The Touché weird but interesting controller turned up at last year’s NAMM looking all cool and boutique. And then nothing, zip, not a sausage of information or news about this wobbly piece of wood. Well, it’s back and hopefully this time it’s for real.
The website promises more information when the NAMM show opens later today, and also suggests pre-sales which is exciting. At the moment we have a few videos demonstrating the Touché in use. It’s illuminating that their last video was uploaded almost exactly a year ago.
So what does it do? It controls and shapes sound through the manipulation of the wooden block (they seem to refer to it as a wooden “skin”). You can apply pressure by pushing down on the surface, or by dragging fingers across it. In the tutorial video the man shows how cut-off can be controlled by the pressure whereas resonance appears to be mapped to forward/back position. Of course, it can be mapped to anything you like.
To allocate parameters to the Touché you use their software called “lié” (pronounced “Lee”). It nicely displays the manipulation of the wooden block. You have dimensions or “shiftings” forward and back as well as rocking side to side and all can be mapped independently. If you push in the middle of the skin you engage a mix of both the forward and backwards shift (getting the hang of the terminology now).
I think what I like about Touché is how it offers a different way of applying control. All this can be done with a pitch and modulation wheel but where it’s interesting is in the tapping and stroking of the skin. Rhythmic effects are a complete breeze on this thing and so is the finesse of something like strumming. It appears to be very sensitive and also intuitive – you just lay your hand on it and off it goes.
Every Touché ships with the UVI sound library for the Falcon or UVI Workstation virtual instrument. They’ve designed over 100 presets just for showing off the power of Touché.
Expressive E are taking preorders now for €399 and it should be available in February. And well done for sticking with it.