Since I first started manipulating live samples, I’ve always wanted some kind of trigger surface that’s nothing but a bunch of dumb buttons that trigger samples via internal bank or MIDI. For a long time I’ve been using loopers and other devices to gather and playback samples. But nowadays I’m looking at changing around my live setup, and think I’d really like to add a ‘sample bank’ to the config so I can work with pre-made samples as well as live-sampled sounds. There’s a few interesting companies I’ve found, one of course I’ve looked at for several years for some kind of modular setup of my own: the Doepfer CTM series is along the lines of what I’ve been wanting. And now they have a cool ‘Mini’ enclosure to bring down the cost, cool huh? A similar device, specific to MIDI button control is being produced by Monome, though they have a limited product line with not so comparable prices to the Doepfer DIY method. But they still look quite cool and extremely usable, not to mention sturdy. Then there’s the brand new one by Yamaha. The Tenori-On allows both MIDI control and on-board audio, so it’s a bit of a different beast, and looks like it’s probably meant more for the mass-produce market than DIY’ers. mmmm, think it’s time to get a doepfer?