New generation of Poly AT (polyphonic aftertouch) keybeds

Maybe he just invested some of his Hydrasynth earnings in a Noctilux :sunglasses:

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…all sorts of uberexpressiveness coming along with various takes on the mpe protocal will stay niche products, no matter how sexy it actually is, if ur keybed marries a guitar fretboard…

but “simple” polyphonic aftertouch is here to stay and will soon become the new standard for all kinds of keyboard controlers…

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Nah, I checked the pixels. The color ones look like algorithmic blurs and the bokeh on the first one doesn’t feel like a Noctilux from the examples online. :wink:

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Just looks like a blurred Hydrasynth Desktop

Damn, I got baited by a firmware release

Don’t lose hope yet, ASM is doing at least two of the three big shows right here on the horizon. ( thread )

As nice as the 2.0 upgrade is, that can’t account for all the time of their talented developers so other stuff is in stream from them.

Plus we’re still waiting for the other makers that will be using the Medeli Polytouch keybed.

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It’s possible but it also could be they just have the firmware to show off for this round of trade shows.

Modal updated to Argon V3 before doing some shows.

I really hope that with this PAT revival, more synths will be updated to receive PAT. It’s annoying when flagship polys like the Polybrute don’t receive it. Shouldn’t be an issue even for the budget ones.


Ninety days later and three big shows and we’re still waiting. Perhaps there are reasons that the Fatar keybed seems to be getting the wins.

Speculating – I’m still hopeful that Medeli will be involved with the keybed evolution. It might even be possible for them to step ahead to the next generation, now that the Osmose keybed from Expressive E is around. It may be necessary for Medeli to improve to be competitive, with Fatar. No signs yet that Expressive E has any intent to OEM their keybed though. ( What may EE be working on ? )

If Medeli is progressing, i’d think it reasonable to see ASM building a product around that.

Would X-dimension motion sensing like on the Osmose be next for Fatar and Medeli, or would true Y-dimension sensing along the surface of the keys be more in order as a next improvement. Or perhaps something else ?

Personally i’d prefer the true Y-dimension sensing.

In a Patreon post a few weeks ago, a well-respected synthfluencer indicated that there’ll be “a few” poly AT keyboard products showing up in the form of mass-market controllers and instruments “soon.”

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Well it’s not the new Korg Wavestate SE. That now has channel-aftertouch but not poly, though it does have poly note-off velocity apparently.

I actually had been supposing a Korg series product with Poly AT ( including a new version of the OPSIX ) to be a possibility just a couple days ago, but that looks like that is a NO.

I also thought of a list of other possibilities, but rather than turning this thread into a speculation thread, based on what nightshift2020 reported, perhaps we need a new “Poly AT Speculation Thread” ?

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Today’s the day!!! After years of waiting, it is indeed Native Instruments as the first to market and sell a PolyAT MIDI keyboard. It also does MIDI 2.0!

The new Kontrol S Mark 3 series does the job!

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In modern times isnt it ASM with polyAT. People buy keyboards for all reasons. For example, the kerbed or the form factor. Some buy Ti2 just to use it as a controller.

ASM has not, to date, sold a MIDI keyboard. Hydrasynth is indeed PolyAT, but you’d be somewhat wasteful to buy it for MIDI only and ignore the actual synth inside.

Isn’t the Explorer still the only mini key Poly AT? (Technically the Microfreak also sort of qualifies but it’s capacitive)

The CME Xkey 25 and 37 are PAT, and definitely count as minikeys in my book on depth, if nothing else.

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Their is a new controller out soon from Korg called the Keystage that uses the Medeli Polytouch keybed and will support both MPE and MIDI 2.0. It will come in both 49 and 61 key versions.

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Well the thing is they are all in the same Medeli umbrella, and it could be they want to focus on the sound engine market more than the MIDI controller market.

Medeli makes money either way when the keywork is licensed, but the Hydrasynth engine is IP that isn’t licensed that is a value add on top of the keywork.

I have no idea of your level of keyboarding but i’ve found that polyphonic aftertouch gives benefits to people with even less keyboard skill. You don’t necessarily have to have great speed and movement on the keyboard to benefit.

For instance the use of ratcheting in arpeggio patterns controlled by poly aftertouch as demonstrated in the Loopop Keystage video would be easy to do if you can finger the chords and hold them. Other arp things for instance could potentially be set to P-AT control.

Same with filter modes per note, or other changes to the sound of the notes is easy to use dramatically.

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OK, now they have. The new UB-Xa has a 61 Key Poly-Aftertouch keyboard. ( thread )

I’d be reasonably sure that they have done their own keybed, though it’s possible they are OEMing someone elses as well.

ADDED : From stuff written in the Behringer Facebook page, this is definitely their own custom design. And it is definitely also set up to drop into other designs, the keybed has it’s own processor, so it’s a com connection away from any of their synths in design.

But they said the development of this synth cost them $3.5 million, and i am concluding that a good portion of the cost on this is as a result of the tooling and design work on the keybed. This sort of stuff is costly to develop, and there is not a good way to avoid that cost. That’s why there are only a few makers of poly-aftertouch keybeds.

I expect Behringer to use this keybed in a variety of their projects, to amortize the cost, and also to differentiate their products from the competition.

ADDED : Indeed Behringer was asking for reactions on a product they called the PK61, a 61 key poly-aftertouch controller, back in was it April of 2022 ? I don’t think it is fully GIP, but they were talking a price of $200 USD, with all sorts of sliders and controls on it, which gives an idea of a volume price on their keybed. ( single post on this from the time )

Hopefully this keybed is competitive quality-wise, and i expect that it is. Looking forward to getting some competitive reviews.

So i’ve got a list of synths they may put it in. I’m also wondering if they will eventually do a high-level controller with it ? Hope so.