If only…

If only that controller had encoders, instead of knobs. If only it had two more faders. You don’t need buttons. You do need buttons.

Controllers are endless challenges in combinatorics and personal use cases.

That makes the Tinami line of custom MIDI controllers one of the big news items this summer. Shown to the public at SONAR Festival in Barcelona, the gear is built to order using an online configurator. This isn’t the LEGO-style controller we’ve seen in the past: you order up what you want, and that’s what they build. But using a compact 4×4 grid, a lovely combination of tailored options is possible. Knobs, buttons, and sliders are available; hopefully they add to that (see endless encoder comment above).tinamibanner

These also earn points for a handsome, Moogerfooger-esque form factor, complete with wood endcaps … for some reason. They’re square, not rectangular, like the Moog boxes, but this is clearly made by a Moog lover – down to the classic knob caps.

And love these or not, they’re the kind of boutique innovation and experimentation we’ve seen regularly at SONAR+D, the digital offshoot of the Barcelona music fest, which I think is healthy, too. Have a look:

The gear isn’t shipping yet, but you can play with the site:

  • Dubby Labby

    Time to time this concept arises and burns… from teensymonster to uMidi and lately opendeck from shantea.
    The only way to fight prices of market scale is to build yourself the most you can and if it’s a “mission” (that fight against corps) then recycling (hacking actual crappy hardware) could be cheaper, easier and eco-friendly.

    My thoughts:

    Glad to see it syncronically with your Jakob’s article.

  • Foosnark

    Odd lack of info on the website… nothing about connectivity at all, nothing indicating an approximate price range. From the video it appears to be MIDI over USB.

  • Shout out to David Cross / 60 Work’s (sadly no longer active) Zayik: http://blog.60works.com/archives/706