Madrona Labs Soundplane

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Seattle, WA, United States
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About This Listing

The Soundplane Model A is a computer music controller with the sensitivity and feel of an acoustic instrument. It detects a wide range of touches on its walnut playing surface, from a light tickle to a very firm press. Unlike a MIDI keyboard, which typically sends out just one velocity value at the start of a note, the Soundplane communicates three dimensions of information, x, y and pressure, over the entire duration of every touch. As a synthesist, this lets you replace a triggered envelope with an intimate connection and breathe life into each note.

90 of these were ever made. They're practically never for sale. I am offering mine for the original retail price. These are hand-crafted and assembled in Seattle out of sustainably harvested walnut.

This particular Soundplane is in near-mint condition. There are some light small scuffs on the underside, and there is a single small blemish on the playing surface which does not affect playback (see photos). Comes with original carry bag.

More from Madrona Labs:
Custom design
The playing surface, the high speed pressure sensor underneath it, and the high bandwidth DSP computer that analyzes the data are the end results of a three-year design process. There are no off-the-shelf sensor parts used—the sensing hardware was entirely developed in-house. As a result, nothing else feels like it.

The Soundplane is made entirely in the USA. Its body is milled out of hardwood sustainably harvested in the USA, and made rigid with a black-anodized aluminum back. We assemble, tune and test the instruments by hand here in Seattle. All of the subassemblies and circuit boards are also made in the Seattle area. Local manufacturing throughout the process allows us to keep quality high and our transportation footprint low.

True force sensing
The Soundplane is a true force sensor. When you press on the articulated walnut playing surface, it bends slightly to your touch, and the small change in position is measured very accurately. This offers a playing experience with real physical feedback, and the feel of an instrument worth learning and spending time with.

Easy to use
Our own experiences performing live have given us an obsession for simplicity. The Soundplane has no wall-wart adapter, no adapter at all, in fact. It's entirely powered by one USB cable. Plug that cable in, and you're done setting up. Forget the cable? It happens. That’s why we used the most common USB A->B cable that everyone seems to have extras of in a drawer somewhere.

Very high speed
The Soundplane is very fast. It measures the pressure at each of 512 points on its surface almost 1000 times per second, enough to capture every nuance of a musical gesture. In comparison, the touch screens in tablet computers typically capture data at 30 to 60 frames per second.

The Soundplane requires a computer running Mac OS, for now. Linux and Windows versions of the software are planned.

The Soundplane works with the Soundplane client application, which reads the raw pressure data over USB and converts it into customizable MIDI and OSC touch data. The surface can be configured as either a 150-note keyboard with position and pressure sensing on each key, or divided into an arbitrary number of zones. Other settings are available that provide fine control over the touch tracking and pressure response.

The source code for the Soundplane client application is available under a permissive MIT license. This means that you are free to compile and use the software for any purposes, even commercial ones. Download it from github/madronalabs.

This item is sold As-Described

This item is sold As-Described and cannot be returned unless it arrives in a condition different from how it was described or photographed. Items must be returned in original, as-shipped condition with all original packaging.

Product Specs

Listeda year ago
ConditionExcellent (Used)
Excellent items are almost entirely free from blemishes and other visual defects and have been played or used with the utmost care.learn more
Made In
  • United States

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