KORG TAKTILE CONTROLLER KEYBOARD
OK. It’s a documented fact I’m a self-confessed Korg junkie. But in all honesty, when an instrument company continually serves up superb sounds combined with innovative products and a truly visionary outlook toward electronic instrumentation of the future, why wouldn’t I be?
Review: Brad Watts
While other companies are beavering away reinventing wheels and crayons, Korg offers an endless parade of diversity: modular kits for building synths, faithful remakes of classic analogue instruments, excellent iOS applications and brilliant mini-instruments for analogue audio upheaval. Revolutionary stuff indeed.
Joining the parade is Korg’s latest MIDI controller, dubbed ‘Taktile’ and for very good reason; there’s enough data entry methods on this controller to drive pretty much anything with a whiff of MIDI about it. Like most self-respecting control keyboards, the Taktile aims to cover all the main DAW platforms used throughout the planet, including, Cubase, Digital Performer, Logic Pro X and Garageband, Live, ProTools, and Sonar. Not bad coverage.
First and foremost, Taktile is a MIDI/virtual instrument controller offering 49 keys, pitch bend and mod wheels, a touchpad, ribbon controller and 16 velocity sensitive pads. It’s also available in a 25-note model which supports an identical feature-set apart from the lesser number of keys and eight, rather than 16 trigger pads. The playing action of the keys feels pretty good, with the semi-weighted keybed supporting velocity of course, but unfortunately not aftertouch. There are other manufacturers offering aftertouch in this price bracket so if this mod source is important to you I’d look elsewhere. Colour schemes follow the Hobson’s rule of choice; available in matte charcoal black on black and grey under-chassis. The only colour emanating from the upper surface is via backlighting in the trigger pads and buttons, and the OLED display. This is infinitesimally small at 128 x 64 dots, which will force the optically challenged to wear suitably prescribed eye wear; my only niggle thus far. Obviously OLED is gaining traction relatively slowly, and smaller seems to be the cost effective option at this point in time. Nonetheless, OLED screens do look really cool.
MIDI connection to the Taktile is either via USB, or if you require, via old-school MIDI ports — both in and out. However, bear in mind if you need Taktile to function in 5-pin MIDI plug world it’ll still need power, which is derived via the USB port alone. You’ll need to jimmy up a 550mA USB power adaptor to drive it — not difficult. To get back to the actual controller options, what I found particularly useful was the built in X/Y trackpad. This can function in three distinct modes: as an X/Y modulation source, ‘touchscale’ for triggering notes, or as a garden variety trackpad to control your DAW mouse pointer — very useful indeed.
The Taktile is a fine choice in what is a ‘cheek by jowel’ market. The options presented with Taktile, including 16 trigger pads, 5-pin MIDI I/O, and the trackpad functionality may make this controller the one for you.