Infinite Response, the creator of the foldable VAX77 MIDI keyboard, is working on a new series of controllers.
The new VAX Series is still under development but Infinite Response launched a crowdfunding campaign on KickStarter so that they can get some little help producing the 4, 6 and even 8-octave MIDI keyboards (that’s right, there will be a 96-key model) which price points should remain affordable, that’s what the manufacturer wishes.
The budget is the reason why these new VAX won’t retain the foldable design from the original keyboard (it would add more than $1000 to the final price) but you’ll get hammer action weighted keybeds, polyphonic aftertouch, 14-bit high resolution velocity and even release velocity. All the models will be USB-powered and a touch screen will be integrated, as well as the traditional pitch bend and modulation wheels and inputs for pedals.
The other trick to reduce the costs is that the customer will be in charge of the final assembly ; the operation should take around 4 hours for the 6-octave version and a video will be provided to help you in the process. Also, a certification program will be available so that you can become an expert and assemble the keyboard for others. Last, some models will be assembled at the factory for extra cost.
Last, the keyboards will have a modular and open source architecture, Infinite Response will put STP, schemes and source code files online so that third party developers and manufacturers can create modules and accessories (a nice attention to all the DIYers who moded the original VAX77). Note that all the functional part will be handled on the computer side.
The project is currently on KickStarter, Infinite Response offers an exclusive White Edition which is limited to the crowdfunding campaign (the factory models will be black). Pricing ranges from $400 for the non-assembled 4-octave keyboard ($650 assembled), $550 for the 6-octave model ($850 assembled), $700 for the 8-octave unit ($1,050 assembled) and a limited edition with Gold anodized chassis and signed by Van and Glenn Chandler is available for $4,000.
The new VAX should start shipping in March, 2016. Visit www.kickstarter.com for more details. Pictures of the final models are still to come.