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Alesis announce keytar MIDI controller and electronic drum kits

Wireless MIDI controller and two electronic drumkits announced

Aiming to liberate keyboard players from the shackles of their normally immobile instruments, Alesis have introduced a new keytar-style wireless USB/MIDI controller. The Vortex Wireless 2 uses a USB dongle to connect to Macs, PCs and keyboards with a compatible USB host port, giving keyboardists license to roam the stage.

In addition to a three-octave keyboard with aftertouch, the Vortex Wireless 2 features eight pads and eight sliders, all backlit, plus a pitch-bend wheel, touchstrip and an internal, MIDI-assignable tilt sensor. The ‘neck’ portion of the controller places a number of useful buttons conveniently within reach, including sustain, octave up/down, tilt sensor on/off and various key split and touch strip control presets. The Vortex Wireless 2 is powered by four AA batteries and features wired USB and MIDI connectors alongside its wireless capabilities. In addition to its wireless USB dongle, the Vortex includes a strap and cable harness — though you can also attach any standard guitar strap — and a comprehensive software bundle that includes a MIDI editor, Ableton Live Lite and a range of virtual instruments from AIR Music Tech and Way Out Ware. Available very soon, the Vortex Wireless 2 is priced at $299£229.99.

The new Command mesh kit from Alesis

Alesis have also added two new eight-piece electronic drum kits to their range. The Surge Mesh Kit ($499£529.99) includes a 10-inch dual-zone mesh-head snare, three 8-inch dual-zone mesh tom pads, an 8-inch mesh kick and three 10-inch cymbals — a hi-hat, ride and choke-able crash. The Surge Drum module, featuring 40 kits and 60 play-along tracks, is also included along with kick and hi-hat pedals, a four-post chrome mounting rack, cables and sticks, forming a complete kit for debutant drummers. The Command Mesh Kit (£699.99$699) ups the ante with premium mounting hardware and the Professional Command Drum Module, which provides 70 kits and the ability to load your own samples and backing tracks from a USB stick. Both kits will be available in the first quarter of 2018.

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