The ‘Finest MIDI Controller Ever’ Is About To Get Affordable

infinite-response-vax-keyboard

Austin, TX-based controller manufacturer Infinite Response created what some consider to be the finest MIDI controller ever produced – the VAX 77, above.

When Keyboard Magazine reviewed it, they called it ” the renaissance of the true high-end master MIDI keyboard.”

The VAX 77 featured polyphonic aftertouch, hi-res velocity, release velocity and build quality that made it the Cadillac of keyboard controllers. Unfortunately, the VAX 77 was very expensive to manufacture, with a $3,000 price – putting it out of the range of most musicians. It was discontinued in 2013.

Now the company has announced plans for a new, affordable version of the VAX keyboard. They’ve updated the design to make improvements, while also reducing the cost. To make the new VAX as affordable as possible, a DIY build option will be available.

And they plan on making the keyboard open hardware. The source code, schematics, drawings and STP files will be on their website for anyone to download and build upon.

The new VAX MIDI Keyboard Controller is being developed as a Kickstarter project. Here’s designer Van Chandler introducing the project: Continue reading

Nord Electro 5 Series Offers Expanded Memory, Splits, Layers & More

nord-electro-5-synthesizer

Nord Keyboards is introducing the new Nord Electro 5 Series at the 2015 NAMM Show.

The company describes the Nord Electro 5 as ‘a highly refined, focused yet flexible stage keyboard.’ The new model offers greatly expanded memory, the added ability to split and layer and a live focused program section. Continue reading

‘Huge’ Moog News Coming Monday

humbucker-music-club-huge-moog-newsIt looks like Moog Music will be making a major introduction on Monday, ahead to the 2015 NAMM Show.

Humbucker Music’s Moog Club sent this teaser, promising ‘huge news’, and ‘some of the biggest news in Moog history’ on January 19th.

2014 was a big year for new Moog synth introductions. Moog released the physically huge Emerson Moog Modular, but also the knobtacular Moog Sub 37 analog synthesizer, the tiny Moog Werkstatt synth modulae and the Theremini theremin synthesizer.  Continue reading

Is This What The New Korg ARP Odyssey Will Sound Like?

There has been a lot of interest building in the Korg ARP Odyssey, since it was originally announced last year.

One of the key questions we had about the Korg ARP Odyssey reissue, though, was ‘Which version of the ARP Odyssey will Korg recreate?’ There were three distinct ARP Odyssey designs, with three different filters. Continue reading

Akai Professional Intros Advance Keyboard Series

advance-control-keyboard-screen

2015 NAMM Show Preview: Akai Professional today introduced a new line of control keyboards, the Advance Keyboard series, that’s designed to provide deep integration with virtual instruments.

Available in 25-, 49-, and 61-key sizes, the Advance 25, Advance 49, and Advance 61 let you load, play and control your virtual instrument plugins directly from their keyboard.

According to the company, the Advance Keyboard series has been designed “to fuse the power of software instruments with the live playability of a keyboard workstation,” transforming the use of computer-based plugins into an entirely hands-on playing experience.

Here’s the official intro video: Continue reading