Appearing from out of a parallel music universe, a Chinese company called CME introduced its UF omnipotent master keyboard at Macworld Expo. Apparently endorsed by leading Chinese musicians and producers, the keyboard is a "MIDI master keyboard" that boasts several firsts:

  • Cool black metallic duraluminum construction (with communist red trim)
  • Digital audio FireWire expansion capability (Ed: looks like mLAN support, specifically!)
  • The world's first keyboard controller with breath control

The keyboard has aftertouch and provides 8 knobs, 9 sliders, pitchbend and modulation wheels, and additional transport controls for software DAWs. There are four models, three semi-weighted 49/61/76-key models and one hammer-action 88-key model.

A US distributor is still being lined up and prices are still being finalized, but the company says the 49 key version will sell for a reasonable US$199. I can attest to their good looks, functionality, and playability. -Lee Sherman

Ed: Check out that retro design, and the lineup of Chinese endorsements! We'll be watching this one! Thanks, Lee! -PK