The last two weeks I spent some time to take a step back and investigate what needs to be changed on the MIDI controller. I got a lot of responses on the survey and that gave me a clear image on what to change to make the KNTRL9 a success. I will share my findings here while I use this blog to write down my thoughts.
Luckily, most people loved the controller but some things might make it even better. The following things will change:
- One more row of rotary knobs
- MIDI IN/OUT
- Lower price
One more row of knobs
A lot of you requested more knobs, so that’s exactly what I will add. Nine extra rotary knobs will be added to be able to control more!
For those who will be controlling hardware, it will no longer be necessary to buy a separate USB MIDI host to use the KNTRL9, you can just directly plug in the KNTRL9 into your favorite hardware setup. Power will be supplied via the USB cable.
This will be a (classic) MIDI DIN plug since they are sturdier and “click” into place.
I heard you! The KNTRL9 was just a bit too expensive, especially since a lot of you currently are without income due to corona. I will make a lot of effort to lower the price. Looks like most of you think that a price within the €200-300 range is acceptable (median was €320 but I’d like make it affordable for more people). Of course, I will not compromise on quality!
There’s a few other quick fixes that I will add. Some of them had to do with communication. For instance, the KNTRL9 has rubber feet, but this was never communicated. Some people were afraid that the bottom was made from metal only.
Another thing is that I will offer warranty, and I will fix any broken controllers myself, if there is a manufacturing error.
Nikki Gijselhart has designed some amazing bags especially for the KNTRL9. We ultimately decided not to include them in the crowdfunding, as to not to push the price and lower the changes of success. Since there does seem to be demand, I will add them next time.
Investigating other requests
There also were a few other requests that need further investigation as to whether they are feasible. They are:
- Play/stop/rec buttons
- Personal engraving
- Different wood types
I will spend the coming weeks to investigate the feasibility of these features.
The elephant in the room: motorized faders
I get so many people asking for this that I think I’m obliged to address it: motorized faders.
Unfortunately, at this time it is not feasible for me to do this. Why? There’s a number of reasons of which I already mentioned a few on the FAQ.
First of all, price. Motorized faders of A-brands are expensive. Of course, I can buy them in China from an unknown factory, but I cannot guarantee quality. It would require extensive testing to assure the quality is good. I will do this at a certain point for a new controller, but this will take time.
Also, right now, the controller is USB-powered which makes the controller compact and easy to connect. In order to use motorized faders, the KNTRL9 would require a separate power supply.
Finally, the KNTRL9 is designed to be compact. Unfortunately, motorized mostly are quite bulky. This would mean that the KNTRL9 will be larger.
The planning is as following:
February 2021: Investigate new functionality
March-April 2021: redesign the KNTRL9
May 2021: Create new prototype
June-July 2021: New crowdfunding (or find private investors)
August 2021: Production
September 2021: Shipping
Of course, this is just a very rough planning. After I have investigated what new features will be implemented, I will make a better and more detailed planning. Also, note that I have another job too so I cannot work full time on this. This planning is however quite conservative, so I’m hoping to get results sooner.