Haken Audio ContinuuMini

Worst case sign up for their emails - that’s how I learned about the update! But yeah - I’m sad they only do FB for community. That’s a hard limit for me.

Still hoping to learn when Continucon is with out going on FB. We’ll see if I find out before I plan my vacation time.

You are absolutely correct here, all the continuums have a firmware update to ver9.

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I haven’t loaded 9 yet but I read the release notes. This update is a lot more than presets. There are whole new synth modules and a slew of bug fixes, plus a new performance ui that’s scalable.

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One of the planned updates was an option to split the Ext port to have both the pedal input and uCVC output accessible at the same time. Not sure if this was realized but it would be great if it did.

New 9.5 firmware is in stable beta:

HakenAudio editor and firmware

This new Version 9.5 firmware release is for all Continuums with DSP engines (both classic action and light action) and for all ContinuuMinis. There are many new System Presets for the Continuum and ContinuuMini since the last release for the Continuum, version 9. This brings the total number of Presets available to nearly 600.

The Editor has a new look and layout; learn about it in the new Continuum User Guide and EaganMatrix User Guide included in your Version 9.5 download. Here are a few highlights:

The Editor has three Themes/Skins; the “Dark” theme is default; in Midi and Global Settings you can also select the “Light” or “Neon” theme.

The EaganMatrix and System Presets share the same area; click on the red text “System Presets” to toggle to “EaganMatrix” display.

Overcrowding of controls has been alleviated using Control 1, Control 2, and Control 3 displays, selectable by radio button at center left.

There are now 128 User Preset Slots, 16 are shown in the Editor at a time.

New Tilt EQ controls.

New BiqBank and SineBank properties and capabilities.

Jenny Oscillator is now a choice in the Osc/Filt portion of the Matrix.

This public beta Version 9.5 is paving the path to an eventual Version 10 release, which will coincide with the release of Expressive E’s Osmose keyboard, a keyboard that includes the Haken Audio EaganMatrix sound engine. This Version 9.5 release is stable for general use, however we plan to add new features along the path to Version 10.


Any further thoughts and comments from people who’ve played a Continuumini longer? As there’s an Eaganmatrix inside, does it (subjectively) work as a standalone jam instrument you can just delve deep into with a pair of headphones on a sofa, or would you rather use it controlling another instrument, in ensemble with something that allows for polyphonic control, etc?

Slowly thinking about hunting down one used - I’m super curious, but the ticket price is a bit much as long as I don’t know whether I’ll actually have the patience to learn to master it or whether it’ll fill a certain need/want I have in mind. I just sort of get the idea from videos that I like the idea of how it works ands sounds like, but not how fun and immediate it can be and what the learning curve is like (more like a beginner trying to learn a violin, or a keyboardist playing another type of keyboard?).

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Mostly standalone instrument for me, although I tend to use it together with Electron Heat. Learning curve is definitely there and rather towards violin but also it’s a new type of instrument with no existing technique/curricula so part of the fun is to figure it out. Honestly if you don’t have the time to dedicate it won’t make sense to buy it.


Mostly standalone instrument for me, although I tend to use it together with Electron Heat. Learning curve is definitely there and rather towards violin but also it’s a new type of instrument with no existing technique/curricula so part of the fun is to figure it out. Honestly if you don’t have the time to dedicate it won’t make sense to buy it.

Thanks! That’s actually why I’m kinda keen to try it out - I like figuring out stuff with instruments without an estabilished repertoire or technique. However, the flipside is that I tend to get frustrated and give up easily if the learning curve is super steep in the beginning… dedicating time to practise happens almost by itself if it’s easy to get going and playing feels fun from day one, if not then it’s really difficult to motivate oneself to get past the initial “everything sounds like crap” phase. (Happens with the kind of gear that wants to be programmed instead of played as well…)

Eg. the Array Mbira has been really good for me in that sense: it’s super easy to get started with and make (subjectively) pleasant sound, but it’s also an actual instrument you can spend a lifetime learning so you don’t hit a brick wall after the basics.

I have background in both slide trombone (which was one of those “sound like complete crap for months and months before you can play a simple ditty and start progressing to fun stuff” type things in the teenage years) and keyboards which means it kind of makes a lot of sense layout / playing style wise… On videos that is, I suppose I’d just have to try one out to have an idea whether it’d actually work for me.

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My primary instruments are piano and trombone (like you), so I took quickly to the regular size Continuum and to the Mini. The mini is a bit harder to play and I don’t always get the nuances the way I’d like but I still rather enjoy it. The sound is incredible - same engine as the full size. It’s not the simplest thing to program, but worthwhile for the expressive, natural sounds you can get. I also love that I can power if off a small USB battery pack. Add in a portable speaker and you can jam in the woods.

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That does sound very promising :slight_smile: I’ve been eyeing the half size regular Continuum for years and years, but due to both price, size and how amazing it looks as a feat of instrument design, that feels much more like huge commitment I’m still not prepared to take. It’d have to take both the main place on my studio desk and main focus in practise routine and most of other instruments would really have to go.

You do list the practical reasons why I’ve started looking specifically into the mini more and more, though. I find I rarely gel with just “controllers” or knobby sequencer-driven instruments for very long these days. Much more into interesting self-contained electronic instruments that you can actually just pick up, take with you and play wherever you want to. A lot of them are still variations on “here’s a keyboard with some synth sounds” or very, very experimental (which isn’t a bad thing, mind you!), but that kind of responsive playing surface (even if it’s more crude and limited than the actual Continuum) and the Eaganmatrix in one compact lightweight package seem like a lot of fun on paper.

That’s the main issue I have with the Linnstrument that I’m selling - it’s been a lot of fun but despite being compact, relies on having a setup of a sound source, a bunch of cables and so on, and after abandoning computer centric setups I haven’t really found a compact sound source it’d be super fun and immediate with. (And then again, now I’m thinking that the mini and Linnstrument would make a great pair with a USB MIDI host for duo jamming - two quite different expressive controllers and one of them having a sound source…)

As an aside, my trombone skills are very, very rusty due to musical focus on other things, not having a viable place to practise at, and selling my old and beaten up Bach 42 for someone who had much more use for it meanwhile…

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My personal experience is that Continuum Fingerboard and Continuumini share the same engine and by this the same sound palette but have very little in common in terms of technique. For my purposes mini is more suitable, however if I would get the continuum (Lippold Haken made some suggestions how to make it work for my needs) I will be back to square one.


That makes complete sense. The Expressive-E Osmose, once it’s out in the wild, will be the third “form factor” for an instrument with Eaganmatrix - and that’s going to be an entirely different instrument with entirely different techniques and sounds once again, even if the same synthesis engine is shared between all of them.

I guess from outside as someone who hasn’t played any of Haken’s instruments yet, to use a silly analogy, the Continuumini looks like something like a flute compared to Continuum being a full on concert grand. Both take equal skill to master, but one still feels more modest and less complex than the other, in other terms than size and price as well.

(I don’t know if this makes any sense whatsoever in real life, that’s just the kind of thought I got in my head…)


Yeah Mini + Linnstrument does work well as a combo. Also - while my trombone skills are also rusty of late, I still play in tune - even if my tone and range isn’t as pretty as it used to be. Once you get that feedback loop on intonation for tbone, violin or whatever I don’t think it goes away. And it translates well to continuous controllers like the Haken family.

My halfsize is my favorite controller right now for most melodic lines. I pair it with my modular and my Buchla Command 208c and get results that are really amazingly expressive. And you have the right analogy with flute vs piano. Though playing chord voicings in tune is harder than piano (but it’s so cool being able to play things like a 6th with correct intonation.

@t3h is correct on the technique not really translating. Someone has a set of video that suggests using mallet technique for the mini. I tried, but didn’t like that approach - but the guy doing the vids plays insanely well, so can’t argue with the result.

I held back for years because the Continuum is a major investment for something that is rather niche. But I wish I had taken the plunge earlier! (Though with the thin models, new OS, and Osmose the whole line is about to bust out I think).


That’s a good point! I think it’d still be easy to play the trombone in tune even I haven’t played a single note in years, the muscle memory is still pretty strong. Of course, the timbre and the range would no doubt be appalling without months of regular practise.

I held back for half a decade with the Array Mbira for the exact reason you mention, and I’m glad I didn’t hold back any longer than that. Even I don’t play it regularly at the moment, it’s one of those rare things I’d never like to part with, that’s fun to play practically every time I pick it up.

Now that I’m not doing music as intensively as I did back then, it’s always a bit of a gamble to pick up a new instrument and find motivation for regular practise - which I guess is a large part of why I wanted to hear insights from others who play this one regularly (thanks once again!). And in any case, I’m really missing something like the mini that I could take out of the workroom and play everywhere without a mess of cables, so it probably won’t be very hard for me to convince myself to pick one up and try it out eventually (hah).

Do you use the CVC or the smaller Evaton converter module with the Continuums? I admit the idea of being able to control the lunchbox size modular I have with a mini, although at an extra cost, does kind of blow my mind in a good way. It’d be sort of the polar opposite from the recently put together DIY Norns + Crow script / sequencer type control setup.


I use the CVC, but for 90% of what I do the Evaton would be sufficient. I’ve hooked both the Half size and the mini to my rig - both work great. What doesn’t work great is getting MIDI in the middle of things, so I don’t use the MIDI out from either unit really.

Sadly I haven’t found too much use of it and it’s a pity because it makes controlling external instruments very easy compared with trying to make sense of the excessive amount of data continuumini is senting out trough it’s MIDI channels. It comes back to how I prefer to use it as a self containing instrument. Also, it’s difficult to find a sound source in modular that could come even close to continuumini to fit well in the mix. What I find very useful to add to continuumini is the pedal. The other external element I’m thinking of adding to is Monome Arc to control the barrels (specific parameters in the engine) but I haven’t done enough research to understand the practicalities of this approach.

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If you get the Arc controlling the barrels, do share how. That sounds really cool!

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Thanks for your thoughts @ears & @t3h - this is really valuable for me right now.

(And good point on the “instrument” vs “controller” distinction once again, I suppose for me the CV control possibility is a definite plus, but the main point is to get to play something without having to hook it up to anything else…)

I wonder if something Teensy-based and very small with USB host functionality and four knobs, touch strips or other control elements would work as a portable DIY solution for the realtime barrel control. Based on videos as well, it looks like the pedal control is fun in any case, and you can even use two bipolar CV sources instead of the pedal if you want to.

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Although I liked the idea of the mini as a controller, the reality for me has been that it offers nothing more than what I can do already with my (Eowave) ribbon controller.

The mini is more precise for sure, but it’s difficult to handle the volume of midi data it generates and the cost of a dedicated CV converter is high compared to the price of a ribbon.

I think there is an option in recent firmware updates to switch the pedal connector to output a pair of voltages to give direct CV control but it’s not something I’ve explored. That might be a economical way to reality check it as a controller before going all in on a CVC.

The mini is definitely best for me as a stand alone instrument


I lack a separate ribbon controller (have been thinking of getting a ribbon to go with my Kurzweil synth, but AFAIR that’d be somewhat proprietary) so it kind of piques my interest in a way.

I suppose the fact that I’ve never felt a need / want for a ribbon controller together with the modular is a good reminder here though. I usually approach the modular more as a patchable or programmable instrument than a playable or manually controllable one, so I suppose that’s the default here as well.

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