Questions for synthesists with ribbon controllers

For fans of synths, pianos or keyboard instruments of any sort.

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Re: Questions for synthesists with ribbon controllers

Post by Folderol »

I'm basically trying to find out what Yoshimi can already interface with, and whether we can expand that without too much upheaval. The Artiphon looks interesting as it seems to have quite a range of control. We don't have MPE support, but depending on exactly what it transmits over MIDI we might be able to go a long way already.

I don't know how far away you are, so I don't know how practical a loan would be (thanks for the offer) - I wouldn't want to put you to the trouble of sending it - and the associated transit risk these days :(

If you have access to a fairly recent version of Yoshimi it would be great if you had a fiddle yourself. That would actually be more useful knowledge. You wouldn't be making the assumptions I probably do :lol:
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Re: Questions for synthesists with ribbon controllers

Post by N i g e l »

is midi fast enough for ribbon data ? I guess its a bit like breath control in terms of update rate.

The Hydrasynth & Kurzweil sound engines have direct access to the raw ribbon so speed isnt an issue. The Kurz has a special socket for the Kurz ribbon - PC2Rib.
I think the PC2Rib is just a glorified resistor [or maybe 3], as all the ribbon stuff is defined by the host synth.

If you need note & trig from a theramin type output, you could put it through an MS20 [or K2 ] for volts & trig, or MidiGuitar VST for MIDI in a PC.
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Re: Questions for synthesists with ribbon controllers

Post by BJG145 »

N i g e l wrote: Sun Aug 28, 2022 10:45 pm is midi fast enough for ribbon data?

Here's a demo of a USB MIDI ribbon controller called oneString with Animoog. It's an old Kickstarter from a few years ago.

https://youtu.be/4lk16uc2xRo?t=68

I was interested in the comments about how it has a separate position and pressure strip which can be played with one finger, allowing you to control pitch and modulation, "...and that's how the old synths used to work".
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Re: Questions for synthesists with ribbon controllers

Post by N i g e l »

that is a cool set up, he's even sprayed the BCR fader box white :)
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Re: Questions for synthesists with ribbon controllers

Post by BJG145 »

It was an open-source project based at straytechnologies.com. Website is long gone but you can still find the build instructions on Wayback. (Main page with schematic and software here.)

I'm interested in building a ribbon controller sometime, though it would take someone with Folderol-level electronics to put this one together without the original kit.
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Re: Questions for synthesists with ribbon controllers

Post by Folderol »

I've actually seen a design (can't find it now) where a long pressure sensitive strip was fixed first and the position sensitive one put on top of it, so it's single finger for pitch and controller (i.e. velocity/modulation etc.). This used a teensy LC rather than an arduino, which is much simpler for sending MIDI over usb.

I'll probably eventually get round to building one, but at the moment I'm concentrating on finding out what existing commercial kit can be used with Yoshimi - as well as the never ending development and bug fixes {sigh}.
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Re: Questions for synthesists with ribbon controllers

Post by BJG145 »

Folderol wrote: Mon Aug 29, 2022 10:43 am I've actually seen a design (can't find it now) where a long pressure sensitive strip was fixed first and the position sensitive one put on top of it, so it's single finger for pitch and controller

Perhaps this one...?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cdc2U2_ ... dSimulator

Looks a lot simpler; I'm going to have a go at this sometime.
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Re: Questions for synthesists with ribbon controllers

Post by Folderol »

Not the same one, but very similar :thumbup:
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Re: Questions for synthesists with ribbon controllers

Post by MarkOne »

Talking of ribbon controllers and odd instruments, is my mind playing tricks or do I remember in the mists of time there was an instrument that consisted of 4 ribbon controllers that you played a bit like an upright bass?

We’re probably going back to the 70s and it might have been something that featured on Tomorrow’s World..

My googling has failed to find it.

Maybe it was a dream.
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Re: Questions for synthesists with ribbon controllers

Post by BJG145 »

MarkOne wrote: Mon Aug 29, 2022 1:16 pm Talking of ribbon controllers and odd instruments, is my mind playing tricks or do I remember in the mists of time there was an instrument that consisted of 4 ribbon controllers that you played a bit like an upright bass?

...you're not thinking of the Theremin Cello...? This was the first ribbon controller, but it only had the one.

Image

The Eigenharp Alpha is also played upright and has a single ribbon controller.

Image
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Re: Questions for synthesists with ribbon controllers

Post by MarkOne »

No, the more I've thought about it, it was definitely 4 ribbons, about the height of a double bass and the whole body was basically a C profile PVC construction that probably started life as a length of white guttering.

This probably predates MIDI and I think each ribbon created a CV/Gate signal.

But I really can't find anything out there on the interwebs
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Re: Questions for synthesists with ribbon controllers

Post by BigRedX »

MarkOne wrote: Tue Aug 30, 2022 9:06 am No, the more I've thought about it, it was definitely 4 ribbons, about the height of a double bass and the whole body was basically a C profile PVC construction that probably started life as a length of white guttering.

This probably predates MIDI and I think each ribbon created a CV/Gate signal.

But I really can't find anything out there on the interwebs

Are you thinking of David Vorhaus' Kaleidophon?
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