What is it?
Yesterday, MusicRadar attended a launch event for Eigenlabs’ Eigenharp, a unique instrument that’s used to play software instruments on the Mac (a PC version will be available early in 2010). The flagship Alpha model is made to order and available in a variety of finishes – it costs an eye-watering £3,950.
Undoubtedly the most impressive thing about the Eigenharp is its set of keys. The main control section of the Alpha contains 120 of these, each of which benefits from a unique sensor technology that can detect movement in all directions to within a micron (that’s equivalent to the width of a bacterium).
Towards the lower end of the Eigenharp Alpha you’ll find 12 slightly larger keys. These are just as sensitive as the others, but have been designed to be hit harder, thus making them suitable for playing percussion.
For the benefit of those who want to play the Eigenharp while singing, the Alpha model features a mic input and preamp.
The breath pipe is perfect for playing virtual wind instruments (several come with the Eigenharp) but can also be used as an additional controller.
Both sides of the Eigenharp feature strip controllers. In keeping with the instrument’s deluxe styling, these are made of leather. They can be assigned to control whatever you like.
This breakout box sits between the Eigenharp Alpha and your computer. It’s used to interpret data from the instrument and also has pedal inputs and MIDI I/O.
If you’re looking for a more affordable Eigenharp, check out the Pico. This comes with exactly the same software as the Alpha but cuts down the control set to 18 keys, a single strip controller and a breath pipe. It’s USB-powered and costs £349.