Modular Overlay templates are the future. Here's a custom Innovator Modular setup I've been working on

I’ve been making progress and refining an idea to circumvent limitations and maximize the usability of the Morph, and am sharing it here to possibly help others and invite conversation on improvements from the community and developers.

What my Overlay is currently:

  1. The Innovator with the rectangle middle section physically cut out.
  2. A Mouse Pad (Insert) cut to fit the middle section of the Innovator.
  3. Areas drawn onto the Mousepad with gray sharpies.

Pros:

  1. Insert feels amazing and stays in place. Depends on MousePad top for finger slide, base for grip.
  2. Insert significantly decreases inherent corner/edge issues with existing overlays. Because Insert is not physically attached to the outside edges of the Innovator, the pressure is FAR more accurate and not jumpy at all.
  3. Truly customizable. Make whatever you want.
  4. Lines more visible than beneath the default Innovator Overlay.
  5. Easy to make, cheap.

Cons:

  1. Left and right sides of Innovator Overlay is flimsy when middle is gone.
  2. Have to make it all yourself (cutout, try mouse pads, etc).
  3. No physical borders (same con with normal Innovator Overlay).
  4. Gotta cut the Innovator Overlay.

Ideas I’ve tried but haven’t fully tested:

  1. Clear plastic Insert drawn on the other side (looks ok, but plastic isn’t good for finger slide).
  2. Clear plastic Insert as a base, with mouse pad (or other material) cutouts glued onto the plastic insert. This has huge potential, one is drying as I type and I ordered a few different adhesive pads to test with.
  3. Cutting the other Official overlays out, and dropping them into the Innovator.

That’s the current rough idea of how Sensel (or Modders) could make their Overlays into modular templates:

  1. The Innovator Overlay with the rectangle middle section Physically removed.
  2. Purchasable modular inserts that drop into the middle section of the Innovator.

This would keep existing Overlays relevant for hot swapping, while offering more accurate and highly personalized Innovator overlays. Modular inserts would have no need of the Magnets, which should make them far easier and cheaper to produce, and easily modded for the adventurous.

Regardless, I’ll continue working on this. In the meantime, any inspirations or brainstorming is welcome here.

2 Likes

Updates:

I just ordered a 2nd Morph – the custom inserts I’m making are are significantly more useful than the standard overlay setup and will be taking it further.

With the mouse pads, I’m finding ‘sensitivity’ improved (more even and consistent) for things like drumming or when pressure is needed anywhere on the morph not just the edges. It may be because I prefer a lighter hand with higher sensitivity when drumming or pushing electronics, however it’s not something I do often, and when I do its usually on the MPK249 Pads or Keys anyway.

I have several items on order to experiment with – adhesives, felt pads, rubber materials etc. First job is to adhere the pads directly to the mouse pad top for touch feedback which alone I could then ‘call it done’ for my needs, but going to try other setups to see how far I can take or improve it.

1 Like

This is really interesting. Thank you for sharing @Psuper!

Just in case you haven’t seen it, you might be interested in this blog post from @peter_sensel, where he covers building Overlays out of alternative materials. It might have some handy tips for you.

Cheers,
Matt

1 Like

Thanks Matt, its quite a simple and unsightly solution, however it’s working out great. I’m hopeful to get to a ‘it’s done!’ setup soon enough since taking ideas through their paces – got some killer functionality going right now, will likely still be ugly :slight_smile:

I did see that post, its one of the stronger reasons I bought your Sensel – you guys were transparent, honest, and ‘got’ the mind of modders making your product to be as customizable as possible. It’s a perfect fit, the most useful piece of hardware for me in years. I’m having a blast hobbling together my frankenstein army.

1 Like

Quick update and photo – this is my favorite custom Insert overlay by far its an absolute blast – the 4 outside as XY pads and the middle is usually pitchbend/modwheel.

I have a semi-stiff folder clear plastic cut precisely under the Innovator overlay (with middle cut out) so it fits underneath the magnets but also inside the ‘lip’ of the hardware, which eliminates pressure inconsistencies on the sides. Then adhere a mouse-type pad with back adhesive to the top of the plastic Insert. Since I’m using clear plastic, I just print out my custom overlay, stick it under the plastic so its lined up where its supposed to be, and place the cutout pads in their appropriate spots – super easy.

Can now make as many as I want for pennies and about 15 minutes of work per Custom Innovator Insert (though I’m working on a major one right now will take a bit longer).

Stays rock solid, feels amazing, best setup yet. I haven’t decided what to add to the right side yet, for now its just CC sends but they’re no longer needed I put hard numbers directly in Cubase. 2nd Morph on the way I’m pumped.

This is wonderful @Psuper! And perhaps less ugly than you thought it would be? :laughing:

Haha yes better than I thought so far anyway, ty brother! I’ve never been one for looks as long as the functionality and usability is there.

I’m genuinely shocked there’s no XY pad controllers out there. The level of control I have right now with the Morph is absolutely phenomenal with my new setup. Granted I play the piano and have had hardware synths since the 80s, so controlling several XY controls with one hand is fairly intuitive to me despite not being up/down pitch/mod, but anyone could do it with a bit of practice.

Even simple instruments with a few creative automation assignments can be made to literally sing, evolve, and tickle the imagination like never before. I’m literally and figuratively just scratching the surface of possibilities.

1 Like

Well I found something better than a Sensel Morph…
…two of them. :white_large_square: :point_left: :laughing: :point_right: :white_large_square:

Edit: barely slept last night and can’t stop thinking bout ideas – every instrument I’ve ever had is now brand new. It genuinely has that same feel as the first day toying with my first synth (casio cz1) back in the 80s.

2 Likes

Oh hell yes. We’re going to have to see pics of this set up (and wouldn’t say no to videos if you can swing it)!

I’m making great progress refining custom innovator templates with various materials, even if a bit bogged down trying to decide on a few specific ones I like the most – there’s so many options and just when I nail an idea or placement down another couple pop in my head on how to further refine or change it. I also have a skeleton layout skinned out for a synth I use quite often, and another that is based purely on where my fingers are most often positioned on the pad (which is quickly becoming my favorite). Regardless, its a really enjoyable and most useful endeavor.

Another thought Matt – What l really like about your overlays is the outside ‘lip’ giving confidence for finger placement. So I made one mock-up of the modular idea for individual overlay components below – where you could make these available to “stick on” an innovator overlay (or any base material).

Granted, its very specific and something I threw together to better convey what at least I personally would find very useful. However I know if you were able to sell those components of the overlays individually I’d certainly buy em up and put them to good use. Of course if you or anyone can think of a way to either purchase something with the raised lips or make them, I’d be all ears. I currently have a semi-working thin layer that works but its not as smooth as I’d like, I also have thinner inverted a pad (cut out instead of placed on) which works well too, but the overlays you have are a superior feel when edge feedback matters.

And now off to more morphing!

1 Like

“Stout Mask Replica” gotta love it. :shark:

Nice to see such encouragement of DIY overlays,
As a new Morph user I’m pleased to find such a healthy attitude. :vulcan_salute: :om:

P.S.
Not that I’m big on flags but ours has a cool Dragon on it.
A Welsh flag would be nice in the emojis … image

1 Like

This is a fantastic idea!!! Absolutely love the visualization you created as well.

I’m passing along to the team here and will definitely keep you posted if it’s something we can do in the future. Again, I think it’s a great concept :slight_smile:

Cheers,
Matt

1 Like
Twitter RSS Facebook