For Superbooth 20 Home Edition, the young French company Embodme premiered the Erae Touch, a new MPE MIDI controller that is fully customizable.
Erae Touch will finally mix up the somewhat quiet MPE controller again in 2020, which I think is great. Currently, there is only a photo render and some videos to watch on Instagram. However, I was able to look at the first prototype and can say: yes it exists and is much larger than you think. Visually, it looks like a Roli Lightpad clone, but it is not. In reality, the controller is 20 times or more larger than the tool from the UK.
It features a large 21-inch touchpad that supports MIDI polyphonic expression (MPE) and MIDI 2.0 allowing finger touch to produce every sound nuance and articulation. Continuous modulation evolves on all three dimensions at extremely low latency and wide-ranging dynamics levels. The core technology behind the Erae Touch is based on more than a thousand high-resolution force sensitive sensor coupled with a dedicated editor software.
It gets interesting with the Erae Lab editor that comes with the device. Here you can configure the touch surface via drag-and-drop as you want. From touch pads, sliders, and more or a combination of several on one surface. Once you have transferred your custom templates to the device, you have the ability to recall them very quickly.
Navigation between different layouts, octaves, and scales switching is made accessible directly with 5 buttons, which once held, transform the whole playing surface into a quick-access editor. Special tools with which you can trigger notes are also being planned. A kind of MPE arpeggiator would be exciting.
Connections & Software
The Erae Touch will feature a MIDI connection as well as USB-C support that allows you to connect it to your favorite operating system. No CV or gate, so you have to work over classic MIDI if you want to use it with a modular synth. The developers partnered up with the German software company Wavecausal and will ship the device with a custom MPE version of Nylon, a geometry-based Synthesizer plugin.
I talked to Edgar Hemery at Superbooth 20 Home Edition who is one of the developers of this new upcoming MPE controller.
Embodme Erae Touch will be available via a Kickstarter campaign in September for around 700€ and later in the shops for around 800€.
More information here: Embodme