Ander sends us his creation, “Station,” a brilliant-looking MIDI controller built on the ucapps.de hardware platform. It could easily have qualified for the kinds of designs in the dreams competition – except he went ahead and made it. He filled it in with RGB LEDs, touch pads, and new SMD-based hardware.
The impact of the colored LEDs is something that provides some of the visual feedback of a touchscreen, but with real, tactile control and the satisfaction of using something physical. I challenge the iPad running TouchOSC (or Lemur, or anything else) to a smackdown with this gorgeous beast. Even as a fan of some of the advantages of touch, I suspect the iPad would lose rather spectacularly.
I asked Ander for more technical details:
have a look at MIDIbox of the Week: Station MIDI controller by Ander – MIDIbox Forum There is a diagram about the LEDs and knobs. For the touch pads I am using force sensors at the moment, but they are terribly expensive. I will be switching to FSRs
Some stats, if you want to know more just ask.
- based on the open hardware platform ucapps.de
- Aluminium casing, custom made
- Acrylic knobs, also custom made
- Modularized, can be made into any form
- Flexible PCB: can hold sensors, encoders and/or buttons
- Custom firmware on the microcontrollers
- Custom software interface on the host computer which interfaces via MIDI (in my case to Live)
- RGB LEDs, 24bit color depth (technically)
- USB interface (plus power, this thing needs a lot of power for all these LEDs)
- I have not counted the buttons
It’s an epic piece of work, a real testament to the efforts of its builder. We’ll need a new category of competition, for things other people already made that we dream about / covet anyway.
Nerd alert: Ander, the name “Station” is a reference to Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, and “Do you want to know more?” in the YouTube description to Starship Troopers … right? (Actually, even if I’m wrong, I’ve just identified myself as a
dork cinematic connoisseur.)
Thanks to cooptrol for the tip, too!