Unusual + Expressive Electronic Music Controllers From KMI At NAMM 2019

Keith McMillen Instruments (KMI) has been building a unique and unusual line of MIDI controllers over the last decade, built around their ‘Smart Fabric’ sensing technology.

Smart Fabric lets KMI’s gear be inexpensive, ‘beer proof’ and expressive. In a recent interview, founder Keith McMillen makes the case that Modern Instruments Should Combine Traditional Expressiveness With New Power and offer expressive capabilities that reward practice:

“Musicians who are serious about their art – and most musicians are – they want something that will grow with them, or at least respect their talents. That means it’s not necessarily going to be able to be picked up and played on the first day.”

KMI’s controllers are among the first to support MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE) – the new standard for expressive MIDI control.

At the 2019 NAMM Show, KMI was showing their complete line of controllers, including:

Details are available at the KMI site.

8 thoughts on “Unusual + Expressive Electronic Music Controllers From KMI At NAMM 2019

    1. no, the kboard pro is like a rival to the seaboard. i agree that a qunexus is basically the next step up, but it should be something like a kboard plus… except that it came out before the kboard

    2. the qunexus was first, and has full CV connections and conversion. The first Kboard looked the same but had no CV and was simplified to be sold to classrooms. The new Kboard has been in development for some time and still does not have fixed specs or demos that show its features. I have loved the ideas of many of the KMI products but i feel their actual demos have failed to show the features for so long . . . they say polyphonic aftertouch always, and in every demo they somehow keep picking performers that only apply the aftertouch uniformly as if it is not polyphonic at all. I think i’ve seen 1 or 2 that actually demonstrated it lol . . . Same with the softstep models, many many many interesting features but seem to be almost dead in the water without any proof that they actually work. Poor guys. Great ideas though.

      1. i have a kboard, bop pad and quneo, i like them because of their durability and in the case of the quneo especially the pressure sensitivity and location that makes for a really versatile controller. it also helps that i need edeeet paid full price for any of them…

  1. I wish they would update their QuNeo firmware and editor (which dates back to 2013). It is still not possible to send MIDI program change or pitch bend data with the QueNeo.

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