The MD-1 is the first stylish, affordable and high quality custom MIDI controller on the market.
After studying the relationship of musicians, producers and live performers with their MIDI controllers for several months we have concluded that the next step on the MIDI devices is customization.
Why buy a midi controller mostly never use?
The special thing about the MD-1 is that it will be custom-made for each user upon ordering it – so it will contain the features needed instead of unnecessary extras which are never used.
The images below show part of the extensive research we did about how musicians use their MIDI controllers:
How to create your controller?
Giving all of our users the chance to build their own custom MIDI controller gives us infinite possibilities of configurations and layouts. Unlike how complex it sounds, we wanted to make it really simple for you to design your controller.
1. Go to our website www.tinamilab.com
2. Do you need knobs? Knobs with buttons? Or maybe some faders? Design the layout that you need by simply dragging and dropping the components you prefer.
3. Place your order!
Simple, Just like that!
How it works?
Like any other MIDI controller, you just need to plug it to your computer, tablet, mobile or instrument compatible with MIDI – and have fun!
Here's a demo of MD-1 working with Arturia iMini for iPad:
- 16 components MIDI controller.
- Custom components: knobs, buttons or faders.
- 16 memory presets for MIDI configurations.
- Function buttons for shortcut access to presets and device global MIDI channel.
- MD-1 Blueprint MIDI editor software: Note Number, CC, Sysex & NRPN compatible.
- Parameter value instrument block: to avoid value jumps with potentiometers when changing presets or loading new sets.
- MIDI DIN In and Out.
- USB type b connector.
- 12v DC power connector for computerless setups.
- Sturdy metal case and wood panels.
- Portable: 15.7cm x 15.2cm x 4.5cm / 870g
Our MIDI editor software is called MD-1 Blueprint. You'll be able to configure each message sent by the components. Each component can be configured to send Note Number, Control Change, Sysex and NRPN messages. Once your configuration is ready you can sync it with your controller to save it in your device.
Through MD-1 Blueprint you can access your device presets. Each device has 16 memory slots for different configurations that you can quickly access through the function buttons.
Tinami started in 2016 as Sebastian’s thesis project for his Interaction Design Masters Program in IED Barcelona. As half musician, half designer he wanted to mix both of his passions to find new ways to explore and feel music production and performance. He dedicated a great amount of time studying the relationship between artists and their MIDI controllers in order to design the MD-1.
After spending a year in Barcelona Sebastian went back to Ecuador to create a team that will help him develop the project and to prepare for a first presentation of the Tinami at the Sonar 2017 in Barcelona.
In march 2017, Galo joined the team as the main hardware developer. During these months, they got the prototype 2.0 ready. This prototype was presented in June late the Sonar in Barcelona.
Prototype 2.0: Sonar Barcelona
As part of Sonar’s Marketplace, Tinami was presented as one of the featured projects from IED Barcelona. During the festival days we gathered a lot of good feedback from festival attendees and specialized press.
Production version development
During this time and, having in mind all the press and future customers opinions we got from the festival, we decided to associate with Joya, a Jack of all trades and good friend from Germany, who is in charge of Tinami's communication and PR.
Finally, our latest addition to the team is Cesar who is in charge of USB programming, MIDI software editor and device internal memory development.
Since the presentation in Barcelona we've been working with all the feedback we have received and focused on getting the version of the final MIDI controller.
Now, after a year of development, we are proud to say that we are mostly done and we are very excited with the results.
What is behind Tinami?
Tinami is the acronym for "This Is Not A Musical Instrument".
What we aim is to create beautiful, friendly and affordable musical devices that could be used by amateur and professional musicians, producers and performers.
MD-1 is our first approach to our users. Nowadays there are thousands of musicians working with full-of-unnecessary-extras-controllers, which is why the MD-1 goal is to give users a controller that contains all and only the features that they actually need to potentiate their workflow or live performance.
What media says about us
"That makes the Tinami line of custom MIDI controllers one of the big news items this summer." - Creative Digital Music
"One of our favorite devices came from Tinami, a startup that specializes in building customizable MIDI controllers." - Fact Magazine
"It’s a simple and quite beautiful idea." - GearNews
"Looking like something you'd see coming out of the Moog Music labs, the new Tinami customizable MIDI controllers aim to bring that analog touch to your music production workflow." - AskAudio
"Design your own MIDI Controller, then Tinami will build it for you! Now that's customization." - SonicState
Where are we now?
At this moment we have already developed around 75% of the project. Some features still need a little development:
- Hardware: 90% developed
- MD-1 Blueprint: 75% developed
- Special features: 60% developed
We already have a stock of 40 controllers that will be sent to our beta testers and some early adopters for testing and debugging.
Special features (What we are mostly working on)
We want MD-1's versatility to be its most important feature. Therefore, we are working on adding 16 memory slots to the controller that can be quickly browsed through the function buttons. This feature will give the MD-1 the chance to work with different gear, sessions, plugins, VST's or projects without configuring the controller every time you want to use it. In a nutshell: 16 controllers in one!
We want to give our users the power of complete customization. That's why we have been working to make MD-1 modular in an affordable way.
Are you tired of the current layout? Why not try to disassemble the case and rearranging the components? Our mainboard and each component is designed in a way that can be easily rearranged with just a screwdriver and minimal set of skills. Currently we have most of the hardware design needed for this feature solved.
We are working to add an affordable alternative for sensing each component, so every time a user rearranges MD-1 components our MIDI editor software automatically reads the controller's new layout. This is truly important for us, since we want it to be very simple for you every time you want to rearrange the layout.
At the moment we are adjusting the case so it can be opened and closed as easy as possible.
Why do we need your help?
We are almost done with the development process and are mostly working on adding special features, which will be significant for the perfect MD-1.
Developing Special Features and testing
We estimate we still need 2 months to develop, refine, test and debug MD-1.
In order to have an affordable and competitive price with the same components and case quality we need to produce at least 200 controllers.
- Kickstarter Launch
- Kickstarter End
- Start beta testing.
- Development of special features.
- Development of memory.
- Development of MIDI editor software.
- Finish beta testing.
- Refinement and debugging.
- Start production.
- Ship MD-1 to backers.
Risks and challenges
Every hardware project is full of risks and challenges.
We've been working on the development of the MD-1 for one year and planned the release of the MD-1 carefully, so we can surely say that the risks are already assumed.
The one thing we are actually nervous about is not reaching our goal.
We've been developing MD-1 for so long and have received so many emails from people interested in buying our controller since 2017 (to whom we sadly had to apologize for not being ready yet).
We are excited about the positive feedback but at the same time afraid of having to cancel this brilliant product due to financial issues and disappoint the people who have been waiting for the product this whole year so patiently.
However, we know that you are aware of all the work we have been putting into the development of our final product and that you are simply going to love it.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)