The AlphaSphere is a different approach to the MIDI/DAW Controller. It is designed by Adam Place founder of the company Nu Desine. The AlphaSphere comes in two styles; Nexus and Elite. They offer a unique way to trigger sounds/samples and play music with 48 pressure and velocity sensitive pads. When used with the included AlphaLive software the AlphaSphere can be used as a standalone instrument or as a controller for your DAW.
ELITE ONLY FEATURES:
- MIDI port to connect AlphaSphere to external MIDI compatible hardware
- 2 x Assignable Dials
- 3 x Assignable Buttons
- Custom soft touch finish
- Available in black
- 48 tactile pressure and velocity* sensitive pads
- Ergonomic and spherical modular design
- Hexagonal lattice pad layout, allowing for alternative notational arrangements
- Responsive LED lighting
- USB 2.0 connectivity and bus powered
- Fully compatible with any MIDI software
- Dimensions: 26cm(W) x 26cm(D) x 32cm(H)
- Weighs approximately 3kg
*8 smallest pads are pressure sensitive only.
- Custom software allows the device to be programmed to a highly customised level
- Use as the devices MIDI mapping editor
- Use to trigger, loop, and manipulate audio samples
- Use to record and manipulate MIDI and audio step sequences
- Convert pad data to OSC (Open Sound Control) messages
- Comes with a 1GB library of audio loops and hits compiled by professional sample library companies
- Program pads individually or by custom groups
- Store up to 20 ‘scenes’ of pad settings within a single project
- Open-source under the GNU General Public Licence v2.
- Runs on both Mac OS X (10.5 and above) and Windows (XP SP3 and above)
- Supports Core Audio, ASIO, WASAPI and DirectSound
- Map preset notational scales or layouts to the pads, or set notes to pads individually
- Compatible with polyphonic aftertouch
- Set the pressure of each pad to send polyphonic aftertouch, channel aftertouch, mod wheel, pitchbend, or a CC message
- Supports multichannel MIDI, allowing multiple instruments to be played at the same time
Here's a video interview he did for Dubspot showing how he came up with the idea and how it can be utilized as a controller.
Here's a tutorial showing the AlphaSphere being used with Logic Pro X:
More tutorials featuring other DAWs can be found here.
The AlphaSphere Nexus can be purchased on their website for £500/821.45 USD, the Nexus sells for £1000/1642.90 USD. U.S./Canada customers are urged to buy from from any of their North American dealers.