KMI Returns To Kickstarter With QuNexus Smart Sensor Keyboard Controller

By Alexandra Burlacu | Nov 22, 2012 12:46 PM EST

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Following its successful QuNeo campaign on Kickstarter, Keith McMillen Instruments (KMI) returned to the crowdsourcing venue with a second product: the QuNexus keyboard controller.

The new QuNexus smart sensor keyboard controller makes KMI the first startup company to have successfully funded a second consumer product via the popular crowdsourcing site Kickstarter.

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"I think this sets a new level of maturity for Kickstarter," said professional investor Steven Berger, according to the press release. "We've seen a lot of companies raise money and struggle to get a project completed, but this is the first time a startup company has had a successful repeat performance on Kickstarter. Investors are looking for companies with a depth of ideas and ability to bring products to the market. While the one hit wonders are interesting, a company that can string hits together is even more interesting."

Back in January 2011, KMI funded its QuNeo DJ pad controller - the most successful music technology Kickstarter project at the time, raising more than $165,000. The company has since shipped the QuNeo to its supporters and has also delivered thousands of units to music stores and artists worldwide.

In addition to gaining praise from artists and music industry insiders, as much as 94 percent of QuNeo's Kickstarter backers said they would support another KMI project. That new Kickstarter project was QuNexus, which reached its goal in six days. The company is, however, still releasing project updates to grow the number of backers, just as it did with the previous QuNeo campaign.

What is QuNexus?


The company's new QuNexus product is a vividly illuminated keyboard designed for music enthusiasts and modern musicians. According to many players, the QuNexus smart sensor keyboard controller is faster and more expressive than any keyboard controller they've played, despite its low cost and small size.

The QuNexus has 25 smart sensor keys that can detect pressure, location, and velocity, and it also features "polyphonic aftertouch." It has a seven-octave range, a pitch bend pad, 2 CV/Gate inputs, Gate and 3 CV outputs (16-bit), and it comes with blue and white LED illumination with 16 levels of brightness. It weighs 14 oz. and measures 3.5 x 10 x .5 inches, which makes it easily portable, and is compatible with MacOS, Windows, iOS, Android, and Linux. The keyboard is USB powered and does not require any drivers.

"We're a small company doing original and, I feel, important work in the nascent field of musician-computer interface. There is a gaping need for real instruments that enable musicians to control computers for better and more responsive music," explained KMI founder Keith McMillen. "As we release Kickstarter updates, we can immediately see how people react with their comments, questions and dollars. It's a great way to raise money and market knowledge."

The QuNexus project has already exceeded its $20,000 goal on Kickstarter, and it will run through Tuesday, Dec. 18.

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