For Superbooth 2020 Home Edition, up and coming French hardware manufacturer Embodme showcased a novel MIDI controller. The Erae Touch consists of 18 touch points with support for Midi Polyphonic Expression (MPE) and MIDI 2.0. The innovative controller lets you freely assign parameters to each area so that you can control both notes and parameters with touch. All areas are lit in full color, too, making for a very sleek and visually impressive controller.
Erae Touch Controller
Comparisons to the Roli Blocks units are somewhat justified. Visually, the Erea is reminiscent of an oversized installation of several Blocks controllers. However, just like the size, the possibilities are bigger as well. Mapping the controller is done by software which takes your templates to the hardware. The mapping possibilities are comprehensive. You are able to turn the touch areas into faders, buttons, note fields, or a plain X / Y pad. So you can cover almost any aspect of your typical virtual instrument just by touch.
Like a modern piece of equipment, the Erae connects over USB-C and features continous modulation to ensure very low latency operation. On the hardware itself, you can quickly recall presets, templates, and other settings. So the Erae is mean to be played live, not just a fancy studio tool.
Price and availability
UPDATE (16 October, 2020): The Erae Touch is live on Kickstarter!
The Erae Touch is scheduled for pre-order from September 2020. It will be financed via Kickstarter. The pre-order price for backers is EUR 700. The retail price once the unit is ready to hit stores will be EUR 800. The package will include the MPE-capable software synthesizer Nylon, made by German developer Wave Casual. It’s a very interesting synth with so-called geometric oscillators that you should check out if you fancy an innovative twist on the ole’ subtractive synth.