Is it me or is there an overwhelming lack of compact/portable MIDI controllers? Similarly few companies make controllers that are meant to be used in tandem with instruments.
There’s stuff like the Livid Instruments MINIM (or Guitar Wing) or the (much discussed (and sadly very disappointing)) ROLI Blocks, and a few other somewhat gimmicky things (1, 2), but I’ve yet to come across a compact MIDI controller that isn’t awful or awful looking. On top of that all seem to be designed towards a “wireless MIDI controller you can stick in your pocket then use with your iPhone while chilling with friends at the park” kind of thing.
I backed this thing on Kickstarter ages ago as I like the (mini)grid interface and simple(ish) aesthetics but the compact has been pretty rude/shitty with communication and I worry that, like many things, it’s going to be a poorly designed product that ends up being some lifestyle+ecosystem thing rather than a robust and usable controller.
For the most part, I quite kind making DIY/custom controllers, especially since I often have quite specific requirements for mounting and using them, but when it comes to things with buttons and LEDs, it’s harder to DIY something elegant. Things based on the Adafruit 4x4 keypads are quite bulky as are things based on Cherry keyboard-style hardware, and trying to DIY or customize anything in that domain seems like a much bigger effort than I’m capable (or perhaps) interested in.
Does anyone know of any cool/useful/compact controllers, or have insights on DIYing functional/elegant controllers, etc…