As an addendum to yesterday’s teaser of the Evolution multi-touch keyboard, readers send along a couple of other examples. Andrew McPherson has a terrific example of an add-on, multi-touch, capacitive surface that can go on any keyboard (so, basically the same idea).


This video demonstrates a set of capacitive touch sensing piano key tops which mount on top of any existing piano or MIDI keyboard. The key tops sense up to three touches each by position and contact area, letting the performer continuously and polyphonically shape every note in multiple dimensions. The system connects to a computer by USB and uses OSC for flexible communication with a wide variety of synthesis software.

See also the paper published on the design, and of course, the video. (Thanks, Andrew! Nice work – will we see more?)

From Vol 14, No. 2 Summer 1990 issue of Computer Music Journal, none other than Bob Moog joins Berklee’s Thomas L. Rhea to evaluate keyboard instrument design, and specifically refers to touch overlays on the keys (via resistive, not capacitive sensing).
“Evolution of the Keyboard lnterface: The Bøsendorfer 290 SE Recording Piano and The Moog Multiply-Touch-Sensitive Keyboards.” (A PDF is available, albeit not a … legal one. Thanks for the tip, Dan!)

And as for the Evolution, the release date will be Wednesday, November 23. Simon Kemper explains, “In just 2 days we will answer all your questions. Also there will be some more videos and tutorials. We also offer a software to control and individualize the evo. It is called “COMM” and makes everything between MIDI and OSC possible. So mapping the evos touch sensors to poly-AT, and so on, is also no problem.”

There are definitely some skills to pick up here, but that’s true with any alternative instrument. I’m eager to try one of these out.