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In-depth Feature:  Kenton Spin Doctor
The Doctor is in and ready to take charge. Are all MIDI ailments cured?
Nick B writes: .

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Kenton were one of the first to release fully programmable MIDI controllers. Their Control Freak, Control Freak Studio and Control Freak Live set the standard for true MIDI control. What set them apart from many others was that they transmitted not only basic controller information but NRPN, RPN and SYSEX, giving access to virtually any parameter. Another thing that set them apart was the ability to learn from incoming MIDI data – this certainly beats programming in HEX code (in the case of SYSEX).

These days the controller market is becoming increasingly crowded with many units combining keyboards and USB MIDI interfaces with manufacturers packing functions into increasingly small spaces. Kenton have continued along the Control Freak route with a smaller cut down version – in a similar vein to the Control Freak Live.

Out Of The Box
The Spin Doctor is a compact, sturdily built unit with an unashamedly purple colour scheme. The steel case requires an external power supply (supplied) accepting 9-12 volts – hooray – means you can use generic switching power supplies, I know I’m always leaving them places...

The unit features 16 programmable knobs plus a single programmable function key (F-Key) with a bright, four character LCD to let you know what is going on. The LCD uses a scrolling display to view longer text strings.- the speed of which can be set for us slow readers. Kenton have opted for the simple approach with the only other controls being the Edit button and a single rotary encoder for Data Entry.

Around the back you have the AC power, MIDI in and MIDI out sockets. Also in the box, along with the manual, you get a CD containing the current profile library (also available from their website – which is updated regularly), the Spin Doctor PC and the Control Freak editor for Mac users(OS 9.x only at time of writing, OS X coming soon) and a demo of Cakewalk’s Sonar 2 to get you started. Future CDs will ship with demos of Reason and Rebirth.

More Resources              Articles - full listing
  • Spin Doctor @ Kenton
  • Grab the manual (PDF)
  • Virtual Spin Doctor Applictaion (PC)
  • Spin Doctor

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