ELK Music Operating System “The Android Of Musical Instruments”

At the 2018 NAMM Show, MIND Music Labs has introduced ELK – an ultra-low latency operating system for musical instruments. The company describes ELK as “the Android of musical instruments”.

According to the company, ELK allows manufacturers to move away from dedicated chips and use standard off-the-shelf CPUs, with significant improvements in terms of user experience, performance and scalability.

ELK also allows software developers to easily release software, sounds and effects originally developed for computer environments on Powered by ELK musical instruments.

Key technical Features:

  • Ultra-low latency (1ms round-trip)
  • Linux-based, using single Intel& ARM CPUs
  • Support for JUCEand VsT 2.x and 3.x plugins
  • Natively connected (USB, WiFi, BT, 4G)
  • Full MIDI support

“ELK is the evolution musical instruments have been waiting for a long time,” says MIND Music Labs CEO Michele Benincaso, “and is ready to disrupt the musical instruments world in the same way Android disrupted the mobile world ten years ago.”

More information on ELK is available at the MIND Music Labs site.

8 thoughts on “ELK Music Operating System “The Android Of Musical Instruments”

  1. This could be big. Those latency specs are excellent.

    So, if I understand correctly, ELK will be an OS used in the creation of new music hardware, and it will have some capabilities that will allow 3rd party developers to enhance features of products with this platform.

    Could be very cool if it takes off.

    Even if a manufacturer uses the platform in a more closed way, if it is a resilient system, that will be good news.

    1. Suggest not to use those iPads for internet surfing but constrain their use for a favorite app. There are lots of 32 bit apps which feel perfectly at home at an iPad 2 for example. And you can buy those iPads for less than $100.

  2. I’m stoked for this – been ranting for years that we need an OS just for music production. Frankly the market would probably also tolerate an OS aimed purely at video editing and another for 2d / 3d graphics.

    Regarding the professional / hobbyist / creative / pro-sumer (gag) market – Apple has long left the building and Windows is still a joke (a bad joke that doesn’t even have an OS layer midi implementation) Frankly it’s dicey finding computer hardware that doesn’t pollute the audio buss with horrendous switching noise and rf interference.

    I’m not surprised there’s now a growing community of musos who willfully eschew computers (as much as possible) but the flip side is that there’s room in the market for a well priced, well balanced (noise free) computer system with a dedicated production OS. It would have to be a damn smooth operator though.

    The struggle with any alternative OS (even a Linux based distro) is encouraging the software developers to drop a release on your platform – but things have been moving and shaking in the Linux world for a while now. I wish ELK all the best!

  3. so on their website, it says elk is a headless DAW running with a linux OS and no GUI – I really hope that someone can create some images that basically skin it because it could be super cool to run on raspberry pi – it means you could essentially make a portable dedicated DAW for some $30 + interface hardware and touchscreen.

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