Keystep or Roli Seaboard Block? (or XKey?)


#1

I’m in the hunt for a controller keyboard for the Organelle which I can also hook up to my iOS synths and Axoloti. Was going to get a Keystep but seen a few videos of the Roli Seaboard Block which has piqued my interest as I love the idea of greater expressivity. Any opinions on either? What are the aftertouch and strips like on the keystep? How easy is it to “learn” the Seaboard? I do have a 76 key digital piano with MIDI but it’s not near the rest of my gear but could be used occasionally if I need traditional keys.

Also would the Seaboard work wirelessly if I got a Bluetooth adaptor for the Organelle? There’s no answer in this thread:


#2

Seaboard is its own thing - for me it has been a game changer in terms of expressive playing of electronics. You definitely need to practice and I use it and keys (and can’t resist linking to this video of me playing it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huSViotApTU). I bought my Axoloti to use with it but that’s on my ‘todo’ list - not least because really I want my axoloti in a box with some knobs and my DIY/soldering skills are rubbish.

The keystep is in the “if you have electronic music making gear why haven’t you got one?” category. Seriously it’s a midi controller done right - I have tons of midi controllers and it’s one of the best.

MPE is much less hard work configuration wise when it is supported - in those situations where you can work around it with config work (ie in Ableton I can set up 10 channels and split it all out and it will work but sod that I can’t be arsed) it’s more effort that it is worth. Where it is natively supported (Logic, Equator, lots of iPad stuff) it’s easy and ace

seaboard bluetooth is really nice - use it with my iPad all the time. Not tried with the Organelle


#3

You might also want to consider an xkey.
@keymanpal has one, and it’s really nice, and also has poly at.


#4

Thanks for detailed response, sounds like I need both! :rofl:

I remember seeing that YouTube video before and being very impressed, sounded a lot like a Jean-Michel Jarre track from Revolutions when a clarinet-like sound kicks in (https://youtu.be/ZNXHXdwIFAA?t=27m50s). That’s the full size version though isn’t it? The Block version is obviously smaller, do you think that would affect the playability?

Re Axoloti, why don’t you get an AxoControl for now?

https://www.thonk.co.uk/shop/axoc/


#5

both - yes and I have an xkey too - and that’s really nice :slight_smile: (but the mod wheel thing isn’t great IMO)

yes I’ve got the full size - I got it before the block came out - suspect it is only a matter of time before I pick up the block version too -seems a lot more compact - I think it might make it nicer to play

AxoControl - ooh not seen that! cheers


#6

Not considered the XKey before, thanks for the tip @thetechnobear / @junklight!

I was after less options though, not more! :wink: If only the XKey had the sequencer of the Keystep it’d be a no brainer! Loving the price of the 25 key XKey though for the poly AT. Hmmm, much to ponder.


#7

@ghostly606
Not many realize how configurable an xKey can be! beyond note on/off, Keys can be indepedantly assign midi ch, either notes, CC or Pitch bend even program change. The “Air” version (BT) sends MIDI simulatialy thru usb and BT (something to note also)
Can’t resist this video using xKey In a crazy way https://youtu.be/HJc1o3NJHY8

Why not a Joué? Different take… looking into the future? Neither “bread or butter”


#8

ooh nice - not explored that aspect of the xkey


#9

Cool thanks for the explanation on the XKey @keymanpal. It is certainly a contender…

So much so in fact… just spotted a second hand XKey for fairly cheap on eBay so snagged that but not ruling out adding either the Roli or Keystep too. :smiley:

As for the Joué, it does look intriguing but a bit out of my price range. Thought about an e-touché too but have ruled out due to cost. Maybe ones for the future! :sunglasses:


#10

Ahah, now with @thetechnobear Orac, something like on the video is really easy, even more elaborate and no need for a DAW!