Serious GAS warning: Stereoping is building a new Matrix controller!

Stereoping Matrix 1000/6/6R controller, preliminary visualization Oct 2016. Source: stereoping.com
Ah, yes, GAS, Gear Acquisition Syndrome. It happens to the best of us. So if the thought of a new hardware super-controller by Stereoping is giving you sweaty palms, especially as you learn that it will also be available for Microwave, MKS-80, and Rhodes Chroma, you’d better not read on. The specs I’ve got for you would only make you GAS much, much worse.

You may have read about Stereoping’s new design, but when Gregor Zoll from Stereoping told me of his development, I used the opportunity to ask him for details, and this is what he told me. The specs are preliminary, details may change.

  • It’s called the Stereoping Programmer.
  • Four editions will be available at launch: Matrix (1000 as well as 6/6R), Waldorf Microwave, Roland MKS-80, and Rhodes Chroma. Other synths may follow if there is demand.
  • The controller features 49 knobs; 45 metal-enforced pots and 4 encoders. Along with the knobs, 7 keys, and an OLED 2×16 character display. All of that built into a reassuringly solid case made from 2mm steel that you can either put into a rack as a 3HE unit, or use as a tabletop unit. Wooden cheeks for tabletop use will be available as an accessory.
  • Nice detail: The housing features a gap for the MIDI plugs so that they won’t annoy you by taking up additional rack space.

Tabletop version of the Stereoping Programmer for Matrix (previz Oct 2016) with wooden sides

Let’s focus on the Matrix Edition:

  • Finally, there is a controller that gets the best from whatever firmware you are using. When using the original Matrix-1000 V1.11 or earlier, the controller will reduce the amount of commands sent to avoid choking the synth, but you can also set it to V1.13/1.16/1.20. Using the improved V1.20 firmware available here via my site, the Stereoping Programmer will make the best possible use of the improved processing capacity, guaranteeing for smooth sweeps.
  • There is also a setting for Matrix-6/R synths. It gives you access to the modulation matrix – a feat most controllers, including my TBMS iPad panel, can’t fulfil due to a lack of dedicated sysex commands on the older machines.
  • Access to all parameters including the modulation matrix. Turning a knob will bring the corresponding parameter to the display, showing the original value and the modiefied value. All parameters that are not accessible via a dedicated knob can be reached through fast selection via the encoders.
  • „Peek“ function allows you to verify the value of a parameter without modifying it
  • Translator feature allows MIDI CC control of the Matrix‘ parameters for extended DAW automation
  • In development: extended chord memory function, parametric randomized sounds, arpeggiator.

As with other Stereoping products, you can buy the Programmer as a kit. Gregor took care that the kit is easy to build and solder – a thru-hole PCB without SMD devices or exotic components.

Gregor won’t talk about prices yet, but we will know more soon – the first units are planned for Spring 2017.

To try and cool down our collective GAS a bit (as if that would work): You cannot order, buy or test this programmer yet – other than the Matrix Ctrlr from Alpes Machines that you can buy as a kit for €299. And I haven’t tested the Stereoping programmer yet, either, I’m just passing on what Gregor tells me. Relying on just one source – if I were a professional journalist, I’d never do this…

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