Nord Micro Modular and endless encoders

Hi,

Does anyone here know if the Nord Micro Modular responds well to MIDI controllers that use endless rotary encoders ? I’ve never used mine like that and I don’t have any controller with endless encoders to test this.

I’ve been using my MM a bit more recently and while it’s still an awesome little machine it seriously lacks hands-on controls. I was considering getting a Faderfox UC4 for it but I realized that I’m not sure if the MM will react well to the 8 endless rotary encoders used in the UC4… I think endless rotary encoders were not a frequent thing when the Nord G1 was released and though I know the G2 handles this well I haven’t been able to find definite info about this for the G1/Micromodular.

Thanks in advance :).

It’s just MIDI. You’re sending CCs with a value between 0 and 127. Should work.

I thought endless encoders worked in relative mode and incremented or decremented the value of the CC and I wasn’t sure what happened when there was no bidirectional communication.

I checked the UC4 manual again and it looks like they can be set to send absolute CC values (0-127), which should indeed work then. I’m just wondering what value they start with, but with the MM in “follow” mode (i.e. waiting for the knob to reach the current control value before changing it), things should work fine anyway even if I might have to wiggle the knobs a bit at first…

Thanks for the answer :).

When you power up the UC4, the encoders are set to 0.

Side note: I absolutely love my UC4. It’s a very sturdy piece of gear.

Awesome. Thanks again for the quick replies.

You might also consider something like a MIDI Fighter Twister-- though it does not have ‘endless’ encoders.

The Fighter Twister looks nice but it only has knobs (no buttons or sliders) and most importantly it seems to only have an USB out.

The Micro Modular is from the before times, the long long ago, when MIDI only happened through DIN ports and so it requires a “proper” MIDI out from the controller (the Faderfox UC4 does that using a stereo minijack and an adapter) :).

Well, each knob is also a button. I use it with Max and a midi/USB interface, but you may find that overcomplicates things.

The encoders on the UC4 can also act as buttons. The row of dedicated buttons on the bottom can be quickly configured to send MIDI Note On/Off messages instead of CCs.

Another nice feature is that everything is configured on the device itself instead of through an app. The UC4 can store a number of profiles on it, including some pre-configured ones for popular software. Being able to program it independently makes it great for Nord control.

Encoders on the UC4 and UC44 - and on many (but not all) similar devices can be set to operate in several different modes:

In relative modes, they send delta values +/-1 (or +/- n where n is proportional to how fast you twist the knob). There are at least four different schemes for mapping this +/- delta value into MIDI’s 0~127, though only two are common (two’s compliment, so CC value of 1 is +1, and CC value of 127 is -1 ; or binary offset, where CC value of 63 is -1 and CC value of 65 is +1).

To use encoders in these modes, the controlled device needs to understand them, and have a setting to pick the mapping. Live and Reaper (and most other DAWs I imagine) do. Few hardware devices support them (No idea about the Nord).

In absolute modes, the controller tracks a value in the range of 0 ~ 127 and uses the delta from the encoder to modify that, then sends the new value as the CC value. In essence, they turn the encoder into a pot. But… most such controllers will accept the same CC as MIDI input, and use that to set the internal value. Hence, if the Nord sends the CC value when you tweak it on the Nord (or change patch), then the external controller stays in sync - that is, there is no need for scaled-modes or pick-up modes.


The FaderFox controllers do all of the above, and more: In absolute mode, the internal value is kept per logical encoder - since the encoders can be “banked” - So as you jump between banks, turning the encoder is always a direct delta from the parameter value now being controlled by it.

I use banked encoders on a UC44 extensively with percussion synths in Live. Works great!

Lastly, note that there is quite a difference in encoder feel out there - not just the physical feel, but the acceleration curves and logic applied to the raw encoder signal. Worst I’ve encountered is Arturia KeyLab, which has no acceleration, and poor scaling. Best is the FaderFox encoders, hands down. The acceleration curve is very natural to me.

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A friend of mine gave me his old, banged up but working Nord Micro Modular. One knob is missing do anyone knows what shaft the potentiometers have? So that i can order new ones?

thanks

This site sells replacement parts… is this what you’re looking for?

By the way, this plugin editor just added Micro Modular support a few days ago, so you’re in luck if automating the MM’s parameters is in your interests… this alone is making me seek out an MM again!

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Wow, this is a slick looking editor !! Thanks a lot for posting this. Any help on how to install the VST version ? Couldn’t make it work.

I don’t have a Nord Modular so I can’t help, sorry. Your best bet might be asking in the Nord Modular G1 Facebook group. It appears some people have had trouble running it in Catalina, while others can with no issues.

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The AU version works now on my computer.

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