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Haken Audio has announced Continuum Fingerboard Version 8.50 is now available. The new software/firmware update for the Haken Continuum instrument adds many new System Presets and new EaganMatrix capabilities. The brilliant new External Note Mode offers a new way to combine keyboard playing with Continuum, where each formula can be customized for the limited accuracy of keyboard aftertouch and pitch.

Designed by Dr. Lippold Haken and manufactured by Haken Audio, the Continuum Fingerboard is a musical instrument that allows unprecedented realtime performance control.
Continuum Fingerboard Version 8.50
What’s New:
An overview of some of the new updated features follows, but a complete PDF overview is available on the Haken Audio website (link below, this page).

New System Presets
New carefully crafted Presets, each creating its own sonic world. Total Preset count is now approaching 350.

New External Note Mode:
A new way to combine keyboard playing with Continuum, where each formula can be customized for the limited accuracy of keyboard aftertouch and pitch. External note mode is in the Note Process menu. To accommodate this feature there are now two External Midi inputs on the Midi Globals page instead of the previous one.

New Shape Generator Choices:
Single-cycle Dual Shape Generators allow for a doubling in the number of possible independent shape generators, from 5 to 10. The Dual Shape generators are currently triggered only via W (initial finger contact). The new generators are labeled with a “b” suffix.

New Mono Modes:
Play most recent finger with max finger’s pressure – useful (in combination with Tri-Octave Pedal) for fast playing without moving hand positions at all [like Oskar Sala performances on the Trautonium]. Found at the bottom of the Mono Switch menu.

New Spectral Sets:
New spectral sets have been added for use in the HarMan and ModMan. Three ukuleles, three toy piano, and a crystal spectral set. Example Presets using these spectral sets are Uki Pizz 1, Uki Pizz 2, Jaymar Toy Piano, and Northern Lights.

DSP Maps:
DSP Maps is next step in evolution of Combination Presets – a bit like Operator layouts on the Yamaha FM synths, except this is whole DSPs each with their own EaganMatrix. A preview (graphics but not functionality) is included in this release. Coming in the future as a more elegant way of creating Combination Presets.

new EaganMatrix capabilities
This particular DSP Map is showing a Preset that has two DSPs below the split point, creating a single
expanded polyphony tone, and a completely unique processor above the split point, with its own tone..

The 8.5 update/upgrade is free for Continuum owners. Learn more at: http://www.hakenaudio.com/Continuum/hakenaudiofirmwa.html

About the Haken Continuum:
Designed by Dr. Lippold Haken and manufactured by Haken Audio, the Continuum Fingerboard is a musical instrument that allows unprecedented realtime performance control. With a greater pitch range than a traditional 88 note Midi keyboard, the Continuum offers realtime continuous control in three dimensions for every finger that is placed on the playing surface. Included internally is a custom designed user programmable synthesizer, specifically programmed to take advantage of the subtle and dramatic expressive musical possibilities of the Continuum. The Continuum is available in full-size (nearly 8 octaves) and half-size (nearly 4 octaves) versions. Learn more at: http://www.hakenaudio.com/.

Audio/Video example of one of the new presets, “Jupiter Mission,” by Edmund Eagan:

VIDEO (VIMEO): Inspired by the Jupiter Mission section of 2001 A Space Odyssey. I had a desire to create a synthetic string ensemble Preset which led me into a remembrance of the Jupiter Mission segment from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Really loved the moodiness and starkness. So this video is the result. I composed a canon inspired by Katchaturian’s Adagio that Kubrick used in the opening of this segment. Performed once and overlaid with midi data from the Continuum as well as my performance placed inside the eye of HAL 9000. Uses the Continuum System Preset “Jupiter Mission.” More from Edmind Eagan on VIMEO: https://vimeo.com/edmundeagan

Audio/Video example of new External Note Mode (BRILLIANT!)

VIDEO (VIMEO): A Continuum performance using the System Preset Eastern Slider. The Continuum is sound controlled both by the playing surface and an external Midi keyboard, the CME xkey37. The single Midi channel of the xkey37 is mapped through the Continuum firmware into multichannel Midi data that is melded with the Continuum surface performance data. The EaganMatrix synthesizer inside the Continuum has the ability to have separate parameter controls for data from the surface and data from an external Midi device. This allows the Preset to be sculpted appropriately, given the more limited response that is available from an external input device. The relatively light touch, scissor key action and reasonable polyphonic aftertouch (compared to other Midi controllers) of the xkey37, it becomes a nice complement to the Continuum playing surface.

More from Edmind Eagan on VIMEO: https://vimeo.com/edmundeagan