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Old 10-29-2011, 06:33 AM
pulsewidthmod pulsewidthmod is offline
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Default DIY Master Keyboard Controller.

I am looking to build a Master MIDI Keyboard Controller using one of Fatar's TP/40 Keybed. (Would really like the TP/40Wood but it's quite expensive.)

This will be my first build, but, I am confident that I can do the build.

These are my must-have needs:

pitch & mod wheels
sustain pedal
buttons or an encoder to control which MIDI Channel the keyboard is sending.
Fatar TP/40, TP/40GH, or TP/40WOOD keybed ... (I really need my fake Steinway )

These are some other functions I would like to have, but are not necessary:

CC Pedal
LCD Matrix Display to view Channel Info
Ribbon Controller sitting above the Keybed
Buttons Encoders dedicated for Program Change Messages
Half-pedaling
Soft Pedal

I should add that David Brown's project, DJB- Kurzweil Keyboard Conversion Project, is an inspiration for what I want to build.

Here is a picture of almost exactly what I want:



You can see a detailed log of his build here:

DIY Keyboard Project

Before I stumbled on David's page, I dreamt of making an 88 key version of
Analogue Solutions Demon Controller

So, here is the big question:

Would the MIDI CPU be the right brain for my project?

I'm super excited about this and I'm gonna have to start on it very soon because my current master controller is being sold so I can buy myself a DSI Prophet '08 ... I've already found the Fatar keybed, I have the enclosure already "built" in my head.

Thank you so so so much and I look forward to hearing some input. I'm up for ideas/suggestions

Cheers ~ maeghan
AKA pulsewidthmod
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  #2  
Old 10-30-2011, 10:44 PM
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John John is offline
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Hi Maeghan, welcome.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pulsewidthmod View Post
These are my must-have needs:
pitch & mod wheels
sustain pedal
buttons or an encoder to control which MIDI Channel the keyboard is sending.
Fatar TP/40, TP/40GH, or TP/40WOOD keybed ... (I really need my fake Steinway )
All of the above can be done with the MIDI CPU. One MIDI CPU has 24 control terminals, which would be enough:

19 terminals - 11 x 8 keyswitch matrix (88 keys)
3 terminals - pitch, mod & sustain analog controls

The channel control can be done with a "hex encoder" as discussed here:

http://forum.highlyliquid.com/showthread.php?t=353

...keep in mind that this incarnation of the MIDI CPU does not sense keystroke velocity.

Quote:
These are some other functions I would like to have, but are not necessary:
Ok. The "must haves" use up most of the MIDI CPU I/O, so you'll probably need to add a second unit. (Multiple MIDI CPUs can be combined to function as a single controller with one MIDI output.)

Quote:
CC Pedal
Easy.

Quote:
LCD Matrix Display to view Channel Info
Not quite. In the future, there could be way to control an LED channel display. You could also add some inexpensive extra electronics to make a simple LED indicator right now.

Quote:
Ribbon Controller sitting above the Keybed
Yes, if the ribbon controller acts like a potentiometer or if it generates an analog voltage. Related discussions here:

http://forum.highlyliquid.com/showthread.php?t=519

http://forum.highlyliquid.com/showthread.php?t=392

Quote:
Buttons Encoders dedicated for Program Change Messages
Yes.

Quote:
Half-pedaling
Soft Pedal
Not sure what these mean--I'd be glad to discuss further if you can provide some extra info.

Quote:
So, here is the big question:

Would the MIDI CPU be the right brain for my project?
Seems like a pretty good choice to me. Of course, you'll find lots of useful help here on the forum from me and from other users with MIDI CPU project experience.
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Old 10-31-2011, 03:38 AM
pulsewidthmod pulsewidthmod is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John View Post
...keep in mind that this incarnation of the MIDI CPU does not sense keystroke velocity.
this is very important to me, as I will be using it to control Synthogy's Ivory ... so piano.

If the MIDI CPU doesn't sense keystroke velocity, then it won't work for me unfortuantely. Do you know of a product that would?

Soft pedal: is the "Una Corda" pedal on the piano. Basically it moves the Hammers so that only 2 of the three strings are struck ... some people call it the soft the pedal because it has a softer effect. Basically, it changes the sound.

Half pedaling: there is more to a suatain pedal than just on/off. there are levels of sustaining depending upon how hard/or much you push on the sustain pedal.
There is a good definition at this site: http://www.vpiano.net/halfpedal.htm

If velocity is something that is going to be made a feature in the next few weeks, then I could get your product. But being a pianist, unless it is, i can't use your product. (big bummer)
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Old 11-02-2011, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pulsewidthmod View Post
this is very important to me, as I will be using it to control Synthogy's Ivory ... so piano.

If the MIDI CPU doesn't sense keystroke velocity, then it won't work for me unfortuantely. Do you know of a product that would?
There must be such a product out there, but I'm not sure which one. You could still use a different product for the keyboard and then add a MIDI CPU to handle the pedals & other controls.

Quote:
Soft pedal: is the "Una Corda" pedal on the piano. Basically it moves the Hammers so that only 2 of the three strings are struck ... some people call it the soft the pedal because it has a softer effect. Basically, it changes the sound.
of course...for some reason I was thinking of the computer use of "soft", like, "software configurable". The MIDI CPU can definitely be used for such a pedal.

Quote:
Half pedaling: there is more to a suatain pedal than just on/off. there are levels of sustaining depending upon how hard/or much you push on the sustain pedal.
There is a good definition at this site: http://www.vpiano.net/halfpedal.htm
Yes, the MIDI CPU would be good for half pedaling as well.

Quote:
If velocity is something that is going to be made a feature in the next few weeks, then I could get your product. But being a pianist, unless it is, i can't use your product. (big bummer)
The MIDI CPU hardware isn't designed for velocity sensing, so it's not a feature that will be added in firmware--sorry.

However, the MIDI CPU would be an excellent choice for the other functions of your controller. The MIDI CPU accepts any MIDI input and combines the message stream with its own locally-generated messages. So if you find that velocity sensitive MIDI encoder, you can "chain" it together with a MIDI CPU and have a controller with just one MIDI output.

Hope this helps--you are welcome to share more about your project even if some/all of it does not involve the MIDI CPU.
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