One of the first articles I wrote on DJTT was the Kickstarter called the Tuna Knobs. The knobs were meant to add a tactile element that was lost with touch based apps. A common concern for the Tuna Knobs that we saw in the comments was that they seemed to be a little simple for the purpose they were trying to serve. Florian Born, with a similar idea, went to work to create the Modulares Interface B.A. which is a physical interface accessory that compliments the iPad. Read more about Florian’s project below and watch a video of the interface in action.
Insulation and Control
Tactile feedback is a big selling point for many DJs. There is something that feels right about knowing your knob is at 3 o’clock or the fader is slowly bringing in the track. Florian saw the rise in popularity of touch devices and went to create the Modulares Interface B.A. as a physical expansion of a touch device. His interface not only gives the user the ability to create numerous amounts of controllers but also provides haptic feedback for the user to set parameters precisely.
First the iPad is placed into the device where it is held within an aluminum casing. Then the user opens up the Modulares app and configures their custom control by distinguishing whether sectors are knobs, buttons, or faders. The physical aluminum parts are placed on to the device and held together using magnets. All parts are made with a mixture of aluminum and plastic which create a flow for the electricity to travel from the user to the iPad. Also, all buttons, faders, and knobs feature conductive foam that provide a point of contact while not scratching the screen of the iPad. Watch the video below to see a demo of the Modular Interface B.A.
A Contender for Touch Based Accessories
Florian’s rendition of touch based accessories is one of the best to come out on the market so far, in my opinion. While the Tuna Knob and other products perform similar functions, the Modulares Interface B.A. seems to be solid in design and technology. This all in one device performs a full makeover of the iPad into a physical controller that can be used as a tactile control center for the music being played. Products before offered stick on solutions which can work but what I like about Florian’s device is that everything is locked into a box which takes away the worry of knocking off a knob or fader. Also, from a aesthetic perspective, the device takes away the stigma of using an iPad by changing the whole look. The Modulares Interface B.A. is currently not available for purchase.
What are your thoughts on touch based accessories for the iPad? Does tactile control really make a difference?
I’m with Fatlimey… I have quite a few cheap controllers that provide this functionality. Florian has come up with a cool concept, and it’s cool looking, but it also significantly limits what you can do with your iPad. Once you have a bunch of blocky controls on top of your screen… what separates this from a MIDI controller? You can no longer see the display… It might be a solution for someone who wants multiple custom layouts but you’re sacrificing everything else the iPad does to make it into a static controller. Why not buy a dedicated controller and map it to your software, or, for the price of the tablet and the interface- have someone build the custom controller of your dreams?
As someone who has a lot of MIDI/HID gear to allow for tactile control of my software I wonder what niche this fills. I primarily use my laptop, so maybe I’m missing a gap that needs filling for people producing/performing from their tablets. That said, it seems like a better solution to the tactile problem there would be a simple cable connection to your outboard controllers.
[…] http://www.djtechtools.com/2014/10/27/modulares-interface-b-a-insulated-touch-control-for-ios/ […]
[…] Parallel, and kind B interface […]
[…] speaker zone selector ZS-10: 2 Way, 2 inputs from amp Four outputs (4 speakers). Push-button controls permit you to flip each pair of audio System on and off independently. On/off selectors for every […]
it is cool that like Steve Jobs left us with ‘things should be practical,but above all,still beautiful.this has ‘steampunk’ written all over it ,cept it is totally use full and the faders and knobs arent there for ‘show’….this could work…im backing
It’s beautiful, it’s sculptural, it’s creative and it invites tactile engagement. But… you buy a $600 tablet and attach another $300 of hand machined parts to it for the equivalent functionality of a $200 device. Hmmm.
I think this is the kind of thing you’d go into a shop and notice, and think “wow, that’s interesting,” but using it at a gig, or even some producing, it would be clunky, difficult, and a solution to a non-existent problem… Very smart though.
Looks nice, but totally over-engineered IMHO. Mass manufacture it in ABS plastic and it’d be a winner – the way its shown right now is just too “boutique” and most likely really expensive to machine all those parts for what it does.
My view on this is that the power the Ipad has a any form of midi / DJ controller is the ability to switch screens / pages to use multiple control surfaces at the flick of a finger. Thus opening up all the controls you cannot get to with out using the mouse or from your existing hardware controller.
This is great for button pushing, X/Y pads etc and having visual feedback. e.g. meters , setting status etc. (Just waiting for someone to add Track info and waveforms. Anyone?)
Having hardware on top of the ipad is fine, if you want it in that configuration always and only want to access certain controls. Do you really want to deconstruct the hardware and reattach it to change your configuration each time or have multiple ipads set up for different situations. Fine for home experimentation but would you use this at a gig?
Great innovation though hope he does well out of it.
Very innovative. I think this would do well.
Cool idea but that thing looks kinda freaky.
It looks like it belongs in a gynecologist office, lol