2013 NAMM Show: For years, polyphonic aftertouch has been sort of a ‘holy grail’ feature on MIDI keyboard controllers, unobtainable, except for a few rare or expensive options.
Now CME is changing that, putting polyphonic aftertouch into an inexpensive slimline MIDI controller, the CME XKey.
Polyphonic aftertouch is a great feature for synthesists, because it lets you take any note that you are playing in a chord and add expression to it. It lets you control sounds in ways that are impossible with traditional piano style keyboards.
For example, polyphonic aftertouch is one of the key features of the classic Yamaha CS-80 and is part of Vangelis’ unique approach to creating expressive symphonic electronica arrangements.
Here’s a look at the CME XKey, via sonicstate:
- Ultra slim design and light design
- 25 standard size keys
- Professional velocity sensitivity and polyphonic aftertouch
- USB MIDI compliant
- PitchBend buttons with high resolution of pressure sensitivity
- Modulation button with continuous MIDI control data
- Octave +/- and Sustain buttons
- USB powered
- Firmware updatable via USB, ready for new features.
Size and Weight:
- Height: 5.31 inches (135 mm)
- Width: 15.27 inches (388 mm)
- Depth: 0.62inches (16mm)
- Weight: 1.32 pounds (600g)
We had a chance to try out the CME XKey at NAMM. While players won’t find it to be a viable alternative to a full-size controller – it is an interesting new option for synthesists and mobile musicians that want polyphonic aftertouch in a mobile controller.
The CME XKey will be priced at US $99. Availability is to be announced.