Published on January 2nd, 2014 | by Greg

QuNexus: The Next Generation Of Portable Keyboards

It’s now been thirty years since the MIDI standard was finalized. Enough to see the rise and fall of so many other technologies- streaming video has made it easy to learn new instruments and share your songs, Spotify and other services have made most of the world’s music easily available. But the instruments themselves endure relatively unchanged.

The QuNexus, from Keith McMillen, is a keyboard controller with some serious upgrades. It looks fairly similar to your old electronic keyboard, only smaller and more modern- a sort of DJ-influenced illuminated musical tool kit, perfect for the enthusiast who wants something portable. Originally a Kickstarter project, there are 25 pressure-sensitive keys, each with LED lights with sixteen levels of brightness. Billed as a “a hub that integrates every synth protocol”, it can handle not only MIDI but also vintage CV analog gearvand audio production software, and works with Mac OS, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android with no software drivers required (except for Android). And it’s USB powered, so easy to take anywhere.

Of course, even the QuNexus won’t suddenly grant you music superpowers or training, despite it’s 7-octave range. But the keys are great, as is the build quality- some real thought went into the design, and there are handy dedicated buttons for most of the functions you’ll need. For instance, the pitch bending pad is pretty cool, and there is a sustain button along with a built-in arpeggiator. The layout might take some getting used to if you’re more familiar with a larger keyboard, but you’ll get used to it fairly quickly. Also, it’s small enough to fit on a laptop or easily inside of a backpack, and their durability video is an impressive testament to the beating it can take.

It’s feature-filled, lovingly-made, and certainly sensitive enough to take over duty as a controller for a wide range of duties. The QuNexus is available online and in stores for around $150.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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