It wasn’t an easy decision, but I ended up returning my Morph. However I do get the impression that the people at Sensel have a honest commitment to developing awesome products, so as a tiny contribution I’d like to share my personal impressions.
What I love about the Morph
- Customizability! This is the obvious selling point, no need to go into much detail right here, it’s simply awesome to be given this amount of freedom
- Build quality, look and feel. It’s a device to fall in love with - I’d often find myself just picking it up for no reason and hold it in my hands. Also sliding the finger over the touchpad surface feels almost too good.
- Portability! I can basically slide this into my notebook bag and carry it everywhere, barely noticing the extra weight. For software based music making on the go, I would say this is unmatched in elegance and versatility.
What I would like to be improved
- Size. Ironically the previous point for me was also the biggest downside. Most noticeably on the piano overlay: I wouldn’t want even less than 25 keys, but the keys are simply too small! Especially for piano players. Sure, Sensel is not the first company to make something with non-standard size piano keys, but I find these keys simply to small to be taken seriously. I don’t even want to get used to them. At the same time, I believe that if the Moprh was 40-60% bigger (or maybe something like a 13" notebook), it would barely feel less portable, but loads more enjoyable to play!
- Out-of-the-box fun and flow: From unboxing to playing around, I’d like the experience to be more friction-less. I realize this is an exceptionally hard task to solve well and there are already some MPE-ready presets and the likes to get off the ground quickly. But for my linking there was a bit too many steps required to get vibing with the Morph…and I never got close to an intuitive flow state in the time I was using it because there was a constant need to look up and set up some stuff.
- Precision: I din’t manage to figure out if I had some software issue or my device had a fault, but when e.g drumming in some pattern I often had some notes not registering or even registering twice. This can probably be improved by properly calibrating the sensitivity in the Sensel App, but of course feels very unsatisfying when trying out the device.
- Minor flaws and inconsistencies. For example, the trackpad mode wouldn’t work for me at all when connected via bluetooth. Not a deal-breaker, but with a device that has versatility at its core, I go in with the expectation that it can really be used for pretty much everything, so a wireless trackpad is a functionality that feels odd to omit.
- Latency on the go. I realized that without external sound card, the input lag is annoyingly noticable. This is not caused by the morph, but the onboard sound card, but it slightly ruins the whole ultra-portable setup idea where the Moprh and a notebook is all I need.
- MPE itself. Expectaion: I can play very expressively and in unique new ways. Reality: Everything I play sounds pretty whack and out of tune. Ofc this fault is also on me. Can’t expect to pick up a new kind of instrument and be a master at it right from the start. Practice is key
I hope this wasn’t a waste of time for whoever was reading it and I’d like to thank Sensel for pioneering new innovative input devices! I hope the company will enjoy the success that they deserve and I’m looking forward to future iterations and expansions of the Morph product lineup