Sonic Palette

sound at your fingertips

Christensen Controllers
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It was created to be a better way to control live musical data.

Sonic Palette 09 Diagram

MIDI allows a musical instrument to be physically split into two separate parts; the synthesizer which makes the sound, and the controller, which is what the musician "plays".  Before MIDI and similar technologies, the way an instrument made its sound dictated what it looked like and how it was manulapted.

But now, we can now focus on, and improve the musical interface, without having to worry about acoustics.

The Sonic Palette's goals:
•  Many notes or trigger points and lots of continuous control. 
•  Physically and mentally easy to play. 
•  A reasonable size, and capable of taking abuse. 
•  Good feel and look, making you want to play it.  
•  Allows you to take center stage, or relax in the studio, and emote.

What the Sonic Palette provides:

•  Large range in a small size (seven octaves, no extra space, no strained back).

•  Freedom: sit, stand, or move while playing.
•  Excellent ergonomics.
•  Access to unusual chords and voicings (E17 anyone?).
•  One handed reach of over five octaves.
•  Expressive control.

Where did this idea come from?
I am a sax player who has always been interested in technology.  Electronics have in the past and will continue to be a powerful tool for musical expression.  Accessing  the potential of current music technology, to me is an interesting problem.   Most electronic music interfaces that include pitches have a piano keyboard and I am not a piano player.  I’ve worked on the piano keyboard, (and taken lessons) but right away I found it to be arbitrarily laid out, and ergonomically questionable.  Also, I found my 72 note keyboard to be a cumbersome piece of furniture that made me to twist around away from by computer when whenever I wanted to record.  Plus, taking it out of the studio was a chore.  I began thinking about making a new interface, an instrument that was designed from the ground up for use with current music technology.  Something like a traditional instrument, only freed up from acoustic restraints.  Something precise, polyphonic, logical, capable of controlling both pitch and amplitude at the same time, portable, comfortable, and attractive.

News in blog form

What the Sonic Palette is

- Why it was created

How is it played

How to get one

Links to friends

Technical stuff

What is a MIDI controller?

Music Examples

Control this

About us

Questions or comments?


Christensen Controllers' musical instruments are made in the U.S.A.
Patent #7273979
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