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Alternative Keyboards & Interfaces for expression update
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Modular Synth General Discussion  
Author Alternative Keyboards & Interfaces for expression update
Bob Borries


Intellijel Planar (Eurostyle) http://www.intellijel.com/eurorack-modules/planar/





Grove Audio Joystick Controller (MoogStyle) http://www.groveaudio.com/pt/blog/default.aspx?id=11&t=Dual-Joystick-C ontroller-in-MU-Format





Synthwerks FSR4 Quad pressure sensitive sensors and more for eurorack. http://www.ersatzplanet.com/Synthwerks/fsr-family.html





Doepfer R2M midi ribbon controller http://www.doepfer.de/R2M.htm





Eowave Ribbon 2 Position and pressure sensitive that can be hooked up to CV directly. (version 1 shown, many improvements have been made to the 2nd version) http://www.eowave.com/synthesizers/ribbon-2/





Soundplane - This instrument is the most beautiful of the group and nothing beats the feel of real wood for expression. It has x, y and pressure for each key and can have multiple playable sections. http://madronalabs.com/hardware





Eigenlabs Tau - 84 keys, pressure, x and Y lateral pressure scanning at 2000 samples per second. http://www.eigenlabs.com/product/tau/





Keith McMillen Instruments QuNexus - It's the cheapest of the bunch, but because it transmits it's data over slow midi, it might not be as fluid as the others. It does have CV outputs, so maybe it's faster. It's compact, has interface feedback and transmits pressure, location and velocity. It's a kickstarter project. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/kmi/qunexus-smart-sensor-keyboard- controller





Keith McMillen Instruments QuNeo Pressure, Velocity, and Location Sensitive, USB, 64 key midi note mode. http://www.keithmcmillen.com/QuNeo/overview





Snyderphonics Manta - 48 touch sensors in a 6 X 8 hexagonal array - each sensor can independently send both continuous control data and note-on/off events with velocity sensitivity simultaneously http://www.snyderphonics.com/products.htm





Infinate Response VAX77 - It has poly pressure, that's it, but this is very rare to find theses days. http://www.infiniteresponse.com





Ableton Push - It's tied to Ableton DAW software, but can communicate to outboard midi devices. It has 64 velocity and pressure sensitive pads. https://www.ableton.com/en/push/





LinnStrument- Not available yet, but it has pressure for loudness, Timbre in the Y axis and pitch in the X axis. It has multiple surface templates and scans very fast. http://www.rogerlinndesign.com/preview-linnstrument.html





222e Buchla Multi Dimensional Kinesthetic Input Port http://www.buchla.com/series200e.html





Buchla Music Easel pressure-sensitive�touch plate�keyboard (with 32 keys) http://www.buchla.com





Continuum Fingerboard - By far this feels the best and beats everything here, but at a price. http://www.hakenaudio.com/Continuum/hakenaudioovervg.html




The Dude FSR Box Two huge dual passive force sensing resistors on a box https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=53779




Suit and Tie Guy Arch Angle Archangel is a 4-row 16-step analog sequencer with integrated 16-pad touchplate keyboard that's pressure and position sensitive. https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=16894&postdays=0&pos torder=asc&start=0




Roli Seaboard Putting the control of pitch, volume and timbre right at your fingertips. http://www.weareroli.com




CME Xkey Ultra slim USB keyboard with velocity, poly pressure and pressure sensitive pitch & mod buttons. http://www.cme-pro.com/xkey-features/

CME Xkey 37 key version http://www.cme-pro.com/xkey37/

CME Xkey Bluetooth Wireless version http://www.cme-pro.com/xkey-air/




Miselu C.24 wireless music keyboard for iPad Velocity and Poly Pressure, wireless, foldable into an iPad cover. http://www.miselu.com




C-Thru-Music's Axis 64 elocity sensitive MIDI controller with Harmonic Table note arrangement. There are 192 keys, so it's like buying three 64-note keyboards all in one.http://www.c-thru-music.com/cgi/?page=prod_axis-64





Elby Designs ES-25 Touch Response Keyboard
www.elby-designs.com/webtek/panther/es25-touch-responsive-keyboard


Sputnik Multi-touch Keyboard Controller
http://sputnik-modular.com/multi-touch-keyboard-controller/


Vebos Electronics Touchplate Keyboard
http://www.verboselectronics.com/modules/


Pittsburgh Lifeforms KB-1
http://www.lifeformsmodular.com/kb-1/


Novation Launch Pad Pro Midi Polyphonic Aftertouch & Velocity
https://global.novationmusic.com/launch/launchpad-pro


CDM Hyve
http://createdigitalmusic.com/2015/10/sneak-peek-of-hyve-a-60-note- touch-synthesizer/


Expressive E Touche
http://www.expressivee.com


AlphaSpere me
http://www.synthtopia.com/content/2015/02/25/alphasphere-me-midi-contr oller-an-inexpensive-option-for-polyphonic-aftertouch/


Zoom Arq
https://www.zoom.co.jp/products/production-recording/digital-instrumen ts/arq-aero-rhythmtrak


Doepfer Touch Sensor Keyboard Prototype
http://www.doepfer.de/a100tkb.htm


Snyderphonics JD-1 Prototype
http://www.snyderphonics.com/index.htm


WMD Controller Prototype
http://www.wmdevices.com


Kong Nanokey Studio Wireless Keyboard with touchpad
http://www.korg.com/us/products/controllers/nanokey_studio/


And now... for a controller you don't touch at all. The Moog Etherwave Plus is a theremin with 2 CV outs for pitch & volume and gate.
http://www.moogmusic.com/products/etherwave-theremins/etherwave-plus
Bob Borries
The iPad can't be overlooked for a great way to control musically useful techniques for analog synthesis.

All these apps hook up to midi hardware or though midi wifi connected to a computer for maximum musical expression. Some of these apps feature great sounding synthesizers, but the focus here is their ability to control analog synths through midi.




Lemur: Lemur is the world's best MIDI/OSC controller for iOS. Benefiting from nearly 10 years of development, Lemur is synonymous with multitouch music control.
More Info: http://liine.net/en/products/lemur/
iTunes Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/lemur/id481290621?mt=8



Logic Remote: Logic Remote is an iPad companion app for Logic Pro X on the Mac. Designed to take full advantage of Multi-Touch on iPad, Logic Remote offers new ways to record, mix, and even perform instruments.
More Info: http://www.apple.com/logic-pro/
iTunes Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/logic-remote/id638394624?mt=8



ThumbJam: Configuable playing surface with tilt sensing
More Info: http://thumbjam.com
iTunes Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/thumbjam/id338977566?mt=8



AniMoog: Great synth with touch position pads
More Info: http://www.moogmusic.com/products/apps/animoog-0
iTunes Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/animoog/id471638724?mt=8



Sound Prism: Chord keypads makes it easy to find chord progressions
More Info: http://www.soundprism.com/index_pro.php
iTunes Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/soundprism-pro/id425733007?mt=8



Little Midi Machine: an analog-style MIDI step sequencer.
More Info: http://syntheticbits.com/littlemidi.html
iTunes Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/little-midi-machine/id394018004?mt=8



Mode Machines MIDI Keyboard: Free Basic controller
More Info: http://muzamusic.com/index.html
iTunes Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mode-machines-midi-keyboard/id56629745 6?mt=8



Musix: Isometric Hexagonal Keyboard
More Info: http://www.shiverware.com/musix.html
iTunes Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/musix/id389159817?mt=8



Orphion: Expressive Circular Pads that can be edited into custom layouts.
More Info: http://www.orphion.de
iTunes Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/orphion/id495465097?mt=8



Polychord: Chord progression player
More Info: http://polychordapp.com
iTunes Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/polychord/id402625491?mt=8



DM1: The iPad Drum Machine
More Info: http://www.fingerlab.net/website/Fingerlab/DM1.html
iTunes Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dm1-the-drum-machine/id431573951?mt=8
KnobHell
This looks like it has potential

Leap motion
jumbomonkey
omg. this is a beast of a thread.

Choose your weapon!!!!!

So much choice, and so much amazing technology.. I'd be wondering where to start!!!

I've got an Ableton Push ordered, so looking forward to trying that out.

Casio Dg20 for melodies too, nice controller.


Favourite has got to be Buchla I reckon!
Jaytee
Don't forget C-Thru Music's Axis controllers. Hex grid isomorphic keyboards. I use a pair of them rearranged into a jammer layout.
BHC303
Genus thread w00t

Guinness ftw!
fireclown
That's a lot of neat stuff.
just came across the best monophonic controller I have ever used, and it
brings into question the issue of monophonic and poly controllers and keyboards. has anyone found a distinction between the two uses and what works best?
I sure haven't tried too many different keybeds or alternate controllers, but
the monophonic Synton KBM35 CV keyboard with no velocity or aftertouch is the most expressive thing I have ever played.
It couldn't be done with pressure, velocity probably wouldn't help.
I don't always appreciate velocity, but the particular aspect
of this keyboard is the pitch bender, so to speak.
a pair of plates that bend up and downward, so to speak, under pressure. They behave somewhat like an ARP
proportional pitch controller, which I haven't had much experience with, I don't know the full range those had.
this setup is HEAD AND SHOULDERS better than the keyboard and ribbon on my old CS80. At least for my hamfist of thumbs in a monophonic context.
and especially with the resonant behavior of the Synton VCF, it
practically vocalizes. As I tied it into the filter cutoff of a resonant SVF and/or VCO FM/pitch, the keyboard became so responsive under pitch control I couldn't believe it. I expected the 3000 to be a non keyboard instrument like the Fenix, although recently realized it was the equivalent and then some of the Syrinx. This is the pitch bender and keyboard from that famous monophonic, and I think more of the magic lay next to the non-
sensitive keyboard. holy moley I never would have thought this would be the most expressive sort of keybed. ribbons and wheels are fun, but id say they are an impediment for monophonic voices. and I think there are distinct considerations to be enjoyed.
MindMachine
joshuagoran
Therevox Guinness ftw!



The Therevox is underappreciated as an alternative controller IMO! I'll have one someday. Last I checked Mike was working on some plans for more CV inputs in addition to the existing CV out for the two touch controllers and the ring-'keyboard'.
tbonebk
Ctrl-F "Koma Kommander" not found.
blue_lu
I wish there would be somethin like a self contained (that means programmable) manta. that would be ace.
GovernorSilver
Actually, the Miselu C.24 is mono aftertouch - not poly as previously stated. I still want one for my iPad, however.
Nelson Baboon
Knas Polygamist hasn't been mentioned. I really like the ribbon controller on it. It sends out both midi and cv/gate.
nrvana8775
Cool thread. I'm stlll holding out for the push, as I'd like some sort of grid setup with velocity sensitive pads.

The touchkeys looks really interesting. Being able to modulate vibrato with sideswipe, volume with x axis control, and aftertouch.

Wondering how you can go beyond three performance controls at once.
dsu
Most excellent reference thread. Must book mark. Must find more money must buy more thingies
_seph
much of the instruments have been posted, but this is still a good read-

http://www.rogerlinndesign.com/new-musical-instruments.html

I'm very much looking forward to his LinnStrument
mosheen
"Slow MIDI"? Is that really a problem? The controller I built sends a few thousand samples a second!
Ockeghem
This list could include the monome, theremin and the Percussa Audio Cubes.
jonah
MPC 1000 or 2500. Poly aftertouch, velocity, note cycling, CV in. May not meet note accuracy needs when using CV out.

I'm saving for a continuum, but more for the synth part of it.
Paranormal Patroler
Anywhere were we can listen to the continuum's internal sounds? It's probably the most expressive of them all.
joao.ceser
buchla...
very frustrating
need it
sunsinger
Hats off to you for this thread. Lots of new introductions to me, and some old friends.

The Walking Stick by Psionic Soundworks is a worthy mention.
A 500mm dual axis pitch/pressure ribbon controller, all wrapped in a lovely handmade wooden enclosure. Some nice knob action on it as well one to control the scale length and one to control pressure sensitivity.

Thanks for the work you did to present this, one of the most thoughtful threads ever.
Samwise
No mention of Pressure Points? I'm surprised.
Nantonos
The Endeavour Note should be removed, since both the indiegogo campaigns failed in a big way (less than 5% of the goal was reached - I was a backer).

That wasn't a problem with the technology but mainly because the person creating the campaign was highly resistant to answering technical questions, posting updates, or engaging with the technical community in any meaningful way. There was also zero promotion once the campaign had started.

Sad, especially since that failure might put off more capable people from producing an afforable poly-aftertouch keyboard, but anyway, the first post in this thread should be updated.
Jaytee
How about this one?

http://www.ndvr.co/evo/overview/
Nantonos
Jaytee wrote:
How about this one?

http://www.ndvr.co/evo/overview/


Its already listed in the first post.

If someone wants one, it has someis tempted by the interesting features (position-sensitive keys, polytouch, OSC connectivity) and is prepared to take the risks (of a non-functioning unit, poor keyboard feel, and unresponsive tech support: all reported problems) now is the time: they seem to be having a fire sale at the moment. Based on comments posted during the abortive NDVR Note campaign, they may be getting out of the keyboard business. Or they may be clearing old stock to attempt to relaunch the Note.

Price is way down from the original €2800 to $499 and now $199. I don't know what the current European pricing is.
Evo now USD 199

NVDR Evo official site.
mousegarden
I have an idea for a keyboard that goes some way to replicating the one on the Animoog, the Endeavour Note still doesn't do it for me, it's just a variation on velocity, I want that back to front touch sensitivity you get on something like the Animoog or the Haken Continuum.
A way that would work is if you have a conventional keyboard, with touch sensitive skins of some sort that formed the top surface of the key, which would be a totally separate CV or Midi source. Surely this is possible ? I dream of having the degree of expression that is the Animmog on a real world keyboard.

MouseGarden.
Dcramer
I've seen videos of a guy who is doing this very thing, it's like flat position sensitive strips that go on your keys to add this kind of control, just can't remember who the guy is? hmmm.....
drewtoothpaste
I use a regular keyboard but slap my freaking hog all over it like crazy
goom
I really like the wide variation of new controllers that Synthesizers . com has come up with recently:

http://www.synthesizers.com/controllerbundles.html
mousegarden
Front-to-back touch is the closest you are going to get to an acoustic instrument, you can use both hands, it's set and forget, no reaching for knobs all the time, plus, every time you hit a key it's in a different place, so no two notes ever sound exactly the same, and it is so controllable for deep modulations. Someone has to do this soon, it's the next step for the keyboard, and maybe the last in it's evolution the way things are going.

MouseGarden.
xerxl
But the Evo does that -no? And for 199 it may well be worth the mentioned risks. The demo anyway sounded pretty cool to me.

Cheers
mousegarden
xerxl wrote:
But the Evo does that -no? And for 199 it may well be worth the mentioned risks. The demo anyway sounded pretty cool to me.

Cheers


Maybe ! Looks like it can, sorry, I missed that. Got to be worth investigating, and it's not expensive. I'd need an MCV to use it with a modular though via the computer. And it's not very convenient that you have to use Ethernet.

MouseGarden.
Kazremark
Great thread! Anyone know whether poly pressure can be converted to regular aftertouch in the small CME keyboard?
Paranormal Patroler
mousegarden wrote:
Front-to-back touch is the closest you are going to get to an acoustic instrument, you can use both hands, it's set and forget, no reaching for knobs all the time, plus, every time you hit a key it's in a different place, so no two notes ever sound exactly the same, and it is so controllable for deep modulations. Someone has to do this soon, it's the next step for the keyboard, and maybe the last in it's evolution the way things are going.

MouseGarden.


There was a crowdfunded project in which you added strips on your own keyboard. It was fairly expensive though but the functionality was amazing. I considered adding myself in the list for one octave of strips but the price kept me away. That and the need to use software.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/instrumentslab/touchkeys-multi-to uch-musical-keyboard
Jcsveth
My favorite:

Unfortunately, mine (the standard model) is in storage as I do not have the space to set it up. waah
The control options from this are mind-boggling.
mousegarden
Jcsveth wrote:
My favorite:

Unfortunately, mine (the standard model) is in storage as I do not have the space to set it up. waah
The control options from this are mind-boggling.


Great, lucky you !

thumbs up
revmutt
The biggest drawback for me is when the instrument has to be connected to a computer. That being said, I do love the Manta and I'm hoping that either Jeff will finish the Mantamate or some skilled programmer will at some point push it into being a standalone.

I think every controller should have standard MIDI out and cv but that's often too much to ask for.
mousegarden
revmutt wrote:
I think every controller should have standard MIDI out and cv but that's often too much to ask for.


Why ?

Modular is becoming more prolific, I would have thought if you were making a mother keyboard today it would be a potential market grabber to add CV. And come on, how much would it actually add to the cost? sod all probably. They would obviously hype that up though.

MouseGarden.
revmutt
It may sound shocking in a day when flipping gear and disposable garbage are the norm but if you have any MIDI gear there might be a desire to use it. In terms of cost the DIN connector used for MIDI only has two of its jumpers connected so its really not a big deal, two wires.

Also, the market is very small for cv as its now very small in terms of supporting anything viewed as old and not cost effective.

mousegarden wrote:
revmutt wrote:
I think every controller should have standard MIDI out and cv but that's often too much to ask for.


Why ?

Modular is becoming more prolific, I would have thought if you were making a mother keyboard today it would be a potential market grabber to add CV. And come on, how much would it actually add to the cost? sod all probably. They would obviously hype that up though.

MouseGarden.
mousegarden
It is strange only Akai seem to be in this market, apart form the MiniBrute and similar, but they aren't dedicated keyboards.
I suppose an MCV makes more sense, as it allows you to use any Midi keyboard.

Although, one of these would be nice !



thumbs up
strangeowl
geo synthesizer for ipad is a lot like the roli seaboard. notes on a 12tone grid, poly pitchbendable by just moving the finger that struck the key.

mousegarden
strangeowl wrote:
geo synthesizer for ipad is a lot like the roli seaboard. notes on a 12tone grid, poly pitchbendable by just moving the finger that struck the key.



Thank's for that, I'll get it, being an i Pad freak looks like a "must have"
Mind you, it probably helps being Jordan Rudess...

8_)
Bob Borries
Added 5 more instruments...


www.elby-designs.com/webtek/panther/es25-touch-responsive-keyboard



http://sputnik-modular.com/multi-touch-keyboard-controller/



http://www.verboselectronics.com/modules/



http://www.lifeformsmodular.com/kb-1/



https://global.novationmusic.com/launch/launchpad-pro
stevebryson
I'm surprised that no one has mentioned theremin and breath controllers. The Moog etherwave plus has direct CV outputs and is nicely expressive, combining sound and dance.

Breath controllers are my favorite - I think breath is THE most intuitive and natural expression mode. Very subtle shades of expression are easy and natural with breath, more difficult with my hands. I use the Akai EWI-USB into an Encore Expressionist for conversion from MIDI to CV.
Bob Borries
Another update!


CDM Hyve
http://createdigitalmusic.com/2015/10/sneak-peek-of-hyve-a-60-note- touch-synthesizer/


Expressive E Touche
http://www.expressivee.com


AlphaSpere me
http://www.synthtopia.com/content/2015/02/25/alphasphere-me-midi-contr oller-an-inexpensive-option-for-polyphonic-aftertouch/


Zoom Arq
https://www.zoom.co.jp/products/production-recording/digital-instrumen ts/arq-aero-rhythmtrak


Doepfer Touch Sensor Keyboard Prototype
http://www.doepfer.de/a100tkb.htm


Snyderphonics JD-1 Prototype
http://www.snyderphonics.com/index.htm


WMD Controller Prototype
http://www.wmdevices.com


Kong Nanokey Studio Wireless Keyboard with touchpad
http://www.korg.com/us/products/controllers/nanokey_studio/
Bob Borries

MRT Audio Midi Breath Controller Comes with they're own Breath Controller and is compatible with Yamaha’s Breath Controller.
http://www.mrtaudio.com/breath-controller.html


MIDI Solutions Breath Controller MIDI converter for use with the discontinued Yamaha BC3A Breath Controller
http://http://www.midisolutions.com/prodbth.htm

Midi Solutions is compatible with this breath controller by Kelfar
http://kelfar.net/BCK-1.htm





TecControl USB Breath Controller USB Breath Controller, Tube included.
www.tecontrol.se/products/usb-midi-breath-controller


TecControl USB Bite & Breath Controller A USB version with bite.
http://www.tecontrol.se/products/usb-midi-breath-bite-controller-2
snevlida14
Well I guess I have to sell a body part or something, these are awesome
mush
I use this one:


I have redone it since that video, so it outputs lots of CV and can play sequences now. Quite an expensive DIY solution, though.
instruments of things
2.4SINK wireless sensor interface is currently live on Kickstarter!

mr anxiety
The Morph by Sensel.

https://sensel.com/pages/the-sensel-morph
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