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Embodme MPE controller - any thought?

Hi. I have wanted a larger version of roli blocks - and one that doesn’t stop working forever with non replaceable batteries - as an mpe controller for when swam comes out on iOS and other mpe stuff. Does anyone know anything about this or its chances/quality? I don’t want to invest in something betamaxy as some of the other controllers feel that way but this one does at least look great. The thing that was reassuring with roli was the apple tie in.

https://www.embodme.com/

Comments

  • edited December 2020

    Interesting but I'm not too clear why this would necessarily be better than playing on an iPad itself? No physical buttons - just another type of touch screen really. Have you looked at the Linnstrument? More fixed format but has the advantage of keys you can feel distinctly so easier to play without looking at the screen.

  • Agree with @charalew
    I sold my Linnstrument and regretted it from day one. So much that I just ended up buying a new one.
    Anyway, regarding the embodme, it could be good, it could be bad. If you don't want to "invest in Betamaxy" then I would wait. For my taste, too many lights.

  • With MIDI 2.0 and MPE experiencing more widespread support, I think it won't be too long until we get affordable regular MIDI keyboards with poly aftertouch, finger position sensing and sideways modulation.

  • The Linnstrument is my favorite instrument. Very worth it.

  • @raindro said:
    The Linnstrument is my favorite instrument. Very worth it.

    yes!

  • edited December 2020

    @charalew said:
    Interesting but I'm not too clear why this would necessarily be better than playing on an iPad itself? No physical buttons - just another type of touch screen really. Have you looked at the Linnstrument? More fixed format but has the advantage of keys you can feel distinctly so easier to play without looking at the screen.

    It’s orders of magnitude better for musicians. You have an entirely additional dimension with all the parameters and applications associated in terms of pressure depth (the pressure sensing algorithms for iPad screen In various apps are good attempts but incredibly basic compared to real pressure sensing and always produce mistakes as they’re workarounds).

    If you just want to play parts like arranging midi without much musicality I agree the screen is fine (not meant as a criticism as plenty of the time this is the case). But for anyone who needs an instrument with touch feel and all the nuances of expression that a physical instrument has there is no comparison.

    As a musician when it was working the roli block was By far the most exciting instrument I’ve ever owned (in terms of what I could play combined with playing experience) and the closest to my acoustic ones in terms of expression. Thought I’d reply in case anyone wonders what mpe interfaces are about. Playing swam instruments with them is something I can do all day long - switching back to the iPad screen in noise for example is like losing a hand musically. :)

    I quoted despego too my mistake at first sorry - my fault misreading your reply :smile:

  • @despego said:
    Agree with @charalew
    I sold my Linnstrument and regretted it from day one. So much that I just ended up buying a new one.
    Anyway, regarding the embodme, it could be good, it could be bad. If you don't want to "invest in Betamaxy" then I would wait. For my taste, too many lights.

    It’s early so I double misread haha. It has silicon tactile pressure sensing and is MPE so is like the roli which was like linnstrument and nothing like a touch screen (not getting into linnstrument vs roli approaches obv just vs the ticyhscreen as I’m not sure if you saw the silicon)

  • @raindro said:
    The Linnstrument is my favorite instrument. Very worth it.

    Is there things that the embodme can do and the Linnstrument can't?

    What are the updates with the Embodme? I'm curious if anyone have try it. On paper it looks incredible, but sometimes, when a product is launch, many unexpected problems happens.

  • Linnstrument has a fixed grid for playing, which forces you to play in a particular way. I think Embody can do custom scales.

  • Seems like production delays continue. I haven’t even gotten an update since the beginning of August. It looks remarkable and to @auxmux ’s point, the configurability (seemingly limitless) is a big selling point.

  • Pictures like this get me excited that I dig more. Then i just get disappointed. If you can figure out what im talking about....kudos to you.

  • @auxmux said:
    Linnstrument has a fixed grid for playing, which forces you to play in a particular way. I think Embody can do custom scales.

    I'm not sure what you mean by this. Linnstrument does indeed have a fixed grid of 200 (8 x 25) or 128 (8 x 16) squares, depending on which model you have. However you can "tune" the layout like a stringed instrument to have different offsets between the rows. Default is "fourths" tuning (like a guitar), where the square in each row is tuned to a musical fourth above the same square in the row below. You can change the tuning between rows however you want. Each of these different "tunings" will play very differently.

    It's true that the Linnstrument grid is intended to always have a semitone between each square on a given row (i.e., the chromatic scale). There are patches that allow you to implement custom scales, where every square is a note in the scale (i.e., no squares that are non-scale tones), but there are good reasons for not allowing this by default. Presumably, ability to use pitch bend on individual notes is an important part of the reason for playing an MPE controller like this. However, if you implement custom scales then the spacing between squares on each row is no longer always a semitone, so pitch slides yield inconsistent results. (Linnstrument does by default have the ability to switch between different scales but this feature is just about the lighting of the squares, lighting root notes and notes of the selected scale, and having squares that are not part of the selected scale be unlit.)

  • edited September 23

    Yeah, I get it's designed that way for pitch bends, but it's more about the fact that doesn't allow custom scales at all. All squares lit. If it could be used both ways, then it would be ok. It's philosophical decision but Embodme looks more flexible from that perspective.

  • @AlmostAnonymous said:

    Pictures like this get me excited that I dig more. Then i just get disappointed. If you can figure out what im talking about....kudos to you.

    I don't like Bluetooth devices.

  • edited September 24

    theyre fine for anything but sequencing, but it could be RTP, right? with the amount of data sent with mpe

  • @AlmostAnonymous said:
    theyre fine for anything but sequencing

    I bought Bluethoot headphone for my iPad and the latency was annoying.

  • edited September 24

    well thats a given, lol. especially if they arent apple headphones. big different sending a few bits than a few 100 kbits
    turning a knob on a BT encoder isnt the same as streaming audio.

  • @Montreal_Music said:

    @AlmostAnonymous said:
    theyre fine for anything but sequencing

    I bought Bluethoot headphone for my iPad and the latency was annoying.

    Bluetooth midi is super reliable. Bluetooth audio for music production isn't.

  • @AlmostAnonymous said:
    Then i just get disappointed. If you can figure out what im talking about....kudos to you.

    I'm curious to know what you mean by that?

  • @auxmux said:
    Linnstrument has a fixed grid for playing, which forces you to play in a particular way. I think Embody can do custom scales.

    I think that the fixed layout has some advantages performance wise, but the firmware for the LinnStrument is open source. So, it can be modified to do different things. It's been a while since I looked at the source, but I remember it being pretty straight forward to read and understand. The controller is an Arduino. This page has a link to the Github repository, https://www.rogerlinndesign.com/support/support-linnstrument-source-code

  • @Montreal_Music said:

    @AlmostAnonymous said:
    Then i just get disappointed. If you can figure out what im talking about....kudos to you.

    I'm curious to know what you mean by that?

    I dont mind bluetooth or rtp for controllers.

    This assumes either is there and a battery....

  • edited September 26

    Here are my initial thoughts....

    1) In Erae Touch you can save many more layouts in the device's "memory" than Linnstrument.

    2) Linnstrument does not need an external power source. There is a low power mode. Not possible for Erae... Too many light pads to draw power from usb. Always need their external power source.

    3) As I am still waiting for Erae touch - I will not be able to make any comment on playability. But I assume there may be some differences. Linnstrument having a much smoother surface than Erae (silicon) allows playing fast bowed instrument movements (violin, cello etc). On silicon surface, you may have higher friction on your finger top if you play for long especially bowed instruments. Again just my guess at this point..

    4) Erae touch has an API more where you can program anything you want using sysex... Linnstrument - you have the source code to modify stuff..

    5) Linnstrument does not allow playing chords involving more than three notes that are spread more than three rows/strings. This is probably not a big deal because only a few of us can make those weird shapes involving four/five fingers while playing chords.
    I am assuming Erae Touch will allow diatonic scale (i.e. show only notes in a scale) with customizable offset across rows. This may make chord playing a bit easier. As someone said above - layout-wise Erae is more flexible on paper. Plus they are constantly going to update their software Eare Lab with more features based on user requests.

    Happy to know more differences from others who own both (in the future) or prove me wrong ... :smile:

  • Time for review! I know that some people got their Erae Touch now.

  • @sujoybose77 said:

    ...

    5) Linnstrument does not allow playing chords involving more than three notes that are spread more than three rows/strings. This is probably not a big deal because only a few of us can make those weird shapes involving four/five fingers while playing chords.
    ...

    Hopefully not quoting out of context - apologies if I am.

    Is @sujoybose77 's statement above true? I know that you can't play 4 simultaneous notes that would form the corners of a rectangle on the Linnstrument due to hardware constraints, but I haven't heard of this before. It seems like it would be a valid concern when you think of playing with two hands, which makes me surprised that I haven't heard of it till now.

  • I don't know exactly what @sujoybose77 is saying but I've never experienced something like that. You can make huge chords on the Linnstrument. 13ths, 17ths, whatever you want.

  • @monch1962 said:

    @sujoybose77 said:

    ...

    5) Linnstrument does not allow playing chords involving more than three notes that are spread more than three rows/strings. This is probably not a big deal because only a few of us can make those weird shapes involving four/five fingers while playing chords.
    ...

    Hopefully not quoting out of context - apologies if I am.

    Is @sujoybose77 's statement above true? I know that you can't play 4 simultaneous notes that would form the corners of a rectangle on the Linnstrument due to hardware constraints, but I haven't heard of this before. It seems like it would be a valid concern when you think of playing with two hands, which makes me surprised that I haven't heard of it till now.

    According to the FAQ (https://www.rogerlinndesign.com/support/support-linnstrument-faqs) you can't play more than three notes in a single column. You can play more than three notes in a vertical orientation, but they can't be in the same column. Since the same chord voicing can be formed in multiple ways, it doesn't seem like this would be much of a limitation.

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