A few weeks ago I walked out of my apartment in Berlin and down SchÃ¶nhauser Allee to Alexanderplatz. At Alexadnerplatz sits one of the coolest analog synthesizer stores in the world called Schnieders Buero. It’s full of amazing toys and Herr Schneider loves to show them all to you.
At Schnieder’s I got focused on the Doepfer R2M Midi Ribbon Controller. It consists of a control box and the Ribbon Controller itself. The Ribbon Controller is fantastic. It’s rests nicely inside a sculpted metal bar. The “position sensor” as Doepfer calls is a substantial 50cm long. The sensor is also pressure sensitive. The control box allows you to hook the Ribbon up to any Midi sound source such as a hardware synth, software synth, or effect plug-in. Being that this is a Doepfer product it also allows the Ribbon to control things via CV hence any real analog synth with such inputs.
You may have seen the R2M in a magazine review or on the Doepfer website but oh baby to touch it is to understand. This thing is really fun. It feels great and the pressure sensitivity works as you would want it to. It turns any decent sound source into a nice playable “instrument”. The control aspect and concept reminded me a little of the PersÃ©phonÃ© by EOWave which was also sitting in Schneider’s office.
I began to realize the R2m could breathe new life into my workflow. It can see myself arming a long track in Ableton Live’s arrangement view and rocking out an extended solo part. The control unit allows you to set up different modes such as Trautonium.
“Trautonium” mode: in this special mode only a single note on message is generated when the position sensor is touched. After that only pitch bend messages are generated until the finger is lifted off.”
You can also adjust the Ribbon’s scaling, Pitch Bend resolution, Pitch Bend width, quantization and Gate parameters. Are you getting some ideas yet?
More and more desk and laptop musicians are looking for new fresh ways to interact with there music. I highly recommend trying the R2M out.