OSMOSE by Expressive-E - MPE keyboard


Senior Member
Well, now it can be said out loud and in public....

Expressive-E have an MPE keyboard! Each key is essentially a mini-version of their amazing Touche controller. The keys are sensitive to pressure and they wiggle side-to-side for pitch vibrato. I played a very rough early prototype and it's gonna be pretty amazing.

Put your Linnstrument, Roli, K-Board Pro4, and Continuum back on the shelf - the OSMOSE is, finally, a real MPE keyboard - and it's not made of rubber, neoprene, or fairy dust. It's also got the superb physical modeling synth engine from the Haken Continuum running on internal DSP, and of course is a full-featured MIDI controller with both 5-pin and USB MIDI. Coming soon with substantial discounts for early pre-orders. Watch the videos here and commence to drooling:

According to this piece on Engadget, full price is $1,799, but if you put down $299 before December 10th you get it for $1,099; on Dec 11th it goes to $1,149 and on Dec 22nd it goes to $1,199.

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New Member
The inclusion of the EaganMatrix sound engine is the sweet icing on this cake. Long wait getting into the website and when I finally reserved one there were already apparently more than 1600 already reserved.


Senior Member
Yeah this is cool. How many times have we all used the vibrato gesture on the keyboard when playing an emotive string line when we all know it's not actually doing anything? I think this will top the Roli Seaboard in many ways since it still has a classic keyboard design with which to play conventional phrases but that added 3 dimensional aspects can evoke greater expression.


Active Member
Thanks for the heads up. Definitely going to drop the deposit on this. Seems like they've simplified the terms: Deposit before Dec 31st -- final price of 1079$/€.

Also the deposit is refundable if you change your mind.


Senior Member
Saw their mail earlier and didn't had to think hard about it. Loving their Touché and this just looks so extremely usefull!


Senior Member
I don't think this sort of wording is necessary at all. Each MPE controller has something special about it. Osmose is very cool indeed, but it can't do wide slides like you can on Linnstrument or Roli or Continuum...
Well, I'll be putting MY Continuum and Linnstrument on the shelf. Or at least off to the side.

The Continuum is strange, wonderful, and exotic - and it can do things that no other instrument can do - but it takes practice, precision, and patience. The multi-finger slide capability is unique and unequalled though, however it's $$$$$$$$$$$$.

The Linnstrument is cheap-n-cheerful (ish) and is responsive in exactly the way you'd hope, and while the "fretboard" layout may be exactly perfect for guitar players, it takes a little front-brain thinking for me to zip around on it. But the light guides help quite a bit. Slides are do-able (ish), but it ain't a Continuum. Still, no regrets there either.

The Roli never felt right to me, so I never got one - and I'm glad I didn't because for me the Osmose seems more playable and more like what I hoped the Roli would be.

For me, the K-Board Pro4 is the only real competition for the Osmose, but it's not apples-to-apples. The K-Board feels a bit weird to play since the keys don't really move - but it DOES have front-to-back sensors, which the Osmose doesn't have. I've played both, and although the Osmose I played was a rough prototype it took no time to adjust to it. You can move your fingers purely by reflex and what you expect will happen is exactly what happens. The K-Board is just a little too different to a normal, switch-based keyboard and it takes a bit more time to adjust to it. Not a huge price difference if you get in on the pre-order price for the Osmose too.

So for me I think the Osmose will get the coveted position front-and-center.


KSP Wizard
Don't get me wrong, I'm hovering over the deposit button since last night! :grin: And I do have a Rise 49, so yeah I know its deficiencies. It's very much an acquired taste, but as everything it requires practice. However Osmose doesn't look like it will require practice, since it's just keys with a little bit of special mechanics around it. Shame there's no front-to-back sensors on it, or a simple way to glide like you can on Roli or Continuum or Linnstrument. But hey, that's why all MPE controllers are different.


Monkeying with libraries
Did you guys try the Playful Music Joué board ?
I’ve got one but never used it for MPE stuff (which I don’t own).


Active Member
I will (very reluctantly) pass and wait for the next great MPE controller next year because as I own a continuumini i just would like a MPE controller to play the 8 note polyphony externally (maybe the controller minus the Matrix?) so....there will be more great controllers coming 2020 but not with the Eagan Matrix so if you do not have the Matrix this is a great time to jump on.


Active Member
Well if the Touche is anything to go by, this will be truly amazing. I never liked Silicone Roli at all...


KSP Wizard
Actually feeling like a keyboard, and more nuanced response to touch in the attack of every note (which is where Roli fails since it uses initial velocity + aftertouch data). I've played on Continuum for some hours this year on Superbooth and it is night and day difference in articulation possibilities between Continuum and Roli... Continuum just responds so much better. And considering Osmose supports not just MPE but also MPE+ (Haken's proposal for extending MPE), apparently they have the very same possibilities for articulation. The only things not there are the Y axis timbre shaping by sliding along the key surface, and sliding horizontally to do those yummy glides. But I'll still have my Roli 49, I think. Unless it turns out I don't really need those glides that much. :grin:


When i first saw the osmose i though that the all black top part of the keys was gonna be for sliders or similar effects (like the mpiano where they have it emulating stroking the piano strings by hand) - maybe in the final version?

I'm writing a masters thesis about expressivity with Virtual Instruments so I find the reasons to have one mpe controller over the other very interesting. I do think the Osmose is the Best thing I have ever seen regarding this! (but yeah, sure would be cool to have a way to make the big slides).

I can see on their website that they are not gonna do other form factors (More keys) of the osmose for some time (guess that means at least a couple of years)

Have you seen the eaganmatrix software that is used for the synth in the Osmose ( the Continuum Editor) - if so, how do you like it?


KSP Wizard
maybe in the final version?
Nah, don't think so. That's a part of the long key-throw mechanism.

Have you seen the eaganmatrix software that is used for the synth in the Osmose ( the Continuum Editor) - if so, how do you like it?
Only seen it in videos and read the manual. It's quite idiosyncratic and will definitely need some time getting used to it and figuring out all it can do.