NAMM 2012: We'll have to admit that the concept of a MIDI controller keyboard with built-in touchscreen monitor - one that actually displays your DAW - is one we hadn't considered before. However, Music Computing has not only had the idea, but it's also gone right ahead and brought such a product to market.
The ControlTouch is available with 25 or 61 keys and also sports eight drum pads, eight knobs and nine faders. It's Mac and PC compatible and comes with a virtual instrument that offers some 3,000 sounds.
This all sounds great in theory, though we'll be interested to discover just how practical it is to tweak DAW and soft synth controls on a 10-inch touchscreen display. In fact, regardless of display size, we're still to be convinced that computer musicians want to reach out and touch a monitor that sits vertically rather than tweak a controller (touchscreen or otherwise) on the desktop.
That said, the issue is clouded further here by the fact that the ControlTouch does have physical controllers, too.
ControlTouch is certainly a product we'd like to try; it can be ordered now from the Music Computing website. Prices are $599 for the 25-note model and $699 for the 61-note iteration.
Here's the official release...
Music Computing ControlTouch press release
The world keep changing and that's no different for music production and performance. Traditional instruments are giving way to computer-based alternatives and the key is to bridge the two worlds without stifling creativity or getting lost in the technology.
Music Computing introduces ControlTOUCH…your laptop's new best friend.
World's First Integrated Controller: ControlTOUCH keyboard controllers are designed for the modern day musician who requires traditional keyboard controller features along with a video display and touch screen controls. ControlTOUCH allows you to concentrate on your music creation or performance and less on the technology behind them. ControlTOUCH instantly transforms your laptop or desktop into a full-blown keyboard production station.
ControlTOUCH 61: The 61-key version provides the following controls and features: 8 velocity sensitive trigger pads, 2X Assignable Pedal Interfaces, 8X Assignable Faders (61-key only), Pitch Bend Wheel and Modulation wheel, 6 Buttons for MTC, Master Volume Fader (61-key only), 8 double Function button with shift, providing 15 functions like (PROGRAM, CHANNEL, CURVE, OCTAVE, TRANSPOSE, BANK M, BANK L, DUAL, SPLIT, MUTE, AFTER TOUCH, CONTROL ASSIGN, etc), 10X numeric pad with +/- buttons, Built-in Memory, which can store/load 6 groups of user's parameters, MIDI/OUT, and MIDI/IN.
ControlTOUCH 25: The 25-key version provides the following controls and features: 8 velocity sensitive trigger pads, 2X Assignable Pedal Interfaces, Pitch Bend Wheel and Modulation wheel, 6 Buttons for MTC, 8 double Function button with shift, providing 15 functions like (PROGRAM, CHANNEL, CURVE, OCTAVE, TRANSPOSE, BANK M, BANK L, DUAL, SPLIT, MUTE, AFTER TOUCH, CONTROL ASSIGN, etc), 10X numeric pad with +/- buttons, Built-in Memory, which can store/load 6 groups of user's parameters, MIDI/OUT, and MIDI/IN.
"The ControlTOUCH was designed to allow the user to focus on a musical instrument instead of a laptop." Said Victor Wong, CEO, Music Computing, "This is something I strongly believe is important to the creative process."
"We are always striving to provide more advanced and user-friendly products to our customers," said Victor Wong, CEO, Music Computing. "our new line of Mac OS X compatible keyboard and music production stations clearly demonstrates our dedication and inventiveness to that goal."
Cross-platform: The ControlTOUCH is designed for use with Windows 7 or Mac OS X. Simply plug the USB cables into your laptop or desktop and the ControlTOUCH is ready to go for Windows 7. For Mac OS X, just install the included touchscreen driver and it too will be ready for immediate use. Once the drivers have been installed into your laptops and desktops, you can connect the ControlTOUCH to either one without re-installing the drivers for a quick-change when necessary.
Thousands of Sounds: Included with each ControlTOUCH is Music Computing's SonicSource™ Producer, a virtual synth (VSTi / AU) containing over 3,000 sounds and equipped with three sample-playing layers, two multi-effect racks, and a library of multi-sampled instruments. The sample playing layers allow blending of waveforms and instruments into a wall of sound or alternatively, the use of the three multi-timbral layers as a workstation. These layers can then be further processed through SonicSource's powerful multi-effect racks.
Over 8GB of modern and vintage sounds such as those produced by legendary electric keyboards including the Rhodes electric pianos, Hammond and Vox organs, Hohner clavinets, and Moog synthesizers are present as well as effects like tape based delay lines, rotating speaker cabinets, guitar distortion pedals, wah wah, phasing, and flanging are included. Additional sound libraries will be made available from Music Computing in the near future.
Ground-Breaking Price: The ControlTOUCH comes complete with the 10" touchscreen and is only $599 for the 25-key version and $699 for the 61-key version. Add an audio interface and your laptop or desktop and you're ready to rock!