Oct 232010

And it’ll blow your wallet too, to judge from the pricetag. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want one of these crazy electronic saxiPhones that look like something out of the cantina scene from Star Wars.


It’s nerdier than a theramin and even harder to play. Meet the Eigenharp Pico….

A plastic breath pipe with a reed curves from the top of the Pico. Two columns of nine keys each run parallel down its body, flanked by a touch-sensitive “ribbon” controller used primarily for pitch-bending and for bowing a software-modeled cello.

Each LED-decked, pressure-sensitive key of the Eigenharp is actually three keys in one: The concave center triggers a standard note, while the upper edge triggers a sharp and the lower edge a flat. Octaves can be raised or lowered by tapping on two smaller, circular buttons below the keyboard.

Two identical buttons above the keyboard serve different purposes. One turns the drum loop on and off, and the other — when held down — turns the keyboard into “main mode”: cycle through instruments, change scales, record and edit loops, add or subtract to the percussive beat, and manipulate a slew of other parameters.