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QuNeo - controllers reimagined
QuNeo - controllers reimagined
Posted by Gizmo on November 18, 2011 :

Game changer - a platitude often bandied around by marketing departments to describe something that is a little different from the norm, but merely moves things on a tad. The QuNeo controller from Keith McMillen Instruments doesn't describe itself as such, but could certainly fit that description. Whatever you thought of controllers before, prepare to be blown away.

Looking like a big touch pad, the QuNeo is in fact a thin physical iPad sized controller, resplendent with low profile tactile pads. Now you might think that such controls might not do very much, but each of the controls are "pressure, velocity and location sensitive". You have to watch the video to realise what this means from a triggering samples point of view.

Yes it does look a little Lemur like, and obviously has striking similarities to all manner of iPad apps. But there's nothing quite like having a physical control to bash away at, especially when it responds so well in different dimensions.

What I also like is the openness of the project. It's class compliant and will work with MIDI and OSC, meaning that it'll work out of the box, but will soon see many clever adaptations. For your average DJ, hitting a pad will probably be the most that is needed, and frankly is all that is supported in most software. But if you're wanting to get a little more expressive (Vestax's PadOne supports pressure messages too), QuNeo could be for you.

Here's the interesting and highly tempting part. Are you aware of Kickstarter? It's a website that essentially proposes projects and asks for backers. And that's just what is happening with QuNeo. You can send them as little as $1, or as much as $1000 for a super VIP package. I've got my eye on the $200 package - not because I need one, but because this kind of innovation needs to be supported. And I also think it'll be an amazing tool to explore. It'll be the first time I've paid for a product to review, and I'll gladly do it in this case.

Take a look. Perhaps it'll be a new direction for other controller manufacturers to explore. Is it OK to say nextleveleness this time?

Thanks to Synthtopia for the heads up.

NOTE: No further comments are being accepted.
9 comments to this story

On November 18, 2011, Deco said this:
fits ipad accessories = genius

On November 18, 2011, Jared said this:
I'm definitely donating the $200 sooner than later. This thing looks amazing.

On November 18, 2011, Gizmo said this:
@Jared - so that's 2 of us at skratchworx donating. I think they'll be very happy.

On November 18, 2011, rs_ said this:
I know this is a question that gets asked every time something like this comes out...but can something "virtual" like this really ever overtake instruments with a high degree of tactility?

A lot of people are hooked on the feel of turntables. I feel the same way about my old rotary mixer and isolator. Is it truly possible to "bond" with something that's fluid by nature?


On November 18, 2011, Jared said this:
@Giz: Yeah, they better be toung.gif

@rs_: I think it is possible. The thing with a controller like this is it allows the user to dictate their experience, solidifying the fluidity in a personal way. When you put that context into something like Ableton, where the users personal experience can be totally open (your default performance .als file can be completely different from mine to the point of almost being unrecognizeable) a unit like this allows for us both to have a lush experience.

On November 18, 2011, X-ACTO said this:
thumbs up for Keith McMillen! I am a happy owner of Softstep. keep it coming guys!

On November 18, 2011, kp80 said this:
dont post much but I was intrigued by ur writeup and agree this needs supporting.. love the open source aspect..

did the 200 dollar pledge just now

On November 18, 2011, Flexinoodle said this:
Count me in on the $200 package too Giz
I know i ain't been around much but i will review this fella for you with FLS new performance mode (Possibly another game changer for DJs considering the price of FLS vs Live)

On November 18, 2011, rs_ said this:
Jared: I see your point. It seems like the lifespan of gadgets would have to increase for that to happen in practice though.

Time will tell I suppose...

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