K-Board C: A great low-cost option

I received my K-Board C last Friday. It definitely takes some effort and experimentation with changing several parameters to get things to work well (including parameters on the K-Board itself and parameters within the music software or hardware you are trying to control). If you don’t want to deal with that amount of “tweaking,” you probably would be happier with an integrated MPE controller and synth (e.g., Osmose) or hardware that has complementary software (e.g., Roli Seaboard combined with Equator synth). However, for $110 USD, I now have an MPE controller that works very well with the SWAM instruments in GeoShred (iPad). I can play a modeled saxophone that sounds incredibly expressive and nuanced (growl, vibrato, etc.). What a great bargain!


cool, looks like a nice portable option.

it looks like its got one axis thats polyphonic…
( as the ‘tilt’ is averaged across all notes)

how’s the feel of the pressure?
my past experience with their products ( I’ve tried a few) was the they tended to be a pretty heavy touch, you had to ‘lean into them a bit’ - works well enough, but found it difficult to be subtle.

all that said, form factor is nice, and great price too, so definitely a good use-case for it.

also, I have a softstep, and I thought their software editor was pretty good, a lot of control, and easy to use.

I previously have tried the K-Board Pro and while I prefer the almost-full-size keys (and traditional key layout), I find the keys on the K-Board C a bit softer to the touch and easier to control the velocity and pressure. I also am experiencing a pleasant surprise with the K-Board C that I can’t explain. It is only supposed to support 2 axis of expression: Y (Tilt) and Z(Press). However, when I wiggle my finger left and right (X axis), I get vibrato on some of the instruments (e.g., Swam saxophone). I wanted to “dip my toe” into the MPE world without a big investment and the K-Board C was the best option I could find.

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While I only have the QuNexus Red (with more bells and whistles) it certainly looks like the K-Board C is very functionally similar. I am very impressed with the build quality and simple “plug and play” aspects. It was my first MPE controller, and although I play the Striso much more because of its crazy-simple isomorphism and 3.5 octave range, the KMI product is remarkably expressive. I should add that mine cost 170 dollars or so, so not so very much more than K-Board C list price. I do agree that the pressure is a bit higher than I might dream of, but the “digging in” part is the fun, and the tactile feedback and MPE make me feel like I am bending a string no matter what sound. Pretty amazing, really. And the GeoSwam and NAADA (spelling?) modeled instruments are wonderful with it (and with the Striso and LumiKeys, too) as are the free Roli 5D instruments. It’s a wonderful new world!


I’ll have to purchase a Naada instrument or two the next time they go on sale. The GeoSwam tenor saxophone is incredible (I play it in two rock cover bands),