Firmware - feature requests

do you have ideas for how the firmware on the Erae Touch could be improved?

It’d be great to share idea amongst the community, and hopefully useful feedback for @embodme :slight_smile:

please share your ideas here, and also send them to

I really love the Erae Touch, its a really solid v1 firmware.

but here are a few things I think would really help it shine :slight_smile:

midi parameters

currently things like MIDI channel , MPE on/off are defined in layouts
this means if you want a piano on channel 1 and channel 2, you need 2 layouts.
this is fine for performance, but in the studio it can be a bit limiting.

Id love the main MIDI screen to be touch reactive,
allow you to change midi channel, and turn mpe mode on/off

does not need to be as ‘in depth’ as ERAE Lab, but just a few vital parameters like midi channel/mpe

octave change feedback

musical layouts do not change (visually) when you change octave, so currently there is no visual feedback when you hit +/-
as a minimum, Id like to see the +/- light when you press them for some feedback
(they do have a positive click, but still visual reinforcement is useful)

perhaps later, also some way to colour different octaves on key/drum pad elements?

things not working as per manual?

there are a few combos that are as described per manual, in particular calibration.
also a couple of things missing, that I think would be really useful

  • automatic recalibration
  • sleep

touch spacing

Eras Touch is really good, but it seems to have a minimum spacing of elements on key/drum pad of about 3 elements. (*)
the issue is if you use 3 wide elements, you have to hit them dead centre for them to activate…
if you hit the centre on one pad, and slightly off centre on the adjacent pad, it’ll often not trigger (it thinks its part of the first touch)

Im not sure how much this is due to sensor accuracy, but if possible Id love to see this minimum touch distance reduced… 2 would be perfect, but any improvement would help playability.

( * ) I think 3 width is much more usable than 4, which I find for my fingers a bit wide to be comfortable .
also of course 3, gives us more musical range/pads


another one for @embodme , that @blipson reminded me of…

response curves

currently there are ‘range’ fields to define sensitivity of x/y/z
(though, I cannot get z to do much interesting … not sure why)

what I would prefer (or additionally?) is some ability to define log/exp curves.
this is particularly important for velocity and pressure.

Im sure there is already a curve in place, but even playing a little in Ableton, I found that I could tune this curves to be a bit more to my ‘liking’.

I don’t think they are ‘wrong’, just depending on our preferences and use-cases I think you might want different response rates.
e.g. the response rate when using drum sticks, is likely to be very different when finger drumming, or trying to play a synth pad sound.

I think a simple -1 to +1 curve setting, which goes from Exp(-1) ->Linear(0)->Log(1) would be ideal (and similar to some other controllers I have :wink: )

as I say, pressure and velocity are the most important ones,

though I think for Y (perhaps also for vibrato/X) , it would be nice to have an option for an S curve.
this would allow for it to be more/less sensitive in the centre of the pad compare to the edges.

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another one… which I did mention to @embodme at Superbooth…

pitch quantisation

ok, I have to admit Im not a big fan of how the current quantisation is working on the Erae Touch.

my understand of the current mechanics are:

current setup

it always quantises your touch (to a semitone) when you first touch the surface.
when you slide to another ‘pad’ it will ‘glide’ to this new semitone using the a specified glide time.
after which, you are back to a quantised pitch.
vibrato is feels like its allow some kind of movement on the same pad, always coming back to the quantised pitch.

what I don’t Iike about this approach?

well, generally, using an expressive surface is about the musician being in control, rather than using things like glide, lfos , envelopes we PLAY these expressions.
the idea is we (as musicians) develop skills to play these things.

the Erae Touch is trying to be just a bit too clever, its trying to keep us ‘in pitch’, rather than let us play according to what we can hear.
so, sorry to say, I think its kind of ‘missing the point’ a bit.

I get for beginners, have quantised pitch is great…
but it needs to be optional,
so as your skills develop, you can take off the training wheels.

what musical problems/limitations does this approach suffer

microtonal, there is no way to play microtonally , or even non-western A440 scales - since everything is being quantised to a western chromatic scale.

glide/slide - this is a trade off, if your glide time is too slow, you can slide quickly … but if its too fast, you will hear stepping as it quantise as it goes over each pad (quite noticeable on factory setups)

Alternative Approach

I’d like is a fully un-quantised pitch mode, so the surface makes no attempt to quantise - it its just mapping the X axis to pitch evenly (of course, making sure the centre of the pad is semitone)

then Id like a couple of options

  • touch ON quantisation,
    so this quantised when you initially play the note, but as soon as you slide out of that note, it is unquantised.
    this is useful, since it means the initial note sound ok, because you will always strike it slightly off-centre.
    but when you slide, you can use your ears to be in pitch to the next note.

  • touch OFF quantisation,
    when you release the touch it will quantise it, this can be useful when using envelopes - as you obviously
    loose ‘control’ once you release the touch, you might not want it ‘off-key’

the key thing in these modes is the slides are never quantised, so we never have to worry about stepping or ‘glide times’, we get what we play.

( ok, I guess there may be some smoothing required if the sensors yield steppy values, but I hope not too much , or it can be minimised )

I guess if you add ‘slide quantisation’ , then with all option ticked, we pretty much end up where we are currently … so the ‘beginner mode’ :wink:


I hope it’s not the case the case that Embodme has had to set a fixed “optimized” velocity response due to other competing performance factors.* The present response is OK, but for drumming—whether fingers or sticks—velocity sensitivity is the one. In that case if having the option to neglect pressure, X, and Y somehow makes a velocity curve more doable for a drumming-centered patch, then that would work. I’ve been drumming with BFD3 and a TD-50, and it’s really very good as is, but it would be nice to be able to customize the response.

*ADDED: I just noticed from your other post:

I was afraid of this, but the Erae is within my tolerance. I do get relatively dead spots, though, and I can’t make heads or tails out of that calibration technique where you rub the surface. Maybe it would help, but maybe it won’t accomplish anything more than the power on calibration.

so my experience wit the code of other expressive controllers (soundplane/eigenharp) is that velocity is calculated using the first N pressure readings from the sensor. these are then summed and weighted - basically since velocity = first derivative on these values (pressure = movement, so samples = time)
this gives a 0…1 value, which you then map using a mapping function (aka curve) to a response curve (0…1), then to a midi value.

so you can see there are really 3 steps, with various parameters - which basically as a dev you ‘play with’ to get the right kind of feel - the first two steps really are mostly just trying to get a nice distribution of velocity values without introducing too much latency (number of samples).
(this is an area, Ive seen many controllers improve over time)

the last step is then where users can define the ‘response’ they want to feel, assuming the sensors are now producing (a more or less) idealised velocity.

note: pressure is similar, but easier, since we really just need the mapping function, perhaps with a little filtering to remove noise/jitter/stepping

yeah, the calibration does feel a bit odd at the moment.

again, Id say we have seen improvements in these kind of areas from similar instruments - I remember the Linnstrument had a revamp in this area at some point, and so did the Madrona Lab Soundplane.

I think its all part of ‘fine tuning’ sensor response.

in fairness, this area can be pretty tricky, its where the ‘theory’ of what the sensors should do vs. what they actually do in practice… and how they are affected by things like rf noise, temperature and who knows what… and again its a balancing act of ‘reliability’ (no false touches) vs responsiveness.
so, an area you can keep ‘chipping away’ at for improvements, and as you do this, so you can be less conservative with touch response.

(*) this is also kind of related to the ‘touch spacing’ I mention above, which again is about trying to ignore ‘bleed’ from close touches, and so differentiation two different touches.

one interesting thing, Ive noticed by looking at my feature requests, and also talking to others here on polyexpression is…
I think while the Erae Touch firmware was well tested, and has obviously had feedback from musicians.

I think they had little feedback from musicians that use expressive controllers regularly, since things like quantisation, pressure response, touch spacing - are all things that most of us here, are very familiar with having used many other expressive controllers/instruments… and have immediately highlighted on the Erae.

Im hoping now that @embodme have access to a community that has a lot of experience in this area, then this can be improved upon.


I’ve noticed that the line offsets for the keygrid on Erae are applied incorrectly. Currently the software uses scale degrees to specify the line offset. This is fine for in-key mode but should work differently for the chromatic mode. The scale degrees are inconsistent since they contain a different number of semitones depending on the scale step. In chromatic mode the offset must be specified in semitones, so a 4th should be 5 semitones and not 3 steps (which can be 5 or 6 semitones or even more for a pentatonic).

This is how the key grid should look like when using a 4th line offset:

And this is the key grid layout on Erae:

Currently, the offset between the first and the second line is correct, but the third line is shifted by 6 semitones instead of 5. So the leftmost pad in the 3rd line is B instead of A#. As a result, the layout of notes is inconsistent in different parts of the key grid. Same intervals and chords have different shapes depending on the position in the grid.

Please consider changing the behavior of offsets in chromatic mode. This will make playing Erae much easier for people coming from other pad controllers, such as Push and Linnstrument.


indeed, I’ve detailed this to @embodme already, and showed them this at Superbooth.

the underlying issue is the same spacing is used for both chromatic and non-chromatic scales on the keypad layout. so whilst its correct for scaled mode, it’s incorrect for chromatic.

the current workaround is to use a drumpad element instead, which is fixed to chromatic mode, but also uses a fixed offset - so is correct.

when I talked to the guys at @embodme, they said they were considering combining the function of keypad and drumpad elements, as they are so similar - so at that point, this would be resolved.

definitely worth dropping Embodme a support email though, as they say ‘the squeaky wheel gets the oil’ :wink:

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I think this is the most requested “fix” I have seen in various forums. Hope @embodme is taking this with the highest priority.

I bumped into the same issue with KeyGrid…

Embodme : please fix it !