Question about touch sensitivity

Hi, I’ve been wondering, given the mechanism the Continuum uses, how even is the feel and the pressure sensitivity? Particularly, if you press and hold a note very gently, like maybe a CC of 10-20, and slide horizontally to another note, will it maintain that level of response pretty evenly, or does the value jump up and down as you move between sensors/rods? I ask because this has been a significant issue on some of the other MPE controllers I’ve tried.

we have lots of continuum owners here who will chime in :slight_smile:

but as a non-owner (so no buyers bias), but someone who has played one, it felt very smooth, and is one of the most sensitive instruments out there. the sensitivity is so high, it will pick up any slight movement YOU make as you slide. its a quality instrument, thats been built/refined for decades… you cannot really compare it to much else.
if you watch some of the classic continuum YouTube videos you will see how much control players have.
Id say there is nothing to worry about in this area…

however, if you are really serious, given the costs involved, Id say, try hard to get your hands on one before purchase. Haken go to shows, have continuums in some specialist shops, or you might be able to meet up with a player to get a try.
(There is a Facebook group for the Continuum, that’d be the best way to get in touch with potentially local players)

note: Im referring only to the full continuum, the continuumini is a very different beast/feel.
btw: I think MPE is a bit of a waste of the continuums talents :wink:

The continuum is very sensitive. It is sampled very fast. With the density of rods and the neoprene surface, a given finger touch is spread across several rods and smoothed. Variations I notice for certain sensitive presets are more to do with my own fingering technique and not the instrument. My experience is that it sounds as smooth as I am able to perform.

The Continu mini sensor is very different: it’s a single plate under the whole surface with a Hall effect sensor on each corner. Logically, that would mean that the response should be quite smooth when sliding, if you manage to actually maintain an even finger pressure.

Of course, when using the continuum as an MPE MIDI controller, much of the internal high-precision is lost to the low resolution of MIDI, so depending on what you send the MIDI to, you may be able to perceive the quantization to 7 bit resolution (if the target doesn’t support the 14-bit codes).

When I get a chance, I’ll see if I can do some logging of the midi data and see what it looks like on a numeric level.

Thanks for the responses. I’m still on the fence about whether to spend that much money on a controller, but it doesn’t seem unreasonable, considering professional grade classical instruments can easily go into the 5 figures.

It’s so much more than a controller. If that’s all you’re looking for there are probably some less expensive options. If your background is more keyboard-oriented, you might consider also looking into an Osmose. Hopefully, there will be other good high-resolution MIDI 2.0 keyboard controllers with aftertouch coming along.

I’m happy to let people try my Continuui. I have both a Slim70 and a Mini. Only thing is you’d have to come to Lummi Island in Washington State ;-).

In 2019 I was travelling in Europe with one of my best friends, among other cities: Paris. We walked between many places there and found some on the way between, but one thing I had in mind from the moment we arrived was that I could perhaps find a Continuum to try. There is a shop in the city I had heard had them and on the day before we travelled on, we made it there.

I remember the sensation very clearly, it is like dipping your fingers into an ocean of sound. This is the distinct association from the very first moment my fingers touched the playing surface - the feeling of sound as something wet and deep, from a light tap on the surface to pressing into the depths - and it is just like that today.

I have a S706x now and the sounds that are created from different interactions with the surface continues to surprise me, and they are unlike any instrument I have yet played. There are many ways to play the Continuum, I find, so stories may differ as well! :slight_smile:

One important note is that while the X and Z directions are very, very sensitive (f.i. the combination of tap and slide are very special, I think), the Y direction is less so. To me, this is just a fact and not something that is a limitation. Also, less sensitive in this context is relative to extremely sensitive! :slight_smile: It may be something to consider, though.

I hope you find a way to try one! Once I found myself in front of one, it was not at all what I expected.


I might actually take you up on that if I’m ever in the area. My dream controller at this point is pretty much a 2 foot wide Sensel Morph with a soft OLED screen for the overlay, but who knows if that’s ever gonna happen. :laughing: Still, the Continuum sounds pretty amazing, I could actually see myself spending that money if I really like it.

That sounds really cool, I hope I have the chance to try one out. It sounds like it’s the sort of thing you really need to learn. Do you remember the name of the shop?

For sure: Modular Square in Paris, I think on walking distance from IRCAM/Centre Pompidou! We had quite soar feet that day, though, I remember.

In Europe, there is also Schneider’s Laden in Berlin. This is a big place and very well sorted.

And KMR Audio in London (outside EU). I have not been here.

Cool, thanks! This might help motivate me to go visit Europe finally.