Undead Instruments Unleash TimeFrog2 – New MIDI Controller Concept

“The timeFrogII is a tool in the midway between the MIDI controller and the MIDI instrument. The purpose is to allow the user to sculpt command messages sent to MIDI hardware and software.”
timeFrogII MIDI Controller from Space, I mean France
OK, we’re in…

Undead Instruments, an outfit out of Marseille, France, has unleashed the timeFrogII. Not sure if the “frog” part refers to Olivier Broquet’s home planet, but he describes this new controller as “a powerful and flexible MIDI device dedicated to music computer and MIDI applications.”

The spin/inertial sensor (the thing that looks like a jogwheel, but isn’t) provides a totally new kind of control surface, which opens new way for playing with parameters. The 8 endless encoders, 4 potentiometers and 6 buttons form a functional and compact device. It can transmit and receive MIDI messages, offering endless possibilities for use of hardware and software that support MIDI, such Ableton Live, Max/MSP, Native Instruments Traktor and so much more.

Why the Spin/Inertial Sensor?
The “spin” allows the user to change a parameter with another beyond what a simple potentiometer can achieve:
» large amplitude movement for a small variation
» control of the increment of the variation.
» the spin can be launched and stopped, the variation stay under control using the increment parameter.
» the spin can be automated, with 2 parameters for time control: increment and speed.
» the spin can play a note and change his velocity, while a rotary controls the note pitch.
» the spin can be assigned on any rotary and use his MIDI mapping to change his value, while automated or not.
» the spin can fight against embedded sequencer.

The main concept of the timeFrog is that “all runs over a central MIDI memory.” (In other words: All your bass belong to us… —Ed.) Each of the three global modes offers a different way to use it:
» Controller: direct control change & note sending — 16 controls or notes, including spin’s one, by 4 pages
» Keyboard: note sending with pitch and velocity — 7 notes directly tunable: pitch, velocity, including spin’s one
» 4-step sequencer: Sequencing of notes and control data — 4×4 steps by 6 voices

Which boils down to this type of timeFrog action:
» the pitch of a note used by the sequencer can be changed in keyboard mode.
» the sequencer can change the value of a control in controler mode
» the spin control can be changed in the sequencer (and reverse)

Computer Requirements: USB or DIN5P, Mac, Windows, Linux. The timeFrog is complient to USB MIDI devices class. No need of drivers nor proprietary softwares. MIDI devices: DIN5P, need of external usb power adaptator

The timeFrog is an open hardware plateform. The firmware stands under GPLv3 license. New functionnalities, new modes can be added, the whole device can be totally reprogrammed.

Hardware Specs:
» Inertial surface control
» position and speed messages
» absolute and relative mode
» 0-127 looping or 0-127 locked values
» 8 endless ecoders with LED position display
» 4 buttons soft touch
» 2 buttons hard touch
» 4 faders
» MIDI in, thru, out
» USB self powered
» Dimensions: 260x160x50mm
» Firmware:
— 1.0: controller/keyboard
— 1.1: controller/4 steps sequencer
— 1.2: controller/keyboard/4 step sequencer
— 1.3 planned: 4 automates, arpeggiator editor

Undead

Author: FutureMusic

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