Music

Modular keyboard lets you create tunes with as many keys as you need

The Kombos modules push together and lock in place
The Kombos modules push together and lock in place
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The left module is home to controls and 12 keys and push-locks into the 13 key right module
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The left module is home to controls and 12 keys and push-locks into the 13 key right module
The display on the left controller/keyboard unit shows the number of keys available to the player
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The display on the left controller/keyboard unit shows the number of keys available to the player
Kombos modules can make 25 to 61 keys available
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Kombos modules can make 25 to 61 keys available
The Kombos modules push together and lock in place
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The Kombos modules push together and lock in place
When you're tune-creation session comes to an end because you have to get off the bus or train, the Kombos keyboard can be broken down and stowed away in a backpack until you reach the studio, rehearsal room or gig
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When you're tune-creation session comes to an end because you have to get off the bus or train, the Kombos keyboard can be broken down and stowed away in a backpack until you reach the studio, rehearsal room or gig
The Kombos modules push together and lock in place
6/8
The Kombos modules push together and lock in place
The Kombos modules can be broken down and thrown in a backpack between uses
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The Kombos modules can be broken down and thrown in a backpack between uses
Kombos modules can make 25 to 61 keys available
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Kombos modules can make 25 to 61 keys available

Thanks to mobile devices and apps, music composition and recording while on the move no longer involves lugging around loads of heavy and cumbersome gear. But if you need a real keyboard rather than a virtual one, finding something that offers enough keys to satisfy your creative flow but is still portable enough to throw in a backpack could be a real challenge. A crowdfunding effort aims to bring a modular keyboard called Kombos into production, which will allow players to add or remove blocks of keys as they see fit.

At its smallest configuration, the Kombos keyboard is made up of left and right end units. The left module is home to controls and 12 keys and push-locks into the 13 key right module. If 25 keys aren't enough for your composition needs, you can snap left and right units apart and slot in one or more 12-key filler modules, up to a maximum of 61 keys.

The maker promises professional quality keyboard action in a portable format, though no specifics are given, and 8 hours of continuous play from its Li-ion battery pack. There's cooked-in Bluetooth 4.0, which allows for wireless connection to mobile devices such as tablets running music creation software, and compatibility with any USB-MIDI or MIDI compliant device.

When you're tune-creation session comes to an end because you have to get off the bus or train, the Kombos keyboard can be broken down and stowed away in a backpack until you reach the studio, rehearsal room or gig
When you're tune-creation session comes to an end because you have to get off the bus or train, the Kombos keyboard can be broken down and stowed away in a backpack until you reach the studio, rehearsal room or gig

And the best bit? When your tune-creation session comes to an end because you have to get off the bus or train, the Kombos keyboard can be broken down and stowed away in a backpack until you reach the studio, rehearsal room or gig. Then you can unpack what you need, power on and start playing again.

The Kombos team is currently raising production funds on Kickstarter, where pledge levels start at US$139 for an early bird 25 key setup. The modular sets on offer top out at the 61-key Kombos for $299. If all goes to plan, shipping is estimated to start in May 2017. You can see the crowdfunding pitch video below.

Sources: Kombos, Kickstarter

KOMBOS: Modular Keyboard

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