Tactex MTC Express MIDI ControllerTo understand the winner in this category, reach over and touch your mouse pad. Go ahead, do it. Dig all five fingers into its cushy, padded surface and imagine that each finger is sending unique controller data in real time. This is what it's like to use the MTC Express from Tactex. The touch-sensitive pad on the MTC Express is made from smart fabric, a wear-resistant material developed by the Canadian Space Agency that tracks the location and pressure of five contact points simultaneously. The pad has a positional resolution of 100 dpi and can measure 256 levels of pressure. This gives you a level of gestural subtlety that exceeds MIDI's bandwidth limits.
Here's how it works: an LED generates a measured amount of light, which is sent down a set of fiber-optic cables to an array of tiny pressure sensors called taxels. Taxels restrict the flow of light based on how much pressure is exerted on them. When you press on the pad, each affected taxel returns a reduced amount of light to a light sensor, which in turn instructs the unit's CPU that an amount of pressure z was exerted at location x-y.
It can change multiple MIDI-controllable parameters simultaneously with the touch of a finger, which offers endless possibilities. It's obvious that Tactex has delivered a highly innovative product - and has done so under pressure.