It’s been a while since we had any Keith Instruments Instruments and QuNeo coverage round these parts. But that doesn’t mean that we’ve left them to simply get on with designing cool stuff – hell no. There’s a lot going on with them and us so here’s a quick update.
QuNeo Review Progress
Given that KMI are in California and we’re predominantly based in the UK, you’d think that the chances of us getting together would be almost nil. But that’s not the case at all. We did hook up last month, and captured a lot of interview and demo footage that I’m personally chucking at Final Cut Pro to craft an informal yet informative indie movie. And the accompanying review will be with us very soon.
The problem with DJIng is that it’s quite a static affair. Bar Jesus posing and behind-the-decks jigging, you’re planted in one spot until you’re not. Obviously, trying to pick up a full CDJ setup isn’t exactly the most practical thing in the world, but with the advances in technology, there’s now little reason why controllers shouldn’t “go rogue” and break free from the shackles of the DJ booth.
Enter the QuNeo Rogue - a battery and wireless pack that effectively breaks you out of the booth and right into the action. With a quoted 6-8 hours battery and 60 metre range, you can be rocking a crowd from the car park instead of having to suffer a sweaty crowd of hipsters demanding Brostep. KMI list it as “coming soon” for $395.
Look at the top picture – see that keyboardy thing that Keith McMillan himself is holding? That’s the QuNexus – a “smart sensor keyboard controller” that does an awful lot more than you might expect. Or perhaps it does everything you might expect from a KMI product.
Looking like a Korg nanoKey2, the QuNexus has all manner of wonderfulness happening under the hood. The keys are velocity, pressure and location sensitive, so playing with expression puts this a long way above your other MIDI keyboard controller. I’m not sure how many people would pick this as their keyboard of choice, but being able to carry it everywhere and play with real feeling must be a real draw.
But it’s all the other more mapping based things that appeal to me. In the video, you’ll see how pressure and movement are mapped to specific features. Pressing harder on a key has been mapped to a filter, but that could technically be anything. Traktor macro fx? Cool. And back and forth movement mapped to pitch is really cool. Now your hand is freed up instead of to use the pitch bend wheel.
This has certainly got my mind darting off on all sorts of DJ tangents – like way off right over there style tangents. The funny thing is that some of these tangents are things we’ve been kicking around for almost a decade. But now we’re approaching a technological time where some of it is actually possible, and indeed has a market ready for such left-field thinking.
Like the original QuNeo, this is a Kickstarter project again. With just 11 days to go, this has already exceeded its target. But if you want to bask in the glory of the feelgood factor knowing you helped bring this to market, get in on the Kickstarter action.
I have to admit that I have a real soft spot for the KMI crew. They’re clearly not afraid to turn crazy ideas into actual products. Where this leads is anyone’s guess. I’m sure that some will fail, some will be cult status niche fillers, but I hope that their radical thinking will see some new directions and ideas for the industry. We’ll be right there covering it all as well.