Using KNOR with a controller

KNOR is a modulator device sitting in between of pondered automation and real time instinctive input. When designing it, we wanted to focus on creating something innovative that would’ve been useful both in studio and on stage, with a simple interface, easy to grasp and widely accessible via MIDI mapping. KNOR happens to be a tool capable of filling a gap between the user and the computer: it allows structured ideas to be intercepted and manipulated by hand, establishing human-software reciprocal inspiration if you will.

Of course, while all of this could be achieved within KNOR’s interface on its own, we think that even a simple mapping system will make such interaction much more real, tangible and (more importantly) fun. In this article we’ll go over the process of pairing up KNOR with a generic control surface.

The first part is, of course, assigning the dials and their respective selectors. We only need four knobs or sliders for the former and four buttons for the latter. This way, we guaranteed a basic configuration to interact with the device. At this point, we would already have enough hands-on to jam around with presets or even with a fresh KNOR instance. We could set each dial to a different value and jump between them, or even run the sequencer on a recorded pattern and hold it on specified one in a musical way.

Though, if we wish to reach a further level of control, we’ll need to take advantage of few more buttons. Having a tactile approach to the recording section can be useful to add gestures and clear them while following intuition. We can map four buttons to the four dials’ Rec switches and other four to their respective clear X, for a total of eight buttons. Now we have a performative system we can fill however we want, without removing our hands from the controller. We can record gestures, clear them and replace them with something new, select dials and so on.

The cherry on the cake is to use another extra button to control the sequencer, mapping it to the Steps switch on the leftmost side of the device. Now we can even start and stop the dials progression and the interaction feels a bit more cohesive and defined. With a straight mapping workflow we can now define dials’ values, select them on the fly, record/clear gestures and turn the sequencer on and off.

Using KNOR with a controller truly reveals its essence of playfulness and mindfulness. It can be a powerful ally while writing music and designing sounds, but can also fit on the top of any parameter in a very performative fashion while playing live.

Hopefully you find this tutorial inspiring. How do you use KNOR? Have you ever experienced it with a controller? We’re always curious to hear it from you!

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