Arc: New Music Controller in Video, Detailed Q+A with monome Creator Brian Crabtree

Can minimalist controller design make even two knobs into a digital instrument? We’ll soon see. The arc, the new controller from monome designer Brian Crabtree, contains just two high-resolution encoders (known to us in everyday usage as “knobs”). It makes no sound; every minute rotation and a push-button action are telegraphed to a computer. Everything that would make it musically interesting, then, is up to the makers of interactive software on the computer. At their disposal are interactive, brightness-adjustable LED displays that ring those encoders. At US$500 (or $800 for a four-knob model), the results aren’t cheap, challenging even loyal …