As a keytar, the Eigenharp gave freedom to the musicians as they are no longer deterred by being immobilized by an instrument. With that, they were able to jive and pour their hearts out even feistier on the stage. Often regarded as the science fiction’s bassoon, it resembles a wind instrument as it is one, and as all of its models feature a breath controller. But for its creators, the Eigenharp is the most expressive electronic musical instrument ever developed, seemingly allowing its player to maneuver an orchestra while providing both a classic and futuristic vibe.
History of the Eigenharp
The Eigenharp is a 21st-century musical instrument, having only been released in 2009. John Lambert, a trance musician and internet entrepreneur, is the person behind its creation. Lambert deemed that unlike the human voice and the guitar, electronic instruments were not as stirring or suggestive in terms of emotions.
So, after selling this company, Hyperlink, he established UK-based Eigenlabs and started working on his musical brainchild for eight years alongside his team. It took about for years before the team got the instrument to produce its first sound.
The first and flagship model Eigenharp, the Alpha, was launched in 2009. A year after, the entry-level model, Pico, was introduced and then followed by the mid-range model, Tau, in 2012. Each model features a Touch 3D key matrix, strip controllers, and a breathing pipe. The significant difference across the model is the number of keys, with the Pico having 12, Tau with 72, and the Alpha with 120. In addition, the two higher models have a headphone output and 12 percussion keys. The flagship Alpha boasts more features by two strip controllers and a mute key.
Pico. While it has fewer keys, it doesn’t make the Pico anything less to be a dynamic instrument. At a lower price, it allows a player to experience the same emotive function as that of the two higher models. Plus, it is much simpler to use, lighter, and more portable, making it easy for anyone to use. It is also extremely versatile and can be used for playing solo or with a band, to play loops, change tempo, and develop arrangements and beats.
Tau. It is the latest model from the Eigenharp family, almost resembling an electric guitar’s size. It costs half of the flagship model but brings in the same expressive capability of the Alpha as it uses the same software. Like the other models, its range of sounds is endless. Plus, its keys are also extremely sensitive, keeping the experience at its best.
Alpha. This model is for any musicians yearning for the total expressive encounter. Boasting 133 keys in a distinct and emotive design, a professional mic, a headphone amplifier, it allows any player to play and extemporize music by using an infinite array of sounds. Moreover, it can record voices and let any musician sing to it as well – another incredible functionality adding to the emotional experience.
How The Eigenharp Works
Every key on the Eigenharp is incredibly sensitive to pressure that has both side to side and up and down movement controls. As it detects motion up to a micron, it makes the instrument more sensitive than other keyboards a tenfold.
The Eigenharp also provides individual control to each key. Each one can be assigned to play notes or a chord, bend the notes, or prompt other functionalities, such as changing pitch, shifting scales, and setting off loops. The keys also come with status LED lights for easier navigation and performance.
Meanwhile, the breath controller enables a player to steer the depth of the effects, hold notes, and regulate vibratos, aside from its function of stimulating wind instruments. On the other hand, the strip controllers can be used to play with the effects or work as the Cielo’s bow.
All three models of Eigenharp are powered by the Eigenharp software and can be connected to a computer using a USB 2.0 port. With that, the software can be quickly updated for the introduction of even more sounds and functionalities.
While keytar may project a classic vibe, the Eigenharp elevates it by having a futuristic appeal and functionality. This 21st-century musical instrument enables players to perform and manipulating electronic music in endless ways like an orchestra. Thus, giving them the power to express their music as they never did before.