Keybo.x means keyboard in a box, and it’s an electric piano sound module, with an old school kind of soul and attitude.
That means that you can use Keybo.X, not only as a simple modern expander or keyboard, through a console line input or, for example, with an audio interface, but also as a real electric piano you can plug it straight out of the box in to your (or you guitarist's) amps or stomp boxes.
- First of all, the sounds you get by any modern instrument, are created and optimised, to playback through a p.a. in stereo mode, as though the original instrument had a mono output and as if a “naturally” stereo version of that sound didn’t exist.
- Secondly, despite usually getting a mono output mode, when you try and use your modern stage piano, synth or workstation through a guitar or bass amp or stomp box, you can get in trouble because, usually, the level line outputs signal is way too hot for an amp or a stompbox and in that case, if you try to to set a resonable volume, you drammatically reduces the s/n ratio, meaning you lose the whole dynamic range of your instrument.
- Also, the impedance the standard line output usually gives you, can produce a different response on the processor that gets the signal in, which means you must use an external re-amp box to match the right signal level and impedance if you want to send, say, your piano sound to a vintage phaser box.
In other words, you can’t easily get the right timber and dynamic a good electric piano sound deserves from this signal chain.
The answer is:
• Because of the magic you get when you do that.
• Because of the endless sonic possibilities you get.
• Because almost all the most famous and iconic piano sound you can hear on some of the best recordings, come from an electric piano played through an amp or a guitar stomp box.
• Because it's so much fun.
• Because you can build your own rig and sound ad explore new pathways.
• And because you can pay for and carry around only what you need!
You get hardware and sounds, but also digital fx and processors, “exotic” functions that are optional and sometimes unhelpful inputs and outputs, and you pay for all of this things.
Of course you can bypass all the internal fx and digital processors, run your sound out from a mono output, put into a re-amp box, set the right level and then use a guitar fx or amp and play your piano, but in the process, you waste time, you lose the magic, you lose a lot of money and, most of all, you lose your patience.
A vintage piano&keys expander that mixes the magic of old school approach, with the best that digital technology has to offer.
- An affordable stripped down sound module with no fancy options and a very realistic sound, to easily create your personal rig and sound.
- Four direct and purely dry sounds (fully rewritable).
- No internal fx (except for a vintage tremolo you can activate by a mod wheel).
- A mono hi-z output (that reproduces the output stage of a vintage passive electric piano).
- A bullet proof case and a design that helps you to easily pair the Keybo.X with any classical pedalboard and power it up with any standard stompbox 9v power supply (already included with a Keybo.X).
• We put one of the best and powerful dsp for audio generation on the market into a little black and yellow, sturdy metal box,
• Alongside the dsp brain, we put in a huge memory to store all the samples we need to create a realistic sound.
• We spent the biggest part of our budget and time, to get the best hardware and, most of all, we focused on the sound of this instrument!
• We cut out all fancy and unnecessary options to utilise all the processing power and get the best sound, and we also put in the most pure and direct voice of some of the best and iconic instruments in modern music history.
• We left out the keyboard, so you’re free to play this sounds back by any midi controller you like.
• We have designed an expander in the form of a stomp box that you can use as a desktop unit, or you can easily pair with any classical pedalboard.
• We are using a negative center nine volt power stage, to easily power it up with a standard, single or multi stomp box power supply, as a one-spot or dunlop dc brick to mention a few.
• We have designed the signal path, to get the best and most responsive sound, optimizing this unit for great playback by a dedicated hi-z mono output, that reproduces the output stage of a vintage passive electric piano.
• In this output we match the impedance of the real thing and we assign a dedicated analog volume pot to it, to match the level you need, case by case, to get the best sound and dynamics out of your pedals or amps.
• The Keybo.X is fitted with a stereo line level out, by a trs ¼ inch connector, to use it like a standard piano expander and a phones out, to use your headphones for direct monitoring, rehersal or study.
• The Keybo.X is also fitted with a stereo line level in, by a trs ¼ inch connector, to create a sound layer that runs with the internal sounds, using another audio signal like another keyboard, a media player or your d.a.w. or to use Keybo.X, as a re-amp box to send any kind of stereo sound source, through an amp or a guitar fx, using the direct thru mode.
• We put in, of course, a midi to play this unit with any keyboard you would like to use, a midi thru port to control another expander, keyboard, plug-in or maybe our next instrument, by daisy chaining, and a usb port, to play the unit directly by any d.a.w. or virtual midi sequencer, and to update the unit software and sounds.
• The internal sounds are fully rewritable to update or improve sound grade and to leave the door open for future custom patches uploading.
• Probably, we made the most easy-to-use control panel you can find on the market, what you see it’s exactly what you get and so you can, as with the real thing, focus your energy on the musical experience instead of sound editing.
- 4 classic keboards stunning sounds: mark I, mark II, wurly 200 and the clav, taken by one of the most famous pickup configurations.
Each sound can be edited and tuned using the “tone” knob, a control that applies an eq or a morph filter, according to the sound you are playing.
Any feature and control you find on Keybo.X, are inspired by the real thing. It’s tuned to give you the most realistic sound, the best musical experience and the most versatile possibilities in editing, despite the simplicity of its controls.
We spent our budget, our own money, to design the hardware, to develop the internal software, and to create the first of four sounds that will be installed into Keybo.X.
We have improved day in and day out, over a year, any aspect of this project, and now we would love your support, to fill the void between our prototype and your hands.
To make the production viable, the minimum number is 200 unit, the sky is the limit!
So, we ask for your support, we ask you to back this project, so that our dream can grow bigger and so that we can write with you the first page of a beautiful story.
Here a brief summary of the situation and the timeline.
A.t.p.Line is a young italian startup, created with a view to make musical instruments and tools, for musical performance and production.
Our mission, is to mix the vintage approach with the best that digital technology has to offer, to put the magic of the "old school" way, back into the modern music.
Digital brain and analog body for a perfect musical instruments.
Risks and challenges
Thanks to the prototyping work during the last two year, our main partner "Neos sistemi" and our team, the production side is the less challenging part, we have a fully working prototype and we had no problems within the unit.
By this aspect we are ready to start the production.
The software side are sligthly harder because of the fact you can walk different ways to get the same results and ,also if we had a well working machine, we are still working to make the internal software lighter and easily customizable.
By this aspect we are working to improve more and more.
The sound development on the contrary, are the most challenging and expensive point because of the fact we have to commit this side to external partners that we have to train to our philosophy on sound making and because of the fact we are working to mix sampling tecnologies and modelling approach to get the best of both words.
We are looking for a realistic, dynamic and pure organic electro mechanical keys sounds, we don't want some plastic produced sounds and we cannot accept any compromise by this aspect.
We are working hard, side by side with sound designers, to get the job done and to open the door to a new way to sounds creation, we get the first sound and we see our goals.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter