Review - Lemur Polyphonic Touchscreen Control

Our Ed finally gets his hands on possibly the most revolutionary new interface for ages      12/03/07

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4:26 mins
Review - Lemur Polyphonic Touchscreen Control
Hands off! It's all mine...

We’ve been trying to get one of these in for review for years, ever since we first spotted it at Frankfurt MESSE in 2005, we knew we must posses it (even if only for a short while). Well now we’ve finally got our hands on it, we can get stuck in. What is it?
Essentially it is a controller, able to output MIDI and more besides, you can design your own interfaces using the supplied Jazz Editor. You have a library of graphical objects - buttons, switches, knobs, faders , X/Y pads and other more unusual ones such as multi-ball controls and scrolling pads. These objects can be programmed to output MIDI data so your software can understand it. What makes this different from a traditional touchscreen, apart from the programmability, is that it can sense multiple points (fingers) at the same time - allowing for much more intuitive and dynamic control. After an esoteric start to it’s career, the Lemur has evolved to version 1.6, which has taken it away from the boffins who programmed applications for it in MAX MSP (an object oriented programming environment for educationalists and the technically minded) and brought it into the MIDI realm, where it will now happily interacts with applications we can all use thanks to the JazzDaemon. In this series of reviews, our editor Nick Batt gets his hands on the Lemur and puts it to work. More installments are going to be posted over the coming days and weeks as we discover more. If you have any comments or questions - please leave them in the comments for this story - Nick will reply to them here and try to incorporate them into future review sections.
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13 Comments...  Post a comment    original story
King Julian    Said...

This looks amazing - but arent they incredibly expensive?

12-Mar-07 06:56 AM


NIck B    Said...

At first look, one would think so - around 2000 Euros/Dollars. But when you consider what this can do - essentially replace your Mackie Control and other controller based devices, it's not too bad.

Now, I dont know about reliability or durability - that is something I hope to research a little more.

12-Mar-07 07:03 AM


danzy    Said...

Looks slick, but other than the multitouch function, which I can't imagine using frequently, how is this better than a $375 Xenarc touch screen which doesn't need any configuring and works out of the box with any app??

13-Mar-07 11:15 AM


Nick B    Said...

Thats a fair point, I suspect they arent as durable as the lemur and are not as tactile - you need to be pretty accurate with your fingers for close grouped interface stuff - I imagine clip triggering or fader manipulation on a straight touchscreen would be quite hard.

Also, I'm not sure about using a touchscreen live. I would think a closer relative might be the Wacom LCD tablets - but they are pretty expensive too.

13-Mar-07 11:26 AM


Svante    Said...

Hi, Wacom tabets are not polyphonic and dont integrate well with DAWs etc. Ive got a Cintiq and its good for drawing but not for music....

13-Mar-07 03:36 PM


danzy    Said...

I think in one of your podcasts a participant said he was getting brilliant results using a 15" touch screen and no other displays. He said he could match anyone for speed. Wasn't that a Cintiq??

13-Mar-07 04:25 PM


Nick B    Said...

Yep that was Richard Evans. But it is still monophonic - with multi-touch you have more control. And if you lose your pen....

14-Mar-07 04:25 AM


SomethingTV    Said...

Thanks for the review. It was helpful to see it actually being used. Would you mind doing an interface with a video app. and changing effects on the fly on a short video clip?

15-Mar-08 01:06 PM


SomethingTV    Said...

Thanks for the review. It was helpful to see it actually being used. Would you mind doing an interface with a video app. and changing effects on the fly on a short video clip?

15-Mar-08 01:06 PM


SomethingTV    Said...

Thanks for the review. It was helpful to see it actually being used. Would you mind doing an interface with a video app. and changing effects on the fly on a short video clip?

15-Mar-08 01:06 PM


SomethingTV    Said...

Thanks for the review. It was helpful to see it actually being used. Would you mind doing an interface with a video app. and changing effects on the fly on a short video clip?

15-Mar-08 01:06 PM


SomethingTV    Said...

sorry about the multiple posts. I couldn't tell if it was actually posting.

15-Mar-08 01:08 PM


Keith Alban    Said...

I am a proud owner of the 2.0 Lemur. It is so incredible that I feel gulity for leaving the house when I could be exploring the Lemur even further. I know they are incredibly expensive...but they are incredibly vauable for that reason.

25-Jan-09 02:41 AM


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