The Madrona Labs Soundplane A

Madrona Labs is a tiny little Seattle startup run by a duo of Seattle’s smartest engineers and musicians.

Madrona’s new Soundplane A is a radical new digital music interface. The Soundplane is crafted from alder wood and is breathtakingly beautiful. More importantly, it’s astonishingly expressive. MIDI is too low-bandwidth and high-latency to handle the Soundplane’s input; instead, Madrona uses a custom protocol and provides software that can convert to OSC (best) or MIDI (lossy, if you need it.)

For just $2,000, the Soundplane can be yours. That may sound crazy, but I think for the right user it’s absolutely worth it. I say this having tried it first hand at last year’s Decibel Festival: you can see my hands in action in the sample video.

Also worth a look-see: the fun and quirky Aalto soft-synth.