Expressive E Osmose

There is Seaboard and some other alternatives; very interesting, but they’re not really playable as keyboards in the traditional sense, and their physics, compared to any real instruments is just… weird. Now, pre-order just opened for Expressive E Osmose - from the makers of the Touché, which I really like, as a viable and actually playable alternative to pedals, wheels, and even breath controllers.

https://www.expressivee.com/discover-osmose

And, it’s looking a lot like someone finally figured out how to do it! This is basically an implementation of most of the ideas that have crossed my mind in terms of evolution of the keyboard. Basically like having 44 tiny Touchés for keys, so you can just do away with wheels altogether. You can even play actual vibrato on it. (Possible on the Touché as well, though it takes practice, just like on cello, violin, etc. Need to relearn for each instrument. I suspect it might be easier on the Osmose than on the Touché, though.)

Thoughts? Anyone here tried one of the prototypes?

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Saw the video today too, and I need to look further into the technical aspects and potential downsides on how the expressiveness is implemented.

I have been wanting a Roli seaboard for a while, but just like this product, I haven’t been able to justify the cost just yet.

However one thing I thought about personally is doing Music video covers on YouTube, and in that sense I would prefer the seaboard for the visual look.

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Yeah… I’m not entirely sold either yet, but at least, this one has the advantage of actually being playable like a normal keyboard. (Though I know nothing about the feel, so it might still not be an alternative to hammer action controllers, even if they would release an 8 octave version.)

But, my main concern (as with the Touché) is interfacing with instruments. Sure, these devices are all brilliant for custom sound design (or the included presets), but beyond that (with traditional sample libraries, for example), you have to do a whole lot of setup and tweaking to even control the basic aspects in a playable fashion, which limits the practical usefulness a bit.

So in short, the Touché is the best upgrade ever for my custom synth programming, and I think the Osmose would take that even further - but my experience with orchestral sample libraries have not been anything like that so far, and I still find myself using the wheel, or drawing curves most of the time.

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It will take quite a while for the developers to catch up with MPE and the whole new MIDI standard. That is the downside of being an early adopter, because as you say, the options are few.

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Honestly, the synth engine that Roli comes with seems pretty nice, and even has some “acoustic-ish” sounding tones that I would love to play with. :slight_smile:

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Indeed; MPE is a bit of a bootstrap problem: Few and ludicrously expensive controller options lead to a tiny user base, which means less interest in actually developing more options - and in the meantime, synth devs and sound designers can’t be bothered to put in the effort to support these controllers, which further reduces interest from users. But, some people still insist on doing it, and I think it’s only a matter of time until we reach critical mass, and it all really takes off.

Speaking of synths, it turns out the Osmose is actually a hardware synth as well! There is an EaganMatrix engine in it, with VA, FM, physical modelling and whatnot. Hardware synths don’t really interest me all that much these days, but in this case, it might be nice to have an ultra low latency hardware synth properly wired to the controller. It’s kind of the reverse situation of previous generations of synths, where the keyboard was basically standard hardware thrown in so that you could play the synth without an external controller.

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Well, regarding user base, at least Roli were smart enough to come up with a low bar entry concept in the Blocks system.

I’m all in software these days because of the flexibility, but I guess some people would find that hardware part appealing.

I may or may not have caved and reserved one of the last few… The prospects of percussive “tap” playing, and being able to play actual vibrato, may have been too hard to resist. :slight_smile:

Sorry for stepping in the conversation but
what is MPE
Mean?

MIDI Polyphonic Expression. It means you can control expression per note even if you play a chord on your MIDI keyboard.

Wow!!! That so cool
I check out those You guys were talking about lots of money
Are there others that are for cheaper prices ?

Sadly no, this is so new that the prices will probably be high for a long time since it has not become industry standard yet. But the expression capabilities will be amazing.

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I came across this
Neova - Beyond New Forms of Creativity

Use a ring to add all kind of expression and usb hub that connects to your computer

Watch all the way through it get really impressive at 1:29

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Yes I have seen that too, but it is not polyphonic expression in that case. I have always wanted to have individual control per voice (note) when playing chords. So MPE is the future in my humble opinion. And it is indeed adopted by the MIDI standardization as well, so it will come more and more in future products.

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That’s actually pretty clever (again, actual vibrato, tremolo etc, as opposed to just varying the depth with pedals or something) - but I already have a breath controller and a Touché, which are both great for that kind of stuff in their respective ways.

But having multiple dimensions of control in each individual key, without any secondary controllers, is another level entirely. :slight_smile:

(It’s going to be a loooooong winter and spring, waiting for these things to start shipping… :smiley: )

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