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Ribbon Controller for Pitchbend

edited October 2013 in Hardware


I have a Kurzweil ribbon controller. I was considering buying a Brain JR to convert this to USB midi. Can the brain be configured to use a ribbon controller as a pitchbending device? The desired behaviour being that you can play a note on a keyboard, then press on the ribbon's center and bend the note either way. And then the bend returns to zero when you lift your finger. Also a "relative" mode would be desirable (i.e. the bend starts wherever you place your finger on the ribbon).




  • I'm not sure how those ribbon controllers work. Do you have a link to a data sheet?

  • Hi Mark:

    I don't have a data sheet per se. But I found a web site where someone built a CVS module for the ribbon.

    The ribbon has an RJ12 connector on it. Apparently it has 3 zones of about 20k each. A Kurzweil keyboard can configure the ribbon with 3 zones or one large continuous zone. Personally I'm looking to use it with one continuous zone.



  • I don't think this will interface well with our brains, since it is not a pure analog component.

    Have you seen these?

    This will connect directly with our brains, and its one long strip.

  • Thanks for the suggestion.

    If you use this for pitchbend, can the Brain be configured to do a pitchbend from the center of the ribbon and then return to a zero bend when the finger is lifted? I can understand that this would happen with a pitchwheel because the wheel itself returns to the center. But the ribbon would go to (I think) zero resistance when the finger is lifted, so it seems that the software would have to handle this scenario.


  • You are correct that you would need the wheel to actually return on its own, via spring or similar.

    So this pot would not work like a pitch wheel, or like a true fader. It will snap to zero when released.

  • I realize this is an old thread but I'm looking at how to get the strips on the Guitarwing to do a similar thing. How do we get the strip to snap back to zero? and is it possible to set it up to revert to the zero position in the center of the strip so you could bend up or down with a snapback to zero? The Weeel app for iOS devices does something similar to this and the strip on Ableton PUSH device does the centering on the strip thing. Any ideas? 

  • Thanks Moon, 

    I get your meaning re: the ON/OFF touch capability. I can't think of a way to make that work for mimicking the behaviour of a spring-loaded pitchbend wheel though. Is it possible?

    Regardless, I'm sure many users are looking forward to November and new GW features! It's been too long :)
  • Any word on that November GW firmware update?

  • Excellent. Keenly waiting :)

  • Hi Everyone,

    Unfortunately, while deleting hundreds of pages of spam today, I deleted my own posts.
    As I previously had stated in this thread, this firmware update is due about 2 weeks from now.
  • A quick update here. We've finished the pitchbend firmware and editor implementations. The sliders mapped to any pitchbend now snap back to center pitch when released.

    You can even use the two smaller touch sliders as a single pitchbend, if desired, by setting one as 'bend up' and the other as 'bend down'.
    We are still working on a few more firmware updates related to supporting specific hardware devices, but we hope to get this update out next week!
  • Any word on release?

  • edited January 2018


    The firmware update is complete as far as pitchbend is concerned.
    We've reorganized the GUI of Guitar Wing Editor to make a lot more space for the longer text labels that some of the special mappings require. We also eliminated 'tabs' in the 'Advanced' interface, so everything is onscreen at once.

    We do have some things still in the works that we will continue to work on this week and next.

    As far as the Editor, we are working on adding some other new features to make updating the editor simpler.
    Including, 'indication that firmware is out of date', 'indication that firmware is so far out of date that it won't work with this version of the editor', 'new editor release notifications'. 

    As far as firmware, we are still working on the send 'Bank Change' (CC0 and CC32) update, as we are trying to add items to the 'Key Output' section to allow value increment/decrement behavior of this type on any mapping (rather than just specific CCs).

    We plan on sending out a release toward the end of next week. (If all of the new features don't make it, we will just add a second release a few weeks later.)

  • Haven't seen/heard any further news on any of this yet. Are we likely to see anything this month? 

  • I apologize for the delays.

    I can provide you with a beta of the v139 firmware.
    It has auto snap to center for the pitchbends now,
    and you can even use the two smaller sliders as a single large pitchbend slider by setting one to pitchbend up, and the other to pitchbend down.
    The LED Feedback is not perfect yet, in that center looks a little off on the large slider.

    Since the updated editor has not been released I will re-state that to assign the pitchbends

    Advanced Settings
    - Control Mapping = Special, 0=bend down
    - Control Mapping = Special, 1=bend full range
    - Control Mapping = Special, 2=bend up

  • Thank you, Had a play with it and it works grat - though as you said a little buggy in terms of visual feedback. Looking forward to the next editor update and any further FW updates! :)

  • So, Is there ever going to be an updated GW Editor?

  • Yes. It will be released later this month.

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