Electra 1/2 - suggestion for a smaller, perhaps updated version

I tried the Faderfox EC4 and I hated it. I used the Electra One for a few minutes on the Superbooth and I instantly loved it (after eyeballing it for years).

But there’s one thing where the EC4 scores: the size. For a mobile setup like mine, space is a scarce commodity. Looking at the market, I see good potential for small but powerful controllers.

Therefore I’d like to suggest a smaller version of the Electra One. Let’s call it E 1/2 or E1 mini or perhaps just E1.

I know that making new hardware is a lot of work. I just want to start a discussion to see what people are thinking and hoping that Martin draws some inspiration from it :wink:

Hardware features variant 1 (daring to dream):

  • 9 endless potis
  • 4-5 hardware buttons all on the left or right side of the potis (to save some width)
  • smaller display to cover the 3x3 poti matrix
  • 1 pair of DIN MIDI IO
  • USB C connector for power and possibly host functionality using a hub

Hardware features variant 2 (more reduced):

  • 9 endless potis
  • no hardware buttons for possibly more space and cost saving (switching between pages will be done via touch screen)
  • smaller display to cover the 3x3 poti matrix and an additional row for touch navigation
  • 1 pair of DIN MIDI IO
  • USB C connector for power and possibly host functionality using a hub

What do you guys think?

3 Likes

I have an idea of something that I call Electra One strip. It would be a module with touch LCD, four pots, prolly two buttons. On the IO side, there would be MIDI IO in/out, USB host, and possibly CV. The dimensions would fit a eurorack housing. The main idea is that several strips could be placed next to each other to form a larger controller. Either in eurorack or a desktop case. The fun part would be that the strips could be interconnected and they would operate as one device. I made some tests already, running one preset on two electras, and it seems definitely doable and actually very cool.

6 Likes

The cv’s could make its own contribution into Eurorack. Mind you, there are some requirements to be met, for instance voltages could be positive and or negative, maxV could be 5,8 or 10V. Frequency should need to go at least to 20 Hz, preferably a bit higher like 100.
They should come in sets of four, allthough any of them could be set to any kind of signal. A pulse, a gate, a pitch voltage, or a continuous voltage .
A group of four would allow MIDI to CV conversion duophonically (two gate and two pitch), monophonically (gate, pitch, velocity, aftertouch), or use any output for any kind of MIDI signal wether coming from the outside, or the parameters from the Electra ER…. I see an endless array of possibilities for merging the physical Eurorack into the world of MIDI

2 Likes

Pretty interesting concept with the interlinked modules to make the controller modular. Personally I find it interesting to use the modularity of the rack in different contexts like building a MIDI controller or augmenting the audio of a MIDI synth.

But MIDI withing the Eurorack is pretty rare and even rarer when it comes to anything different than notes and clock. As NewIgnis said, there are possibilities for a MIDI/CV bridge but I think that’s a rather narrow use case which is already pretty well covered on the market. I guess we need to keep a broader market in mind. In my experience, what Eurorack folks crave for:

  • CV recording/playback
  • CV macro control
  • CV modulation
  • CV processing (attenuvertion/polarization/mix/scale/offset)
  • Gate logic
  • Sequencing

I think that most modern, digital CV processing/generation is done with audio sample rate. I’d also suggest to have at least one CV in, better an equal amount of CV IO.

(Overall, this device is likely to go in a rather different direction than what I had in mind haha)

1 Like

I have to agree with that. I’ve been part of the modular community for 8 years or so. MIDI integration isn’t very high on the wish list of most users. In fact a lot try to avoid it (and other integration with PC’s). So it would be a niche within a niche. Unless you come up with something spectacular…

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yup, I agree too :slight_smile: My idea is not really aiming at making a controller for modulars, but making a modular controller :slight_smile: The dimensions of the eurorack kind of nicely go along with size that I have in mind. But as I mentioned, it is an just idea. The first step is making the interlink between current hardware units. I use two units often (as it was presented at the Superbooth) and I know that a bit of smart communication between the units could do marvellous things.

2 Likes

My 5 cents: Same design. Change nothing but the screensize (smaller and only show what the knobs actually can manipulate). If anything maybe the bottom row of knobs above the screen.

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I just created a quick draft of what I imagine as the… ELECTRA ONE mini!

The 9 potis directly manipulate the values the user can see on the screen.

The buttons on the right are used to cycle through 4 available pages. To keep orientation in the context, the page layout is displayed on the bottom right. The pages could be renamed of course. One of these buttons is not for the pages. Perhaps it would be the best to let the user decide what’s needed. Could be used to quickly select a bank or to restore a snapshot.

The software buttons on the bottom left are just what came to my mind first. Perhaps there could be direct access to save/restore snapshots or load banks.

Again, this device is meant to be used in a portable/live setting with constrained space.

2 Likes