the excitement, but also, I'm sure a little frustrating as the product can't be bought.

    The main limitation we have on the product is that it works on English O/S only for some of the features of the product. However obviously for places like UK and Australia, that's not a problem.

    Can't promise that they'll decide to take on the product, but will contact them and see if we can set something up.

    However in the mean time, for what its worth, we've setup B&H Photo Video here in the US with the ability to sell the product overseas. It's not the most optimum setup, but a start for now.

    Good to see that the nulooq_mananger email alias is being promoted. I definitely want to hear from folks and will try and respond to most requests within a business day. So, please do feel free to let others know of the email alias.

  • Conny

    it doesnt work on CS3, therefore useless for me, accept those little blue lights đŸ™‚ expensive toy!

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