by Robin Vincent | Approximate reading time: 3 Minutes
Cre8audio NiftyKEYZ

Cre8audio NiftyKEYZ  ·  Source: Cre8audio

Cre8audio NiftyKEYZ

Cre8audio NiftyKEYZ  ·  Source: Cre8audio

Cre8audio NiftyKEYZ

Cre8audio NiftyKEYZ  ·  Source: Cre8audio

Cre8audio NiftyKEYZ

Cre8audio NiftyKEYZ  ·  Source: Cre8audio

Cre8audio NiftyKEYZ

Cre8audio NiftyKEYZ  ·  Source: Cre8audio

ADVERTISEMENT

NiftyKEYZ can accommodate 112HP of Eurorack modules, run 4 channels of CV & Gate, split into zones, run an arpeggiator and MIDI control anything you want. It’s a powerful controller that can bridge the gap between synthesizers, MIDI and modular.

ADVERTISEMENT

NiftyKEYZ

Of course, your first thoughts move to the Waldorf KB-37 who did this sort of thing first. Indeed they did but NiftyKEYZ is bigger, has more channels of CV, more functions and is a fair bit cheaper. Oh, and it’s also available now. Waldorf was onto a great idea but it was just a bit too premium to capture people who wanted to dabble in modular without cashing in the whole farm. Cre8audio, who brought us the NiftyCASE are the perfect outfit to bring a good idea to market with a bit of sound thinking and great value.

You are currently viewing a placeholder content from Youtube. To access the actual content, click the button below. Please note that doing so will share data with third-party providers.

More Information

Probably the biggest feature is that you have 4 channels of CV and Gate and that these are folded into voices. You could build 4 voices of modular into the case and address each one independently. So start with an oscillator and then add a filter, envelope and VCA and then do it again four times over. Then wire each CV and gate pair into the 1volt/oct input on the oscillator and the gate/trigger on the envelope controlling the VCA. And bingo, 4 voices of wonderfully mismatched modular addressed in some sort of polyphonic bonanza.

Voices

When running in single voice mode all 4 voices work in unison with the potential of a 4-oscillator monosynth. However, you can also work in duophonic mode where you get two voices per note, or three voices or four voices where each new note plays a new channel. The keyboard can be split into two zones to give you a bass and lead on each hand.

ADVERTISEMENT
Cre8audio NiftyKEYZ

Cre8audio NiftyKEYZ – modules not included · Source: Cre8audio

It has an arpeggiator that can run various modes including a sequencer mode where you can enter a run of notes which it will play with each note press.

Connections

Along the top you’ll find patchable outputs for the modulation wheel (which can also double as an LFO), aftertouch, velocity, clock, reset and an expression pedal. You’ll also notice a couple of Multiples, and some summing outputs to the line and headphone outputs on the back. Also on the back, you’ll discover some proper MIDI connections, USB and a Sustain pedal input.

Cre8audio NiftyKEYZ

Cre8audio NiftyKEYZ · Source: Cre8audio

With 49 keys it has 12 more than the KB-37 and 5 more HP for modules. But it’s the 4 channels that really set this machine apart. Used in isolation it gives you such versatility and scope to command a lot of respect in your modular system. However, once connected to a DAW you can also address those channels via MIDI making it an interesting MIDI-to-CV converter and adding a whole other dimension.

Making it modular

The modules you put in this machine are entirely up to you – they are not included. You could create your dream synth mixing analogue and digital oscillators, or it could just house effects for audio processing, utilities and modulation. You could use all the channels to fire off other things or control levels of voltage via the keyboard. NiftyKEYZ is immensely versatile. Although it’s made of chunky bits of metal and wood so it’s probably not very portable.

Cre8audio NiftyKEYZ

Cre8audio NiftyKEYZ · Source: Cre8audio

NiftyKEYZ is now available and in stock at Thomann* for €599.

Affiliate Links
cre8audio NiftyKEYZ

You are currently viewing a placeholder content from Youtube. To access the actual content, click the button below. Please note that doing so will share data with third-party providers.

More Information

Cre8audio NiftyKEYZ

How do you like this post?

Rating: Yours: | ø:
ADVERTISEMENT

13 responses to “Cre8Audio NiftyKEYZ: Custom synthesizer, modular case and MIDI controller”

    Adrian says:
    0

    Wow! It’s amazing! Wait, something comes to my mind… Grandmother. Wait, something else… Matriarch.

      Robin Vincent says:
      0

      Ah yes that’s right, those cool Moog keyboards with completely replaceable modular modules…. oh wait a minute, those are synthesizers, you can’t fool me!

        Adrian says:
        0

        You missed the picture. Put all those “replaceable modules” into a keyboard to realize that you have a matriarch (grandmother) arrangement (synth)

          Robin Vincent says:
          0

          Sure, I get it, but that’s just one of a huge number of possible combinations so….

      Nvrmor says:
      0

      You could buy both and a dfam/m32 for the price of this and 112hp of modules.

    iixorb says:
    0

    Now this is something which might convince me to try modular. I’ve been avoiding it because I can’t stand the mess, but I like the idea of being able to pick the whole lot up and move it around without any more fuss than moving a Montage or Kronos (or whatever) around.

    blah says:
    0

    looks cool, but 600 bucks is a bit high for an empty euro case and a midi keyboard.

      Robin Vincent says:
      0

      200 bucks for a MIDI controller, 200 for a powered Eurorack case and 200 for a 4-channel MIDI-to-CV module and utilities seem about right to me.

        blah says:
        0

        when is the last time you bought a 600 bucks music device that makes no sound? just saying, for marketing’s sake.

          Robin Vincent says:
          0

          I have racks full of modules that don’t make any sound. I have cases that total up to a grand or two and MIDI controllers vary enormously in price. My computer costs $2k and doesn’t make any sound until I add software. Don’t forget you’ll also have to add many hundreds of dollars worth of Eurorack to it so you’re probably looking at $1k-$3k for a fully working, fully populated NiftyKEYZ. There is no cheap way into modular, and I never said there was or that this was it, but considering the feature set, I think the NiftyKEYZ is well priced.

    Dongleboob says:
    0

    Wow! This seems like a great piece of kit.
    It was the NiftyBundle that got me into eurorack because of the low(ish) price point.
    However, I still need the Beatstep Pro or something similar to get the best out of it.
    This seems like a nice step up.
    I suppose it all depends on whether you wish to play keys or program sequences. A lot of modular music tends to be more mathematically created rather than played.
    Still, I think this is a fantastic product and at a competitive price.

    pfrf says:
    0

    This is perfect for me, just the right feature set and the price is good.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *