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VMeter™ is a USB MIDI touch strip that provides nuanced musical control and visualization for DJs and other laptop musicians.

 

Blue LEDs react to volume, touch or MIDI. The versatile touch strip is actually several controllers in one, giving you new ways to "play" effects and tracks. 

 

 

main-page-33.gif Multiple controllers in one provide anything from simple track fader to sophisticated virtual instrument controller.
main-page-33.gif Outputs include position, pressure, touch/release, note on/off, pitch wheel... Details
main-page-33.gif Control Windows XP, 7 and OS X system volume. See instructions for download. NEW: VU Meter display of sound levels and cpu usage meter (Vista+ only). 
main-page-33.gif Super responsive touch strip for fast reactions, including ability to snap to new levels.
main-page-33.gif Blue LEDs can act like a VU meter, touch tracker, or even MIDI envelopes for animation. Dimmable.
main-page-33.gif Unlimited number of VMeters can be connected through powered USB hubs.
main-page-33.gif Fully configurable. (MIDI channel, ctrl #, Note #, etc.)
main-page-33.gif Native USB MIDI controller--control any music software without drivers, Win/Mac/Linux.
main-page-33.gif

Firmware based on  LUFA

main-page-33.gif

Programmers: use as a generic I/O device. Python tutorial and demos

 

 

 

Compatibility:

 

The VMeter is a class compliant USB MIDI Device, which means that just about all software can receive data from it. Some software does not send data back out, so mouse changes to faders and automation don't playback on all software.

 

Here is a brief summary of testing, see the tutorials & compatibility page for more details.

 

Serato: Any software knob, more through xml midi maps. (requires approved Serato controller to unlock MIDI control)
Tracktor:
Everything! Metering out, input control, multiple vmeters. tutorial
Ableton Live
: Control any knob, VU Meter output with special plugins. 
LMMS: Control any knob, fader or instrument. VMeter --> LMMS only.
Torq DJ Software: Full bi-directional support + VU outputs.
Reason: Control any knob or fader, VMeter --> Reason only. 
Cockos Reaper: Anything can be controlled via Actions, visual feedback only for MIDI track recordings.
Sonar X1: Control any knob or fader, VMeter --> Sonar only. New: can be used as a visual metronome.
Logic Pro: Control any knob or fader, VMeter --> Logic only. 
Cubase: Full bi-directional support, limited VU Meter.
Presonus Studio One: Full bi-directional support. Automation and mouse-changes show up on VMeter(s). 
Resolume (Video DJ Software): Control any knob or fader, VMeter --> Resolume only. Pitch wheel mode not supported. 
ProTools: Very minimal support. The fader controller numbers are hard-coded to 33-40, and pans on those tracks are hard-coded to 17-24. Some plugins let you "learn" a mapping, but not all plugins. No output back to VMeter(s). 
GarageBand: Extremely minimal support. Volume and Pan control over currently selected track only. 
Standard Keyboards: Unless your manual specifically says "USB Host", it's very unlikely that you can plug in a VMeter directly. However, the Kenton MIDI USB Hostbridge is an option. 

kenton-midi-usb-host-vmeter-connection-diagram-300.jpg
Volume control for PC / MAC: Hardware version A can be "downgraded" to our original firmware that let's the VMeter act as a volume control on a computer. Contact us if you'd like it.

 

multi-vmeter-usb-controller-thumb.jpg multi-vmeter-usb-controller-dark-thumb.jpg

"I assigned it to one track in Logic, using the location on the strip to control the panning like a pot, and the touch sensitivity to control the spread of the signal.  It was pretty awesome!  It's part of my toolbox now."

 

-Bob Lukomski, composer

 

"I use mine with orchestral libraries and the ability to simultaneously adjust expression and other parameters (for example Vibrato depth with LA Scoring Strings) is fantastic... I know lots of film composers who get very frustrated with the limitations of the Mod wheel."

 

-Jon Wygens Film Composer, London

1 min demonstration of VU Meter and CrossFader in Torq DJ software
5min demonstration of pressure sensitivity, pitch wheel, config utility.

Thanks to the Ableton Colorado User Group for some early prototype feedback and suggestions!
   

Dimensions:

  • width: .94" +- .02 (24mm)
  • length: 6.65" +- .05 (169mm)
  • height without feet: .36" +- .02in (9.1mm), with feet: .47" +- .02in (11.9m)
  • touch length: about 4.13" (105mm)

 

VMeter Customers

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News:

  • Tutorial: Visualize metronome in Logic Pro via MIDI Out and VMeter
  • Serato DJ demonstration video:
     
  • Oliver from Spain sent in his setup using a VMeter as an expression MIDI controller:
    vmeter-midi-expression-controller-in-studio-2.jpg
  • New Tutorial: VMeters as metering output and X-Fader control in Traktor
    v
    ideo:

     
  • New Tutorial:VMeter as Pitch Wheel Controller in PreSonus Studio One
  • New tutorial: Multiple VMeters in Windows in Cubase
  • Customer testimonial from Darrel:
    "I use the vMeter as either a mod wheel or pitch bender for virtual instruments hosted in Cubase 5.  My Yamaha S90 keyboard controller has it's wheels mounted in a difficult to reach place and having the vMeter hard mounted to the left end of my computer keyboard tray is perfectly ergonomic for when I'm playing VSTi's.  I'm a realtime player not a "draw the notes on the screen" kind of guy so being able to control vibrato or other expressive parameters is key.  I also really like the feel of the vMeter as well as the visual feedback.  It's just a truly elegant controller.  :)"
    vmeter-pitch-bend.jpg
  • New tutorial for LMMS.
  • VMeter is now at ThinkGeek!
  • Mark Wingfield interview on guitar moderne about pushing the boundary of guitar sounds. He uses the VMeter on guitar for parameter manipulation.
  • Ariel in Argentina explains how he uses the VMeter with Sonar as a visual metronome when performing.
  • Torley demos new adjustable speed pitch return. Thanks!
     
  • Wireless and wearable VMeter by astlab.
     

     
  • New firmware with adjustable pitch bend return speed, adjustable sensitivity, and minor bug fixes. Require the latest config utility.
  • Wireless (WiFi) MIDI control via Raspberry Pi by astlab
    wireless-midi-osc-raspi-vmeter.jpg 
  • VMeter + Arduino as sensor display and servo input. Tutorial.

  •  
  • VMeter can now act as VU Meter for realtime sound level display, or CPU Usage monitor. (Vista+ only). See instructions for downloads. 
     
  • Non-music demos using python: Game of Life, Binary Clock, CPU Monitor, Chases, etc.
     
  • New firmware, fixes bugs, supports Note Out LED control to enable "Visual Metronome." 
     
  • VMeter is now available in Russia via randi-custom.com. Here's a little demo video from their shop:
     
  • Andy Toy posted a review on worshipleader.com/vmeter-review 

    "...The touch sensitivity is great and works incredibly well, even giving the ability to jump to higher or lower levels instantly..."
     
  • New computer-side software allows VMeter to control Win XP, 7 and OS X system volume.
  • Now control regular MIDI keyboards using the Kenton USB MIDI Host converter.
  • Rhythm Active in Australia now carries the VMeter, and a bunch of other awesome synths, modulars, other cutting edge music tech.
  • Review in "Audio Video & Music" (Italian publication), p. 36.  (warning: it's a huge pdf!). Thanks noisecollective.net!
  • Having sold out for a while due to some large distributor orders, we've finally got stock again! Film composer Jon Wygens also gave us some great feedback on being able to use position and pressure at the same time.
  • A new VMeter review on digital recording arts. "A USB MIDI Controller for Everyone"
  • bandesnaci posts a VMeter review and video demo with ableton live, showing things like vinyl scratch emulation, beat repeat control, tape speed, LFO filter, and others:
     
  • Our second European distributor, bax-shop.nl, now has stock! They're currently offering free shipping for many places in Europe.
  • Julie (DJ Shakey) integrates some VMeters into an impressive build for NY's Clocktower Gallery.
  • dj-shakey-vmeter.jpg
  • Our first European distributor:  http://www.musicstore.de now carries the VMeter! (and 50,000 other music items!)
  • Controllerism.com includes VMeter in holiday gift guide. "The sensitivity on it is amazing"
  • SonicState.com talks about the VMeter (41:50s into the video):
 
  • New Turotial and video: How to MIDI Map VMeter as CrossFader & VU Meter in Torq DJ Software
  • New Firmware: 0.24 (email us for the upgrade firmware)
    • CrossFade mode--like pitch wheel, but no snap back to center. Also has a small dead zone to help in zeroing controls
    • Faster and smoother pressure output
  • New tutorial that shows step-by-step how to map the Pressure output: Ableton Operator Control with VMeter Pressure & Position Mapping
  • New tutorial on using the VMeter as a track volume display (VU Meter) in Ableton Live.
  • Major new firmware with tons of new features!
    • Native USB MIDI support, no extra software between VMeter and music apps, works on linux now
    • Unlimited VMeters can be connected
    • Note out, pitch wheel out now supported
    • Settings are retained after unplug
  • PC MIDI software now available.
  • Our first batch is back from the machine shop and ready to ship! If you already made a pre-order, it should ship in a few days.  Check out a pic from the delivery table:
  • vmeters-coming-to-life-med.jpg
  • MAC MIDI software first release, let us know about any features you'd like to see.  Chances are we'll be able to get them into the next update.
  • First VMeter beta units shipping out with volume control only for MAC & PC

 

Customer Pics and Vids:

Long-time collaborator recompas posted a short demo using his modular synth + ring mod goodness:

 

 

 

Marc of http://twitter.com/#!/abletondenver sent in a quick video of Ableton Live filter control:

 

 

 

janw's binary clock using the 0.19 firmware & USB HID Interface - low level hacking!

 

 

Dana's desk (using it as a volume control with v0.19 firmware):

Dana's VMeter monitor setup