Expressive E, makers of the Touché MIDI/CV instrument controller have a new, more affordable version. The Touché SE is the same wobbly block style of controller but they’ve removed all the external CV and MIDI connections so it only works via USB with software instruments.
The Touché is a slightly strange device that sort of looks like a piano pedal, or a percussion instrument. But when you place your hand upon the wobbly block suddenly all sorts of interesting parameter controls open themselves up to you. It’s all about gesture, about pressure, touch and movement. The slightest touches allow you to control all sorts of parameters, either singularly mapped or group together for extreme modulation. You can tap it for rhythms, scrape it for filter cut-off, rock it for pitch bend or wobbly it for modulation.
Expressive E talk about it in terms of “shiftings”. There’s a front and back shifting and there’ s a left and right shifting. These are your main four parameters that are used to control things. The interesting thing about the front and back shifting is that unless you press down on the front or back edge you actually get a mixing of parameters. Or as you move the pressure from front to back the parameters being controlled morphs from fully front, to equal, to fully back. Does that make sense? This can be very effective if you slide your fingers forward and back on the Touché. The video below gives a good overview of what’s going on.
What doesn’t it have?
The Touché SE shares all the sensitivity and controlling potential of the original version. There are some differences in the build. The original touch plate is made from mahogany wood, the SE is a polycarbonate. The original had some MIDI and CV outputs for controlling hardware, the SE has a single USB output and is designed to be used with software instruments. The Lié companion software provides both the parameter mapping and more than 200 sounds created for Touché SE and routed through a UVI Workstation instrument. But this is just the starting point as you can use Touché SE on any virtual instrument by hosting it within Lié. There are already loads of presets created for popular software instruments from companies such as Native Instruments and Arturia.
At €229 the Touché SE is considerably cheaper than the €399 Touché and positions it quite attractively for the software based musician looking for some creative and expressive control.
Here’s the promo video for the SE version: