Alesis Vortex Wireless 2 – Keytar For The 21st Century?

Keytars are one of those love/hate things. They were very popular in the ’80s, then they kinda disappeared (some might say ‘Thank God’) but you know… history repeats itself and here we are to tell you about the new Vortex Wireless 2 USB/MIDI Keytar Controller from Alesis.

This MIDI Keytar Controller connects wirelessly to any computer and easily integrates with popular virtual instruments, plugins, and DAWs. The PC- and Mac-compatible USB dongle uses a single USB port to establish a wireless connection.

So yeah, the Vortex uses the good old WiFi connection, like keyboards and mice you might have around. Unfortunately, that means an extra USB port taken on your device or hub for the adapter.
Why no Bluetooth? After all, we’ve already seen some Bluetooth keyboard controllers. We can assume that performance and cost-wise, the current Bluetooth implementation is still considered not mature or competitive enough for similar applications, but this would be an interesting question for Alesis engineers…

Anyway, going back to the Vortex Wireless, here are some of its specs.

Control features:

  • 37 velocity-sensitive keys with aftertouch for compact size with complete melodic range
  • (8) RGB back-lit velocity-sensitive trigger pads enable you to create beats or trigger clips
  • (8) Back-lit faders for controlling volumes or other virtual instrument parameters
  • Embedded MIDI-assignable tilt sensor performance control with on/off button
  • MIDI-assignable touchstrip, zone, sustain, and octave-control buttons on neck

Connectivity options:

  • Included USB receiver creates a wireless connection to any Mac or PC, or most keyboards
    with USB host port
  • Wired USB and MIDI jacks for use with any synth, sound module, or other MIDI hardware or
    software
  • Can be battery-powered for use with MIDI modules and hardware synths (4 AA batteries not included)

A comprehensive assortment of accessories guarantees that users have everything they need to get going right away:

  • Strap and cable harness included; standard guitar strap pegs on neck and body
  • Easily edit MIDI-assigned controls with the included point-and-click Vortex Wireless 2 Editor
    application
  • A nice software package: Hybrid 3, Loom 2, Vacuum Pro, and Xpand!2 by AIR Music Tech, TimewARP 2600 by Way Out Ware, and Ableton Live Lite

Players can also use the editor software to save and load all of their Vortex presets to and from their hard drive for easy backup.

Pricing & Availability:
The Alesis Vortex Wireless 2 has a U.S. retail of $299.00. It will be available in Q1, 2018.

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