VMeter? (slider with LED feedback)

  • Anyone seen this?

    http://vmeter.net/

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgOspkbwJsQ

    It's only a big longer than a monome64 (6.6") so that could fit nicely along side of one I think.

    Don't know how many LEDs it has but they have variable brightness too.

    I wrote to them and they said the current firmware doesn't allow you to address LEDs individually, but the previous one did, and they could set one up that way. It wouldn't work as MIDI over USB that way, but more like an HID.

    This could potentially have some interesting apps/software around it (imagining arc-like physics type programming).

    Doesn't hurt that it's dirt cheap too!

  • im sure it would work via serial>midi, there was some talk in the past about it if i remember correctly.

  • I picked one up a few months ago. This is basically a dumbed-down stribe1. It's user-friendly and affordable, and more tactile than a touchscreen (as those white stripes are physical ridges).

    apps/software... there really wasn't much written for Stribe. the cheaper price point will help overcome that here, but the requirement of going back to an older firmware kind of sucks.

    (I haven't taken that step; not sure if it's user-rewritable that way)

    Not that many LEDs. I want to say 22? And the brightness setting isn't addressable. So I don't know how much appiness you were going to derive from it anyway.

    It'd be really good as a one-note "boiingg", though.

  • It looks like more than 22, but it's hard to tell.

    They seem quite DIY friendly, so maybe reflashing it is doable? Or maybe if you have Max you can address serially?

    This looks better than the stribe to me (hadn't seen the stribe until your post). The stribe seems like a shittier version than a touch screen.

    Let me know if you find it boring and are looking to sell, as I'm thinking of getting one.

  • Stribe was cool, but died from lack of apps.

    This is essentially the new version. It's made by CuriousInventor, whose site was where you would buy the Stribe, when you could buy Stribes. And it addresses the lack of apps by being class-compliant MIDI, with built in "CC" and "Pitch Bend" modes. Meaning, the two most popular apps that anyone was ever going to use on it are built in.

    vMeter gave up a lot of power and flexibility in order to be this usable out of the box. And it is. But you and I are looking at it from a different standpoint, and wishing it were different for our scripting needs. Those differences would make it a Stribe.

  • Anyway, I do have Max. It's addressable as a MIDI device, period. You can reconfigure it using a small handful of MIDI messages, and they provide a patch to serve as that interface. Essentially, you can't send it messages that it's protocol wasn't built to support, any more than you could with the monome. It's going to adhere to the messages it knows how to handle, ad ignore everything else.

    Put another way, why would they tell you that the LEDs aren't individually addressable if there was an easy way to accomplish that?

    It's possible they can email us instructions to rebuild the firmware ourselves. I haven't asked, because the product I bought behaves exactly as described and it isn't my place to demand it be something else. But if addressing the firmware is a deal breaker for you as far as whether you order one (or more) or not, by all means, ask them. That's a very different situation.

  • ...and Stribe was available in kit form. In that regard, vMeter is WAY less DIY-friendly.

  • Last note in my Stribe rant:

    Stribe was inspired by monome, and developed by a member of this community. Schematics and firmware were all open source, and the order able units were built by one guy.

    For better or worse, vMeter is mass-produced and made of plastic. It does look (and act) more like a commercial endeavor, and that may well be better. But I'd be hard pressed to declare which one's a shitty version of the other.

    It's sort of like saying the monome looks like a shitty version of Launchpad...

  • And completely independent of my Stribe rant, which ended 26 minutes ago...

    Look! Stretta!
    https://vimeo.com/649922

    And, I always liked this one:
    http://vimeo.com/2822459


    I don't think there's anything shown there which wouldn't work on vMeter.

    In fact, I'm not sure there's anything shown anywhere which wouldn't. I had some apps in mind which require LED addressing, but never got my hands on a Stribe, let alone built 'em.

    Really, a lot of interfaces will still work on vMeter even without the individual LED addressing. Your visual display will be limited to one dark area and one light area. But if you just need something like a loader bar, no problem. You can at least control that much independently of touch controls.

  • Yeah if they could be individually addressed it would be a whole other ballgame. Again, like the arc, but linear rather than circular.

  • An 8 faders version would be good.

  • Agreed.

    I was thinking about bonding several together with Sugru or something, but the truth is, that still leaves you with however many USB connections to manage, and devices to keep track of in your DAW.

  • There are 38 LEDs. Working on a new version with an SPI port to allow other stuff to talk to it. It's not open source yet, but will probably be at some point. It's definitely not mass produced yet--iterations are happening rapidly. If you've got feature requests, feel free to send them our way. Individually addressing LEDs is definitely doable.

  • Individually addressing LEDs is the big one. Literally any other feature I can think of, I'm confident we can at least work around with a simple Max patch.

  • +1 individual addressing LEDs, please, and you'll have a Welsh order. :D

  • Yeah the individual addressing thing would be massive.

    This is more a bigger thing, but the formfactor is a bit weird. When setting it up to use it normally, you have a USB cable pointing AT you, so there's no way to have that be tidy. You could flip it upside down but then the logo is upside down, and I would imagine as is all the mapping.

    So USB cable coming out of the top (or the side, though that would mess up using more than one at once) would be a huge improvement in formfactor.

    The other thing (along those "big changes") lines is a shorter formfactor overall. I would gladly sacrifice some 'height' (from table to finger tip) to shrink it down to just the sensor/led area. I'm sure that bit at the bottom is the MCU/driver, but perhaps that could fit 'underneath' the sensor area to tighten the whole thing up a bit.

    This would fit in with the "easier to play" thing from above (with the USB cable pointing at you). At the moment, when set up properly you are playing the "farside" if that makes sense. You have a USB cable in your way AND you are reaching over the 'empty space' of the sensor. That would go away if the USB cable (along with the MCU/driver) were moved to the top, but underneath would be super awesome-er.

  • Oh yeah and orange LEDs.......

  • or rgb leds!! that would be awesome and relatively easy and not too costly to achieve.

  • Yeah nothing wrong with RGB! That would up the cost per unit, but add some nice functionality.

  • It would up the cost and circuit complexity, considerably. I don't think RGB makes sense at the consumer level.

    That's not to say it wouldn't be awesome, but it's a feature which wouldn't benefit many outside of this thread...


    Re: form factor, I'm not sure that one's "solveable". The need for a USB port is always going to limit your physical configuration options. And my ideal may well not be yours. (my thought was "move the port to the back, and I'll drill holes in my table", but this obviously doesn't suit everyone)

    I think their max patch does include a "flip orientation" command, though. So, you do have that much.


    But, yeah... individual LED addressing would make it possible to divide the slider into zones and label their boundaries. That's the missing link for a lot of apps...

  • RGB : new PCB, new chips, new price....

  • actually been hearing quite a few requests for putting the USB conn on the other side. The simple solution may just be to flip the logo :) RGB leds require major changes, but we'll get there eventually.

    Good to know about the tradeoff between height and length. thanks all.

  • Yeah I would imagine RGB would be a massive change up. The reversing the logo is definitely an improvement.

  • Oh, yeah, I mean I was imagining releasing firmware with assignable leds could be done within weeks (from what I've seen a previous version already included this?) Flipping the logo could be done within months, and RGB, well that could be years down the line...

  • New firmware with assignable LEDs just came out.

    So, it wasn't a few weeks. But it's here now!

    http://blog.vmeter.net/2013/02/02/python-scripts-and-vmeter-binary-clock-game-of-life-cpu-monitor-demos/

    http://vmeter.net/upgrading-firmware-new/

  • Ironically enough, nobody participating in the discussion when we were talking about such things can upgrade to that new firmware revision. We all have model A of the hardware, which can only upgrade to v1.26.

    (per-LED control, introduced in v1.28, requires model B of the hardware)

    ...and we can't buy newer hardware 'cause there's no inventory in the vmeter store.

    Yay!

  • Apologies for the non-upgradeability, the earlier version was a bit short on space. Contact us on our website and mention this forum and your purchase of a version A for 50% off a new one.

  • will take you up on that offer! thank you!

  • freelance writer