The Ergodex DX-1 keyboard is a custom keyboard for adding up to 25 macro-powered keystrokes in any arrangement you like. Engadget, Music Thing, and Gizmodo are all talking about it. I’ve found out some more details that will be important to musicians:
It’s Windows-only. Ergodex are “investigating” Mac or Linux support, their marketing person told me. There are some fairly involved drivers and configuration software; I should be in touch with their technical person soon and will let you know if there’s any solid word on other platforms.
This is macro heaven. The big advantage of the Ergodex is the ability to create complex macros for whatever you might do. There’s even a hardware macro record button. Possibilities for music: keyboard shortcuts for your favorite DAW, or complex non-linear triggering and configuration with Ableton Live.
Totally custom — at least for keys. Here’s the wild part: the keys are apparently stick-on affairs, attaching via adhesive to a clear tray. You could put a template diagram behind the clear overlay.
It’s a dream for gamers, but if you pay attention to what gamers like about it you can glean some handy uses for music, at least as a supplementary control surface — adding additional control beyond your (musical) keyboard, faders, and knobs. For an obsessively thorough review, check out Tom’s Hardware Guide. Ergodex has promised me a review unit in the next couple of weeks. I’ll let you know how it gets along with my PC running Live, Reason, and Project 5 v2.