The CME Xkey Arrives
May 9, 2013
The new Xkey just arrived from CME, and you can expect a review soon. I will be demoing it at the AES Nashville Recording Workshop & Expo next week, and I hope to see and meet some of you there.
Here's a photo:
The Xkey represents an interesting approach to portable keyboard control; it offers full-sized piano keys in a very slim and light package, by combining a unique keyboard action with a thin but strong aluminum frame. The keys are very loud and "clacky" when played, but are nicely responsive, and offer not only velocity but also polyphonic aftertouch, a bit of a Holy Grail for us old MIDI hounds... that lets you add expressiveness to keyboard lines by, for example, accentuating just one note of a chord you're holding.
Other nice touches include pitch and modulation buttons that are actually spring-loaded sensors rather than switches, so you can be much more expressive with bends and vibrato as you play, and a Hold button that can be assigned to latch if desired. I'll bring you all a full review soon, but in the meantime, I have one request of CME: Can you guys design one of these that has 49 keys and either folds or comes apart in the middle so it can fit in a laptop case? With one of those and a laptop or iPad, I could happily gig anywhere in the world...