The scroll wheel of a computer mouse can be a bit of an imprecise monster when it comes to making fine adjustments in media production software like video editing suites or digital audio workstations, leading to frustrating back and forth marathons or manual interventions to get onscreen elements to behave. The delightfully retro-looking nOb is kind of like a supercharged scroll wheel that's used for making ultra-fine adjustments of parameters, settings and screen elements.
Germany's nOb Control says that the nOb controller will work with any computer system capable of running a USB keyboard or mouse, no special driver required. It's also reported compatible with any operating platform and any graphics, music creation, audio design, video editing or 3D artist software.
It's used in conjunction with a mouse, but will also work with touchscreen interfaces. A media author just needs to move the cursor to the onscreen parameter needing a tweak and then use the big dial on the front of the nOb to fine tune the setting. The weighted aluminum nOb out front has adjustable rotation resistance and features an industrial grade encoder that offers up to 2,400 counts per revolution for precision parameter adjustment.
It can be used to move software sliders, scrollbars, dials and knobs, pitch wheels and draggable value indicators, too, and is also touch-enabled to cater for tap commands such as undo and redo. Touch sensitive toggle switches are used to select operating modes, or to fire custom commands.
All of the electronics are contained within a hand-crafted mahogany enclosure, and all hardware can be taken apart for custom hacks and mods. The device connects to the computer running production software via serial over USB.
After building and testing several prototypes, the nOb Control team is readying its generic knob controller for world domination and has turned to Kickstarter for the final push. Pledge levels start at €149 (about US$160) and, if all goes to plan, shipping is expected to start in August 2016.
You can see what's on offer in the pitch video below.