Poly AT Keyboard Speculation

So they just announced their 49, 61 and 88-key polyphonic aftertouch controllers, their Komplete Kontrol S MK3 series.

The 88 keys version has hammer-action keys, and all three were developed in collaboration with Fatar.


Yamaha, Roland, Korg, Arturia, Studiologic, Novation ( and others ) will all be at either Machina Bristronica, or Synthfest UK in a few weeks.
We’ll see if any of them will also have a new product with a poly-aftertouch keybed.

Threads for :
Machina Bristronica
Synthfest UK

Oh and ASM is at both shows too.

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Well here’s at least one!

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Korg will be showing at Synthfest UK ( thread ) in a little over a week so the official announcement is going to happen soon.

Plus it is MIDI 2.0 !! So the dam is breaking on that. It includes MPE too, a pale comparison to MIDI 2.0 though. ( Elektronaut MIDI 2.0 thread )

  • MIDI 2.0 Property Exchange for unparalleled integration and control
  • New keybed design with Polyphonic / Channel Aftertouch and MPE compatibility
  • Powerful arpeggiator, chord modes, and streamlined workflow
  • Parameter-dedicated OLED screens for instant visual feedback
  • Integrated audio interface with direct stereo output for live performances
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Official Ableton Live integration
  • Includes Korg Gadget Producer Bundle, wavestate native LE, and Ableton Live 11 Lite

New thread for this.

ADDED : The ASM Medeli Polytouch logo is on the front panel, so that means that it will have that sort of quality like the Hydrasynths, and likely include Note Off Velocity.


The new Montage M8x from Yamaha with 88 full-sized touch-sensitive piano-style keys and GEX weighted action have polyphonic aftertouch. They have priced it at $5000 USD.

They other Montage M models do not have polyphonic aftertouch.

Yamaha announcement.

Thread on new Montage M

Poly aftertouch seems like a bit of an odd decision for just the version with weighted piano-style keys.


The Native Instruments 88 key controller has fully weighted hammer-action keys as well. But they have PolyAT in the 61 and 49 with semi-weighted keys. Those are all Fatar keybeds.

Don’t know, but is the 88 key Yamaha PolyAT keybed their own, or are they using a Fatar too ? I kind of think it’s their own.

There is that… but also, I think that the style of play (percussive, without nearly as much focus on gated sustain) that a weighted keybed invites isn’t particularly one where I feel poly aftertouch is as important a feature. My digital piano has channel aftertouch, for instance, and I’ve never used it – it doesn’t even occur to me to do so. It just seems strange to single out that particular keybed for poly aftertouch – I know it’s the “premier” model, but it’s also the one where I think be least likely to want that feature.

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I guess what is odd to me is that Yamaha did not include poly-aftertouch with the 61 and 76 key versions.

Poly-aftertouch is something you just have to get used to using anyways. ( Unless you play a Baroque-style clavichord as a regular thing ! They are very fun to aftertouch play. ) So the keyboard action coming up to the aftertouch isn’t as much of a concern to me.

**ADDED** : Friedrich Gulda bending the Clavichord

Gulda is an amazing musician. Classical to Jazz, multiple instruments and completely original.
Queued past the intro, but go ahead and spool it back if you have the time.

The playing difference on the Osmose compared to the Hydrasynth, is definitely ( for me ) a challenge to adapt between. I won’t know about differences between Medeli and Fatar until my Omega arrives.

Plus release velocity playing difference also can be considered – between old and newer Hydrasynths/Medeli keybeds. So there isn’t really a standard in my book.

Seems to me the $500 price difference between the Montage M7 and M8x gains more when considering the Poly-AT, compare to the $500 between the M6 and M7.

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Maybe the omission wasn’t a feature decision but one based on procurement contracts and/or on parts availability. There are also QC factors to be taken into account.

OK – Arturia, Novation, and Studiologic – the ball is in your court.

With KORG and Native Instruments all in ( both Poly AT and MIDI 2.0 ) the competitive standard for controllers is that much higher.

A version of the Arturia Keylab Mk3 has got to be in the lab somewhere. The MkII was announced in the middle of 2018. I suppose they might not implement polyphonic aftertouch with it, but that seems to be growing more and more unlikely.

And for Novation i really hope they continue with the stand alone controller ideas they have on the SL MKIII series, if they do a poly aftertouch controller. Somehow i feel less confident that Novation will do a poly aftertouch controller, in the near term.

And an Arturia Keystep poly-aftertouch version as m0ld suggested above, would be a very pleasant surprise.

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Comparison of the two new MIDI 2.0, Poly AT controllers out at the moment :

They’re quite similar price wise, given that the Native Instruments has slightly more features.
There is also a 61 key version of both, again very similar.
Detail here thanks to Sweetwater and some editing.

how about the resolution of those knobs? anything MIDI2.0 worthy?

Just a newsy tidbit :

On the ASM Technology page they say this :

Our Polytouch® technology is currently being used in the following products:

ASM Hydrasynth Keyboard
ASM Hydrasynth Deluxe
ASM Hydrasynth Explorer

KORG Keystage 49
KORG Keystage 61

With more to come…

So is that more internal products or more OEMing ?
Or both ??

If internal is it another Hydrasynth, or something else ??


I’ve been saying it for years, they have all the lineage and expertise to bring a modern version of the ASR-10 to the world. I’d like to see them do something other than another iteration of the Hydrasynth.

What makes you say this? It’s not a challenge, just a request for more info. The only employees of ASM that I can recall are the man with the French name that used to work at Arturia (I think?) and Daniel Troberg (assuming he still works at ASM).

Glen Darcey worked at Akai, on some of the classic MPCs, before moving to Arturia (and then to ASM). Daniel Troberg knows a thing or two about samplers; I’m not sure how much, if any, engineering he performs, but that’s one hell of a beta tester in house. One of the key features of the ASR (and other Ensoniq sampler/synthesizers) was its poly aftertouch keyboard, which they already have. A lot of the work is already done, in many ways, if you leave the Hydrasynth intact after the filters and replace the oscillators and their mutants with samplers and new mutants which reflect the specific needs of samples (e.g. a granular mutant, a time-stretch mutant, etc.).


Thank you for the explanation (as usual! :)) – that’s a pretty sick team and it sounds like the stars have aligned on a lot of the core components. And also timing – market is begging for a sampler like that!

Or at least I am. :laughing:


Hydrakey MIDI 2.0 controller. :crossed_fingers:

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This is also from the ASM Technology page. I like the friendly tone of this. Sounds like they’ll talk to anyone, smaller companies included.

If you are a brand or manufacturer of keyboard instruments, that is looking for a Polyphonic Aftertouch solution for your keyboard product, we are able to offer licensing of our Polytouch® technology. Please use the contact link below.

Cre8audio NiftyKEYZ Poly
Elektron Digitone Keys MkII

ADDED : Actually the Analog Keys Poly-Aftertouch would work very nicely for me.

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