Expressive E Teases ‘Mindblowing’ Expressive Keyboard

Expressive E, creators of the Touché expressive controller, shared this teaser video for a to-be-announced expressive keyboard.

Expressive E shared this sneak preview of the new instrument on their site.

The video features a variety of synthesists sharing their first impressions of the keyboard, with comments ranging from ‘unbelievable’ to ‘mindblowing’ to ‘fantastic’.

Expressive E says that the new instrument is the result of a partnership with Haken Audio, creators of the Continuum expressive instrument and the powerful EaganMatrix synth engine.

Expressive E has not announced specifications or other details, but their site says that the new instrument is ‘coming soon’.

22 thoughts on “Expressive E Teases ‘Mindblowing’ Expressive Keyboard

  1. Expect something nice and fun but thoroughly useless. It’s just my opinion, but I believe that Roli already offers the perfect balance between a traditional limited keyboard and a pointlessly innovative one.

    1. I have the roli board and block and the sensel morph, but my Touche is the expressive device I use the most…probably as I can use it on any hardware or software synth very easily….no one has fully cracked MPE yet!

      1. i’m imagining some kind of moving key that has a malleable top surface for controls, and hopefully a good XY pad or 2 on the side for additional wheels or CCs etc.

    2. Haken > Roli any day of the week.

      This is going to be like a budget Haken that is full size keys (not Behringer level budget…but compared to the finger board) well…this is my hope

  2. It’s just the opposite – the ROLI is and will remain a niche device. The Expressive E could be a new default design for keyboards.

    1. props to this. I tried so hard to get into the Roli, and it was just too foreign. If its expanding on their Touche, which i love and actually enjoy using, then it could be amazing.

  3. Right now, the only facts we have are that some big shots are either very impressed or very polite. Not much to go on.

    Just judging from the clue they gave us with that image, it is YAHPS (yet another horizontal playing surface– that’s not a thing, but I thought it would add some pizzazz to this nothing of a teaser).

    Probably involves multiple dimensions of control– rub, touch, shift, squeeze, pinch–

    1. I’ve used it and the people in the video aren’t really hyping this – it’s really as powerful and playable as they say.

      They asked us not to spill any details, so I can’t say more other than it will be a no-brainer purchase for me.

  4. I have the exact opposite opinion from Andy. This has the potential to be quite a wonderful thing. The Touche is indeed quite expressive, and the Eagan Matrix sound engine is quite suited to handle a high resolution controller. I’m excited about the possibilities! Full disclosure: former CS-80 owner and current Roli and Haken Continuum player.

  5. I’m really looking forward to this. I want MPE in a keyboard-like format other than Roli, Continuum or K-board Pro . It would be fantastic if it did MPE with real keys.

  6. As a guy who loves polphonic aftertouch (I have an ELKA MK88 and Roland A-80 to perform these duties) I’m super excited for this. I absolutely hate the roli…i’m a piano player, that’s not my instrument, and i’m not learning a new instrument, so having real MPE control in a keyboard (ideally 88 and weighted) is a dream of mine. Of course this may not be an 88 weighted situation off the bat, but maybe they’ll expand the range at some point, we’ll find out i guess.

    1. I feel similarly. A key-throw with velocity sensing is still really important to my playing experience. The ability to include other dimensions is great, but velocity is non-negotiable.

      Some controls require us to start and end at zero. After-touch is the main example.

      Controls that measure finger position on a key can either relative to the start position, or have an absolute value. But in either case, it’s not that easy to use the key surface this way. TouchKeys is probably my favorite example of this tech. I don’t have one, but it did seem to hit kind of a sweet spot in terms of combining normal keys with added controls.

      For polyphonic control, I think a good poly-AT is a great option- (hail hydrasynth)– but has the zero-start/end limitation.

      For monophonic control, ribbons are pretty great, and I think B.C. (breath control) is even better.

    2. It seems clear that this instrument is not going to have the limitations of polyphonic aftertouch, but is going to offer continuous x/y/z control, and do it within the context of standard piano-style keys.

      If they can do this successfully, it will justify all the ‘mindblowing’, ‘game-changer’ superlatives quoted in the video.

      Things like the LinnStrument and the Seaboard and the Continuum are fantastic instruments for people that want to break free from the shackles of piano-style controllers. But what Bob Moog demonstrated 50 years ago is that keyboardists are the main market for synthesizers. That’s held true for five decades.

      So, if Expressive E has really cracked the nut of making an expressive x/y/z piano keyboard, shit’s about to get real.

  7. I wonder if they took my idea to just put a regular midi keyboard on one of these things and then just rock the keyboard all around.

  8. my guess is regular style keys with an haken/touché hybrid sensor underneath each key. Basically polyphonic after touch with x/y/z axis. Or they made each key a touché.

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