Looks like the keyboardist in the band doesn’t need to stand still in the background anymore. With the Alesis Vortex keytar, the keyboardist can rock all around the stage with the rest of the band, thanks to many capabilities features that work to make the Vortex a fully functional keyboard on the move.
The Vortex is a USB/MIDI keyboard controller that comes with both MIDI and USB MIDI functionality. That means any synth instruments or programs you might have on your Mac, PC, or iPad will be compatible, giving you freedom to make music whichever way you’re used to. The Vortex comes automapped for the most frequently used software synths and DAWs, and can be customized.
The hardware itself includes touch-sensitive keys and velocity-sensitive pads. On the neck, the user’s thumb controls the volume slider and a pitch-bend wheel. The user’s fingers control a touchstrip with assignable MIDI controls, as well as buttons octave selection and sustain. The Vortex is USB powered when attached to a Mac or PC, but has solid battery life if it’s hooked up to an iOS device or a MIDI module.
Also, you can bring back memories of Guitar Hero with a Star Power-esque tilt of the Vortex upwards. Doing that will allow the keyboardist to create volume swells, pitch bends, vibratos, and filter cutoffs thanks to a MIDI-assignable accelerometer.
The Vortex is expected to be available in Q2 of this year, and will likely sell for about $250.