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the perfect [sic] controller

>>>> anybody think of some other controllers that might do a good job?

I can build to spec. Granted I can't (and won't) compete with  
Behringer or anyone mass producing for consumer market pricing.  
That's just not possible for me. There have been a few off list  
discussions that have come up since my intro post so i am bringing  
this up here for the masses.

If the loopers collectively could agree on a specific optimum design  
for a controller, I could look into making runs of at least 50 units,  
which would dramatically lower the price. Potentially this could be  
done individually for the EDP, RPTR, etc.. and perhaps someday the  
looperlative (fingers crossed for you, it sounds cool so far, i will  
surely take it for a spin at NAMM). Sort of like a 'Loopers-Delight  
Edition". I know that agreeing is one of the hardest things for  
humans, especially musicians, especially scientific-thinking  
musicians (see current debate on the nyquist frequency and sampling  
rates) But it's just a thought to be tossed around for now.

I'm afraid I have very little consumable documentation on the devices  
I have built, but I am trying to track things down and get pictures  
and videos of them.


I already have MY perfect controller. Took me a long time to narrow  
the options and features, but I am very happy with it now. For my  
looping performances I use a guitar with midi pickup and a pretty  
deep Max/MSP patch I've been hammering on for a long time. Here is  a  
breakdown of the hardware and what it does........

Four human interface elements. It's a guitar, a small tabletop  
controller, a floor controller built into a nice metal briefcase, and  
also a TINY JLCooper faderbaby for level controls. The guitar outputs  
several things - Standard 1/4" output from magnetic pickups,  
Hexaphonic output from the piezos (used for both acoustic tone and  
conversion to MIDI), and a separate midi output for the built-in  

The Max patch is basically a 6 channel delay line enabling me to loop  
anywhere from a 64th note to 64 bars. It is compatible with any time  
signature with 4, 8, or 16 on the bottom. There are also sources  
within the patch, one for drums sounds, one for guitar processing,  
one for sampled sounds, one for synth sounds.

and now for the hardware....

floorbox - 6 footswitches with BiColor indicator LEDs and 4  
expression pedals
the 6 switches enable the 6 loops. the 4 expression pedals are  
reassigned to many parameters by faders on the JLCopper. One pedal is  
always a crossfader between the guitar tone and the synth (controlled  
by the guitar) so i can rock back and forth between Jimi Hendrix and  
Jan Hammer.

tabletop- 7 knobs, 9 momentary pushbuttons 2 switches
6 knobs are for the loop time in bars, (1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64) 6  
momentary push buttons act as operator switchers, when pushed the 4  
bar looptime becomes 1/4. This is how i get down to 64ths. because i  
am using a delay line i am able to drop in something like a 16th note  
roll and it will become part of the larger 16 bar loop. the other  
knob, switches and buttons are top secret. (hint - i can do triplets  
and dotted values, and random numbers are involved in some other things)

built-into the guitar - 3 knobs, 7 switches, 5 velo sensitive  
triggers pads
3 of the switches and the 3 CC knobs are set to parameters of the  
guitar processor and the synth vst. the other 4 switches control what  
sounds will come out when i play the trigger pads on the face of the  

Pretty simple, once you pick it up and noodle for 5 minutes, but it  
took me a long time to get it to this usable stage. I'm also finally  
getting used to using this without the computer in sight, I hope to  
rackmount a mac mini or something to avoid having the powerbook on  
stage. A major part of getting to that point was being sure that all  
the necessary parameters were given place for visual feedback on the  

What would YOUR perfect controller have?

- b