Saturday, January 16, 2010

NAMM 2010 - Eigenlabs Eigenharp

Here's a slightly different but very impressive looking offering:

The Eigenharp is a new musical instrument from a company by the name of Eigenlabs.

There are two models - the Alpha, which is a pretty tall thing, and looks like a thin fretboard almost, except it's populated with a vast array of buttons which are astonishingly touch-sensitive, pressure-sensitive, and can detect both roll and yaw (so effectively every button is a 3-dimensional controller). To add to that, there's a ribbon controller down both sides, the whole thing is driven by a breath input (not unlike a bassoon crook) at the top, and supported by a cello-style spike at the bottom. Confused yet? Don't be - despite an eye-watering $5,900 price tag, it's a stunningly gorgeous piece of design, especially in the custom-available dark wood variations (to see one is to want one). It's great to see companies coming out with genuinely new ways of physically playing live music.

The other model is the Pico, which is a cut down version, much smaller with less buttons (but just as sensitive), also featuring a breath controller and one ribbon controller up the back - all for just $590.

Both units have a cable that runs to a main brain, that then feeds to a computer - but the physical unit you play really does look amazing, especially the big one, and both are shipping now.

Nicely done!


Unknown said...

You must have missed that they announced and displayed a new 3rd model at NAMM, The Tau. Pico design, Alpha size and configuration (less keys than the alpha but WAaaay more than the Pico)

divot said...

I didn't miss it, I just love either the small cheaper model, or the all out beauty of the gorgeous dark wood Alpha... but well pointed out - the Tau may be the best mix of features and price for many people! :)