I got the idea for my project from a few of pre-existing products that are a bit outside of my price-range: namely, the Korg Wavedrum, Roland HandSonic, and Nord Pad. Each of these are electronic drum pads used for music production/performance. The price is mainly the result of internal sound-engines (much like a synthesizer) which provide the user with sounds that the manufacturer has designed (the Nord actually connects to a synth rack). These companies are actually pretty well known for the characteristic sound design on a lot of their respective products, so these internal sound engines can often justify the cost.
However, nowadays it’s pretty easy to generate sound externally through a computer. Abandoning the internal sound engine, and switching to a system which just has midi-outs would allow a user to have a similar musical experience without having to dish out all the dough. This is what I hope to accomplish with my project.
Aesthetically, I’m pretty inspired by the Monome Arc synthesizers. These limited edition synths have a very minimal design, which I think ends up having a big impact on the way musicians approach using them.
If I could create a midi-controller which looks half as nice as these, I would be ecstatic. Hopefully with some prototyping in the near future, I can nail down a design to be iterated upon over the next few weeks.