The Encore Knobby is designed to give you control over a wide variety of current, obsolete, and future MIDI equipment. The Knobby is a hardware controller that is programmed using your personal computer. Once programmed, the Knobby can work without being attached to the computer.
Unlike some other compact MIDI controllers, the Knobby can send System Exclusive (Sysex) messages.
The Knobby opens up the parameters of all your MIDI equipment with the ability to send any MIDI controller, including Non Registered and Registered Parameters, and up to 55 byte System Exclusive (Sysex) messages.
For example, you can tweak the filter of your favorite synthesizer, or adjust the pre-delay on your effects processor in real time.
If you've been paying attention to the synthesizer industry, you'll know the latest rage is the virtual synth. Unlike the old "analog" days, there are no knobs on these virtual wonders. You only have a mouse for editing. The Knobby gives you "hands on" control of their parameters. The Knobby is completely programmable. If the target instrument has fixed controllers, that's ok because the Knobby can be programmed to communicate with it.
The Knobby is one of those devices that you hope and hope for, until someone finally makes it. Encore Electronics has come through with Knobby, a Midi Controller designed to give you control over a wide variety of current, obsolete, and future MIDI equipment. The Knobby is a hardware controller (pictured above) that is programmed using its software for your personal computer. You basically assign which knobs will transfer what type of Midi-data and up to 120 functions can be assigned to the knobs via 15 various banks or groups. Once programmed you can use it as an external controller for just about any synth or Midi device and the Midi data it transmits can also be recorded into a sequencer for real-time capture and playback of all your tweaking and editing.
The Knobby opens up the parameters of all your MIDI equipment with the ability to send any MIDI controller, including Non Registered and Registered Parameters (NRPNs), and up to 55 byte System Exclusive (Sysex) messages. This allows it to control most synths from the Roland Juno-106 to the JP-8000 for example! Whatever parameters your synths allow to be Midi controlled can be assigned to a knob on the Knobby for real-time control.
Some synths such as Roland's Alpha Junos, MKS-series, JX-series and D-series are difficult or tedious to program since they have done away with knobs and sliders, requiring specific controllers (PG-300, PG-200, PG-800 and PG-1000 respectively). But with the Knobby you can finally edit those synths with several hands-on knobs and in real-time and those tweaks can easily be transmitted into your sequencer while recording. The Knobby is a wonderful tool for anyone with any number knobless-midi synths.
The Knobby also works great with modern knobless synths such as Virtual Synths. ReBirth, Reaktor, Reason and Creamware Pulsar all require use of the mouse for tweaking which means only one knob or slider can be changed at a time. With Knobby properly configured you can use its knobs to control several parameters on the fly and they will be recorded too. From Midi programming to Midi mixing, the Knobby can be a very useful tool for any Midi studio. It ships with pre-configured set-ups for many synths that you may already have. Click here for a listing of these. Even if your synth is not on their list, since the Knobby supports any instrument that responds to MIDI controllers, NRPNs, and most sysex messages you should have no trouble getting it to work with your Midi gear. You can even share your own custom-made libraries with others!
Here is a partial list of the Knobby's features:
120 programmable controls!
Twice the resolution of other (expensive) MIDI controllers.
MIDI merger built in..
Four group buttons. Allow selection of 15 groups of 8 knobs.
Eight potentiometers with a scribble strip below
Programmable MIDI data thinning. Prevents overwhelming some equipment.
MIDI activity indicator LED.
8 MIPS RISC processor. This translates to: "Lightning fast".
Non-volatile memory. No battery to replace - ever!
High quality construction, weighs over 2 1/2 pounds. (It won't slip on a tilted keyboard)
Bottom is completely covered with a soft rubber pad to protect whatever it's resting on.
Strain relief used to keep power cord from unplugging when you're getting crazy with the knobs!
Power supply included.
Dimensions: 10" x 5" x 1.5"
Very easy-to-use host application for Windows 95/98/NT/2000/XP. (Mac beta availble now!)
55 byte programmable sysex messages. Many format option.
Programmable checksum start location.
Instrument channel remapping.
Drag and drop knob definitions.
All controllers are named.
Simulated LEDs, reflect status of hardware.
Online help system.
Hardcopy owner's manual included.
Data step function useful for parameters that need to skip values. (like Waldorf products)
It also ships with a library of profiles that range from the Access Virus to the Zoom RFX2000. You can build your own libraries if you're a real bit head and share them with others. Keep watching this page for updated information. Click here to see the list.
Knobs - 8 with a scribble strip below
Buttons - Four group buttons. Allow selection of 15 groups of 8 knobs (120 programmable controls).
Software - 55 byte programmable sysex messages; Instrument channel remapping; Drag and drop knob definitions; Library manager; Simulated LEDs reflect status of hardware; Online help system
Windows/PC - Windows 95, 98, NT
Macintosh - The Encore MacKnobby application is currently in alpha stage, but it is downloadable from Encore's site. It requires OMS 2.0 or greater.
Keyboard - None
Memory - Non-volatile, stored in EEPROM inside the Knobby so no batteries!
Control - MIDI
Date Produced - 2000
Also have a new Encore Expressionist 8-channel MIDI-CV Converter.
On-line manual can be found here:
A great review of the Encore Electronics Knobby Controller can be found here: