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 Forum index » DIY Hardware and Software » Musical Interfaces
DIY velocity sensitive isomorphic keyboard
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psioniclabs



Joined: Feb 04, 2009
Posts: 23
Location: Louisville, KY

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:58 am    Post subject: DIY velocity sensitive isomorphic keyboard Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hello all!

I just wanted to share a DIY isomorphic keyboard project that's coming along. Think Axis64 layout, but the keys can be remapped to any configuration.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfjEYu79J-4

I run a hackerspace in Louisville, KY and run a fortnightly meeting of Louisville Soundbuilders. This keyboard has developed as a crowd-sourced engineering project over the past couple of months from that group and is nearly done.

There are two PCBs we designed that stack on top of each other for the velocity sensitivity. Top board has Cherry switches with the underside knub clipped off. This allows the switch plunger to travel through the board... Making contact with a 2nd set of tactile switches underneath. The scanning matrix determines the time between the the two key contacts to determine the velocity of the key press.

The working prototype is using a MIDIbox CORE_STM32 for it's 'brains'.

http://www.ucapps.de/index.html?page=midibox_sid.html

I plan on adapting / coding my prototype 'brains' around an Arduino if possible.

More info on our message board thread:

http://soundbuilders.lvl1.org/discussion/20/project-ax15-64-the-axis-64-clone

Right now we're trying to work out a casting / molding process to make hexagonal keycaps.
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jksuperstar



Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 2485
Location: Denver
Audio files: 1
G2 patch files: 18

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hell yeah!! Fantastic job! Please keep people here updated, especially if you ever do a run of boards.

How does the velocity sensitivity feel? What is the travel of the keys like?
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psioniclabs



Joined: Feb 04, 2009
Posts: 23
Location: Louisville, KY

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks! Yes I'll check in with updates as they progress.

The switches have a good solid feel, although until proper hex keycaps are in place it's not ideal for playability. Having hex caps will allow for 1-fingered triads. We're using Qwerty caps for the time being, but the square curvature doesn't fit well in a honeycomb pattern.

The Cherry switches have the travel of an old IBM keyboard, but without the excessive clackiness. These switches were picked because of their 'clickless' feel. And the underside switches are a soft touch tactile switch. The full travel of the Cherry switches is just long enough to bottom out on the tactile switches.

Board runs might be a tough proposition. These are huge boards, and you need two of them. Just getting the boards made is very expensive, not including 192 Cherry switches. But we've got the Gerbers and if there's enough interest maybe something could be worked out.
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monokinetic



Joined: Aug 01, 2006
Posts: 100
Location: prague

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Wow great work! Good to see some other people putting the Midibox Core32 to good use.

Don't forget to mention it over at midibox.org, I'm sure you'll impress some of the folks over there Smile
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MusicScienceGuy



Joined: Jun 22, 2007
Posts: 97
Location: Vancouver, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 11:03 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Excellent work - I really think you've done a great job. Very Happy
I'll put comments in your forums.

MusicScienceGuy.

_________________
See http://www.AltKeyboards.com
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