KMI Intros QuNexus RED MPE Sequencer, Free Firmware Upgrade QuNexus Owners

Expressive controller maker Keith McMillen Instruments has introduced a new version of their QuNexus MPE controller that adds a three-track arpeggiator and step sequencer.

The new features will also be available to existing QuNexus owners as a firmware upgrade in October.

The new QuNexus RED is a 25-key MPE keyboard controller and three track Arpeggiator/Step Sequencer with USB, MIDI, and CV outputs. The keys detect velocity, polyphonic aftertouch, and per-key tilt. QuNexus RED also features a new ABS-Polycarbonate finish.

They shared two demo videos to introduce the new features. In the first video, above, the QuNexus RED is used to sequence a modular synthesizer.

In the second video, below, the QuNexus RED is used as an arpeggiator to control Synapse Obsession.

Pricing and Availability

The QuNexus is priced at $179 but is currently listed as out of stock. See the KMI site for details.

32 thoughts on “KMI Intros QuNexus RED MPE Sequencer, Free Firmware Upgrade QuNexus Owners

    1. Hello Yu. There is a trend to always be replacing products and throwing out old designs (and customers) in favor of newer shinier things. While we do appreciate new hardware designs and innovation (and we are working on some new and exciting things), we also value our loyal customers who already own our products.

      Our decision to keep the QuNexus hardware as-is was made with this in mind. Rather than pour resources into hardware, and by extension breaking backwards compatibility for any updated firmware, we’ve instead focused on adding new features and making QuNexus a better product. This benefits existing customers as well as our future designs. Redesigning the enclosure was also done specifically to address quality control issues that we’ve had in the past, and was the best path for us to help those customers that might otherwise love their QuNexus, but were not happy with the soft-touch coating.

      Some might say this was a bad business decision, that we should have abandoned QuNexus and moved on to something else. We might have sold more units at launch with a brand new product, but instead we are banking on QuNexus being an incredible value at less than $200, and becoming a long term success. We think in the long run this is the right thing to do both for our customers and our values.

      1. I think it’s great to do this. When the unit was first kickstarted the sequencer was listed as a feature and I guess it was harder to accomplish than originally thought. It’s better to have waited and done it well.

    2. Yu, I personally love that they did this. They aded new features to an existing product, as far as I’m concerned. The red just happens to be a new color. Do you not appreciate that? I have the QuNexus. Now I have an arp and sequencer in a product I bought years ago and those new features are free. How could anyone possibly have a problem with this?

      Also, Keith’s reply to you was more than gracious considering the quick and snide comment you made. It makes me like their company even more now.

    1. Alcohol or googone removes the sticky stuff. Then it’s just normal plastic underneath. Took me 15 minutes to fix. Then I did same to a slightly newer quneo.

      1. mine as well, turned to GOO as well.

        along with the finish of the sidepanels of my Moog Slim Phatty (replaced with wood),
        my ExpressiveE Touché (original) outer case, a certain mini projector,
        and lately my Zoom H6..

        i wish they would either fix this plastic or not use it.
        it IS disgusting..

        1. Hello jz,

          Our new ABS-Polycarbonate enclosure (RED) does not use the soft-touch coating. If you still have your gooey QuNexus, send us a support ticket and we will take care of you.

          Cheers,

          Eric Bateman
          CEO
          Keith McMillen Instruments

  1. Always loved KMI’s stuff. Not a fan of the red, though. Hopefully they’ll choose something more neutral next time. And perhaps update the connectivity.

  2. I have a K-Mix and the „soft touch“ rubber coating of the unit turned into a sticky mess after two years, which makes it unpleasant to use and impossible to resell. I don’t think I will buy anything from KMI again until I’m safe they fixed this issue.

    1. Hello Dacci,

      Our new ABS-Polycarbonate enclosures do away with the old soft-touch coating in favor of a smooth and durable finish. Replacement enclosures are available through the parts page on our website.

      If you’d like to contact me through our support site, we can figure something out for your K-Mix specifically.

      Cheers,

      Eric Bateman
      CEO
      Keith McMillen Instruments

      1. Hello Libcrpyt,

        I’m sorry that you had a bad experience with our support. I came onboard with Keith McMillen in August of 2020, and have been working hard since then to improve our support process and our resources to respond to quality control issues. We’ve increased hours, and we now have a healthy supply of replacement parts to offer real solutions for these issues.

        If you still feel up to giving us a chance, please contact us through our support department and include my name and a link to this page, and we will take care of you.

        Cheers,

        Eric Bateman
        CEO
        Keith McMillen Instruments

  3. I bought the original QuNexus when it first came out about 10 years ago and its stoill going string and is plugged in to my Eurorack doing CV duties even now- never been anything like it before or since for the money, it was way ahead of its time with the ‘MPE’ stuff and had CV in and out! Great that my ‘old’ unit will get a free upgrade!!!

  4. I did the same a few years ago. I got a quick reply from a customer service rep who seemed sympathetic and was forwarding my email to someone in the repairs dept. I never heard back. Last year I reached out again and got a reply from a different person who said that they could sell me a spare case for $40 USD plus shipping or give me a modest discount on a new qunexus. That seemed a little pricey to me so I didnt reply. This spring I tried again and got a reply from yet a different rep who said that they could send me a factory second case (had some scuffs, but not gooey) for free. I only had to pay shipping. A much more reasonable offer which I accepted. I guess it depends on who reads your request.

    The new features and performance updates look pretty cool and I am looking forward to trying it out. I hope that they are planning to offer the new non-rubber cases at an affordable price to previous customers who are stuck 😉 with the old melting ones.

    1. Hi Charlie,

      As I mentioned above, we are under new management. COVID was a time of transition for us, and my goal since coming on board last year has been to improve the our customer support and our product service resources so that we can better support our customers and products.

      You can find replacement enclosures (the new ABS-Polycarbonate ones) at our website on the parts page. If you still need assistance, please submit a support ticket through our website and we will take care of you.

      Cheers,

      Eric Bateman
      CEO
      Keith McMillen Instruments

    2. What’s an affordable price? $40 seems pretty reasonable to me but clearly that was out of your budget range. I’m guessing you’ve gummed another case up if you’re hoping for another.

  5. I’m a happy Qunexus and Quneo owner – the sticky stuff comes right off with alcohol or GooGone and a paper towel. It was easy and the devices are a pleasure to hold again. And THANK YOU for making the FW upgrade to the original model!!!

    As for people being mad they didn’t upgrade the HW? The one complaint I see over and over is the micro usb. Who cares? We all have dozens of micro usb cables and live with them. The Qunexus is a complete winner otherwise. Light, indestructible, USB powered, has CV and gate out and midi, MPE capable, and they provided an update path.

    Don’t want a red one, get a used sticky one on Reverb for $100 and get out your friggin shine box!

    1. I think the issue with mini-USB in particular is that the connectors can be unreliable. My QuNexus still works but a couple of other controllers have failed mini-USB connectors. Mini-USB connectors were also a point of failure for Sony’s DualShock 3 game controller. The QuNexus perplexingly has mini *and* micro USB I think? Micro seems somewhat more reliable, and USB C even more so.

  6. At what point are they thinking about upgrading to USBC like almost everyone else?
    I’ll bet they loose a lot of sales just for this reason alone.

  7. I still love mine though gooey. The only thing I’ve had trouble with is the little (what feels like) flimsy USB port. None of my connector fit the connector perfectly and it often will lose a connection. I think it got distorted from hanging off the side.

    1. Ah so yours is melting also – weird. Yeah it’s too bad that it came out in the dark ages of USB mini. I’ve had a number of failed controllers with that connector.

  8. Nice – the QuNexus is a powerful gadget, with polyphonic expression, CV support, RGB keys, etc.; making this sequencer available as a firmware update for existing owners is particularly cool!

    My minor issues with the QuNexus are 1) some sensitivity variation across keys, 2) the expander box is a bit clunky, 3) the case finish seems to have melted somewhat over time (in spite of being kept in cool and dry locations), 4) the unreliability of mini USB connectors.

  9. By the way one of my favorite things about the QuNexus is that it can send on multiple channels. This makes for a great experience on multitimbral/multichannel synths like the DSI Tetra, where you can spread chords (and melodies) across voices (sort of like the Oberheim Four Voice) for timbral variation and with multichannel aftertouch/modulation.

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