A ribbon controller
is a user interface
used to control parameters of electronic musical instruments
, primarily used with analogue synthesizers
. (See fingerboard synthesizer
). A ribbon controller is similar to a touchpad
, but a ribbon controller only registers linear
Although it could be used to operate any parameter that is affected by control voltages, a ribbon controller is most commonly associated with pitch bending.
The ribbon controller has no moving parts. Instead, a finger pressed down and moved along it creates an electrical contact at some point along a pair of thin, flexible longitudinal strips whose electric potential varies from one end to the other.
The most well-known user of the controller is rock musician Keith Emerson, who used it with the Moog modular synthesizer from 1970 onward.