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#2127305 - 08/03/13 04:02 AM NEW - "TouchKeys" with vibrato and pitch bend
pv88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 2635
Has anyone seen this new innovation?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fhmIqKHGs8

Looks like vibrato and pitch bends are now possible to realize just by using rocking and sliding motions on the keys.

Here is the main website:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/instrumentslab/touchkeys-multi-touch-musical-keyboard

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#2127307 - 08/03/13 04:15 AM Re: NEW - "TouchKeys" with vibrato and pitch bend [Re: pv88]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9366
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Looks very interesting.

Mentioned here, by the way, but I agree that this is an innovative development that deserves its own thread.

Cheers,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#2127327 - 08/03/13 05:48 AM Re: NEW - "TouchKeys" with vibrato and pitch bend [Re: pv88]
JFP Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/10
Posts: 1336
Loc: The Netherlands
Cool ! Want One ....

If that could be integrated in a keybed in a way that you can retain the ivory key surface like structure somehow that would be the ultimate solution. No more requests for aftertouch , or polyphonic aftertouch , or separate pitch/ mod wheel boxes anymore; it's all there....right under your fingers AND you can keep both hands on the keys at all times.

I hope this gets integrated in future factory products (any manufacturer catching up on this and interested ? I'm sure many keyboard players would love to have this kind of control and are willing to pay for it).

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#2127335 - 08/03/13 06:07 AM Re: NEW - "TouchKeys" with vibrato and pitch bend [Re: JFP]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9366
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: JFP
I'm sure many keyboard players would love to have this kind of control and are willing to pay for it).


Please define 'many'.
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#2127345 - 08/03/13 07:16 AM Re: NEW - "TouchKeys" with vibrato and pitch bend [Re: pv88]
JFP Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/10
Posts: 1336
Loc: The Netherlands
Well, for a start the people who now complain that the VPC lacks pitch and mod wheel ;-) Furthermore I think performing keyboard players (playing all kinds of sounds) will be very interested. If it can be produced on a large scale, the manufacturing costs could come down considerably , making it more interesting for a larger group of buyers and potential ripe for integration in some boards right from the factory . Of course this is a long way of and much speculation, but my feeling tells me there are plenty performers out there who wold benefit from a keybed that gives so much control over your sound and frees up your left hand. You could even program it to control drawbar settings if you want to. All options are open and lots of potential to make your sound more expressive.

IMHO , I wasn't overwhelmed by the initial startup prices they mentioned, considering its in an early phase and prices always come down when the market catches up. At least someone is trying to introduce some fresh ideas instead of continuing on the same road over and over again. Starving Lion has a point there; despite the current crises , or perhaps because of te current crises its time to come up with some more revolutionary ideas and products. It may even help getting things moving again, who knows...


Edited by JFP (08/03/13 07:17 AM)

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#2134184 - 08/17/13 03:44 AM Re: NEW - "TouchKeys" with vibrato and pitch bend [Re: pv88]
pv88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 2635
Extra note:

I am rather surprised to see that hardly anyone has taken an interest in this thread for the new touch sensitive "keys"...

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/instrumentslab/touchkeys-multi-touch-musical-keyboard

Here's a demo video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fhmIqKHGs8


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#2134198 - 08/17/13 05:35 AM Re: NEW - "TouchKeys" with vibrato and pitch bend [Re: pv88]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3836
Loc: North Carolina
pv: Those who wish a digital piano to properly emulate an acoustic would likely have no interest in this. It diverges from traditional piano.

Those who would accept it are left to wonder: Will this become a viable product? Will it be worth £1200 ($1800 USD)? Will it be available anytime soon? Who can perform the custom installation? Will it work with my digital piano? What piano software will it work with? And, how will the maker support it? (Right now it's just a startup looking for funding.)

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#2134200 - 08/17/13 05:43 AM Re: NEW - "TouchKeys" with vibrato and pitch bend [Re: MacMacMac]
pv88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 2635
@Mac,

You do bring up some very good questions and I would like to add who is willing to buy these "keys" for only two features?

1) Pitch bend
2) Vibrato

It does appear to be a novelty item as such.

These are guitar-like effects, right?

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#2134223 - 08/17/13 07:39 AM Re: NEW - "TouchKeys" with vibrato and pitch bend [Re: pv88]
toddy Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1751
Loc: Portugal
It's great! The actual effects are what you typically get with the standard pitch and mod wheels that you get on any synth keyboard (at very low cost). This is what I, along with everyone else who wants these variants to be controlled, use.

But this keyboard has three distinct differences:

- intuitive. You make a 'vibrato' movement to achieve vibrato. Much better than a mod wheel. The pitch bend is similarly intuitive with the longitudinal movement to get the effect.

- independent. The effect happens only on the not you play but the pitch wheel affects all.

- it is a piano type keyboard, not a light synth keyboard.

So yes, a very significant improvement, although, in terms of effect, nothing new, and currently available very cheaply. The questions are: how much extra cost for the independent/intuitive feature? And: would I want one on my piano?

My own feeling is that I would really value a keyboard of this sort, if it weren't to expensive. It's much better than the old wheels system and aftertouch synth keyboard.

But I would probably want it separately from my piano, not incorporated into it.
_________________________
Roland HP 302, Yamaha SY85

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 /Kontakt 5// EWQL Sym Choirs/ Sym Orchestra Silver/ MOR2
Mics: SP B1 & MXL V67g/ Alesis MicTube Preamp/ Xenyx302/ Yamaha HS7s .

"Only a fool is fooled" pv88, All Fools' Day 2014.

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#2134236 - 08/17/13 08:21 AM Re: NEW - "TouchKeys" with vibrato and pitch bend [Re: pv88]
anotherscott Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3291
Originally Posted By: pv88
@Mac,

You do bring up some very good questions and I would like to add who is willing to buy these "keys" for only two features?

1) Pitch bend
2) Vibrato

It does appear to be a novelty item as such.

These are guitar-like effects, right?

These are not "guitar" effects... they are equally orchestral string (violin, etc.) effects, brass (sax, trumpet, etc.) effects, woodwind, synth effects... really almost any non-percussion instrument, real or artificial, makes use of these effects. The only keyboard players for whom this does NOT have potential appeal are those who are using the keyboard for nothing but piano-related sounds. Both groups are probably pretty substantial in size.

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#2134518 - 08/17/13 08:05 PM Re: NEW - "TouchKeys" with vibrato and pitch bend [Re: pv88]
Ahmediy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/27/13
Posts: 43
Wow, who would of thought of this wonderful thing?
It looks like it could be very musical in good hands.
It would be good to see it in more videos.
I wonder if alot will be made and sold.

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#2134543 - 08/17/13 09:14 PM Re: NEW - "TouchKeys" with vibrato and pitch bend [Re: pv88]
RonL Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 181
As I recall my yamaha yc45d combo organ had this feature in 1976....I loved that keyboard...

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#2135475 - 08/19/13 02:33 PM Re: NEW - "TouchKeys" with vibrato and pitch bend [Re: pv88]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4354
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: pv88
Has anyone seen this new innovation?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fhmIqKHGs8

Looks like vibrato and pitch bends are now possible to realize just by using rocking and sliding motions on the keys.

Here is the main website:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/instrumentslab/touchkeys-multi-touch-musical-keyboard

This is fascinating! If I were doing this I'd strongly consider skipping the key action altogether, making a more percussive input with no moving parts.

It looks like each key has an IC imbedded in it, with flexible conductors to each one. That's a lot of work. I also wonder how immune to ESD this is.
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#2135602 - 08/19/13 06:46 PM Re: NEW - "TouchKeys" with vibrato and pitch bend [Re: pv88]
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1896
Loc: Pennsylvania
The vibrato might be ok.

However, I slide my fingers along my keys for various reasons and I wouldn't want the sound to BEND.

Also, I wonder how it reacts if you replace the finger you currently have on a key with a different finger. I do that also.
_________________________
Don

Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, Ravenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D, Pianoteq 5

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#2135615 - 08/19/13 07:40 PM Re: NEW - "TouchKeys" with vibrato and pitch bend [Re: pv88]
Amaruk Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/02/11
Posts: 805
Loc: New England, USA
Very interesting indeed. But it sure looks like an expensive implementation...
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#2135620 - 08/19/13 07:56 PM Re: NEW - "TouchKeys" with vibrato and pitch bend [Re: pv88]
AndrewM Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/03/13
Posts: 5
Loc: London, UK
Hello, Andrew (TouchKeys creator) here. I hope you don't mind my weighing in on some of these questions.

* Playing techniques: I focused on vibrato and pitch bends first because they come up so frequently in string, wind and brass technique, and there are many situations in which playing these sounds from the keyboard is useful. This is especially true with the advent of increasingly realistic sample libraries. But the touch sensing can be used for other things too, as in this video (controlling timbre with CS-80 analog synth sounds):

http://youtu.be/bIkKMHwXcko

Basically, anything you can control with MIDI control messages, pitch wheel or aftertouch can be controlled from the TouchKeys.

* Not bending when you don't want it (@dmd): This was really important. There's an adjustable threshold below which no bend takes place, which is enough to take care of most finger motion. And because it tracks each finger separately (up to 3 per key), substitutions don't change the pitch.

* Software/Compatibility (@Mac): it will work with anything that speaks MIDI. A computer is required to process the data, but the MIDI output can be sent back to a hardware synth. More details about this in the "Updates" section of the campaign.

* DIY Installation: a quick guide can be found at this link. There are also prebuilt instruments where we install on a new keyboard before shipping.

* Availability: the campaign runs for 2 more weeks (through September 2nd) and the instruments ship in December and January. The design is done, we've spent 2 years prototyping, and the Kickstarter campaign lets us manufacture them!

* Skipping the keyboard (@dewster): Yep, you can do this, and actually I'm set to make a video of this later in the week! There is a mode where the touch, rather than the key press, triggers the note.

* Static: it's quite robust. The chips are designed for touch sensing situations where there might be ESD, and I've never fried one even in the driest winter conditions.

* Support / About me (@Mac): I'm a composer and engineer on the faculty at Queen Mary, University of London. I'm not launching a company right now, and the pricing basically reflects my production costs. My work is based around creating new instruments and getting them out to the concert hall-- you can see a bit about another of my instruments here (most recently used in a project with the London Chamber Orchestra):

Magnetic Resonator Piano

I will support the TouchKeys once they're out there. I can't provide an indefinite warranty of course (I say 60 days DIY / 6 months prebuilt), nor can I warranty your keyboard in a DIY installation, but I will be keeping a stock of spare parts and can swap out anything that needs fixing. I'm definitely invested in making sure these instruments keep working and keep getting played! [edit: link fix, sorry for long post!]


Edited by AndrewM (08/19/13 07:58 PM)
_________________________
Andrew McPherson
Centre for Digital Music
Queen Mary University of London

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#2135623 - 08/19/13 08:05 PM Re: NEW - "TouchKeys" with vibrato and pitch bend [Re: pv88]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9366
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Thank you for answering these queries Andrew, may I wish you the best of luck with your invention!

James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#2135629 - 08/19/13 08:17 PM Re: NEW - "TouchKeys" with vibrato and pitch bend [Re: pv88]
AndrewM Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/03/13
Posts: 5
Loc: London, UK
Thanks James!
_________________________
Andrew McPherson
Centre for Digital Music
Queen Mary University of London

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#2135638 - 08/19/13 08:34 PM Re: NEW - "TouchKeys" with vibrato and pitch bend [Re: pv88]
BeowulfX Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/24/08
Posts: 263
Romplers or modules like the Roland Integra 7 might benefit from this too, I guess...
_________________________
PX-5S PC361 PX-320 Graphite 49 Pianoteq 4.5-Standard+Bluethner EWQL Symphonic Orchestra Komplete Elements + other VSi TS110A KS40A DAW: AMD PhIIx4 16GB DDR3 1TB HDD 64GB+120GB-SSD Sapphire 6i6 EMU XMIDI 2x2 Sonar X3 Pearl Acoustic Drumset
Contemplating on: Yamaha MOXF6 or Roland FA-06

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#2135643 - 08/19/13 08:41 PM Re: NEW - "TouchKeys" with vibrato and pitch bend [Re: AndrewM]
imyself Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/05/12
Posts: 138
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: AndrewM
Hello, Andrew (TouchKeys creator) here...

Congratulations Andrew for such innovative invention thumb
_________________________
Kawai VPC1/Synthogy American D/Pianoteq 5 Pro/Galaxy Vintage D

"Remember to take the time ... before time takes you"

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#2135677 - 08/19/13 10:28 PM Re: NEW - "TouchKeys" with vibrato and pitch bend [Re: BeowulfX]
anotherscott Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3291
Originally Posted By: BeowulfX
Romplers or modules like the Roland Integra 7 might benefit from this too, I guess...

Yes, and I'm pretty sure the Integra responds to polyphonic aftertouch. I like the idea of being able to add pitch bend, vibrato, or other expressions to what I'm playing without having to take a hand off the keyboard to reach for a wheel, joystick, knob, or slider. I often don't have the hand to spare!

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#2135683 - 08/19/13 10:42 PM Re: NEW - "TouchKeys" with vibrato and pitch bend [Re: pv88]
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1896
Loc: Pennsylvania
@Andrew:

It sounds like you have this well thought out.

However, the thought occurs to me that your market might be with digital piano manufacturers instead of end-users.

Just a thought.
_________________________
Don

Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, Ravenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D, Pianoteq 5

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#2135685 - 08/19/13 10:54 PM Re: NEW - "TouchKeys" with vibrato and pitch bend [Re: dmd]
anotherscott Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3291
Originally Posted By: dmd
the thought occurs to me that your market might be with digital piano manufacturers instead of end-users.

It would be great to see this "commoditized" at some point. But OTOH, I like the idea of the add-on kit. I mean, imagine that only Yamaha offered this, but you wanted to play a Nord or whatever? This way you can get it on any board you want. (Plus, as expensive as it is, at this point, it might be a lot pricier if it had to be marked up the way pianos are marked up through their various levels of distribution.)

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#2136001 - 08/20/13 01:33 PM Re: NEW - "TouchKeys" with vibrato and pitch bend [Re: pv88]
andal Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/23/12
Posts: 22

This is great stuff!

I'd love to buy a digital upright with this technology built into the keys.

Really exciting...

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#2138393 - 08/24/13 04:24 PM Re: NEW - "TouchKeys" with vibrato and pitch bend [Re: pv88]
AndrewM Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/03/13
Posts: 5
Loc: London, UK
Thanks everyone! Two more updates you might like: first, for TouchKeys backers outside the EU, I'm able to issue a refund on UK VAT after the project. That translates to a 16% savings. Here are the details.

Second, here's a video of Dream Theater keyboard wizard Jordan Rudess playing the TouchKeys!

More updates can be found here. 9 days left in the Kickstarter campaign and we've nearly reached our goal!
_________________________
Andrew McPherson
Centre for Digital Music
Queen Mary University of London

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#2140470 - 08/28/13 11:18 PM Re: NEW - "TouchKeys" with vibrato and pitch bend [Re: pv88]
AndrewM Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/03/13
Posts: 5
Loc: London, UK
Here's a new video which follows up on some of the earlier discussion here. I'm using the TouchKeys to control virtual wind and brass instruments (Sample Modeling trombone, trumpet, alto sax):

TouchKeys: wind and brass techniques

Also, 4 days left in the Kickstarter campaign, which has passed its goal by now. So the project is definitely going forward!
_________________________
Andrew McPherson
Centre for Digital Music
Queen Mary University of London

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#2140479 - 08/28/13 11:52 PM Re: NEW - "TouchKeys" with vibrato and pitch bend [Re: pv88]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9366
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Very interesting demo - keep up the great work Andrew!

James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#2142559 - 09/01/13 11:10 PM Re: NEW - "TouchKeys" with vibrato and pitch bend [Re: pv88]
AndrewM Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/03/13
Posts: 5
Loc: London, UK
Last day of the campaign! And with it another video: TouchKeys violin techniques

I'm a viola player myself, and a number of the TouchKeys techniques were inspired by string playing. So it's only appropriate that we conclude the campaign with a strings video. There will be more videos to come even after Kickstarter ends, so keep a lookout for them!
_________________________
Andrew McPherson
Centre for Digital Music
Queen Mary University of London

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#2142580 - 09/02/13 12:06 AM Re: NEW - "TouchKeys" with vibrato and pitch bend [Re: pv88]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9366
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Another good example, thanks for posting!
The fiddle playing sounded particularly realistic.

By the way, congrats on reaching your target, and for receiving the glowing endorsement from Jordan Rudess.

Cheers,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#2142596 - 09/02/13 12:57 AM Re: NEW - "TouchKeys" with vibrato and pitch bend [Re: pv88]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3612
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Fantastic Andrew! This is the single biggest advancement for keyboard expression since the hammer action.

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