Clever touch-panel device. Calling it a “synth” is a real stretch as it doesn’t seem to have much/any signal processing capabilities. But just as an alternative controller, it justifies itself.
Keith McMillen is running a Kickstarter for a keyboard controller–that looks amazingly like a Haken keyboard. They even got Jordan Rudess to fiddle with the prototype. Presumably it’s a completely different design.
Too big to actually use as a guitar pick. Probably eats batteries.
“Because Fuck You, that’s why. There have been a few proud hardware synths and a plethora of soft synths that can handle alternative tunings. While that’s cool for sequencing, playing in a tuning that doesn’t consist of 12 notes on a keyboard that does sucks.” Has a point although there’s zero tactile feedback.
Inevitably the result of a Kickstarter. Because no corporation has the guts to make such a simple thing.
But I can’t find any proof that it is actually shipping…..
Evidently the Zivix “Jamstik” isn’t the big hit they thought it would be, because today old stock is being blown out at 40% off. In case you didn’t see it before, the Jamstik is a “guitar” that was aimed at the iPhone world. I assume they thought only Apple fans would pay $300 for a gizmo that was “useless” without an iPhone or iPad. And has only five frets.
At least, that was how they started out; Android support is being waved around, although not ready yet(?). It has a USB MIDI-data output, so presumably it will work with any desktop or laptop apps capable of accepting generic MIDI controller data. So they claim anyway. Good luck with compatibility issues.
Also, it’s “made in America”. Uh huh, suuuure.
The Volt AxXe is a guitar-shaped control instrument that is capable of controlling 1 or more analog synthesizers through the use of control voltages.
It is comprised of four touch sensitive ribbons on the neck, as well as a programable switch and multi-dimensional touch surface on the body.
Each ribbon produces a 0-5 volt control voltage, as well as a 5 volt gate signal.
The multi-dimensional touch surface produces voltages X and Y, relative to Cartesian position on the surface. The touch surface produces voltage A, relative to the amount of surface area with which the user has contact, and also produces a 5 volt gate signal.
The ribbon voltages can be offset and scaled to any tuning configuration ranging from microtonal to macrotonal.
The Volt AxXe produces 13 individual control voltages, giving the user an unprecedented level of control. It opens the doors for many forms of musical articulation that were previously unavailable to the electronic musician. It is capable of facilitating performances ranging from realistic bass guitar-like performances to vast experimental soundscapes.
The Volt AxXe has been designed entirely in the analog domain.
The 2015 NAMM video explains it very well. Just once, it would be nice to see an alternative controller sell in figures comparable to the boring “workstation” synthesizers.
Unbeknownst to all of us, there is apparently a Redditor who is starting to build his own electronic music gear. Posting photos to Imgur.
From Ken Rushton:
Want an advantage over other musicians and to look really cool?
I’m starting an Alternate Musical Instrument S.I.G. in the Greater Vancouver area. It’s for those who want to gain a musical edge. Do you:
– really, hugely want to learn to play an instrument, but don’t because the instrument is arcane or everyone else is musicians that started years ago
– are non-keyboard musicians: especially guitar players and sax players that want to play a keyboard but don’t because the keyboard is so bloody confusing
– are mediocre keyboardists that want a killer advantage: an instrument that is much faster to play and has many more musical possibilities than the traditional instrument
– are composers that want composition-boosting (instead of confusing) instruments
This is a great time in the development of musical instruments. New, intelligently designed ones are coming out; we now have the Daskin (a modernized piano), Dualo Du-touch, Terpstra, LinnStrument and jammer keyboards. All of these are designed to be both easy to learn, fast to play and train the ear accurately. This is not hard – traditional instruments are not designed for any of these things. All of the new instruments have uniform, consistent fingering, that is, if you learn to play a song in a given key, you can play it equally well in all keys, and modulations are easy. Each has unique features.
If these new instruments sound scary-hard to learn, there is now available teaching software that multiplies musical learning speed and it works particularly well on the new gadgets.
The group purpose: to check-out these new instruments, share ideas, experiences and gain extra proficiency in music. This will be lots of fun & interesting.
See www.MusicScienceGuy.com or MusicScienceGuy@gmail.com
From Ken Rushton:
“The makers of the innovative 2-D array AXiS-64 and AXiS-49 (sic) alternate Keyboard controllers will soon pull the plug on sales, after 5 years in an unexpectedly tough market.”
“This note is to (a) inform you of the existence of these units for a short while more, just in case you happen to need instrument(s) with 2-dimensional arrays of velocity-sensitive keys, and (b) I’ve persuaded the developers/investors in the Axis to tell us a little of their story, in http://www.musicscienceguy.com/2014/11/farewell-to-the-axis-keyboards.html”
“This posting may sober-up anyone that contemplates building a new instrument:”
“I’ve made extensive use of the AXiS-49 controllers, but not as they were intended: reprogrammed the key array; changed the orientation and recolored the keys. They were initially built around a harmonic-table key layout, but a firmware update allowed them to become flexible.”
“I personally believe their story would have been substantially different if they had made an instrument that generic from the start. Moral: target as large a customer base as you can. ”
I have no idea who was behind that thing.
Because we missed it the first time, Rasmus’s DIY MIDI linear multitouch controller:
Very nice, as Borat would say.
Sure, why not.
It appears that we are going into a dark period in electronic music. Meaning, if you can’t do it with an iPhone, it’s not worth doing. More and more iPhone music accessories and apps are pouring out.
The latest one, that is apparently winning awards despite not being manufactured yet, is the Artiphon. No doubt it’s very nice, expressive and cleverly designed. But it is also just another trendy iPhone attachment. Useless without the iPhone. If Apple goes under or stops making iPhones to fit it, it’s a dead product.
Just hitting the market, looks much better made than most of the others, which tend to be plastic and flimsy.