It is now possible to pre-order the STC-1000 from the Mercurial Innovations Group website here.
There is a special if you pre-order the STC-1000, it is 225$ instead of 299$ which is quite a nice price for a programmable controller of this sort.
I visited the Tactex site lately and there is a new product that could replace the Surface One, it is called the STC-1000 and it is made by Mercurial Innovations Group. Build yourself a nice encoder box with ledrings here, buy an STC-1000 and you got a Surface One on steroids for less money !
Info on the new STC-1000 : PDF
Well... The fun is over. I contacted M-Audio a few weeks ago and the Surface One has been cancelled. Why ? According to M-Audio, because it was too long and too complicated, and because the controller market has evolved. Well, in my opinion the controller market isn't evolving at all. While I usually like M-Audio products, I can't say the Oxygen 8 is a nice controller. It's a big chunk of plastic. Same goes for Evolution products... You have the pro stuff like the new CS-32 by JL Cooper, but look at the price, and it's not programmable... I'm a bit tired of products rushed to the market only to make money quickly, without any consideration for quality. Products SHOULD take a long time to develop and SHOULD be complicated to make to acheive decent quality. M-Audio is becoming a consumer grade company and while a lot of people like that, I don't. I prefer to pay a bit more and have quality, rather than buy something that's going to break after 6 months... I'd like to make a suggestion for persons who want some quality controllers at a nice price. Visit http://www.ucapps.de This is a Do-It-Yourself midi controller which is very nice. It will cost you under 300 $ and you can build it like you want, it can be a big chunk of plastic with 8 knobs or a nice aluminium controller with motorized faders, encoders with ledrings, graphical LCD screen and touch sensors. The difference here is that you're the creator, it might be long and diffcult but you know in the end it's worth the effort. You don't need deep electronics knowledge, it's easy to learn. And it's also a big f**k you to all the companies who make products that break after 6 months. (I'm not targeting M-Audio here, most of their products are solid, it's a general attack).
I'd be glad if you could comment on this in the Forum, tell us your opinion.
In a recent email, Adam Castillo, Director of Marketing at M-Audio told me these informations :
• S1 will be branded as an M-Audio product (since
we no longer use the Midiman name)
These are great news ! The Surface One might arrive pretty soon...
Not much information is known at this time apart from the feature list posted on the various M-Audio sites.
I went to the M-World tour in 2002 in Montreal and got these informations :
• The suggested retail price is $US 799.
I had the chance to play with the unit and I can say that it has a very nice feeling. The body of the Surface One is made of a brushed-type metal which seems very solid (and heavy). The rotary encoders are made of solild plastic and are quite pleasing to tweak. The tactex material is very responsive, I noticed the option to change the input method from relative to absolute which is quite nice.
Surface One utilizes a fiber optic-based touch-sensitive material as its primary interface. This “smart fabric,” originally developed by the Canadian Space Agency and now licensed by Tactex, transmits the information it receives through touch so it may be converted into MIDI and sent out of Surface One to control MIDI-compatible devices.
The objects on Surface One that utilize the Tactex fabric are in reality virtual controllers, meaning they can exchange roles, locations, and functions. Surface One’s functionality is thus “context sensitive” in that it is redefined by the environment in which it is being used.
Because the fabric can read up/down, left/right, and pressure information at the same time, Surface One is capable of sending multiple messages simultaneously, each of which can be assigned to a different MIDI parameter.
The result is a powerful and unique tool that defies categorization.
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