MIDI Rings

Does anyone have any experience with MIDI ring controllers:

The Genki Wave recently caught my eye, not only because it is affordable ($200 USD), but because it doesn’t have to have PC based software - it can send plain 'ole MIDI over Bluetooth LE directly to whatever you want (a Raspberry Pi or BLE enable Arduino in my case). They also make a Eurorack module to directly connect to it which looks well done.

https://www.genkiinstruments.com/

There’s the Neova by Enhancia… But it is pre-order only, expensive (€400), and notably lacking in any technical details on their site. It doesn’t even say how many axis of control it has!

Does anyone have any experience with these or similar technology?

  • Mark
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Would the 2.4 Sink module and controllers from Instrument of Things count or does it have to be in ring form?

I’ve never used them, but I believe there are similar apps out there that convert accelerometer data from the Apple Watch into MIDI messages.

Sure - do you have any experience using it?

My aim is to get more gestural control into my live performance. Most of these devices seem to do that, but it is always the implementation that makes or breaks them. Personally, I want devices that don’t reply on desktop software, and vastly prefer open source systems.

How about the Wiichuck controller from Delptronics? It’s a super easy build and less $100.
https://delptronics.com/wiichuck-kit.php

Edit: Never mind, you need MIDI specifically. so without a converter of some type this does not help the original question!

For expressiveness, it seems Mi-MU gloves have gone the farthest - it may have helped having Imogen Heap as such a major proponent. I know she has some custom rigging / scripting thru max / max4live to control lots of things…

https://mimugloves.com/

They certainly intrigue me, but I’m probably far too clumsy to learn them.

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Yes, I like gestural control and I own both the 2.4Sink and the aformentioned WiiChuck controller by Delptronics. I also owned the ADDAC Wiichuck controller and I’m very interested in the Genki, although I find the price of Controller + Module to be a bit too high.

I’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have, although the 2.4Sink and the WiiChuck are both Eurorack-facing and are not MIDI controllers. Still, if that’s something you’re keen on using, I’ll be happy to answer questions and even make a video to showcase something specific (although I’m usually a bit slow on video requests).

Happy to help!

Heard back from Genki and the news is good:

  1. Yes, they’ve used it with Linux and it should work with stock BlueZ with BLE MIDI support.

  2. There is a API kit - it uses alternate firmware that they keep in sync with the standard firmware - but in addition to all the normal features, you get an API you can talk to it over BLE to get more detailed internal info (including full control over the small LED matrix!) The API kit includes a lovely modern C++ header files describing the API, and Python and Javascript sample applications! Woooot!

I ordered one… updates to come…

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Two months later…
I got it. It works. It works just fine with my Raspberry Pi. It’s hella fun to fiddle with on a Mac with their software and bundled VST synth. It’s pretty darn easy to configure as you like.

I stumbled on some bugs - wrote in, they replied quickly, and fixed them in the next release. Saw three updates in the last two months - which is good, means the SW team is going full speed after launch.

I spent some time trying it out with my live rig. And now, two months later… here’s my first live performance with it:

Wave ring is paired with the Raspberry Pi (white box to the right of the Pulsar-23). RPi is then ferrying MIDI from the ring out the Pisound DIN MIDI jack - and there into Pulsar-23. Three of Pulsar-23’s MIDI pins are tied to the three axis - and I can alligator clip those around the synth to control different things during the performance.

Pretty sure this is a keeper addition to the live rig.

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Hi,
Do you have any experience using the Genki ring whilst playing keyboards. My live set has me doing a fair amount of live playing keys so I’m interested in how the ring behaves in that scenario?

thanks in advance

Sorry, none. I drum and play a launchpad isomorphic note grid with it on… but I can easily disable it (one click on the side of the ring) while doing those, then re-enable when I’m stylin’

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Ok - thanks for the reply. I bit the bullet and ordered anyhow. I think it looks amazing from all the reviews and demos I have seen.

I see Genki are offering 35% off some bundles for the next couple of days.

In general, I’m a fan of gestural control, but I tend to wait until I can grab it really cheap…like a ReMidi T8 glove I picked up on eBay for a tenner.

The mi.mu gloves look cool, but the pricing is bonkers. Originally £5K a pair, now a mere £2.5K a pair. For that kind of cash, you could pick up a Hololens 2 which probably has better finger tracking and the whole augmented reality experience thrown in. AR is the way forward for affordable gestural control IMHO; I’m looking forward to new offerings in the next year or two.

For gestural control on a budget, the Snowl might also be worth a look.

I’m not really sure what the new MIDI rings by Genki and Enhancia offer that the “Hot Hand USB” didn’t a long time ago, and you can find those fairly cheap on eBay.

I also messed around with the Myo Armband, which is interesting, but the secondhand prices are usually quite high; the built-in gestures are basic, and programming more complex ones is challenging.

There’s a reasonably priced MIDI glove called Spektr…

https://www.specktr.com/?lang=en

(…the French seem to have created a number of cool MIDI controllers…)

The classiest new gestural controller to appear recently is the Moog Claravox. That’s on my Christmas list.

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This month I did a longer live work, extensively using the Wave ring. In this set up I have multiple presets on the ring, some control the Pulsar-23 and some control the synths on the Circuit.

1:45 - controlling the Pulsar-23
4:50 - controlling the voices on the Circuit
16:00 - controlling the Pulsar-23 processing the Circuit

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Got a Wave on order. Will report back!

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Oh - and here’s another thing I did: scrubbing samples on Digitakt with the Wave ring:

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I have a Wave ring and Wavefront module just arrived. Once I get a chance to mess around I’ll do a quick demo and post it here for anyone who’s interested!

Edited to include an insta link…

Here we are!

1st clip glitching a Akemie/BIA beat using Roland Scooper, 2nd modulating cross modulations and filtering on a complex oscillator/filter drone.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CLsUO4chwll/?igshid=17fvhiy3qc1vw

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