One of the best parts about NAMM is when we get to go downstairs and explore the basement, often full of smaller and more boutique companies making unique products. At the Livid Instruments booth, we had the chance to look at their latest project, the up-and-coming Omni Modules with rack-mounted modular MIDI units. Learn more inside!
The idea behind the Omni Modules is that since DJs and producers alike have their own unique style and workflows, it only follows that each user’s MIDI experience should be fully customizable. The units, which fit a standard Eurorack configuration (learn more about Eurorack here!), fit perfectly into a modular case and connect to each other with a simple ribbon cable and 10 pin plug. Livid also mentioned to us that they may offer their own rack case (like the one featured in the pictures) which would likely feature their signature wood siding and a tilted front panel, as opposed to the standard Eurorack case.
Livid Inside: The Livid Brain 2.0
At the core of the Omni Module concept is Livid’s “builder brain”, which they revealed to us will be getting a complete refresh later this year. The second generation Livid Brain expands component capability to include endless rotary encoders, velocity sensitive pads, touch strips, inertia sensors, and more. The modular units will be released in smaller batches at first and will include everything from Monome-style LED buttons, drum pads, knobs, faders, and even arcade buttons.
Roll Your Own, If You Dare!
The cool thing about the whole concept is that those who are ambitious enough and posses some technical knowledge can build and sling their own modules. All that a personalized modular unit needs to connect to the Eurorack modular infrastructure is a 10 pin header and appropriate dimensions. The key difference here between building your own custom controller with the builder brain versus adopting the modular unit strategy is that with the modular paradigm there is no need for soldering or ANY electronics knowledge. Instead, simply purchase your favorite modules, drop them into your Eurorack case, plug in your USB cable, and begin rocking out.
Makin’ That Modular Money
While Livid wasn’t able to drop any pricing hints at NAMM, we speculate that the shipping price will continue the Livid trend of boutique cost, excluding the average DJ on a budget and targeting those who have a serious cash flow, especially since once you get invested in modular, you tend to fall pretty deep down the rabbit hole of expenditure as you expand your ultimate setup.
Since the project is still being developed, we’re excited to see what kinds of modules come next! Off of the top of our heads, we imagine XY control, touch strips, toggle switches, and even joystick modules.
Got your own ideas as to what kind of module you’d want to make? Post them in the comments section with words, pictures, or video.