MATRIXSYNTH: LE STRUM - MIDI Chord Controller

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

LE STRUM - MIDI Chord Controller


Published on Jan 13, 2016 midierror

"A unique control surface designed by uber-human Jason Hotchkiss. Le Strum functions something like a cross between a Stylophone and an Omnichord.

Available here: https://www.tindie.com/products/midie..."

An interesting side note is that I own an Oberheim Strummer. It might have been the first if not only piece of kit you could use to generate guitar like cords with your synth. The problem with it was that it wasn't super intuitive to use. It didn't have any strum controls but was rather just a desktop box with a button based menu system where you selected what chords you wanted to use. LE STRUM looks like it would not only easily replace it, but can be used more as a physical controller for your synths. Very, very cool.

"A unique control surface that functions something like a cross between a Stylophone and an Omnichord. Comes FULLY CONSTRUCTED!

Connect LE STRUM to your MIDI synthesizer or computer running synth software, hold down a combination of buttons to select a chord, then use the stylus to play MIDI notes by touching the contact pads on the top right of the board. As the name suggests, you can strum across chords using the stylus, providing an unique and expressive MIDI controller.

LE STRUM's 36 chord buttons give you immediate access to 84 different chords (maj, min, dom7, maj7, min7, aug, dim for 12 root notes). You can also play sus4, add6 and add9 chord variations. It is great for learning about chord progressions and can be a helpful songwriting tool.

LE STRUM has several performance modes which are accessed by holding the MODE button while pressing one of the top row of chord buttons:

Mode+C : Basic mode - Stacked triads mapped across all 16 pads
Mode+D : Guitar strum mode - 6-string guitar open chords used (maj/min/7)
Mode+E : Guitar sustain mode - as above, but chord held after buttons released
Mode+F : Organ buttons - As Basic mode but chord triad plays on MIDI channel 2 as soon as button is pressed
Mode+G : Organ buttons with additions - as above but with sus4/add6/add9 options
Mode+A : Organ buttons with retrig - as above but chord buttons retrigger
Mode+B : Load User Patch
Mode+Bm : Save User Patch
Mode+B7 : MIDI Panic - All notes off
Mode+Strum Pad: Set MIDI velocity (16 levels)

User patch can combine settings for: play on make/break, damp on make/break, guitar voicing /stacked triads, additional guitar octave, enable added 4/6/9 notes, enable guitar chord bass notes, keep chord selection after chord button release, common note sustain on chord change, map chromatic/diatonic/pentatonic scale to pads, enable organ buttons on midi channel 2

LE STRUM has a special 6 string guitar mode, which knows basic major, minor and seven open chord fingerings for guitar. It can be used to lay down strummed guitar MIDI tracks without a MIDI guitar, and in a more convincing way that you could get from a keyboard. It's more than a toy, yessiree!

Designed for hackability (e.g. solder wires to the provided holes on the pads to make proper "strings" to pluck)
Transmits on MIDI Channel 1 for stylus activity and MIDI Channel 2 for Chord Buttons.
Output is to a standard MIDI 5-pin DIN socket.
A PP3 battery is required
Size 98mm x 75mm x 45mm (incl MIDI socket) Weight approx 120g with battery

An optional stand is available, please contact me for more information.

Please note that synthesizer hardware or software is required to make sound. LE STRUM is a MIDI controller and does not make any sound by itself!"

Note: I created a new midierror channel label for midierror moving forward. You can find previous posts by doing s a search on midierror. The creator of LE STRUM is Jason Hotchkiss.

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