Erae Touch is an innovative, fully-customizable MPE controller that invites you to experiment, composer, and perform. It’s now on Kickstarter.
Back at Superbooth 20, I published news about the Erae Touch, a new MPE (MIDI Polyphonic Expressive) controller. At that time I also did an interview with Edgar Hemery, the CEO of the young French company Embodme. Almost six months have passed between now and my first look at the product. In the meantime, it has made significant progress and has successfully landed on Kickstarter. Successful here means almost € 50,000 after a few days and thus the pledge goal has been achieved.
Erae Touch is an MPE controller and looks like an oversized Roli Lightpad block, but don’t be fooled. It’s fully customizable and uses a low coating surface paired with more than a thousand high-quality Force Sensitive Resistors (FSRs). A large range of expressive multi-dimensional gestures is possible. From smooth glides to hard hit from a drum stick.
Surface With Thousand Of Sensors
Erae Touch is both ultra-sensitive and extra-large, to open up possibilities and gives you more space to explore and express yourself. Play melody with polyphonic expressivity, control multiple parameters on a single note. It features 6 types of polyphonic touch sensing per note:
- strike velocity
- Z-axis pressure (bend and aftertouch)
- X or left-right axis (slide)
- Y or up-down axis (glide)
- released velocity (lift)
This allows you to play/slide/bend notes, control parameters, or play pads with drum sticks. Far more than what the previous MPE controllers can do.
Software is essential. Don’t worry, the controller is standalone, you only need it for the configuration. The Erea Lab allows you to customize your surface and quickly map your functions on it. Everything starts with creating your own interface by drag & dropping simple elements, adjust sizes, colors, and add animations. These elements are divided into three categories: spatial (XYZ-pad, keyboard, isomorphic), temporal (sequencer, arpeggiator), and mix (button, fader, fader 2D). At the same moment, you can add MIDI control changes in 3D, route channels, and adjust velocity curves.
Erae Touch not fixed on a single template. You can upload up to 32 and switch effortlessly between layouts or combine them in split modes. A lot of possibilities in one device.
A Controller For Your DAW & External Instruments
Embodme added to the Erae Touch USB-C and MIDI over TRS connection that gives you advanced control to any DAW or MIDI compatible.
In practical form: MPE-enabled Synthesizer plugins such as Falcon 2, Synthmaster, etc. can be controlled with this controller with ease. This also applies to hardware synths like the ASM Hydrasynth or Modal Argon8, certainly interesting combinations to try out.
I love MPE because you can rediscover your favorite synths and tease out new sounds that have not yet been possible with a traditional MIDI controller. Because we’re already at synthesizers. Erae Touch comes with Audio Damage Continua, an MPE compatible virtual analog synth for PC & Mac.
It is a relatively large MIDI controller but is very narrow. So it just fits in your bag with its laptop size and weight. Carry it everywhere from your bedroom to the studio or on stage.
In summary, one can say that the Erae Touch is an innovative MPE MIDI controller with which you can do everything related to MIDI. Keyboard, touch fader console, drum pads, arpeggiator, sequencer,… in one device. The only thing missing is CV / Gate Out which is a shame.
Erae Touch is available to pre-order on Kickstarter for $689. The official retail price will be $789 and the project has already met its funding goal. Shipping starts in February 2021.
More information here: Embodme