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Sensel’s Morph is the proper trackpad controller for musicians and different creatives

Sensel’s Morph is a pressure-sensitive contact controller that’s simpler to make use of than it’s to explain. In contrast to different touchpads, it’s infinitely customizable and comes with a number of overlays that rework it right into a MIDI controller for music, a gamepad, a video modifying device, or no matter you program it to be.

At it’s most elementary, it’s a really fancy trackpad that’s delicate sufficient to detect gentle strokes from a paint brush and difficult sufficient to face up to being pounded on by drum sticks. To that finish, it’s a step up from related units. However the Morph is a lot greater than only a actually, actually good trackpad.


  • Dimensions: 240 mm x 169.5 mm.
  • Thickness: 6.75 mm.
  • Weight: 0.four kg.
  • Lively Space: 230 mm x 130 mm.
  • Latency: 2 ms – eight ms (mode dependent)
  • Accuracy: 6,502 DPI.
  • Contact: 20,000 stress sensors with 32,000 ranges
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth LE, USB

The primary attraction right here is the Morph’s potential to, nicely, morph. Sensel sells a number of overlays for it that may be hot-swapped out and in. The overlays are literally simply well-made silicon rubber mats. They don’t have any circuitry in them – the Morph detects the overlay by the position of its magnets. In reality, they’re so easy, you possibly can 3D-print your individual customized overlays and program their performance in virtually any approach you need (extra on that later).

Credit score: Nicole Grey

With no overlays hooked up, it’s a candy trackpad you need to use along with your fingers or absolutely anything you need as a stylus. I used a Sharpie with the cap on and the stylus from my LG Stylo four to check it and it responds fantastically.

It’s comprised of strong aluminum and feels prefer it might maintain as much as any punishment you’re going to dish out. It is a high quality product that resembles one thing Apple would make — not a single nook was reduce right here. In case you’re on the lookout for a wonderful trackpad, I extremely suggest this one. And we haven’t even gotten to the primary promoting level but: the overlays.

Overlays are bought individually, however they’re an important a part of the Morph expertise. Sensel appears to appreciate {that a} product like this doesn’t have the form of mass attraction {that a} mouse or keyboard has – not everybody wants a $300 trackpad – so fairly than attempt to make a separate overlay for each potential software program permutation, its created a dead-simple software program interface for modifying the person buttons of every overlay.

Let’s begin with the video modifying overlay. I’ve dabbled in Adobe Premiere and Closing Lower Professional for years now, however I nonetheless don’t know the keyboard shortcuts that may make my life simpler. I’ve tried a couple of completely different video modifying controllers over time and I’ve all the time wished one, however I don’t edit sufficient video to make the acquisition worthwhile. The Morph video controller overlay is $35 {dollars} and works in addition to any devoted piece of {hardware} I’ve used.

Credit score: Nicole Grey

Better of all, as is the case with all of the overlays, the video modifying controller could be custom-made. It’s arrange out of the field to work seamlessly with Adobe Premiere, however if you happen to don’t like what one of many buttons does you possibly can simply change it with the Sensel app or change all of them to work with no matter program you favor.

I additionally examined the gamepad overlay and located it comfy to make use of, however a scarcity of total help makes it troublesome to suggest. Sensel’s documentation factors to a few third-social gathering emulators to get it working accurately if the sport you’re making an attempt to make use of it with doesn’t supply HID help. However I had no clue whether or not the video games I used to be making an attempt to make use of supported it or not, or if I’d accomplished one thing mistaken in setting it up. Ultimately I bought it to work, however it took a variety of Googling and frustration. 

Individuals who aren’t ready to make use of a daily gamepad may profit from the Sensel Morph with gamepad overlay although, because it’s infinitely customizable. These keen to take the time to get it arrange for his or her favourite video games might discover it affords a stage of accessibility that common gamepads can’t. The truth that each button and performance could be dealt with with the controller set on a flat floor makes it a major candidate to be used by these whose bodily limitations make holding a gamepad troublesome or unimaginable.

The Morph carried out admirably in each scenario I used it in, however the place it actually shines is music manufacturing. I’ve used extra MIDI controllers than you possibly can shake a USB wire at and never a single one is able to what the Morph is.

In an ideal world I’d be surrounded by completely synced drum machines, keyboards, and MIDI controllers in my studio. Sadly, I don’t have the area for that – and getting a number of MIDI controllers to work collectively could be a common ache within the butt anyway. However the Morph’s overlays could be hot-swapped and meaning I don’t should cease my workflow if I need to change from manufacturing pads to drum pads or a piano controller – this realization result in my eureka second:

Within the video above I show how simple it’s to file my kick drum sound with the normal music manufacturing overlay. Then I take full benefit of the pressure-sensitive touchpad by slapping the drum overlay on and taking part in my snare sounds with a pair of standard picket drumsticks. Lastly, I’m in a position to hot-swap the piano overlay onto the Morph and add some synth sounds by taking part in the keys. It’s sensible, simple, and I’ve by no means been so impressed to construct drum and pop tracks within the almost three-decades I’ve been producing music.

Lastly, Sensel makes a clean “Innovator’s overlay” you need to use to workshop and check out your individual designs. It’s principally a rubber sleeve designed to work with a chunk of scrap paper. You draw out your design and use the Sensel app in your pc to assign stress zones, MIDI instructions, and the way it responds to the touch in dozens of various methods. When you’ve bought the Morph working the best way you need it, you possibly can 3D print your individual customized rubber pad, or simply hold utilizing your DIY setup with the Innovator’s overlay.

Credit score: Nicole Grey

I can’t discover something to not like concerning the Sensel Morph. It’s a little bit of a distinct segment product, so the $249 price ticket (plus overlays) is a bit a lot if you happen to’re an informal person on the lookout for a cool gadget. However if you happen to’re a music producer, video editor, or graphic artist on the lookout for a premium controller I’d say you’re getting an excellent deal. And if you happen to’re somebody who dabbles in all three: the Morph is a discount even after shelling out for the extra overlays.

The underside line is that I’ve by no means used something prefer it. All-in-one options normally do a poor job of changing devoted items of apparatus, however the Morph is so versatile that it may possibly fill in virtually any hole in my management scheme. I’m unsure I’ll be capable of return to life with out it, no less than not in my music studio or after I’m modifying video. And I imagine graphic artists and people who use a touchpad for picture modifying will get much more out of it.

You may get the Morph right here for $249.99. The overlays are bought individually for $35.00:

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Printed July 24, 2019 — 20:19 UTC


ProductMorph by Sensel

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