First Impressions... potential spoilers :)

WARNING : Spoiler alert
if you’re about to get your Erae Touch, you might want to skip this thread… so you can enjoy the unboxing experience yourself :slight_smile:

however, I think it’s useful if others share their experiences, and thoughts.
esp. for those that might be interested in picking up a Erae Touch…

note:
its pretty early on for the Erae, so if you are coming after Sep 2021 - things may have changed.
e.g. at the moment we are waiting on erae Lab to be made available.

k, so been playing with it pretty much solidly for nearly 4 hours :slight_smile:

my first impressions is… its a really good job by embodme!

its a really nice form factor, is a really nice size - and its pretty much all playing surface, and its still pretty sleek (about 1cm?) … also came with a nice protective case
(I don’t remember them saying a case would come with its so that was a nice surprise)

it feels nicely responsive, id describe it as a light/medium touch… its not the lightest, but its also not a heavy touch either… you can definitely lean into it.
the surface is nice to touch and play, sliding is easy , you do feel it move (so no ‘carpeting’)

the leds are nice and clear (not quite as bright as I expected, but bright enough… and perhaps brighter would have made distracting?)
there are some really nice animations on touch as well.

so the feel and touch is excellent…which is important, that’s the bread n’ butter, and it does it well!

now the USP, what makes this different from many other surfaces…
configurability…
so this is not just a fixed grid, the idea is we can use keyboard layouts, grid layouts, configure sliders, buttons etc… and because of the leds we can see how its setup.
Now we don’t yet have the Erae Labs to make our own layouts - but they have provided some good examples, so we can see what’s roughly possible.

this looks to have been done really well, generally the controls are nicely sized… and it appears you can pretty much combine anything you want.

I think I’ll mainly use the grid layouts but piano looks useful - the only thing is the spacing is a bit wide, its 4 leds wide, and Id prefer it to be 3… this would be closer to a traditional keyboard - perhaps this is possible with Erae Lab?

Im not sure how I plan to use other layouts, however, the ease to do it, is making it look tempting.

the sequencers and midi fx are similar, I didn’t think Id use them at all, but again, they are so easy to get to, perhaps I may use them after all!

the other aspect is scale selection, this is nice and prominently place, and when you have multiple elements on the surface (e.g. 2 keyboards) , each can be modified separately
also these changes are made per layout.
however, they do not appear to be saved if you power cycle - I suspect they revert to settings made in Erae Lab?

there are also some tantalising teasers too e.g. one of the layouts has a button, that appears to switch layouts… so that could be really useful.

early days, I guess Ive a couple of hopes for changes:

  • narrower keyboard
    … the grid already appears to do this in some layouts,
  • change midi channel,
    you can see a layouts midi channel but it would be nice to change on the device
    (perhaps other things like mappings/mpe mode… but midi channel is my main wish :slight_smile: )
  • latch ALT key
    when you change layout it resets, this is kind of odd when all the MPE modes are on alt layouts, so you might want to stay there… that said, when we have ERAE Lab we will be able to move things about a bit.

but these are all pretty minor, and given this is first release of the firmware, its been done so well.

anyway, first few hours have definitely been very pleasurable… and looking forward to playing with it more, and customising it when ERAE Lab is available (next week, I think is the hope!)


things Ive not tried yet:

  • Ableton launchpad modes - not sure how this will work, control script? or template for all the mapping?
  • ERAE Lab - is not out, given what we already can see is pretty exciting
  • API mode - I’m looking forward to seeing this!
  • MIDI din - I used it with USB, but would like to test this :slight_smile:

something not implemented or manual is wrong?

  • I cannot activate sleep mode as described (it does to a zoom layout mode instead)
  • I cannot activate calibration (+/-/Home )
  • factory layouts are different from manual

tip:
CH chromatic mode.
CH chromatic led/button confused me a lot initially, as sometimes it acts as a button, sometimes it does not.

  • on keyboard elements, you select a scale, include CH (chromatic), this then displays on the keyboard (neat!)
  • on grid elements, the CH is just an indicator… you press the other scales buttons.
    e.g if you have minor selected, and CH is OFF, this means its hiding notes not in the scale, press MI again, and CH will light (!)

I get the difference, erae does not hide keyboard keys, but I still think it would have been more consistent in grid elements to press CH to hide/show notes in scale.
(even if it didn’t change the word to chromatic, which is understandable)

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Already got feedback from them that the grid cells can be made smaller if we want to in the app.

And first plan of action as a non guitarist will probably be to get rid of the major third and switch to an all-fourth tuning when the app comes out.
And I’ll see what can be configured regarding pitch rounding (e.g. whether there is a “round only when motion stops” or something), the current setting is a little aggresive and quantizes slow bends.

But it’s already quite fun as it is!

yeah, layout 7 and 13 have 3x3 grid, and seems to work…
its the first thing Im going to do when we get Erae Lab is make a full screen 3x3 form.
I wonder if it will also allow rectangles so, 3x4 or 3x5 … the soundplane has this and works well, as it gives a larger area for Y movement.

BUT there is no example of the piano layout with narrow keys… which would seem technically possible, but we don’t know if its in ERAE Lab or not ?

yeah, I notice the odd layout when in chromatic mode…
I think the idea was to put the octaves in the same position every other row - but I agree confuses me :slight_smile:

yeah, rounding is as you say quite fast, its probably why I noticed it… soundplane allows this portamento to be adjusted.

as you say, these are all minor things… esp. if we consider this is the first release.
so, Im very happy with it so far,

another observation from playing a lot with it last night…

I thought the touch animations were a bit gimmicky, the sort of thing that would look good on YouTube, and perhaps for live performance… but add nothing to playing it.

however, I actually found myself really enjoying them… they kind of created a bit of a mood, a bit of feedback , that made me ‘feel’ what I was playing more.
a bit like having a visualiser running when your noodling, but being under your fingers, I felt it really added a different dimension.

looking forward to seeing what Erae Labs allows here, as I noticed there are a few different animations in the layer , some subtle, some less so…

another bonus, I have a hard time remember piano scales… to the point I end up looking them up.
now Erae can show me those scales on a keyboard - yay!

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Just played using MIDI DIN provided, works great! seems to spec (provides low power to attach for example YAMAHA MD-BT01 or FLASH SYNTH (Mixtela)

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Hello, all!

Does anyone know what happened to Audiodamage Continua, as it - as far as I understood from the Kickstarter campaign - was meant to be included?

I would understand if it was cut along the way somewhere, and I am very happy as is! I just, in that case, did not notice it. Originally, I think a German software synth was coupled with the Erae. :slight_smile:

oh, Id forgotten about that… I don’t remember that changing…

its worth reaching out to them about it… perhaps it’ll some how be attached to the Erae Lab release (which @NothanUmber mentioned will be out tomorrow?), perhaps that requires registration, and that would give them a ‘secure’ way to distribute licenses keys?!

Yes, I am a bit curious about it as I was independently interested in Continua (and held of purchasing it by itself)! :slight_smile:

It is a good point regarding Erae Lab coordination. I am not sure, though: there is no serial number on the outside of the hardware so to me it appears a bit complicated as a method of (double) registration. We will see! :slight_smile: Otherwise I can ask.

In that case, I’ll return on the topic! :slight_smile:

I’m at Superbooth, and had a nice chat with guys on the Embodme booth.

Bit difficult to post here , so a quick one …
Most of my concerns/wishes appear to either have already been addressed in Erae Labs already, or we’re recognized - I came away from the stand feeling really positive, that not only is it great now, but those minor quirks are addressable !

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Great to know!!
Its quite nice as it is now! so future is looking bright…

Let the “community games” begin :wink:

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