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Nob Control nOb

Software Controller
Published April 2018
By Matt Houghton

Nob Control nOb

Welcome to the world’s smallest serious DAW control surface!

The nOb is a very simple idea — so simple, in fact, that I’ve seen more than one idle social media commentator dismiss it as an overpriced scroll wheel. They’re wrong, as I’ll explain, and thankfully sufficient people were able to see its potential that it was funded via a successful Kickstarter campaign. The idea has now been executed beautifully, with far greater sophistication than the device’s simple-but-elegant appearance suggests should be the case.

Conceptually, the hardware acts in a similar fashion to a generic mouse scroll wheel, in that the main control is a rotary encoder that operates on whatever’s beneath the OS’s mouse cursor. That might be a fader, a knob, a text field, a waveform, a window... Essentially, anything you’d normally control via the click and drag of a mouse can, potentially, be controlled by the nOb. This means you have access to more of your DAW’s parameters than via a typical MIDI controller. But at the same time, it offers much more than conventional control via a mouse’s scroll wheel or click-and-drag operation. And that’s even before you introduce the nOb Assignment Centre (nAc) software, for Windows 7 and later, and Mac OS 10.9 and above — I’ll cover nAc in more detail later on.

The nOb is, in fact, an Arduino device that’s housed in a beautiful, varnished, triangular,...

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Published April 2018