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  • Keith McMillen K-BOARD

    I've had this unit for a while, so it's time for a HARDWARE REVIEW!

    The KMI K-Board is an ultra-compact controller keyboard, velocity and pressure sensitive (user controllable) with the ability to have key presses "latch" on until the next press. They keyboard also allows finger-tilt sensing (user selectable and programmable from the K-Board Editor). BE AWARE THIS IS NOT A STANDARD KEY-FEEL CONTROLLER. The "keys" are rectangular pads shaped kind of like keys, with a pressure/tilt/velocity sensing material under each key. For my QuNexus, it took me a few days to adapt. Honestly, check one out in a store first as I know folks who can't hack the keys AT ALL.

    Out of the box, it comes with a quick-start guide that I didn't need. Just plug the silly thing into a USB port and you're good to go. There's a ton of support online, and the K-Board editor is downloadable from the KMI website. Setting up what each control does (send pitch/pressure/etc.) is pretty simple via the setup app.

    They show this keybaord being brutalized in videos, and I felt brave and threw the thing across the room and against the wall. It laughed at me and called me "sissy", so yeah, you could probably beat someone senseless with the thing and play a funeral march for then with it afterwards.

    In normal use, it does EXACTLY what I need. Being able to turn performance features with one button is just what I need for improvising over a drone being driven by the QuNexus. The keys are the same as on the QuNexus so no adaptation was needed. They keys are quite responsive, the octave up/down buttons flash to let you know how far up/down frm "center" you are. The pitch-bend button is still as fiddly as on the QuNexus.. it really should be a ribbon controller.

    It worked fine in Tracktion 5, Sonar X3, and Acid Music Studio. It should work anywhere that a class-compliant MIDI device would.

    If lost/stolen, after killing the thief, I'd buy another one.

    The difference from the QuNexus is, for me, really minimal. I could likely get away with two K-Boards, al though being able to swap the entire configuration with 2 button presses can be handy.

    If you can handle the weird keys, this sucker makes a fantastic controller. If you can't handle the pads, best move along. It does take a while to adapt your playing and if you're a "real" keyboard player, I give you odds that you'll throw this out inside 2 hours.
    Home Page: http://www.syntheticaurality.com/
    Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/synthetic_aurality
    Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/edwardaustinaverill

  • #2
    What is the tilt-sensing and movement like? That gave me some very interesting ideas when I saw it on the site, but I'd like to know how well it can be imp,mented in practice? Can you (for example) assign modulation parameters to the tilt-sensing and affect them like that independently? Is it polyphonic tilt-sensing? It seems like you could use this in a similar way to the Haaken Continuum if you wanted to.
    https://soundcloud.com/flowers_for_algernon/the-journey-so-far

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    • #3
      Originally posted by ALGERNON View Post
      What is the tilt-sensing and movement like? That gave me some very interesting ideas when I saw it on the site, but I'd like to know how well it can be imp,mented in practice? Can you (for example) assign modulation parameters to the tilt-sensing and affect them like that independently? Is it polyphonic tilt-sensing? It seems like you could use this in a similar way to the Haaken Continuum if you wanted to.
      I'll fire up the editor tonight and see what all you can assign to what. I will note that tilt sensing can be finicky, sometimes a little TOO sensitive, so it takes some getting used to. I know on the QuNexus, you can assign anything to any MIDI message, so pressure could become MOD WHEEL, tilt could become AFTERTOUCH.. but I'm not sure the less-expensive unit will do it.

      I'll test it tonight or tomorrow and post the results here!
      Home Page: http://www.syntheticaurality.com/
      Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/synthetic_aurality
      Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/edwardaustinaverill

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      • #4
        Ok, you can assign TILT and PRESSURE to any MIDI CC.. unlike the QuNexus were you can assign it key by key (!!).

        I hope that helps!
        Home Page: http://www.syntheticaurality.com/
        Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/synthetic_aurality
        Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/edwardaustinaverill

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