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Exquis

Expressive music at your fingertips

Discover and preorder our new expressive controller and its intuitive app for composing!

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Preorder Exquis from €199 incl. tax

Composing expressive music has never been that easy

A controller, an app, an instrument

Making music is finding the right notes, bringing them to life, and putting them together in rhythm. But regardless of the instrument, machine or software, it takes time and effort to master the theory and technique.

Beginners, amateur or experienced musicians, we all want to reduce the time between an idea and its execution. At Intuitive Instruments, we have found a better way to play and compose today’s music, making it intuitive and logical for everyone:

  • The Exquis controller gives you immediate access to the rules of harmony to improvise with or without theoretical prerequisites, and offers you dimensions of expressiveness that you can quickly master.
  • The Exquis app, in symbiosis with the keyboard, offers a unique workflow allowing you to create an entire song in a few minutes: choose sounds, record loops, play the conductor and structure your songs in complete spontaneity!

Explore, have fun, surprise yourself, find inspiration… Above all, making music is about emotion.

They talk about it

A concentrate of innovations

A visual and ergonomic approach of harmony

Exquis offers an intuitive way to guide you on the right path, while allowing you to get out of it. No hassle: just choose a scale, and follow its luminous path to play in tune.

And thanks to our default note layout, it’s very easy to make chords; Exquis arranges notes that sound good together next to one another. You will be amazed at how harmony falls under your fingers.

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Compared to a piano keyboard, on our note layout the semitones are also arranged horizontally, the harmonious (third) notes are always next to one another, and the intervals starting from any note are always the same.

If you prefer, you can also change the layout of the notes and even create your own using our editor.

A musical scale is a set of notes from which to build harmonious chords and melodies. On the default note layout, scales can be simply represented by a pair of light paths; whether you are a beginner, amateur or experienced musician, just follow the colors, with one or two hands, to stay in tune and improvise spontaneously.

Explore many scales (major, minor, dorian, oriental…) and create your own using our editor.

Our default note layout goes back to the basic logic of harmony, putting notes that sound good together (thirds) next to one another vertically. Each type of chord (e.g. major, minor, diminished, sus4…) always forms a single and unique transposable form.

Expressivity at your fingertips

No need to play a lot of notes when you can make them live; Exquis expressive keys are designed to be mastered in moments while offering enormous potential for expert gestures.

Also benefit from 4 potentiometers and a 6-zone tactile slider, multiplying the possibilities of sound control and facilitating the control of actions on the app.

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Inspired by the finesse of acoustic instruments, the keys of Exquis are both firm enough to play percussion and short notes with precision, and soft enough to modulate long notes with sensitivity.

Tap, press, and tilt multiple keys independently using the MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE) protocol.

The potentiometers (clickable, with infinite and smooth rotation and with a slight resistance) allow you to control the effects of a sound being played, as well as certain essential settings in the various menus.

All of these controls are reassignable at will, whether you’re using the Exquis app or any other app and software.

Composition at your fingertips

The cross-platform Exquis app is the perfect companion to the keyboard, akin to a conventional composition software.

Compose entire tracks in seconds with a unique workflow we have been perfecting for 15 years, now trusted by thousands of musicians around the world for its spontaneity and efficiency.

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The app and controller work together to provide a simple and chronological music creation logic. From left to right, control the essential actions with simple gestures, directly on the keyboard and/or on the application:

  • Settings: prepare your song (tempo, scale, default quantization…)
  • Sounds: choose a plugin and sound preset to create a new “track”
  • Record: record “clips” and adjust the recording behavior (start condition, length, overdub)
  • Tracks: Just like a conductor, decide which clips start and stop in real time
  • Scenes: Save, launch and program states of your song (ex: intro, verse, chorus…)
  • Play/Stop: Start/stop your song, and choose another project

We designed the Exquis workflow taking into account two temporalities: you can both play live without risk or take your time to create in your bubble. Most common actions can be done directly with the keyboard, while advanced actions taking more time such as programming (length of a clip or scene, follow-up actions, etc.) are to be performed on the app.

The app interface is designed following the same logic, turning your computer, tablet or smartphone, into a customizable heads-up display and an alternative interface to perform your actions, especially if you use another MIDI controller.

In order to allow musicians to create new rhythms and moods, the application natively includes exclusive features. For example, we were inspired by the workshops of Jacob Collier and allow the use of tuplets (particular divisions of beats such as 1/5 or 1/7), useful for creating grooves with a drunk effect.

Learn at the speed of lights

Thanks to the backlighting of the keys, it is also possible to display a musical score directly on the keyboard.

The application interface is also designed with the aim of never needing a paper user manual or following a video tutorial.

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Via the Exquis app, you can display a musical score directly on the keyboard; learn how to learn a song shared by the community or any MIDI file by following the lights! This very useful feature will also help you to compose harmonious pieces by displaying the score of a loop already recorded, for example to play a bass line in coherence with your chords.

We will soon be bringing the du-game, our educational game allowing you to learn typical patterns from more than 200 styles initially developed for the dualo du-touch S.

In addition to being able to visualize the name of the notes and even the chords you play, learn how to play any chord you need right on the keyboard.

On any device, the Exquis app gives you contextual feedback of what the keyboard is showing and what the controls let you do, so you are never lost in your creative workflow. Whatever your musical and technical level, access contextual help about any feature or theoretical concept with a simple touch.

Universal, complementary and independant

The Exquis keyboard is a MIDI controller compatible with all software, MIDI synthesizers and modular synthesizers.

The Exquis app, although optimized for the controller, is also compatible with all MIDI controllers.

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Like all MIDI controllers, the Exquis keyboard is compatible with most DAWs and plugins:

Dear users of modular synthesizers, Exquis connects directly to your favorite devices thanks to the CV outputs: GATE, PITCH and MOD. You can also connect Exquis to your MIDI synthesizers using the MIDI IN and OUT ports.

The Exquis app will be available on macOS, Windows, isOS, Linux. We aim to support as many Android devices as possible, but older and/or lower spec Android devices may have issues when it comes to optimal performance. Our app also works on Raspberry Pi devices; this will allow us to release a standalone version in the near future, inspired by the mobility of our previous products.

The Exquis application can host any audio plugin (VST, AUv3, depending on your operating system).

On a tablet, and even on a computer with a touch screen, you can also play on a virtual keyboard.

A keyboard and an app that look like you

Depending on our level and our approach to music, we all have different needs in terms of functionalities. The app interface is designed to adapt to the level of information you need.

And like our previous instruments, we believe Exquis will be a true extension of yourself, so we’ve designed it to be even more customizable than a guitar.

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Change the colors of the interface elements (including color blindness profiles), change the elements of the casing, the potentiometer caps… We don’t hide the screws from you, to invite you to build the Exquis that best reflects your personality.

We also provide you with the 3D plans of Exquis to create your own casings and potentiometers; give another look (guitar, du-touch dualo, etc.) to your Exquis!

Mobility at the service of pleasure

There is no secret: the more you practice, the more you progress! That’s why, in addition to being plug-and-play, we designed Exquis to be playable anywhere and anytime.

The Exquis keyboard is also equipped with very powerful LEDs, allowing you to play outdoors. To prevent your devices from discharging too quickly, you can even power Exquis with any external battery.

A provided soundbank to compose in all styles

The Exquis app will be delivered with a provided soundbank to compose in a large number of musical styles.

Whether or not you are familiar with plugins, presets, and MPE, our sounds will reveal the full range of expressiveness of the Exquis keyboard.

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The Exquis app notably comes with over 200 presets for the award-winning Surge XT MPE synthesizer, as well as in-progress sounds based on sampling.

The complexity of the settings within the plugins will only be displayed if you wish to edit them, the controls on the keyboard (keys, potentiometers, slider) already offering many possibilities to neophytes as well as to the most experienced.

Design and eco-responsibility

We designed Exquis as simply as possible, so that its very few parts are easy to assemble, even by yourself. The circuit board is designed to be repairable and the casing is easily customizable and replaceable.

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The implications of the COVID pandemic over the past two years have confirmed our original motivation to take economical and environmental contexts into account. Our products are designed to be open, broadly compatible and against planned obsolescence.

The Exquis keyboard will be the common basis for all future product variants and accessories that we will release later. This will allow it to expand its possibilities and adapt to all configurations and use cases.

To be sure to be able to update the functionalities of Exquis as far as of our ideas will go, we chose an over-adapted microcontroller; we prefer that you pay 25€ more now to have an instrument which will last longer.

On the other hand, we want you to only pay for what you need, when you need it. This is why we offer versions with or without a casing, and with or without our software suite. You can get them later!

As all our decisions are made taking into account their environmental impact, we are working on solutions to use mostly sustainable or recyclable materials for the Exquis case: wood, cork, metal from recycled sources, bio-sourced or 100% recycled plastics.

In accordance with our Open Hardware approach, you can buy parts made by our partners or, thanks to the 3D files that we will provide to you, manufacture your own by 3D printing, laser cutting… And why not even create your own designs?

15 years of development and rewards

In 2007, Jules Hotrique, mathematician, invented the dualo principle from the mathematical logic of harmony. Only a few months later, he managed to build the very first prototype of a controller with such a layout. Over the years, the idea evolved into an all-in-one instrument with backlit keys, combining an internal soundbank and a looper, to play and compose today’s music anywhere and spontaneously. The dual keyboard then merged into one, and the instrument split into a keyboard and an app to form Exquis. To read the full story, you can read our blog.

Technical specifications