THE EVO. EVOLUTION OF KEYBOARD KEYS IN THE LIGHT OF MODERN TOUCH TECHNOLOGY. STARTING AT 499€.
WHAT IS IT?
The evo is a pure keyboard controller that is connected to a computer via an Ethernet interface, and that communicates via Midi, OSC or our own in-house protocol with synthesizers, sequencers or similar. The keys are the special feature here. Every single key is equipped with a sensor that allows evo to read the finger position on a certain area of the key surface. Thus, every key offers, in addition to pitch and velocity, an additional level of polyphonic data input that can be used for continuous control of independent notes.
BUT WHAT CAN IT DO FOR ME? HOW DOES THE EVO AFFECT MY WAY OF MAKING MUSIC?
Every key is a fader, controller, a pitch-wheel, a mod-wheel or a button. Think about a precise, continuous control of polyphone properties. Everything that previously affected notes equally using controllers and buttons can now be executed with simple moves of the finger on the keys for each individual note. In the future you will play chords and move one finger to emphasize one single note by changing the acoustic pattern, or to change the pitch regardless of the other notes. Additionally, the function of every single key can be defined so that you can reproduce the MIDI controller on every key. This way, entire octaves can be used for the control of channel strips. However you decide, with evo everything is possible. We made sure of that!
ADDING UP THAT MISSED DIMENSION IN CONTROLLING A SIMULATED NATURAL INSTRUMENT
Standard keyboards give you control over the pitch and a broad sound shaping parameter based on how hard the key is pressed, but these options are only available at the moment the key is pressed. Wouldn’t it be much nicer if you could change the sound of a note while holding it without having to take your finger off the key or cut off one of your hands while playing? This concept served as the basis for the development of evo. Our special keys allow you to control sound shaping parameters while holding a note based on the position of your finger on the key.
SOME MORE INFORMATION PLEASE
EVERYTHING: DESIGNED BY ENDEAVOUR
Since this concept cannot be achieved on standard keyboards, we realized at the start of the development phase that we would need to design numerous components, such as the actual sensors, specifically for this purpose. As a result, evo isn’t just a keyboard like any other from a purely conceptual standpoint. Each individual component is also one of our very own developments. This is something we are very proud of.
HIGH RES VELOCITY SENSING
Even though we didn’t completely reinvent the keyboard, the fact that we relied on in-house development created a lot of room for innovation. We weren’t going to be satisfied with a 7-bit definition of the keystrokes, which would be standard for MIDI. This is why our sensors dynamically record how hard you press the key using 16 bits for the definition. Welcome to the present.
8 BITS OF MOVEMENT
Although not completely 16 bits, your finger’s movement on the surface of a key is still twice as high as the bandwidth allocated for this in a MIDI interface. This means that each key is able to define the movement with 8-bit precision. When you keep in mind that the surface of the sensor is 4 cm long, this gives you precision < 0.2 mm! That should be enough. At first!
SPECIAL SENSOR LAYOUT
We made a few compromises when designing the keys. For example, we wanted to have an area of the key that is not monitored by the sensor. We also had to change the design of the keys in order to integrate the sensors. At the same time, the playability and feel of the keys were our top priority. Our solution was to integrate the sensors in a confined area of the surface of the key. This area measures approx. 4 cm in length on both the black keys and the white keys and is located in the head area of the key. An area measuring approx. 1 cm in the head of the keys is not monitored by the sensors.
CAN YOU PLAY WITH SOMETHING LIKE THAT?
ABSOLUTE, RELATIVE, AND OTHER PLAYING-AIDS
We are frequently asked about the playability of our keys. One question pertains to using the active key surface. We often hear concerns from people who are worried about having to carefully concentrate on where they place their fingers to avoid accidentally changing a value. Our playing modes offer the solution to this potential problem. You can switch between absolute and relative values for the finger position. The latter offers the following advantage: No matter where you hit the key with your finger, the sound will only change when you actually move your finger on the surface of the key. It’s like the touch pad on a Notebook. The mouse cursor only moves when your finger moves. Unless that’s not what you want.
Another concern we hear fairly often deals with the relatively large size of our keys due to the sensors. Well, first of all, we can assure you that the keys on our photos and videos appear larger than they actually are. And testing and customer surveys have proven that are keys are playable despite their larger size. Find out for yourself!
SOME MORE DETAIL ON TECHNOLOGY
MODERN, STATE OF THE ART ELECTRONICAL ENGINEERING
Electronics is the key that leads to a successful use of our technology. For integrating an independently working sensor into every key, an enormous quantity of electronics is necessary. Especially the interaction of all sensors, i.e. the synchronization of all sensors, into one smooth working unit is not possible without the use of modern electronics. Therefore, eight high performing processors alone work simultaneously, querying all sensors that can be synchronized by another, ninth, processor. Therefore evo is not simply a keyboard with keys that magically react to being touched. By using modern electronics the surface of the board becomes over 2500 cm2.
WHAT KIND OF TECHNOLOGY IS ENVOLVED?
In the current generation capacitive sensors are used to record up and down movements along the key surface. To make sure no data are lost, all sensors are scanned simultaneously with 250 Hz, in order to transfer even the fastest movements without any jumpy transitions. With the 8 bit resolution we can achieve, in terms of sensor lengths of 45 mm, a 0.15 mm accuracy.
THE KEYS ARE A NEW KIND OF HYBRID INTERFACE
As with pretty much everything else, the keys are also our own in-house development. The length, width, mechanics and resulting playing feeling are consciously very different from the properties of a traditional keyboard. Our objective was not to use an existing keyboard as a template for a copy equipped with our sensors. By changing the properties such as mechanics and measurement, we are able to emphasize the advantages of touch sensitive keys more strongly. Thus, for example the longer surface area provides the option of implementing more precise movements.
EVEN MORE (r)EVOLUTIONARY CONCEPTS
A NEW WAY OF COMMUNICATION
In conjunction with the fact that even though the evo sensors run at a resolution that cannot be processed by a MIDI interface and that we still wanted to choose a communication process that did not require any type of configuration, the decision to use an Ethernet interface was made after careful deliberation. But unlike other manufacturers, all we ask you to do is connect the cables. Evo takes care of the configuration for you.
FEATURING ZERO CONFIG
You heard right! Evo uses an Ethernet interface for its communication. The same kind you normally use to connect your computers to each other or to the Internet. But it uses it in an entirely new way. Forget everything you think you know. We use the fastest form of communication with evo and there is no need to configure the connection thanks to the know-how we bring to the table.
UP TO TEN TIMES FASTER THAN A TRADITIONAL MIDI CONNECTION
And you will certainly be convinced by the time we start talking about speed. The network interface is the top choice and is ten times faster than a MIDI interface.
COMES WITH READY TO GO SOFTWARE
IT'S OWN CRAZY VIRTUAL ANALOG SYNTHESIZER
Earlier this year, we showed you what an evo-customized synthesizer with NI’s Reaktor 5 might look like. With this basis and a little help from Max/MSP, we made a synthesizer that is able to maximize the potential of evo and that is also available for Windows and Mac OS free of charge.
AN EXTERNAL FOR USING THE EVO IN MAX/MSP
As a type of modular programming language, Max/MSP offers enormous potential for the development of audio software. In order to ensure the configuration-free and direct use of evo within the programming environment, we developed a framework - an “external” one, to be more precise - which is written in “C” and handles the communication with evo in the background using its own threads.
A TOOL TO ACCESS THE MIDI IN YOU - ALL DAY
Even though the specifications for our keyboard are far beyond those required for MIDI, ensuring MIDI compatibility was extremely important to us. The enormous potential offered by evo can also be conveniently and innovatively tapped into by using MIDI. The evo2midi acts like a bridge to bring this potential to MIDI-based software.
PRICING DETAILS, AVAILABILITY AND SHIPPING INFORMATION
- 48 touch and pressure sensitive keys
- high quality anodized aluminium
- 24 touch and pressure sensitive keys
- high quality black pulver coated aluminium
YOU HAVE TO BE VERY FAST
You must act fast! We maintain a relatively small, hand-made production series. The evo can be purchased in our store system and is being shipped within the EU and to the United States.
HANDBUILDING AN EVO TAKES UP TO 4 WEEKS
The evo is a product that is installed completely by hand. Depending on when the order is received, this process can take up to 4 weeks. We will give you an immediate update about the time that will be needed to build your evo after we receive your order.
24-KEY TAKES A BIT LONGER
Our small evo is also a product that is build completely by hand. Please expect a waiting period of approx. 6 weeks due to supply shortages. We will give you an update as soon as we receive your order.
SOME LAST THINGS WE SHOULD NOT FORGET ABOUT
THE EVO IS DESIGNED AN BEING HAND BUILT BY ENDEAVOUR IN GERMANY
Every evo is assembled by hand. Every screw, the whole wiring, all the boards and finally the housing are put together piece by piece. It is the only way to guarantee the evo‘s high quality, to discover any faults which might arise and to eliminate them. It is not just quality „made in Germany“, it is „handmade in Germany“.
ANSWERS TO MOSTLY ALL OF YOUR QUESTIONS ARE RIGHT THERE
Do you have any other questions?! We compiled the most common questions we receive in a FAQ. The link below will take you there. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you can’t find the answer to your question there. At any time.