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Musical Innovation


Bringing the latest concept in professional music keyboards within the reach of amateurs, Minima collaborated with Cambridge Micro Engineering (CME) and C-Thru Music to create the AXIS 49, a USB plug and play version of the revolutionary AXIS 64 hexagonal electronic keyboard.

The C-Thru Music products introduce a new harmonic table to the music-making world. Linear keyboards have limitations to key combinations because of the positioning of the keys. The innovative Minima design layout features hexagonal keys which tessellate in a more compact keyboard solution, opening up the opportunity for the user to access and explore more unconventional tonal combinations with one or both hands.


The AXIS 64 – a professional midi-controller – has been widely applauded by top musicians and record producers alike: Darren Price of Underworld, the English electronic group best known for ‘Born Slippy’ used in the hit 1996 film Trainspotting confirmed that: ‘It allows you to make note combinations that you’d never dream of on a piano keyboard.’ Hip Hop legend Warren G, after trying the AXIS, said “This is truly amazing… one of the greatest MIDI controllers...”. M-Audio said “this is a breakthrough in MIDI controller design”

In order to bring the benefits of a smaller AXIS 49 instrument to the home/studio market, Minima’s design is powered by USB as a plug and play peripheral for laptops and home computers.


Our team worked to define specifications through extensive user insight, suggesting adaptations to the original keyboard presentation such as replacing the metal casing with a lighter and more robust, cost- effective solution in ruggedized plastic. We also prepared the product for manufacture and market through aesthetic design considerations. A prime feature is the touch sensitive analogue feel to the keys that mechanically transform light or heavy finger pressure to variations in digital output and therefore sound.

The creation of working prototypes allowed adequate visualisation and testing before customer investment in tooling equipment for production.

Ideation Concept Sketching Prototyping Testing Design for manufacture & assembly Packaging design / manufacture Technical Documentation Awards/
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