With Black Friday just a few days away, luckily the new toy I want won’t be found in Toy R’ Us. What I want is an Eigenharp Alpha. I know… what the hell is it?
According to Eigenlabs website, the the Eigenharp Alpha is:
A professional level instrument which allows the musician to play and improvise using a limitless range of sounds with virtuoso skill. The unique design of the keys makes this the most expressive electronic musical instrument ever made. The Alpha can play and record loops, change scale and key, transpose, alter tempo, program beats, create arrangements, switch and layer multiple sounds, all while the musician is performing live on stage.
Available in a variety of finishes, it has 120 highly sensitive keys, 12 percussion keys, 2 strip controllers, a breath pipe and numerous pedal inputs. This gives almost endless possibilities for flexible keyboard layouts, fast instrument switching and expressive musical control. The comprehensive software system provides a wealth of musical performance features, including playback of its own native instruments, many common software plugins, soundfonts or midi instruments.
According to Engadget, here is how the evolution of the instrument came about:
It all started in his Devon barn about eight years ago and over time the Alpha was groomed into a 132-key beast, followed by the recently-developed, self-explanatory Pico. The defining character of both Eigenharps lies in their “completely new sensor technology” consisting of pressure sensitive keys, that can do dual-axis vibrato (not dissimilar to string instruments), accompanied by strip controllers for applying filters or pitch bend, or anything at all depending on how you configure them on their Mac software suite (Windows-support due in January). Likewise with the breath pipe: once you’ve loaded your library and presets you can switch from a Kenny G to a Daft Punk at the simple click of a key.
What can I say, I am typical guy who loves expensive toys. However, after watching the following video with some of the techs playing the Alpha, tell me you don’t want one too. This thing looks like all kinds of fun.
Of course, I would also settle for a Continuum too (regularly used by Jordan Rudess from Dream Theater).