Gear Spotlight: Keith McMillen Instruments QuNeo

The KMI QuNeo is a 3D multi-touch pad MIDI controller, similar to pad controllers by Akai and Novation. However, the QuNeo is unique in several ways. It offers three different types of trigger pads; some look like faders, some like rotary controls, some like traditional trigger pads (think Akai MPC). Each of these triggers offers comprehensive, near limitless mapping options. The rotary controllers can function as physical infinite rotary controls (think Moog Source), or as plain old potentiometers with maximum and minimum values. The faders work more or less as expected, though the bottom-center fader can perform width control when mapped to the right parameter. Perhaps the QuNeo’s greatest appeal lies in the ability to map all four corners of each of the sixteen traditional trigger pads. This allows users to program four different notes on each of the pads, with room for portamento and chordal playing depending on how you choose to map the QuNeo in its downloadable editing software.

Pro Tips:

  • Run the installer and download the editor before making too much of an attempt at using this device. Otherwise, your options may feel pretty limited.

  • The sensitivity of the pads can initially seem lackluster – make sure to turn the “Global Sensitivity” command all the way up in the QuNeo editor!

  • You can individually adjust the sensitivity of each quadrant of the trigger pads!

  • Try flipping through the six available Velocity Curves, in the “Velocity Table For All Pads” section of the editor!

  • The rubber sliders have a bit of friction, which might not be ideal for gradual fades. Be careful!

  • Use a Keith McMillen USB->MIDI converter to control any MIDI device with the QuNeo you’ve programmed working as a standalone controller. You could even convert MIDI messages to CV with the MOTM synth module in Studio B, and then control all of Studio B with the QuNeo!

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