Briefly, Specialwaves have created the lego or mechano (children of the 80s know what I'm talking about) of MIDI controllers. But, it goes further than being a DIY controller you build yourself. Specialwaves, based in Milan, have designed a customisable controller system so you can swap out modules to create the ideal layout for your needs. Change your mind or workflow? You can change the layout of Mine or MineS to suit. Need to switch from studio to stage? Go customise Mine. What if you break or damage a single fader or rotary encoder, etc? No problem. Replace just that module.
The idea is that Mine could be the only MIDI controller you'll ever need. And judging by the populartiy of our original article on Mine (one of our top 10 most read of 2016) there is a definite market for a fully customisable controller.
In late December 2016, the Specialwaves team came to Bristol to visit us at AskAudio and showed us the prototypes of Mine and MineS. I got hands on with both and had a chance to discuss the origins and concept of the controller, even looking through Riccardo's impressive thesis and research on music controllers. I came away with a better understanding of the stand out features, for example, that each module is 'smart' and can remember its mapped function even when removed from the base.
I was also impressed with their future developement plans through additional hardware modules, in-house software editor, and scripts for Ableton Live being made by Isotonik Studios.
Of course, we looked at the different modules that will be immediately available for Mine and MineS: pad, 2 button, encoder, pot, slider, and blank module. But, we also discussed future modules that producers, musicians and DJs would potentially love, including, LED displays, joypads, touchstrips, motorized faders, XY pads, and Jog wheels (that would likely be the size of four modules).
I'm not at liberty to reveal other private details from our conversations... at least not yet. What I can say is that all musicians, producers and DJs have good reason to be excited by the controller Specialwaves have designed. Perhaps, very excited. And, now Specialwaves are on the verge of launching Mine and MineS on Kickstarter - on the 25th January 2017!
Today, although Specialwaves aren't releasing the pricing details, they have revealed that the Mine will feature connectors for MIDI in and MIDI out, there's a new blank module, and they've collaborated with Isotonik Studios to create a basic script for Ableton Live uers.
Here's the official details which the Specialwave team want to share with the AskAudio audience before anyone else as a thank you for the level of support and interest you all showed back on 26th November 2016!
25th January 2017– the new Italian start-up, Specialwaves, will launch Mine on Kickstarter, the most popular crowdfunding platform that helps creative projects come to life.
Mine is designed for DJs, VJs, producers and musicians who are looking for a highly customizable, expandable and reconfigurable product. Mine is a modular midi controller composed by a case which is suitable to accommodate modules. These modules are built by single electronic interfaces in order to offer the maximum flexibility in the creation of your own configuration.
Modules can be inserted into the case or removed at will: in this way you can create a larger number of possible configurations. Right now we have six designed modules: Pad, 2 Buttons, Pot, Encoder, Fader and Blank module. The distinctive trait, never seen before, is the continuous evolution and upgrade of the product: in fact new modules can be designed according to suggestions from the “Mine community”. Each module can be placed in both horizontal and vertical position allowing more flexibility of use.
Currently two versions of controller are available: Mine and MineS. Mine consists of a matrix of 8 rows × 8 columns, that allows the insertion of a maximum of 64 modules; while MineS is a matrix of 8 rows × 4 columns and it can accommodate up to 32 modules.
Mine - up to 64 modules
Mine S - up to 32 modules
No drivers are needed. Both Mine and Mine S are full-MIDI class compliant; this will allow you to play on all platforms and operating systems. The dedicated controller editor software is the easiest way to configure Mine and Mine S. It will automatically recognize the type of module, its position and orientation. Thus, the Mine configuration is very simple. It’s also possible to modify the parameters of each individual module and save the settings directly on the module.
The user can connect one device to the other and build it up as one bigger control surface. In this configuration, the controller editor software will recognize Mine and MineS as a unique control surface.
We are proud to announce the new collaboration with Isotonik Studios that will allow all Ableton Live users to use a basic-function script for free!
Darren Cowley, founder of Isotonik Studios, told AskAudio, "we're really excited about the Mine project. Since we started our journey we've been searching for the ultimate setup, the trouble is each time we think we've found it we get bored... just like Scalextric... the Specialwaves project may just be the quench to our thirst for MIDI controller perfection."
The main characteristic and advantages that diversify Mine from all the other controllers and DIY controllers already on the market are:
Kickstarter: Will be lanunched on 25th January 2017
Read our first news story in Specialwaves Mine & Mine S here: https://ask.audio/articles/this-modular-midi-controller-specialwaves-mine-is-smart-customisable-sexy