Best MIDI Controller Is More Than MIDI

The JazzMutant Lemur is a controller like no other – a multi-touch external device with its own CPU, GPU and floating-point processors that can be configured in a modular way to control pretty much any media manipulation software imaginable. Whether you’re a DJ, visual artist or DAW studio music producer, the Lemur is certainly worth a second look…

So is it the best MIDI controller?

Although the Lemur can send and receive MIDI information, it does so via an Ethernet connection which is much faster than a MIDI cable. However, it also supports the OSC protocol (OpenSoundControl) which was developed with the intention of being the successor to MIDI. OSC has a number of advantages over MIDI, such as higher data transfer speeds, 32-bit numerical precision and the ability to send simultaneous commands.

One of the limitations of MIDI is its latency, and it can’t actually send two notes at the same time – when you play a chord on a controller keyboard, even if you hit all the notes simultaneously, the notes will be sent one after the other. Usually this is done so quickly that the end result is practially perfectly timed, but if there is a lot of information being sent at the same instant then the timing can drift a bit.

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MIDI Lemur Joined by DAW Dexter

Jazzmutant have recently announced a dual-mode feature on their two touchscreen controllers – existing Dexter owners can now have Lemur functionality and Lemur owners can upgrade to include the Dexter DAW system for about 399 euro.

Dexter is physically similar to the Lemur – both have touchscreens that can be manipulated by all ten fingers at once. The Lemur is completely user-configurable, and it can be modified to suit the requirements of whatever application it is connected with. The Dexter is designed as an intuitive DAW controller, and it comes with out-of-the-box compatibility with Cubase, Sonar, Logic Pro and Nuendo.

You can read a bit more about the Lemur controller on this spec page

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