New generation of Poly AT (polyphonic aftertouch) keybeds

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.


ADDED: February 18th

So what keybed is Arturia using ?

( post )

MORE ADDED : Watching the last 3 seconds of the video, this looks something new. This isn’t the way the Medeli or the Fatar keybeds have worked. Maybe they are doing something different with those, but I am really thinking they are either using the Expressive E keybed, or they’ve done their own, or there is a new third party keybed.

I could be wrong, it is such a short clip, but this seems better than the EE product. Something is up here.

Could someone please comment in this thread, i am three post limited here.


From December 2023 :

On the Yamaha MONTAGE M8x poly-aftertouch keybed and its feel.

So Scott of Scott’s Synth Stuff did a video ( a tour of Sweetwater ) where he tested the action of the Yamaha MONTAGE M8x with both weighted action and polyphonic-aftertouch.

Queued Video

Interestingly he absolutely glows in his reaction to that synths weighted keyboard feel !
Sounds like he likes his Hydrasynth more for the P-AT feel, but seeing the image of the key movement on the keyboard it looked like it had a good amount of movement.
My observation from this is that you could play this keyboard like a real piano action keyboard, without concern of activating the P-AT action, unless you really wanted it.

This may address some of your thoughts about the combination of the two features, chm_jacques.


cool after touch keyboards … a post for @Jukka :slight_smile: looking forward to the future

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I queued a link to the Youtube video showing the two modes for this keybed.
Polyphonic-aftertouch and “full touch”. I like having a front panel switch for this.

ADDED : And it looks like this video was just made private too. Good i downloaded a copy for myself.

There is definitely some play with the aftertouch press, but it seems much less ( “mush” ) than on the Expressive E keybed. Also the demonstrator did not show any X motion, commonly a per note pitch bend. Make of that what you will.

Thank you Affectionate-Bee.

Speaking of the new secret Arturia Peanut Butter product underway.

Given that Arturia have reportedly done their own ( channel aftertouch ) keybed, or had a new design keybed done for their new Astrolab product, it is believable, that this poly-aftertouch keybed is their own new technology as well. It certainly looks new from the video.

These two keybeds could even have been done off the same molds ( the expensive part of making a keybed ) with different sensing mechanisms used.

They indeed have on the new Polybrute 12 ( thread ) with the Arturia FullTouch keybed. Loopop explains it in his video which i have queued past the preliminaries here.

My opinion. They have gone beyond the Osmose keybed here, despite the lack of an X dimensional sensing.

The improvements with slow motion attacks, and the ability to choose between various keyboard sensing modes, and on the fly tweak those modes immediately are part of what i see as improved.

It’s hard to judge without first hand experience, but the feel looks better to me on the new Arturia keybed as well. Loopop seems to say this in his video too, and he is certainly very complementary of this keybed specifically.

I also agree when he suggests/asks Arturia for a controller with this keybed, and the front panel key action controls.

My thought is perhaps offering that controller with MIDI 2.0 might improve this further over MPE, specifically with envelope control etc.

( Have hit the three post limit here. )

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