It’s therefore time to reveal a little more about the characteristics of the Exquis!
To open up the Exquis keyboard as much as possible to all existing musical devices, we have equipped it with several connections that enable you to play without being linked up to a computer, a telephone or a tablet.
Consequently we find:
- a USB-C connector: 5V power supply, USB MIDI IN and OUT connection to a computer or any other USB MIDI compatible device, internal firmware update of the Exquis;
- two MIDI IN and OUT connectors on 3.5mm TRS jack: used with 3.5mm jack to DIN adapters, these conncectors enable you to connect an Exquis with all MIDI devices with a MIDI DIN socket, such as synthesisers, without the need to go through a computer;
- three PITCH/GATE/MOD connectors on 3.5mm TS jack: these connectors allow direct control of modular synthesisers, for example – the Eurorack type. The PITCH signal is of the volt/octave type. The GATE signal is of the V-trigger type. The MOD signal can be assigned to pressure or velocity.
You read it correctly, for the geeks amongst us, Exquis will open the doors to the infinite world of modular synthesisers, or can be used as a MIDI interface to use both virtual synths and hardware synths!
Let’s continue with the control part, first of all with the hexagonal keyboard, designed to enable ultra-expressive playing.
- 54 ultra-sensitive keys in semi-flexible silicone for a real feeling of receptive touch and precise control, allowing percussive playing as much as melodic;
- Degrees of velocity, vibrato and pressure, independent and by key;
- Compatibility with the MIDI Polyphonic Expression protocol, enabling the transmission of key control information independently of each other;
- Powerful RGB backlighting of the 54 keys, allowing a wide variety of colour and outdoor use;
- Keyboard with 6 rows of 5 keys and 6 rows of 4 keys, containing a complete right or left-hand chromatic dualo keyboard over 3 octaves, and optimised for play on a single dualo keyboard, as well as for playing on a dualo keyboard with a universal or accordion layout;
- Compatibility with other hexagonal layouts: choose or create a note layout
- Design allowing horizontal or vertical play.
Because there are gestures that control certain sound parameters better than others, we have integrated four rotary poteniometers on the Exquis. Although they are assignable to any MIDI parameters like any good controller, when used with the Exquis application they are mainly used to sculpt the sound or to have precise and instant access to parameters that you must always have on hand, like the volume of a sound. And because we talked a lot about maximising the duration of usage, we chose clickable potentiometers to be able to modify their target parameters at leisure.
The four potentiometers are placed at the top of the keyboard, to allow easy access by either hand when used with the Exquis placed vertically.
The slider and the control panel
The tactile slider is placed at the bottom of the keyboard, to be near the control panel and to be accessible by both hands. Equipped with 6 main detection zones with physical markings, its function is highly dependent on the context. In playing, it’s often dedicated to a temporal parameter, such as the repetition time of a note or beat repeat effect.
Combined with the buttons of the control panel which are positioned so as to be used with one hand, the slider allows the selection of a precise value very quickly, such as a quantisation value, or the number of bars.
Finally, the buttons on the control panel have been chosen to offer the best of our 15 years experience in designing intuitive electronic musical instruments which are dedicated to creation and spontaneity.
Firstly, the 6 buttons at the bottom. They’re arranged chronologically in relation to the creation process, and they’re all used in combination with the keyboard keys, the slider and the potentiometers:
- Settings: -prepare-: This button gives access to all the parameters necessary for the initial configuration of your composition: tempo, choice of scale, metronome….
- Sounds: -choose a sound-: This button enables you to choose a sound module, such as a virtual synthesiser in VST format, and navigate through its presets in a few clicks, as quickly as on a du-touch.
- Record: -save-: This button lets you start and stop recording a loop, like on a du-touch but not only…
- Tracks: -manage your loops-: This button allows you to turn on or off the sound loops already recorded, and many other things.
- Scenes: -manage the parts of a composition-: This button allows you to create and manage scenes, i.e. photos of the state of the app, and in particular loops, which makes it possible to navigate around the different parts of a composition (intro, verse, chorus, etc).
- Play/Stop: -stop or start a composition-: Play, stop, and also other functions….
And finally, the four buttons on each side of the slider:
- Select: two buttons, up and down arrows, for navigating through menus and multiplying the possibilites of creating shortcuts when used with specialised gestures.
- Undo/Redo: two buttons, the left and right arrows, because it’s by making mistakes that we learn, but we shouldn’t be penalised for it and be able to get back into the saddle as quickly as possible. This is a very important element for trust and for freeing up the creative process.
Of course, when using the Exquis as a MIDI controller without our application, it’s possible to assign each button to MIDI parameters such as control changes.
Two versions, with or without the Exquis app
As part of the campaign, we will offer two versions of the Exquis: a “Pure” version, without a case, and a “Deluxe” version, with a case of your choice.
As part of our “pay only for what you need” philosophy, each version may come with a full version of the Exquis app, or a limited version for those who want to use the Exquis as a MIDI controller or with modular synthesisers. It will of course be possible to acquire the full version of the app afterwards. For the first supporters of the campaign, we will offer Super Early Bird rates at over 30% off.
By the end of the week, we’ll unveil the Exquis app!