Eigenharp Alpha, Pico demo and mind-blowing concert (hands-on)See all photos
As you can see, Eigenlabs' very own musicians made it look easy – even Lambert's eight-year-old daughter can play both the Alpha and the Pico, apparently – and it took them just five days of tutorials before they could start playing all-time hits like "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star", and within a month they were already jamming like pros. When it was our turn for the hands-on, we weren't entirely sure where to start with the sea of very sensitive keys at the top. Those wobbly keys are totally alien to this piano and saxophone player. And don't let the name fool you either, we're pretty certain that the experience on the Eigenharps is nowhere near one of plucking an ordinary harp. Once we got past that stage we were already playing all sorts of scales, only because you can easily switch between them using preallocated keys for each. Some might say this is cheating but you know they're just jealous. At this rate we'd agree that a week of continuous practice would be sufficient to master the basics of the instruments, before dedicating more time to understanding the software suite (which we didn't play with).
In terms of weight, the Alpha is surprisingly lighter than the average electric guitar at just 5.82 lbs. If you'd rather be standing up instead of playing the Alpha sitar-style, the supplied leather strap does let you walk around while doing a hinged windmill with the $6,302 instrument. Sure, your sober minds might not be so keen on that, but word has it that Eigenlabs already has a stream of very rich clients (read: rock stars) signing up for pre-orders with plans to take the instruments to concert stages over the next six months. We'll let you guess who these guys might be. As for the somewhat affordable USB-powered Pico ($557) we find it much easier to handle as total newbies for obvious reasons, and despite the same tactile feedback, the much smaller number of keys will definitely be a problem for sequence programming on the go, as well as being limited to just one instrument selection across the panel each time. If you still fancy giving it a shot, the Pico is slated for a November 9th release – exactly one month before its big brother's official debut though both are now available for pre-ordering. Until then, enjoy our very own free concert performed by Eigenlabs musicians, David Kemp, Mark Wilson and Finlay Crowther: