Music

Portable, wireless MIDI controller makes for music creation on the move

Portable, wireless MIDI contro...
A full-featured portable MIDI controller that's small enough to fit in your pocket
A full-featured portable MIDI controller that's small enough to fit in your pocket
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The upper face sports 12 buttons, an octave slider and an expression knob
1/5
The upper face sports 12 buttons, an octave slider and an expression knob
A full-featured portable MIDI controller that's small enough to fit in your pocket
2/5
A full-featured portable MIDI controller that's small enough to fit in your pocket
The Noise Machine has three modes: a default mode as a wireless MIDI controller, a Split mode that divides the 12 available notes into two channels, and a 16 step sequencer/loop mode
3/5
The Noise Machine has three modes: a default mode as a wireless MIDI controller, a Split mode that divides the 12 available notes into two channels, and a 16 step sequencer/loop mode
The Noise Machine connects wirelessly to smartphones, tablets and laptops running music production software over Bluetooth LE
4/5
The Noise Machine connects wirelessly to smartphones, tablets and laptops running music production software over Bluetooth LE
The Noise Machine will work with every major DAW and software synth running on iOS, Android, PC and Mac devices
5/5
The Noise Machine will work with every major DAW and software synth running on iOS, Android, PC and Mac devices
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Brothers Zacharias and Schuyler Ackert have developed a portable MIDI controller called the Noise Machine that has similar functionality to a full-sized MIDI keyboard, but can fit in the palm of a hand.

First announced in June, and now the subject of a Kickstarter, the Noise Machine's teeny dimensions measure up as 54.3 x 60.3 x 11.4 mm (2.1 x 2.3 x 0.4 in), which is quite possibly the smallest MIDI controller we've encountered so far.

"The need for a tactile experience when making music is a must, but sometimes keyboards and drum pads can be too difficult to carry around," said Zach Ackert. "Noise Machine was created to offer beginners, hobbyists, and professionals alike an opportunity to easily and effectively create music wherever and whenever."

The user interface up top is home to 12 buttons (for all of the notes in a chromatic scale), a large shifter to move up or down seven octaves, and a programmable MIDI expression knob that's used to control modulation, but can be reprogrammed to custom parameters.

The upper face sports 12 buttons, an octave slider and an expression knob
The upper face sports 12 buttons, an octave slider and an expression knob

The 12 notes in an octave can be split into two channels, there's a looper/sequencer mode to let your melodies run at a tempo controlled by the expression knob, and users can choose from 12 different MIDI channels. The internal battery is reported good for all-day usage, and is topped up over USB-C.

The development team says that the Noise Machine will work with every major DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) and software synth running on iOS, Android, PC and Mac devices, and you no longer have to worry about forgetting cables for connection to your devices, as the boxy unit operates wirelessly over Bluetooth Low Energy – with a latency of between 7.5 and 10 milliseconds from Noise Machine to a paired device.

To get this MIDI controller in your pocket, you'll need to stump up at least CAD 89 (about US$70) to back the Kickstarter campaign. If all goes to plan, shipping is estimated to start in June 2021. The video below has more.

Noise Machine by THIS.IS.NOISE Inc.

Source: This Is Noise Inc

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