C-Thru Music Axis
Midi – thinking outside the box
Most likely the perfect complement for electronic musicians who wants to experiement a lot.
The keyboard of the Axis is a honeycomb-like grid of hexagonal buttons. The MIDI note numbers these buttons produce are not individually programmable: The layout is fixed. Since it’s not an ideal layout for all purposes, the lack of programmability may limit the unit’s appeal. The range of the keyboard is 64 notes — a bit more than a standard five-octave keyboard. There’s a global transpose parameter, but no dedicated octave shift buttons.
There are 192 key buttons in total, which means that three different buttons can play each note. This gives you lots of ways to finger any given chord or pattern. It also allows the Axis to have an isometric layout, which is a fancy way of saying that you can play in all 12 keys using identical fingerings. The buttons are about the size of an average fingertip, with beveled edges. The beveling makes it a bit easier to avoid playing wrong notes than on the white keys of a standard keyboard, because you get a bit of tactile feedback when your fingers drift out of position. The buttons sense velocity, but not aftertouch. The key dip is shallow: about two millimeters, as opposed to the ten millimeters that typical piano-type keys travel downwards.