The Logue CL-1 is a MIDI controller that feels like a Minimoog

“What if we could physically control software as if it is analogue gear?”

LOGUE CS-1
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A Kickstarter campaign is underway for a new high-end customisable analogue-style MIDI controller called the Logue CL-1.

The Logue CL-1 is a customisable MIDI controller with a bulky, high-quality design. With expression at the heart of it, the company’s main mission with the MIDI device is to let users “create audio with the perks of digital tools and the feeling and expression of analogue gear.”

This expressive, hands-on, monitor-screen-free approach is made possible by colour-coded mini-screens above each of the controller’s 32 knobs that display the parameter name mapped to the knob and the corresponding value. They offer comprehensive visibility in one place, eliminating the need for you to constantly shift your gaze between the controller and virtual or hardware instruments.

In your DAW, you can download, create, and save MIDI maps for any instrument using the Logue proprietary companion software, which includes three layers: a bottom layer called Remote Control Scripts which handles the logic of the CL-1, the CL-1 wrapper, which identifies parameters within VST plugins, and the Logue VST plugin gives you a user-friendly interface to create, edit and save mappings.

Mapping, according to Logue, is a simple process, with the user able to click the mapping button and have it all ready to go, with mapping saved on various devices rather than having to manually re-map parameters each time you revisit an instrument. There’s also an automatic mapping function which speeds up the mapping process.

The Logue CL-1 has sturdy knobs and is made using high-quality anodised aluminium and wood for a solid, substantial feel. The wooden walnut stands on either side also echo that of legendary synths by the likes of Moog, Sequential and Roland.

You might think of the CL-1, then, as if Moog made a MIDI controller based on its plush hardware. We can see it being appealing to artists who love software emulations of classic synths but wish they could get more hands-on.

On the controller, Logue has said: “​​If you are a digital musician, producer or sound designer working with digital tools, you probably know that controlling your instruments or effects with your mouse is not a great experience. To be fully expressive, you want physical control over all your parameters instantly. You want the same great feeling of using analogue synthesisers, with the advantages of using digital tools.”

This is the first product to be designed by Logue’s co-founders Robbert-Jan Berkenbos and his partner Bram. The company aims to reach its goal of $150,000 for the MIDI controller, having attained 10 per cent so far.

You can back this Kickstarter now via kickstarter.com. If you pledge €595, you’ll receive one of the first batches of the Logue CL-1 MIDI controller when it’s rolled out.

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