We got a quick overview of the Kaoline from Montreal-based instrument makers Digiauxine at the recent Summer NAMM show. The instrument/MIDI controller might look a bit like a lightsaber — at least the production model will when it lights up — but it’s actually most easily likened to an electric fretless bass.
Described as a “fretless, multi-touch electronic instrument and controller that feels like traditional strings”, the playing surface is flat and long like a fretboard and can track up to four fingers simultaneously. You can not only move your fingers up and down and side to side on the playing surface, but it will also track your fingers up to four inches away from the surface.
The USB connector carries both power as well as MIDI to virtual instruments including a Reaktor instrument built by Digiauxine. In addition, it has an onboard synth that drives an integral 3W loudspeaker or 1/4-inch audio output.
On top of that the Kaoline sports three analogue knobs for volume and effects, customisable with scripting. Also there’s an eight-position configuration selector.
Sadly, designer Hami was having technical issues when we stopped by so you can’t hear it, but you will be able to hear a demo here.