Old 06-19-2020, 05:33 PM   #81
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Ok, I admit I do get the "a few buttons" thing, just trying to push toward the best decision

Putting them on the sides makes it hard to stack units horizontally -- you end up covering the buttons.

Maybe put them on top/bottom ?
Agreed - anything on the edges/sides would be annoying if the design was to have multiple units beside each other :-)
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Old 06-19-2020, 05:39 PM   #82
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I'd be down with this.

Also would like some faders (motorized) and some Pads.

All custom made to work flawlessly with reaper without patches and extra software that only provides an awkward/partial experience.

Probably shouldn't hold my breath.. .
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Old 06-19-2020, 06:54 PM   #83
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I'd be down with this.

Also would like some faders (motorized) and some Pads.

All custom made to work flawlessly with reaper without patches and extra software that only provides an awkward/partial experience.

Probably shouldn't hold my breath.. .
Well, if this controller is successful, you may end up with your wish as I would consider working on other modules. But let's take it one step at a time. This being a very big step to begin with.

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Old 06-19-2020, 06:57 PM   #84
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The Artist units have touch sensitive encoders, you can use them to write automation without Reaper "grabbing" the automation after a period of no movement, just like you use touch sensitive faders.
Geoff,
I found out which encoders the Avid unit uses and the touch sensitivity is basically handled by a different PCBoard. So I'm thinking of using the same ones. The only thing I don't like about them is that the Rotation cycle life is only guaranteed to 30,000 and the push button life is 20,000. I was looking at getting encoders with 100,000-1,000,000 rotation cycles. depending on what's available and prices. But if the Avid ones are good in your opinion, I might go with those as I know they work with touch sensing and such?
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Old 06-20-2020, 01:07 AM   #85
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Yes, exactly, then you can do both if you want, you have Touch and you have a light you can use, AND you can use them for anything else you want too

The key (from my perspective) is separating input things from output things, that gives the most flexibility:

Input things:
Turn
Push
Touch

Output things:
Rings
RGB between 5 and 7 o'clock -- hey let's call it the "happy hour" RGB
Scribble strips
I think Happy Hour RGB has to be acknowledged! [Claps].
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Old 06-20-2020, 01:42 AM   #86
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I think Happy Hour RGB has to be acknowledged! [Claps].
I agree. Pretty clever.
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Old 06-20-2020, 03:00 AM   #87
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Geoff,
I found out which encoders the Avid unit uses and the touch sensitivity is basically handled by a different PCBoard. So I'm thinking of using the same ones. The only thing I don't like about them is that the Rotation cycle life is only guaranteed to 30,000 and the push button life is 20,000. I was looking at getting encoders with 100,000-1,000,000 rotation cycles. depending on what's available and prices. But if the Avid ones are good in your opinion, I might go with those as I know they work with touch sensing and such?
Doubt the rotation on mine ever made it anywhere near close to that number -- not one of the 16 works perfectly -- they are all in various states of degradation after 6 years of medium use -- apparently you can de-ox them to get a bit more, but yeah, definitely STAY AWAY from those

The fact that you can de-ox them implies contact, definitely don't want any contact within the encoders -- I would think optical or magnetic would be the way to go - probably outrageously expensive

Why haven't I done anything about it, and this brings up a live performance aspect of CSI.

I was in the middle of a session when things went south on one of the encoders.

I have a Console 1, so I just select the Track, and the Volume is available on the Console 1.

I just added a Shift behaviour for Pan and voila, back to making music.

As everyone knows, you leak tremendous amounts of creativity energy onto the floor when you bog down in technical details -- including analog, which this was -- a pure mechanical failure -- nothing to do with digital.

It's all about keeping the session moving forward smoothly, it really is partially performance art
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Old 06-20-2020, 08:41 AM   #88
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I think the tactile feel of the encoder is important too. How's the build quality? How much of a tick do you get from each encoder step? How firmly secured is the encoder into the unit? Does the pot wiggle? When the encoder wiggles when you turn it, or feels like it's going to come off, that's no good. How "loose" does the encoder feel when you turn it. Even knob caps matter.

For reference, here's the gear I own with encoders rated from least favorite to most:

4. Behringer X-Touch One: Pan encoder wiggles a LOT and doesn't feel great when rotating. Cheap knob caps. I literally feel like this thing is liable to break off any day now.

3. Avid Artist Mix: There's very little 'tick' to the encoder steps. Wiggles a bit. The encoders feel loose, or light to the turn (I like to feel a bit more resistance). The knob caps are on the cheap side, but I think I'd like them more if they were slightly larger and felt more firmly seated.

2. Remote Zero SL: Nice, firm 'tick' to each step. Wiggles a bit too but feels firm with a good amount of resistance for each turn. Cheap knob caps. Still, feels pretty good.

1. MFTwister: Encoder has soft ticks to each step. Feels like it's secured in place and sturdy as hell. Perfect amount of resistance. Knob caps feel great. They're a little rubber-y so you feel like you're really griping hold of them.
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Old 06-20-2020, 09:23 AM   #89
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I like the Console 1 encoder feel, although they are too close together placement-wise for touch (they do not have touch).

So, another point, make sure if you are doing touch you allow enough space even for ham fisted bass players like me, as far as false triggering adjacent encoders
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Old 06-20-2020, 09:58 AM   #90
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I like the Console 1 encoder feel, although they are too close together placement-wise for touch (they do not have touch).

So, another point, make sure if you are doing touch you allow enough space even for ham fisted bass players like me, as far as false triggering adjacent encoders
That's a good point too. The Remote Zero SL's encoders are pretty tight and I don't love that about them either. With the knob caps on, I'd want at least 1/2" distance between the knobs. Also makes the surface easier to dust/clean. Again, another area where the MFTwister does things right - good distance between the knobs.
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Old 06-20-2020, 10:57 AM   #91
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I like the idea of the encoder knob also having a color light to indicate something, but I think the touch sensitivity is more important. And unfortunately, I think it's one or the other. What does everyone think?
The Avid S6 has knobs that light up and are touch sensitive. If you can find out what part they use you may be able to have both.


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Doubt the rotation on mine ever made it anywhere near close to that number -- not one of the 16 works perfectly -- they are all in various states of degradation after 6 years of medium use -- apparently you can de-ox them to get a bit more, but yeah, definitely STAY AWAY from those
I agree with Geoff that you should stay away from the knobs used on the old artist series controllers. The knobs on my artist mix never made it anywhere close to 30,000 rotations, not because they stopped working, but because they felt so cheap and "grainy" that I mostly gave up on using them after a little while. On the rare occasions after that when I did try to use the knobs, the caps would often pop off unintentionally because they're so flimsy.

If you can find out which knobs avid uses for their new s1 surface, that might be a good option. They're touch sensitive and have a pretty nice feel to them.
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Old 06-20-2020, 11:12 AM   #92
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Here is the knob I'm looking at. It's metal of course which will be better for touch sensitivity than if I use plastic or rubber. But I might just get a few knobs and see which one I like best.

Also, I'm trying to keep it within 1/2 diameter so that the light ring below doesn't get too big. Currently my QCon Pro G2, the encoders seem to be about 3/8" thick at the top and the base seems to be 1/2"

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Old 06-20-2020, 11:20 AM   #93
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That top marking is a problem, can you order it plain ?

With what you have now the pointer and the rings will be hopelessly confusing, constantly out of synch
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Old 06-20-2020, 11:24 AM   #94
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As for the encoders themselves. They seem to be magnetic. If I get optical ones, they will increase in price over $10-14 each. So an extra $240-336 just on EXTRA price for encoders to be optical. But I'll keep searching for cheaper options. The number of pulses per rotation is 15 and the number of detent is 30.

Also, I can get 2 versions. One with travel distance for push being 0.5mm or 1.5mm. I would think the 1.5mm would be better as it would be a longer push and more deliberate. I'm guessing the 0.5mm might get pushed by mistake. I'm ordering both so I can gauge how they feel.

An as for the cycle life. I think I'm only looking at 100,000 cycles and above. These are 100,000. Would sure love to use 1,000,000 cycle ones but again, price becomes an issue. I know everyone wants the best there is 2mil cycles, super sturdy feel, capacitive (which is way more accurate than optical or magnetic) and all that stuff, but when the price comes into play, many will shy away from buying because costs is astronomical. So, will have to choose best bang for the buck.
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Old 06-20-2020, 11:27 AM   #95
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I agree in general, and would only add, bang for the buck, yup, but as you well know, there is also a minimum low bar that must be cleared
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Old 06-20-2020, 11:28 AM   #96
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The Avid S6 has knobs that light up and are touch sensitive. If you can find out what part they use you may be able to have both.


If you can find out which knobs avid uses for their new s1 surface, that might be a good option. They're touch sensitive and have a pretty nice feel to them.
I'm assuming the the S6 they have made a custom item for it to work as I haven't found anything on the market. So, they probably have an encoder with a plastic shaft so they can get the light to the knob, and then somehow have created some sort of metal coating on the plastic (at the bottom of the shaft) so there is metal contact with the metal knob. Hence, getting both, light/color and touch. It might be worth looking into, but not sure I saw many reliable encoders with RGB plastic shaft that had good life cycle.

I'll try to find what they used on the S1 but if you find it also, let me know.
Thanks.
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Old 06-20-2020, 11:30 AM   #97
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I agree in general, and would only add, bang for the buck, yup, but as you well know, there is also a minimum low bar that must be cleared
Agree, and that is why I'm staying with >100,000 cycle life. I think that will make it better than the early AVID stuff which many were ok with so I assume will be a better experience for everyone.

As for the knob. I'm sure I can find it without the arrow. In fact, I will be looking for cheaper versions of it, as this brand alone is around $7-9 per knob.
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Old 06-21-2020, 05:30 AM   #98
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Just a point about OLED screens.

OLEDs suffer from screen burn, so manufacturers implement screen savers, usually which turn the screen off after a certain time. The dave smith ones do this. This makes sense for displays which are shared across the whole device, and are contextual. But it would be pretty annoying if you had lots of them and they went off periodically. You would have to touch a control just to see what parameter it was controlling, and what the value was.
I reckon LCD are a better fit for this, and that's probably why this is what is used on devices like the xtouch which have lots of screens.
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Old 06-21-2020, 05:32 AM   #99
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Also, you could check out chroma caps for the knob caps themselves.
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Old 06-21-2020, 05:33 AM   #100
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That's a good point too. The Remote Zero SL's encoders are pretty tight and I don't love that about them either. With the knob caps on, I'd want at least 1/2" distance between the knobs. Also makes the surface easier to dust/clean. Again, another area where the MFTwister does things right - good distance between the knobs.
The spacing on console 1 is pretty good too. You can easily get your thumb in between them what turning.
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Old 06-21-2020, 05:35 AM   #101
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I think the tactile feel of the encoder is important too. How's the build quality? How much of a tick do you get from each encoder step? How firmly secured is the encoder into the unit? Does the pot wiggle? When the encoder wiggles when you turn it, or feels like it's going to come off, that's no good. How "loose" does the encoder feel when you turn it. Even knob caps matter.

For reference, here's the gear I own with encoders rated from least favorite to most:

4. Behringer X-Touch One: Pan encoder wiggles a LOT and doesn't feel great when rotating. Cheap knob caps. I literally feel like this thing is liable to break off any day now.

3. Avid Artist Mix: There's very little 'tick' to the encoder steps. Wiggles a bit. The encoders feel loose, or light to the turn (I like to feel a bit more resistance). The knob caps are on the cheap side, but I think I'd like them more if they were slightly larger and felt more firmly seated.

2. Remote Zero SL: Nice, firm 'tick' to each step. Wiggles a bit too but feels firm with a good amount of resistance for each turn. Cheap knob caps. Still, feels pretty good.

1. MFTwister: Encoder has soft ticks to each step. Feels like it's secured in place and sturdy as hell. Perfect amount of resistance. Knob caps feel great. They're a little rubber-y so you feel like you're really griping hold of them.

Do we want them to tick? I think smooth rotation fits a wider range of applications. I had the remote sl, and I found the ticks to be weird when using them for filter sweeps.
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Old 06-21-2020, 05:42 AM   #102
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The ring of lights it's not what we are talking about. What we are talking about is the two options: 1)an encoder with a metal shaft that senses when a finger touches it or 2)an encoder with a clear plastic shaft which can glow different colors. So when you select the knob it would have some way to let the light through.

Unfortunately I can't do both. So, I think the touch sensitivity would be better.

If I understand it correctly, Geoff is also asking about whether the ring of lights around the encoder will have dots of light from about 8 o'clock to 4 o'clock but have a larger light that could be a different color from 5 o'clock to 7 o'clock?

Is this what you meant Geoff?

Touch sensitivity is definitely more useful, and it's something you expect from controllers these days. All the NI Maschine and Traktor encoders support it, as do the Push controllers.
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Old 06-21-2020, 07:27 AM   #103
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The spacing on console 1 is pretty good too. You can easily get your thumb in between them what turning.
The Console 1 is just a tad tight for my big ol' bass player ham fists

It's fine without touch, but I was playing around imagining touch, and was constantly just barely grazing the encoders around the target with my thumb or finger -- so Console 1 spacing is fine for operation without touch, but I would definitely increase the spacing just a little for a touch implementation.
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Old 06-21-2020, 09:46 AM   #104
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The Console 1 is just a tad tight for my big ol' bass player ham fists

It's fine without touch, but I was playing around imagining touch, and was constantly just barely grazing the encoders around the target with my thumb or finger -- so Console 1 spacing is fine for operation without touch, but I would definitely increase the spacing just a little for a touch implementation.
What is the spacing center to center on console 1 and what is the spacing edge to edge of each encoder? Certainly want to make sure it works for touch operation.
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Old 06-21-2020, 09:46 AM   #105
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Do we want them to tick? I think smooth rotation fits a wider range of applications. I had the remote sl, and I found the ticks to be weird when using them for filter sweeps.
Depends on the encoder.

I forgot about my NI Kontrol M32 in the encoder discussion. No tick at all, the encoders are EXTREMELY smooth and high quality - super responsive. They feel incredibly firm. If we're talking encoders like that, then the ticks can be avoided. Those things feel nice. You know what, they'd be top of my list.

If we're talking encoders that are less tight, I think the tick can add value by letting you know where each step is. They're helpful for "feeling" very fine movements.
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Old 06-21-2020, 09:59 AM   #106
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Just a point about OLED screens.

OLEDs suffer from screen burn, so manufacturers implement screen savers, usually which turn the screen off after a certain time. The dave smith ones do this. This makes sense for displays which are shared across the whole device, and are contextual. But it would be pretty annoying if you had lots of them and they went off periodically. You would have to touch a control just to see what parameter it was controlling, and what the value was.
I reckon LCD are a better fit for this, and that's probably why this is what is used on devices like the xtouch which have lots of screens.
I have been thinking about this problem. One thing I thought was to have a way to easily replace the screen. But not sure this is the solution.

I agree with the screensaver issue when looking a many screens. But maybe there is a setting that if nothing has been touched for more than 20mins the screens turn off. I would imagine people would leave the unit on all the time.

I have looked a LCD screens as well, but I'm not informed as to whether they also suffer from burn in as much or not. I would imagine not as much. I'd love to see some numbers on this. One of the reason I went with OLED is because I feel that people see OLED on higher end controllers and associate it with a higher price. In theory they are easier to read, specially when we are looking at small font and just look crispy. So, I've stayed with OLED so far, but to be honest, the LCD screens have better size as far as the screens being slightly larger, and better aspect ratio. They are a little wider which I think is better. Also, when you look at the PCB board, the board takes up less space than the OLED screens do. So it would be easier to put the screens closer to the encoders. Where th OLEDs might be just a tad further from the encoders.

These are all considerations I've had. Currently my PCB board designer is working with OLED. We might fo a second version will LCD just to see the difference between them. But obviously that would add time and cost to development.
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Old 06-21-2020, 10:57 AM   #107
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I have been thinking about this problem. One thing I thought was to have a way to easily replace the screen. But not sure this is the solution.

I agree with the screensaver issue when looking a many screens. But maybe there is a setting that if nothing has been touched for more than 20mins the screens turn off. I would imagine people would leave the unit on all the time.

I have looked a LCD screens as well, but I'm not informed as to whether they also suffer from burn in as much or not. I would imagine not as much. I'd love to see some numbers on this. One of the reason I went with OLED is because I feel that people see OLED on higher end controllers and associate it with a higher price. In theory they are easier to read, specially when we are looking at small font and just look crispy. So, I've stayed with OLED so far, but to be honest, the LCD screens have better size as far as the screens being slightly larger, and better aspect ratio. They are a little wider which I think is better. Also, when you look at the PCB board, the board takes up less space than the OLED screens do. So it would be easier to put the screens closer to the encoders. Where th OLEDs might be just a tad further from the encoders.

These are all considerations I've had. Currently my PCB board designer is working with OLED. We might fo a second version will LCD just to see the difference between them. But obviously that would add time and cost to development.
I've never seen any LCDs that have decent off axis response (different viewing angles) until you get into the larger screens, but maybe things have improved.

Any LCDs I've seen are very mushy compared to OLEDs.
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Old 06-21-2020, 11:00 AM   #108
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What is the spacing center to center on console 1 and what is the spacing edge to edge of each encoder? Certainly want to make sure it works for touch operation.
Approximately 1 3/16" centre to centre and 5/8" edge to edge.

Need a bit more for my hands
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Old 06-21-2020, 11:05 AM   #109
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I've never seen any LCDs that have decent off axis response (different viewing angles) until you get into the larger screens, but maybe things have improved.

Any LCDs I've seen are very mushy compared to OLEDs.
I'm a big fan of simple red on black displays. Easy to read and have a nice retro feel to them.
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Old 06-21-2020, 11:30 AM   #110
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I'm a big fan of simple red on black displays. Easy to read and have a nice retro feel to them.
Isn't red on black a no no combination for the colorblind? Certainly would lack some contrast compared to yellow on black like the Artist Mix.
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Old 06-21-2020, 12:56 PM   #111
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Isn't red on black a no no combination for the colorblind? Certainly would lack some contrast compared to yellow on black like the Artist Mix.
Yeh, you might be correct about that.
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Old 06-21-2020, 01:02 PM   #112
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Yeh, you might be correct about that.
No worries guys, I'm currently only interested in RGB screens. I like the idea of somehow visually matching the color of your track on Reaper. Whether that's the text being the same color or a color bar or frame somewhere on the screen. It's another visual cue that let's you know which track you are working on or which parameter you are touching. Again, it will be customizable. So people can set whatever they want, but it will be a visual way to give information. One of the things I dont like about my QCon G2 is that the screen is only blue LCD. Would be nice for the faders to match track color.
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Old 06-21-2020, 03:13 PM   #113
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No worries guys, I'm currently only interested in RGB screens. I like the idea of somehow visually matching the color of your track on Reaper. Whether that's the text being the same color or a color bar or frame somewhere on the screen. It's another visual cue that let's you know which track you are working on or which parameter you are touching. Again, it will be customizable. So people can set whatever they want, but it will be a visual way to give information. One of the things I dont like about my QCon G2 is that the screen is only blue LCD. Would be nice for the faders to match track color.
Are you adding faders now? I thought you were going for a unit with rotary controllers/? Maybe two different units?
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Old 06-21-2020, 03:42 PM   #114
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Originally Posted by Pompeysie View Post
Are you adding faders now? I thought you were going for a unit with rotary controllers/? Maybe two different units?
The current unit is just encoders with a few buttons. But if this works and I feel there is demand I may venture into doing a fader unit as well. But that's just a distant thought at the moment.

The only thing that matters right now is getting this unit functional with great quality parts and keeping the cost reasonable and it being super customizable.

Last edited by siniarch; 06-21-2020 at 04:58 PM.
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Old 06-21-2020, 04:57 PM   #115
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Do we want them to tick? I think smooth rotation fits a wider range of applications. I had the remote sl, and I found the ticks to be weird when using them for filter sweeps.
What does everyone think about this. Currently my QCon Pro G2 has detented encoders and I didn't think that was an issue when I was using it to sweep frequencies of an EQ FX. Do people prefer detent encoders or smooth encoders?
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Old 06-21-2020, 05:02 PM   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by siniarch View Post
What does everyone think about this. Currently my QCon Pro G2 has detented encoders and I didn't think that was an issue when I was using it to sweep frequencies of an EQ FX. Do people prefer detent encoders or smooth encoders?
I prefer smooth if the quality is there.
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Old 06-21-2020, 06:40 PM   #117
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I do really like those smooth NI encoders. If you can get something as responsive and solid feeling as those, then yes to smooth.
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Old 06-21-2020, 11:43 PM   #118
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This might be a useful resource.

https://controllers.cc/


Discovered this on there - which looks great for an FX controller.

http://www.faderfox.de/ec4.html

Last edited by Pompeysie; 06-22-2020 at 01:03 AM.
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Old 06-22-2020, 12:24 AM   #119
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On my iPhone the "button" feels like a button. It has tactile feedback that is adjustable and can be disabled.

Smooth knob rotation on things like eq's.
Detent "feel" at a Unity or 0 mark would also be nice.
All of course user selected for low, med, hard, off, feel on the tactile feedback.
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Old 06-22-2020, 12:11 PM   #120
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Wow this project indeed looks promising! Wanted to build something similar earlier this year but it never left conception phase...

@siniarch In case you are still looking for an engineer, I'd love to help with software and circuitry/PCB design!
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