Returned Erae Touch, looking for alternative

Add my vote for the Striso! Mine has been played daily, has worked with any PC or iPad synths I have tried it with, as well as the onboard synth, which sounds to me like a piano, for sure. I do love the GeoShred acoustically modeled instruments more, and it plays great with them, with ThumbJam, with Roli…

But I also now play some daily with the new Roli Lumi Keys, which cost a bit more than half the Striso’s price, and has a bit more than half the range (of course, plus the octave switch.) It has that “mass produced precision” look and feel, and is surprisingly responsive in pitch and aftertouch. As it stands now, my thought is that I will use both Striso and Lumi Keys together, as right and left hands. I need more work to figure out the settings, but I don’t think you go wrong with either.

And, for that matter, my QuNexus Red also has very responsive squishy buttons and does also work nicely with either/both of the above…and the cheapest of the three, weighs nothing, bulletproof and proven reliable. I love 'em all!

For the “only” instrument, it’d have to be the Striso!

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Good point re: new Push. The Push 3 does really look nice and I hear the pads are amazing. Only thing is it would be even less portable than Linnstrument 128 and half the range.

And re: guitar layout on Linnstrument, keep in mind you can change the tuning and intervals between rows.

I find my Linnstrument fairly portable, but because it’s so well built a bit heavier than I would like. The Sensel Morph I love for portability, but lacking sustain pedal and range are definitely drawbacks for me when it comes to filling a workhorse role. The Linnstrument is the first alternative or non-piano controller that I really found could fulfill a workhorse role for me as well as offer the extra expression of something like a Seaboard. But as others have said it does strike compromises too.

Equis and Striso both look really cool and would like to try.

I definitely came up with some fresh ideas, different than with the launchpad i used before. Also the last song i started is much more instrumental (not so much electronic), but thats because of the mpe. Its pretty easy to rember scales and chords, cause its always the same pattern. But often i dont think too much about scales and just play by ear.

Yeah and when it comes to weight, the standalone Push 3 I got is really heavy, makes the Linnstrument seem a breeze in comparison. Its a shame I dont actually like the feel of the Linnstrument to my fingers, but I think they probably changed the surface material slightly since I got mine, and I didnt get round to ordering an updated surface for it.

Yikes… yeah I heard the stand alone added some decent weight. But I suppose if you factor in the weight of not having a laptop it balances out.

So re: the new Linn pads… I did update mine because I found the old ones having too much resistance for gliding during a pitch bend. The new one indeed improves that with an updated matte finish, but that was the only difference I noticed.

I’ve never tested a Play, but I heard even the 2 had some of the best pads of any controller. I do use Ableton a fair bit, so the workflow enhancements intrigue me there too.

I sold my Soundplane a few months ago. Was sad to see it go, but had been waiting for well over a year on a firmware update to fix a known issue which caused stuck notes on MPE.

(It’s great over OSC, but this bug rendered it basically unusable as a MIDI controller)

Not sure if that’s fixed yet, but I’d definitely check before going there.

I’m waiting, by necessity. Can’t afford Push 3 yet.

But honestly, I prefer Launchpad X over Push 2, and if Novation comes out with an MPE launchpad before I’ve managed to save up a thousand dollars, I’ll probably skip Push 3 altogether and jump straight to that.

(wild speculation: Launchpad Pro Mk4 is the big variable, I think. For their internal sequencer to support MPE will require more MIDI ports, and/or USB endpoints. Which makes the whole thing a clumsy workaround in lieu of MIDI 2.0 - so they might stall for a while on that whole generation)

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Ah, yes. Have almost picked a Launchpad but never did. I wish their small one was velocity sensitive

The next version might be. It seems to float one generation behind the others.

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(For those who don’t know, I’m Bruno, CEO of Intuitive Instruments, the company that designed Exquis). @BJG145 Ben thank you very much for your support and the accuracy of your responses regarding Exquis.
Indeed, we are experiencing delays, and we won’t be able to deliver before September. Each passing week further solidifies the upcoming steps, and we expect a small pre-production run to be carried out in August. If everything goes well, full production will follow. In other words, at the moment, all indicators are positive, and even if we still need to make some adjustments once the pre-production run is completed, we will deliver no later than November.
All critical electronic components have already been sourced, so we are also secured in this regard.

We are excited to have you test Exquis! On our side, we are very proud of its playability and sensitivity. For your reference, I am sharing the latest video we have published, and of course, I am available to answer any questions you may have.

(Yes Ben it’s still with the previous layout of keys, it’s because we are so close to final design that we only have one prototype with the latest design, and our engineers are using it every hours :wink: )

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the soundplane’s app source code is open source, so I was running my own version of it for quite a long time. I actually had an MPE implementation before the official app, and also various refinements - and don’t remember any stuck note issues with it
(well, beyond having too low a threshold … but that affected osc too)

that said, I pretty much exclusively used osc, and even built my own synths (etc), and adapted others (e.g. reaktor) that used this protocol… it just felt so much smoother than using midi/mpe. even created an t3d osc mode for the Eigenharp… and there it also feels so much better than mpe.

this goes back to my point about the soundplane being great in certain use-cases…rather than a generic controller. if you have visions about controlling sound, perhaps with your own dsp (say in max/reaktor) over a continuous surface… its hard to beat…
but if you want to just control some mpe vsts, linnstrument is better.

thats why I enjoyed it , but in later years, I just had less time to dedicate to writing things ‘for it’.
so ended up using it almost exclusively with Aalto… which was cool (my favourite vst) , but not really what I had in mind for it.

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Perhaps you should consider trying two CME XKey keyboards? They come in two sizes: 25 and 37 keys. The Xkeys are very small but have full-size keys. I sometimes use two of them side-by-side on my desk. They do not support MPE, but they do support polyphonic aftertouch and have dedicated keys for pitch bend and modulation. When combined with a sustain and expression pedal, they can be very expressive. They are available in both wired and Bluetooth versions and used versions are often available on the usual online sites. Combining a 37 & 25 gets you 61 keys and two 37’s gets you 73 keys (the upper C on one board “overlaps” with the lower C on the other board). There is even a small case available that holds both a 37 and 25 key Xkey.

Yeah I have seen those, I think the 25 key is on my list as a controller that I might get as a standard alternative to the Linnstrument down the line.

I have settled on the Linnstrument, (between large and 128) I think it will serve many more use cases for my composing than the striso. It also will make use of my guitar experience.

I think I can see myself picking up a Striso and Xkey 25/37 in the future as alt controller but I will wait on that and dedicate myself to the Linnstrument for now.

Going to go and try one in london next friday then will make the purchase. While I wait for that, anyone have opinion on 128 vs original?

I believe its just a trade off … size/price.
16 vs 25 columns

functionally they are the same (afaik) … so its a bit like 49 key vs 61 key…
25 columns gives you a bit more range (octaves).
however, if you want to use splits (to play two parts) then the 200 will really shine then…
(as basically you can have the full 16x8 (128) on one split, and still have another 9x8 for the other side)

generally, Id say…
if portability is a major factor e.g. want to put in a backpack , 128 is best option.
(also I guess 128, if physically, you don’t have space on your desk)
if not e.g. spending most of its time on a desk, then the larger playing surface will always be better esp. if you want to use splits

and of course, budget does come into it too.
the 128 is very usable, the above, is just about preference assuming budget is not the driving factor.

note: again, I dont have a linnstrument, but have used things like eigenharps of different sizes… and yeah, it does matter :wink: … Id definitely go for the 200 if I was getting one…

I have gone with the 200. I used geoshred play on the ipad to get a feel for the layout and realised that I would want all the extra playing surface.

Also it sold me on the 4th isomorphic layout for jamming and composing along with my guitar and voice. It was so fun and that was on the ipad with a not massively responsive app.

I truly cant wait to get it in and really learn the instrument and I think it might just make me a better guitar player at least on the theory side.

Thanks everyone for your wonderful help.


Just for the record, I wanted to enter into the mix how much I love my Roli Seaboard RISE 49 (original version). I’ve never had any regrets getting it and wouldn’t want to be without it. It’s really held up well over the years and I seem to always coax something beautiful with it when I use it with MPE synths.

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As I read your positive comments regarding the Roli Seaboard, I was playing the Roli Lumi Keys, with the iPad GeoShred and a little earbud, and realilzed that it is so much more fun than I even hoped for when I “gambled” my $256 a couple of months ago! No latency problem with Bluetooth and very responsive keys. I now play it as much as the Striso, and if I had started (and gotten somwhere) with a piano keyboard in my youth I’d just buy another Lumi to have four octaves default, as folks have suggested here. It’s well-built and seems sturdy as can be, and the goal of Lumi/left and Striso/right hand seems a reasonable one for me.

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Has your LinnStrument (200) arrived yet?

After emailing Roger, he suggested I order from a UK dealer so I could try it out and have an easier returns process if it wasn’t quite for me (I was unable to demo it when in london) So I ordered after checking with the dealer it was wokay to try out and return if I didn’t feel it.

I played with it about 2 hours every evening for 10 days straight.Using it while composing alongside the CME XKey25 I got used for cheap. And honestly I’m sorry to say I really did not enjoy it at all.

Now I know for certain more time and practice would have yielded more enjoyment, but what people say is true, it is an instrument that needs time and mastery. And Iit clarified what I was looking for. an MPE controller to help me compose and sound design, and not a wild and brilliant ne instrument that I would have to invest a ton of time into to get real results from.

Considering the price and that im a new Dad, I made the sad decision that it was just not for me at this moment in time and so returned it. I am considering the Strido Board, but am wondering if I might run into the same thing, and I should just stick with my guitar and mini keyboard.

PS: (details on why I struggled with it)
My main problems were getting control over the initial velocity and the pressure, it just felt like I could not get that smoothness that I needed for playing orchestral dynamics, and general filters sweeps in my synths. Again im certain this would come with practice, but my joy comes from generating ideas, and the ten night I spent with the Linnstrument that joy just wasn’t there at all.

I agree, I have had the Linnstrument for just over two years and I am still overwhelmed by how much work I have to do to transfer all of my piano/keyboard skills towards it.

The Striso makes much more sense, especially if your idea of composition is the diatonic scale. It is not well designed for other scales, especially if they are exotic.

If you want to compare against a comprehensive list of MPE hardware controllers, I have compiled one below on KVR Audio.

You can adjust the Touch Sensor Prescale value to accommodate the velocity/pressure range you are most comfortable at.