Build your own modular controller with Palette

It's official: clip-together music technology hardware platforms are the trend of late 2013. We've already seen littleBits' Synth Kit and the Patchblocks modular synth units, and now we have Palette, a modular controller system that enables users to join together knobs, faders, buttons and the like to create their own devices.

Each Palette kit is supplied with a USB power module that hooks up to your computer. This is then detected by the companion desktop app, which becomes aware of the controller modules you then attach on the fly and knows how you have them arranged. Once you've got a setup you're happy with, simply map modules to software as you wish.

That's pretty much it, other than to say that each Palette module also has built-in LEDs that you can control. You can find out more on the Palette Kickstarter page, where a pledge of $89 will get you a Starter Kit comprising four modules (Power, Button, Dial and Slider). There are various other pledge options, including the $599 Professional Kit that's made from wood and gives you 16 modules to play with.

We can't deny that Palette looks like great fun, though when push comes to shove, it remains to be seen how many people are dissatisfied enough with off-the-shelf controllers to go ahead and invest in it.

(Via Create Digital Music)

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.