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The Alpha from Eigenharp is a professional-level instrument that allows a musician to play and improvise using a limitless range of sounds with virtuosic skill. It excels as a performance instrument, delivering endless permutations for control and expression of either the supplied instrument sounds, or of virtual instruments from other manufacturers.
The instrument consists of a unique control "surface" containing a total of 133 highly sensitive keys that are internally sampled at 2,000 samples per second to deliver incredibly detailed control nuances. The sampling is also applied to the two strip controllers and the breath controller, providing almost endless possibilities for flexible keyboard layouts, fast instrument switching, and expressive musical control.
The Alpha, when connected to a required Mac computer, can play and record loops, change scale and key, transpose, alter tempo, program beats, create arrangements, switch and layer multiple sounds, all while the musician is performing live on stage. Additionally for the solo performer, it can control an entire set. A very comprehensive built-in sequencer works for both percussion sounds and pitched instruments.
A feature rich software system provides a wealth of musical performance features that includes the already mentioned playback of the instrument's own native sounds, along with many common software plug-ins, Soundfonts, or external MIDI instruments via the MIDI outputs available on the included base station. The entire system has been built to withstand the rigors of live performance, and since all sound generation takes place on the computer, the controller will never become obsolete.
Unique performance instrument/controller
133 keys, 2 strip controllers and breath pipe
The keys use a unique 3D technology which is not only incredibly sensitive, down to the width of a micron, but also detects movement in 5 directions - pressure for volume, side to side for effects and up down for pitch
All control points sampled at rates far in excess of even the latest MIDI specification, delivering very detailed nuances
Eigenlabs software is based on a modular synthesis model that allows control inputs to be routed and manipulated by the user to achieve a wide variety of effects
Almost any control from the "keyboard" or MIDI inputs can be used to manipulate any parameter in the system
In addition, these effects are fully polyphonic allowing for control of each note individually
Includes 1,500 AIFF format (time-stretch and tempo change capable) percussion and drum loops, Sampletekk Black Grand Steinway D, Sampletekk Tubed Rhodes, Camel Audio's Eigenlabs Player version of "Alchemy" and the company's physical models of a cello and clarinet
The EigenD software is also capable of using any third-party SoundFonts, sample instruments and Audio Units virtual instruments
The breath pipe can be used to articulate notes just like a traditional wind instrument, or it can be used to control samples, effects and filters - or it can be hooked up to control any parameter of a sound, even the tempo
The strip controller can be used to pitch bend, bring in loops and add effects and filters
Microphone input with high-quality analog-to-digital converter for vocoder use
For solely percussion use, the user can map as many keys as required to drum kits and drum samples
Ships with a range of video tutorials and a Quick Reference Guide
Modular Synthesis Modules
Soundfont oscillator (SF2 files, other sampler formats such as ESX24 can be used via CDXtract) with ability to cross fade between two sample sets on key yaw
AHDSR envelope generator (with complex functions for key press shaping)
Drummer (plays AIFF loop files with tempo time stretching)
High-, Low-, Band-pass filter
Mixer with effects sends/returns and stereo panning
Cello physical model (can be bowed via strip controllers, breath pipe or a key)
Clarinet physical model
Audio Units host
Hardware MIDI Output interface
Hardware MIDI Input interface
Multi-tap, multi-line delay
Value range changer
Keyboard splitting, routing, and course definition
Recording and playback of takes
Musical Scales and pitch bending
Metronome for musical clock generation (including a tap tempo function to set tempo from a key)
String model to impose string-like or wind instrument type monophony
Grouping of modules into defined software instruments
Scales can be defined in an instrument, or can be associated with a key routing so that the scale, octave and tonic change according to how the instrument is being played
86 built-in scales
The system allows defined events to take place according to a variety of triggering actions. Events that can be triggered include:
Global and individual instrument mixer channel volume changes
Parameter and configuration changes
Various actions in the graphical interface
Starting and Stopping of the metronomes
Playback of recorded takes
Initiation of a new recording
Starting and stopping drum loops
Playback of a single note
These actions can be triggered by various modules, which currently include:
Talkers - triggering an action mapped to a specific keypress
Scheduler - triggering actions at times within a song
Arranger - triggering according to a repeated pattern (ie. step sequencing)
Talker actions can also be triggered by MIDI input notes from external MIDI hardware, so MIDI foot boards can be used, for example, to change key or tonic, or tempo, while playing
Maximum number of concurrent notes: at least 40 Maximum number of simultaneously starting notes within 5mS: at least 8
Less than 7mS end to end (from key press to sound)
44.1, 48 and 96khz
120 x Keys on the main keyboard 12 x Percussion keys on the lower part of the instrument 1 x Mute key 1 x Breath pipe 2 x Strip Controllers (19"/480mm long)
All controllers sampled at 2,000 samples/second with 10-bit (1024 value) resolution
File formats: SF2 (Soundfont 2) and AIFF (Apple Loop) Plug-in formats: Audio Units and Eigenlabs native instruments
2 x 5-pin DIN MIDI In/Out via USB MIDI interface
Balanced input 24-bit/96kHz analog to digital converter Low noise programmable gain from 10dB to 45dB in 1.0dB steps Software switchable 48V phantom power 10V Electret polarization power available EIN: -110dBm A-weighted with 150Ω source, 20Hz to 20kHz @ 40dB gain EIN: -115dBm un-weighted with 150Ω source, 20Hz to 20kHz @ 40dB gain 26dB software switchable input pad Industry standard 4-pin LEMO locking connector
24-bit/48kHz sampling rate, Sigma-Delta digital to analog converter Software programmable volume Mute, soft ramp and zero cross detection for volume adjustment
v94dB signal to noise ratio THD: < 0.1% at 1kHz, 30Ω load at -3.0dBfs Up to 75mW output on a 3.5mm mini jack socket
Required Apple computer with 2GHz or higher Intel processor Mac OS X 10.4 or higher 2GB RAM 10GB hard drive space USB 2.0 compatible USB port
Recommended CoreAudio compatible audio hardware 4GB RAM minimum for larger SoundFonts Additional 15GB free hard drive space for downloadable additional free Soundfonts and Loops CoreMidi compatible MIDI hardware
Alpha: 3.2 x 1.2 x 48.4" (8 x 3 x 123cm) Base Station: 6.7 x 6.5 x 2" (17 x 16.6 x 5cm)
Alpha: 5.7 lb (2.6kg) Base Station: 3.5 lb (1.6kg including power supply and cable)
11.8" (300mm) retractable floor spike with removable rubber foot