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