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Eigenharp: the 21st Century one-man-band

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January 26, 2010

The Eigenharp: a guitar, saxophone, a keyboard, or a drum kit

The Eigenharp: a guitar, saxophone, a keyboard, or a drum kit

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The bizarre looking Eigenharp is what you get when you roll a guitar, saxophone, keyboard and a drum kit into one, and it's capable of delivering an almost limitless supply of musical sounds. The unique design of the keys, breath pipe and pedal inputs allows a musician to easily change scale or key, alter tempo, switch and layer multiple sounds and play and record loops – all during a live performance. Will this instrument revolutionize the electronic music scene?

Over eight years in development at Eigenlabs, this “most expressive electronic musical instrument” comes in three versions, the professional level Alpha, the smaller Pico and a new "in-between" model due for release in May this year called the Tau.

The Alpha requires a Mac computer to run and features 12 percussion keys, 120 highly sensitive keys and a mute key. It comes in a variety of finishes and there are two strip controllers, a breath pipe and numerous pedal inputs.

At this stage the Alpha comes with its own native instruments – a synth engine, cello and clarinet - but it also has a USB 2.0 connection so you can load and play your own Audio Unit plug-ins, SoundFonts, and MIDI instruments. Percussion and drum loops and a selection of samples including a Black Grand Steinway D and a multi-sampled Rhodes electric piano are also included.

The Alpha has 86 scales built into its system and you can switch instruments, scales and keys instantly whilst playing. It offers live recording and playback of recorded takes and the step sequencer allows the musician to create complex arrangements.

The Pico is designed to be used for playing in a band or as a solo instrument. Like the Alpha it features playing keys, mode keys, a breath pipe and a strip controller.

The Alpha retails for GBP3995 (just under USD6500 at time of publication) and baby brother Pico retails for GBP399 (just under USD650 at time of publication).

There is so much more to the Eigenharp than meets the eye, so to see exactly what it is capable of, check out the videos below.

Via Distorted-Loop.

Features of the Eigenharp - Keys

Bond theme song on Eigenharp from davek4981

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