Miselu Neiro Keyboard – The iPad Of Synths?

Miselu, a Silicon Valley music technology startup, introduced a new net-enabled keyboard synthesizer, the Neiro, at the SoundCloud open house at this year’s SXSW in Austin, Texas.

The Miselu Neiro is a portable, net-enabled social music device. It offers a keyboard, a wide multi-touch display and a variety of musical apps and cloud services.


  • Android-based mobile device.
  • Social integration is built in.
  • Open platform environment lets developers and users build their own custom apps and solutions.
  • Yamaha AudioEngine Series Sound Chip NSX-1. This powerful synthesizer engine delivers “a quality that almost matches the sound of ‘real’ musical instruments”, according to Miselu.
  • The DSP chip offers a larger variety of sound effects such as reverb, chorus and EQs.

Miselu also announced a partnership with Retronyms, creators of the iPad music-studio app, Tabletop.

Retronyms will be bringing their expertise in designing intuitive touch-based music software to the “neiro” by creating a suite of powerful apps designed to help users start writing & playing.

Miselu CEO Yoshinari Yoshikawa says, “We are excited to work with Retronyms as they have been part of the touch-based music software movement since the very beginning and have proven time after time that they are among the best in this category.”

The Retronyms apps will be included with the device at launch.

Launch date and pricing is TBA.

The Miselu Neiro is interesting because current wireless communication technologies are a central feature of the keyboard’s design, rather than an afterthought.

Check it out and let us know what you think of it!

22 thoughts on “Miselu Neiro Keyboard – The iPad Of Synths?

    1. The video is completely useless! Is that even a real product or just a 3D model?

      Also, where are the audio demos?

      Nevertheless, I’m intested by this. I love the idea of having a keyboard that would just connect wirelessly to my DAW when I switch it on, that can upload tracks straight to SoundCloud, or that I could download new sounds or apps directly to.

  1. I remember seeing a lot of people on synthopia complaining that the android platform isn’t set up well enough for handling music software. Is that not correct? It seems like this would be a bad idea if so.

    1. Well, not to be cynical or judgemental or evaluative but sometimes the seemingly sincere and informed and wise comments you see on the internet are something less than the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth. But Red Bull is good.

    2. There is a difference between discussing the Android Platform and specific devices that run Android.

      You can’t just get an Android tablet or phone and expect to do anything musically useful with it, because the platform isn’t tuned for audio and MIDI like iOS and Android hardware is a wild west world.

      On the other hand, Android is open so a developer, like this one, could tweak the OS, put it on decent hardware, and have something that works great.

    3. Just speculating: All they’d need to do is get rid of the abstraction layer between audio calls and the hardware. That’d be a nightmare for most Android developers who are targeting all/most Android devices. But, here… developers would precisely know what hardware is being run on the device and wouldn’t need generic API wrappers.

  2. In the past some Android tablets and handsets have had latency in their audio system. There would be a delay in converting your touches into sound and music.

    We have been working with prototypes and we has seen some amazing things. Android is open enough that if you are building the hardware and software and care about music you can achieve extremely low latency. Neiro has been a blast to work with!

    1. Right now, *all* general-purpose Android tablets and handsets *have* considerable latency (~150ms; iOS is roughly ~3-30ms in comparison) in their audio system due to running on Android running on the Dalvik Virtual Machine. Nobody reading this can walk into Best Buy right *now* and buy an Android tablet or phone that doesn’t have considerable audio latency.

  3. This is not a bad idea. I don’t know if I really see it taking off though. I don’t how the pricing is going to look on this thing, that will be a huge factor in its’ success. They definitely need to work on their industrial design. That thing is fugly. Not that I go around purchasing things because of how they look, but take some cues from Teenage Engineering and Apple here guys, it will go a long way for you. Right now it looks like something Hasbro would make for a toddler. You can keep this thing in the more affordable range, and still make it look a lot better than this. I guess as long as you keep it priced significantly under the iPad, this won’t matter quite as much. You need at least some type of modulation interface on the keyboard part as well. It wouldn’t be practical to try to do a filter sweep with your finger on that screen while simultaneously playing the keyboard. Maybe if they really focused on the chiptune market, this could work out. I could see it being popular with people who like to make music on gameboys and the like.

  4. I see no reason to use something like this when you can already choose a laptop or an iPad. Why pay for hardware you don’t need that offers nothing you don’t already have? Also, it would die before launch. Specialized devices that do one thing can never compete against a generalized device that do multiple things. Look at how many stand along devices have turned into iPad apps already.

  5. What about wireless networking being built into future synthesizers?

    There are all sorts of ways this could be useful – firmware updates, downloading patches, sharing songs, wireless MIDI control, etc.

  6. I hope no one invested in this. Social Keyboard? Does it even have a full octave? Does it have a like button. So you and your friend have to both have one to jam together?

  7. Looks like my prediction of android-hardware is coming true faster than I thought. Could be quite cool if they kept costs down. I don’t think it’s going to be successful unless it’s both really cheap and really good, but it’s a move in an interesting direction for digital hardware. Once they actually make a working prototype, and release a price, we’ll be able to tell if it’ll sink or swim. Updates would be nice synthhead.

    As far as the aforementioned latency goes, I own an android tablet, and the standard app latency is 40-50ms, not counting anomalies. Definitely terrible compared to iOS, but nowhere as bad as 150ms (what are you using to get that number, a 100$ Chinese tablet?), and not an insurmountable gap if this company re-structured android a bit.

  8. I’m a big fan of yamaha’s dsp, but the product looks like a miss to me.

    Why not make a headless class compliant audio MIDI interface that can use anything, ipad, laptop, etc?

    Put the DSP and social features in the device to be controlled via MIDI and shave off a few hundred by using another device as the screen. Look at Yamaha’s own TNR-i for ipad. It already has some social aspects with the game-center and a set of keys and MIDI in/out ports for interacting with other gear would be welcome.

    You could also attract a lot more app developers by convincing them to add some of your “killer” features to an already existing iOS app than to switch platforms completely.

  9. The video wasn’t completely useless – it showed that they read FutureMusic. I find UK music magazines tend to be somewhat better than their US counterparts, probably because they are usually purchased individually from newsstands (er, “newsagents”) rather than by subscription.

  10. It need to have DSP, low latency, more keys, a pad, aux and MIDI input and I would by it. I would be so cool, even if this used with android, but better if used with Linux.

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