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  • Products of Interest

Evo Keyboard Controller

The Evo keyboard controller from German company Endeavour comes in 24- and 48-key models. Each of the keys on the controller features a sensor that reads the position of the finger to give input data beyond simply pitch and velocity, allowing individual keys to be used to control faders and continuous controllers. Finger movements are detected even while the key is held down and can be used to shape the sound using control parameters. The controller can transmit MIDI and OSC messages to a computer via an Ethernet port.

The sensor is confined to a specific area of each key so that the keys can be played straight, without triggering the sensor, if required. The first 1 cm of each key is sensor-free. Each key has a 4-cm-long sensor that is set back 1 cm from the front of the key. This enables the user to choose to play with or without sensors. A scanning rate of 250 Hz, with 8-bit resolution, is used by the sensors. The user can switch between absolute and relative finger positions. Eight onboard processors are used to query the sensors, with an additional processor used to synchronize them.

A range of software is available for use with the Evo. The Evosizer is an analog synthesizer that can be used as a standalone application for Windows and Mac OS or as a plug-in for the Max for Live expansion of Ableton Live. Evo2Midi connects the output data from the controller keyboard to the user's MIDI software, mapping the sensor and key data to MIDI messages. A Max/MSP external object is also available.

The 24-key Evo measures 400 × 350 × 100 mm and weighs just over 1 kg. The 48-key model measures 700 × 350 × 100 mm and weighs just over 2 kg.

Evo is listed for approximately US$ 657 for the 24-key version and approximately US$ 1,315 for the 48-key model. Contact: Endeavour, Max-Planck-Str. 4, 48691 Vreden, Germany; telephone (+49) 256-439-29992; fax (+1) 256-439-299-79; electronic mail; Web

Monome Arc

Philadelphia-based company Monome are best known for their button-matrix controllers, such as the Monome 64. Their new release, the arc, is a set of two or four high-resolution optical rotary encoders in a solid wood black walnut surround (see Figure 1). The encoders were designed to avoid the noise and latency of analog potentiometers and the jumps in value associated with low-resolution encoders. The large encoders have 1,024 steps per revolution and an integrated push button. They are each surrounded by a programmable ring of 64 LEDs. Each LED has 16 levels of brightness, which can be individually programmed. The arc is powered by USB and transmits OSC messages to the computer using the same USB connection. The light pattern of the LEDs can be mapped to parameter values output from a software application.

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Figure 1.

The arc optical rotary encoders from Monome.

The arc is available in two models: arc two, measuring 6 × 3.5 × 1.5 in., and the larger arc four model, which measures 10.5 × 3.5 × 1.5 in. The top unit surface and encoder surface is constructed from anodized milled aluminum and sheet aluminum, with cut glass used for the LED ring. The unit includes recessed rubber feet to prevent slipping during performance.

The arc is assembled by hand. The arc two is listed for US$ 500 and the arc four for S$ 800. Contact: Monome; electronic mail; Web

MXL Black Widow Microphone

The Black Widow microphone from MXL is a large diaphragm condenser microphone with a small body profile and a shiny black chrome finish (see Figure 2). It is designed to provide rich, deep tones for vocals and

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Figure 2.

The MXL Black Widow diaphragm condenser microphone.

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Figure 3.

Blue Microphone's Tiki USB microphone.

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Figure 4...


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