Some odd claims about Electra One on SonicState

Nick Batt & Gaz Williams discuss (amongs other topics) the Electra One.
Weird, totally not my experience with it.
What’s your take?

I guess they are not aware of the Ableton and Bigwig integrations we wrote :wink: Apart from that: I do understand (the general) frustration with hardware controllers of having to make custom mappings each and every time.

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Yeah I saw that and was a bit confused … they were mixing in talking about a kickstarter campaign for this which may be where the confusion is coming from :slight_smile:

what minute did they talk about it?

If you click the link you jump right in at the correct time

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I do understand what Gaz is talking about. It is frustrating in a way. I made some tests with making a VST host / wrapper in the past. It looks like that the parameters can be retrieved and auto-mapping could be done. But yeah, it is not a job for one day. I quit my job recently and I am working on E1 full time since April 1st. Maybe it will help :slight_smile:


I have built presets for a number of different MIDI controllers (as have others here).

It is often fairly quick to be able to query a device and get a dump back and parsing the raw data.

However, dealing with the formatting, control arrangement, making things nice and easy for a user takes a lot of time, and none of it is compensated. (No complaints there, just stating the facts. I put a few Lemur presets for users with a ‘donate if you find it useful’ link and after 1000+ total downloads I received $0.00 in donations).

So it’s always going to take longer and be more painful since it’s done in off hours for most of us.

The E1 tools and environment make it a lot easier, but it still takes time.


Not having watched the video yet … but from what you mentioned … it’s my experience as well. Programming MIDI controllers always was time consuming (I own so many controllers … always upgraded in hope the software to configure is better than the last … never was the case).

So now I’m a happy Electra owner … and it was the same. Just way too complicated (also I can’t use some of the features because I can’t code).

I was never happy when I put in the time to make presets and thus never used the device practically. I have a bit of hope that we get MIDI 2.0 updates so changes get reflected in the controller by design (… and there we are again … I’d need the new revision for this to work on all (“inactive”) pages of the Electra, right?).

Sorry for thinking out loud. Trying to figure out the reasons for this in my case. I think it’s got to do with that for every track I produce I have different needs / synths / setups. And setting that up is too time consuming.

Maybe a better interface with automap (in the box) is the fix? But then E1 needs to know about the device the CC comes from and have a list what each parameter is doing) … which is also not really a foolproof solution since MIDI channels also change all the time. (has MIDI 2.0 a solution for this? Like sending a unique ID?)

It’s not helping to have good looking pages with lots of parameters when the thing you need in this second is on another page and it’d be faster to just use muscle memory and do it on the synths directly (blindly!) / using the mouse to make a few clicks in the DAW. And using muscle memory is not really possible with an always evolving controller / page / setup.

So … it’s not ideal to have pages for each synth … it’s not ideal to make custom pages for every track (although that’d come closest to a solution if the E1 would listen to PGM changes and change the parameters accordingly to fit the current song / setup).

Tbh I have no clue how this can be achieved. But maybe it helps to think about a solution.

Happy eastern everyone!


Muscle memory develops by using the same thing with the same layout mapped to the same items over time.

If you’ve played a MiniMoog in the past, you can walk up to one, start playing and just reach for the control to adjust the sound with barely a glance because you have dedicated controls grouped in a way to make them easy to find and with ranges that are limited and easy to adjust.

Remote controller boxes are a challenge because every possible target may have different logical groupings so the device by design has to be uniform (also helps cost). It will never be as fast as dedicated hardware in all cases, so decisions and restrictions should be employed to make it as useful as possible. Also the widely varying ranges for each parameter may mean that one control needs a small nudge while another may need several turns.

Controllers can be used for remotely editing a UI-challenged device and/or for realtime control over something (whether it has a good UI or not). Trying to create a single preset to do both of those tasks probably won’t fully satisfy either goal.

Personally, I’ve found it to be the law of diminishing returns, the more controls I put on a page and the more pages I need to have. If the goal is realtime control, I try to put the 99% used stuff on the first page in ways that make it quick (for me) to see and use and then move less common or non real time stuff (like configuration bits) onto other pages.

For editing, if a device has a ton of parameters, the actual best probable answer is to use a computer. Otherwise, just creating a page with a subset of the most-tweaked controls is probably the best place to start.


I typically create presets for hardware synths that have a difficult user interface on their own, targeting specifically to sound design purposes. Think Oberheim Matrix 1000, Rolan D-50, Yamaha TX7.

That is why I try to be complete in my presets (have all parameters in the preset) and implement parsing (usually a tedious process because in the past a lot of different flavours have been implemented by the various manufacturers) so we get to see how a sound was made.

For playing purposes I then reserve page 6 (easily reachable with one hand only) which I call ‘performance’, and contains the main parameters to gig with.


@NewIgnis This is my approach as well. Best of both worlds.

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E1 can change pages/presets when receiving a PC or CC . That’s a good way to follow a song / setup change for me . I use it to follow and sync the layout of the E1 with my Streamdeck template .