Reader Jeff Tripp sent word of his Hyperkeys 3-Dimensional Musical Keyboard. Its keys move in-and-out as well as up-and-down. It tracks both z-axis position and the force on a key when down on a fully polyphonic basis.
The Hyperkeys can drive any MIDI synth, soft or hard, using its physical MIDI interface or MIDI over USB.
The Hyperkeys Editor (Mac/PC) offers control over MIDI Continuous Control messages, RPNs, NRPNs, & Sys Ex, and over the relationship of where a key is to its 4 continuous outputs, Dip, Force, Push, & Pull.
Tripp describes the Hyperkeys as a sort of Lamborghini of keyboards, tuned to allow for new types of expressive keyboard control.
The Hyperkeys is a custom, boutique keyboard controller. Contact Tripp via his site for additional details.
Note: We’ve had a real mixed bag of feedback on this post – so you might want to read through the comments and weigh in.
First off – some people ‘get’ the idea behind the Hyperkeys controller immediately. Others, though, may not understand the benefits of having additional dimensions of control available in a keyboard. This is understandable, because most keyboardists have never used an instrument that responded to anything other than velocity and pedaling.
More Hyperkeys demo videos are available on YouTube that may help readers understand why you might want a more keyboard that offers more ranges of expression.
Second, a lot of readers are taking issue with the Hyperkeys site, especially what it has to say on pricing for the keyboard – “Price: If you have to ask, you can’t afford it.”
The onus is on gear makers to tell us what they’re selling, how much it costs and why we should care. At this point, the Hyperkeys site fails on two out of three of these points. This needs to be corrected.