Ribbons are so in this year. Thanks to Trent Reznor picking up the Dewanatron Swarmatron, they’re even winning Oscar Awards (after a fashion).

Coagula aka Giuseppe Di Cillo has been in touch with me for some time about his evolving DIY ribbon controller. Now he’s pulling out all the stops: his full version includes a professional-looking case, extensive touch sensors, and even a display and menu system. It’s not quite the gorgeous, analog-savvy Eowave Persephone, but it’s a beautiful DIY project and a terrific learning opportunity, as well. He’s shared a complete tutorial, specifications, and tips, all under a Creative Commons license. (It’s not quite open source hardware – I’d like to see the “non-commercial” restriction dropped – but it is tremendously generous and complete.)

The Grobian ensemble from Reaktor is behind the sound. (I’ve lost track of how you acquire Grobian, if a more sophisticated Reaktor user can remind me.)

I was curious about the accuracy and responsiveness of this particular sensing system, especially since I’ve had some issues with similar touch sensors. Giuseppe responds: “I find the sensors very good, but when you touch the position sensor the sensor need few milliseconds to settle. To fix this I put a 5 milliseconds delay on the code. The video is a little out of sync but I assure you that in reality is much more responding.”

Go, wonder, absorb knowledge:
Coagula MIDI Ribbon Controller 2.0

  • Grobian is included with Reaktor 5.5 – it used to be part of the Electronic Instruments 1 pack, now it's free. It can move mad air and uses almost negative CPU. 🙂

  • Spazmatron

    Anyone interested in an analog alternative such check out the Scott Stites "appendage":

    Excellent documentation as well:

  • ha, you beat me to it Spazmatron!

    if you head over to the electro-music forums, he is about to do a second run of PCBs for the appendage. 


  • ideletemyself


    Could be a great toy to use now and again 🙂

  • Spazmatron

    @active:  Yeah, I missed the first run. I'll be getting one this time around. 

  • Roger Pellegrini

    I wrote an open-source iPad app for wireless MIDI control of analog (or VST) synths using Charlie Robert's excellent and free "Control" environment (which I learned about on CDM). It's essentially a keyboard-calibrated two-dimensional ribbon controller and it's free if you have an iPad.  Check out the demo of the "pellegrini space-time keyboard" on the Control site: 

  • What is the best search engine google.com or yahoo.com?

  • What is the best search engine http://google.com or http://yahoo.com?

  • cb

    Decided to make my own version of this with some added features using Max4Live as the main number cruncher.. check it here:&nbsp ;http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N14iuDcITZo