Although it may look a lot like a volume pedal that has had a Swedish design team give it a makeover, the Touché is in fact a hand controller for your devices. It has MIDI, CV and USB connections, so you are able to integrate it with just about any hardware or software synthesiser you like. With the CV option, it is very easy to assign the controllers to any function on an analogue synthesiser to improve expressiveness in all manner of ways. With the USB and MIDI connections, a handy software application allows you to set up controls to tackle just about any feature you want. Once it’s ready to go, the Touché then becomes an integral part of how your sounds emanate from your synthesiser. No longer will you just press a key and twist a knob: now you can bring some real feeling into your performance with the range of expressive functions that are simple to control and very intuitive to adapt to. Touché very quickly becomes part of the total sound and part of your performance.
You can forget about the rigidity of drum pads, the limits of pan pots and the unwieldy behaviour of XY screens. This controller has been designed by a bunch of passionate musicians who wanted more control and more expressiveness in their playing, and that is just what you get. The wooden top panel allows for movements from left to right as well as pressing on the front and back. It seems pretty simple, with just four motions, but it is in the detail and reactiveness that this controller comes to life. Pressing the rear can slowly bring in one effect, as can pressing the front of the panel. Sliding your pressure along the top from front to back will blend the two functions. Gentle, slow addition of pressure can create swells, whilst sharp tapping can give staccato effects. Combining the two at either end and at the centre of the panel completely changes how just one key press on the keyboard can be heard. Then side to side motions can be brought in as well, adjust LFO depths, filter frequencies, pitch or just about anything you like.
It may seem limited, but Touché is really only limited to your imagination in setting up the controller’s parameters. It allows you to bring every key press to life with a combination of the four parameters and variations in touch and pressure. It’s almost like a meeting of a Theremin, an expression pedal, a percussion pad and an old world bellows pump. But it just wants to be touched and moved, forcing you to create new expressiveness in your playing. It is only limited to your imagination when it comes to shaping new sounds and performances. To fully understand, you need to get in touch with one yourself, no pun intended. Have a feel of how it responds and you’ll know what all the fuss is about.