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#371477 - 09/02/13 12:42 PM Re: Touch Keys goes into production [Re: abacus]
Diki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 12861
Loc: NW Florida
Lot of if's...

Plus you have to factor in IF the synth engine it addresses is capable of handling the extreme amounts of data being thrown at it. Every single finger you have down will be sending a continuous stream of high resolution data in multiple axes... whether you use it or not.

None of our current arrangers can do that (easy enough to choke them with a bunch of aftertouch, pitch bend and continuous controllers already!) and doubtful if they are going to add this any time soon.

Tons of gimcrack ideas have been floated for the basic keyboard 'improvement' for a hundred years or more. Nothing so far has worked out practical enough, inexpensive enough and easily controllable enough with the exception of mono aftertouch yet.

The thing about all this one does is, sure the idea sounds great, but how do you tell the synth when what you are doing with your fingers is something you actually WANT to do, and what is simply the natural motion your fingers impart during the action of playing? That's really the big question. Is any interface smart enough to distinguish between your deliberate intent and accidental motion? Try looking at your fingers while you play... they aren't necessarily staying exactly where you place them, and where you strike each key depends a lot on what note it is, and what your hand position is in when you strike it, what comes before and after.

This thing seems to want more precision than most of us are capable of, and this may ultimately doom it to the pile of 'good idea, but never worked out' that is already pretty high! That Buchla, for instance! Who wants to play a Stylophone for four hours a night? LOL

#371482 - 09/02/13 01:25 PM Re: Touch Keys goes into production [Re: abacus]
ianmcnll Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/27/05
Posts: 10598
Loc: Cape Breton Island, Canada
Yes, but one doozy of a Stylohone, to be sure. It could be a real speaker ripper...and it was beautifully made and of very high quality (and a little heavier and more bulky that a Stylophone). wink Plus that cute little Stylophone was monophonic. The Buchla we used had 6-note Polyphony (the equally expensive Prophet 5 was still only 5-voice). The touch-plate instruments (you could get a regular keyboard) are worth much more to collectors, as well as those who like using unconventional controls.

There were incredibly complex sounds that were made on the Buchla literally impossible on any of the current synths at that time (and a few since then), and actually it wasn't that difficult to play. The tuning was very stable. Electronic music composers/performers Morton Subotnick and Ramon Sender managed to use them in live performance. Magnificent clangorous sounds were the instrument's specialty, although it still had a lot of analog warmth due to the design of the filters.

The fault lay in the immediacy of programming, something so much easier done with sliders and knobs on a regular analog like a Jupiter 8, Mini-Moog (or a Prophet 5, for that matter) and, in the studio, time was money.

The Touch Keys idea looks interesting all the same, but I wouldn't dare stick those pads on my precious Tyros4, hence the suggestion of a cheaper controller or an inexpensive digital piano with midi, such as an NP-30. I can't imagine Bill sticking them on his big old Wersi. wink

Good luck to the inventor.


Yamaha Tyros4, Yamaha MS-60S Powered Monitors(2), Yamaha CS-01, Yamaha TQ-5, Yamaha PSR-S775.

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