Here’s one for the alternative controller crowd—which don’t get much play at Elektronauts—and looks interesting as a possible advancement over the LinnStrument or Sensel Morph. If it can provide a grid of individually sizable and programmable MIDI note triggers that have a usable playing feel, I’ll back it. I mean where–regardless of the other things it can do, you can ate least:
- use its entire area as a grid of individually sizable square
- assign channel and note per square
- play with full-range MIDI velocity response
- custom color-code everything as needed
LinnStrument can’t do #2 or #4, which greatly hamper its usefulness. LinnStrument and Morph both cannot do #3, but where the LinnStrument’s velocity restriction is tolerable, Morph’s is a dealbreaker for serious applications. Sensel says they’re working on that. They both can’t do #4, though they both have workarounds: the LinnStrument’s workaround is super inconvenient, but the Morph will allow printing patterns on a sheet of paper to lay under one of their transparent overlays. The problem there, though, is that the extra materials change the playing response, though it doesn’t overly degrade it.
Then there’s the stretch goal of:
- assign pitch bend per grid element to effect microtunings as the Lumatone does
I guess I can figure these things out through discussion, but everything rides on the Erae Touch’s actual playing feel. A harder surface is much better for playing on than a surface that gives too much, but some designers don’t understand this. The demos do look like the players put a lot of kinetic energy into playing the thing, as opposed to a Zendrum’s featherlight triggers, the Morph’s high sensitivity, and the LinnStruments somewhat lesser sensitivity. Of course, those instruments can be adjusted to lower sensitivity if desired, but if the Touch is restricted to playing more like a Seaboard or a Continuum than a Morph, I wouldn’t “touch” it.