Illuminated Control Knobs

Our knobs will be illuminated by the LED of the rotary encoders. For this reason, we need to find translucent plastic knobs. So far, our best option is the Davies Molding 1226, but it will need to be customized in order to remove the position marker. Also, having something a bit simpler like the knobs used by the monome aleph would be nice. We’ll keep looking for the best possible part, or we’ll commission a custom one…


9 thoughts on “Illuminated Control Knobs

    • This is a feature that could be added to our existing encoders. But I don’t think we could merge the two concepts (i8 and g4), especially because g4 is interesting for the fact that it would provide both pressure, tilt, and velocity control, not just pressure.


      • mengqimusic says:

        Yes, good point. Maybe use touchable encoders for other controls, like realtime patching playing interface. I don’t think touchable encoders and illuminated encoders can happen at the same time though, any thoughts?


      • I think I understand where you’re trying to go with this. If you’re planning to use the g4 for sequencing, you might want knobs on the g4 to set some voltage levels. I wanted something like that on my DSI Pro 2, which has 16 buttons for the 32 step sequencer, but the sequencer is really a 32 × 16 matrix. In that case, we might want to add an extra row of 36 keys, and 8 knobs on the left of the g4 alongside the y axis, with one knob per horizontal row of 36 keys, going from row 1 to to row 8 (no know on row 0).

        The user interface would work as follows: the g4 would have two main modes of operation: playing or sequencing. In playing mode, row 0 would be used for sequencing and rows 1 to 8 for playing, therefore the x axis would be time on row 0 and octave on rows 1 to 8, while the y axis would be channels from rows 1 to 8. In sequencing mode, we would flip things along the y axis: row 0 would be used for selecting a note, and rows 1 to 8 would be used for adding beats to the sequence, with the x axis used for time and the y axis used for channels. In sequencing mode, pressing a key on rows 1 to 8 while hitting a key on row 0 would add the note related to the row 0 key to the beat×channel point corresponding to the key being pressed on rows 1 to 8.

        Immediately after having hit the note key on row 0, the 8 knobs on the left could be used to adjust 8 different voltage levels for the note that was just played.

        I think such an interface would bring everything together very nicely.


  1. Nice idea on the g4! But what I meant was using the touch on the encoders to activate different patching presets, or use them as a 4*8 patching matrix between different modules. So a player can play with patching in real time.


      • Yes!

        For patching preset switching: user will setup different patching presets on the iPad, but since it is not a tactical interface, it is hard to play without looking at the iPad. If the encoders can be touched, users can use the encoders to switch between different patching presets on the fly by touching the encoders. This can also use the click, which can be better since encoders can be rotated without click, but can’t be rotated without touching…

        For patching matrix: think of a 4*8 matrix with assignable inputs/outputs, by touching on a node (an encoder) on the matrix, the corresponding connection is on, and the attenuation of the connection can be set by rotation of the encoder. (I think this is ok even without touching, since the encoder is clickable, and the RGB light can even be used to display the signal and polarity with brightness and different colors, which makes it a very intuitive interface.


      • What you are suggesting for the patching matrix would require that we have as many knobs as we have 3.5mm ports. That means 48 knobs instead of 32. I’m not sure that it would fit on the faceplate. Or the knobs would have to be smaller and arranged in two columns of three knobs for each channel, with a vertical offset between the two columns. Let me think about it some more…


  2. mengqimusic says:

    Yes, in summary, the clickable illuminated encoders would be better than touchable encoders. They would provide more visual feedback as well as taking button type inputs. Keep up the great work and let us have i8 in our hands asap!


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