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Easy Piano Keyboard
Old 4th September 2016
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Easy Piano Keyboard

Hi, guys
My first post ever in your lovely forum. Yes, I am a design engineer and I have designed a better piano keyboard. It is called simply the Plain Piano Keyboard. Actually it is a Janko derivative but that is a subject for the advanced auditory.

Here are the demonstration videos on my YouTube channel. Any criticism, advices, recommendations are more than welcome. Thank you!

Plain Piano Keyboard - YouTube channel

And here is the first demonstration video:

Old 4th September 2016
  #2
Gear Nut
 
robobob's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by adXok View Post
Hi, guys
My first post ever in your lovely forum. Yes, I am a design engineer and I have designed a better piano keyboard. It is called simply the Plain Piano Keyboard. Actually it is a Janko derivative but that is a subject for the advanced auditory.

Here are the demonstration videos on my YouTube channel. Any criticism, advices, recommendations are more than welcome. Thank you!

Plain Piano Keyboard - YouTube channel

And here is the first demonstration video:

Welcome to the fractious jungle that is gearslutz and put on your armor!

Well-conceived design, Ian!

Only a few centuries overdue; about time the design was freed from older technological/manufacturing limitations!

I notice that the prototype has some interaction along the "y" axis, or from front-most keys to the back-most, where pressing the "lower" keys causes some displacement of the "upper" keys, no doubt simply a limitation of the state-of-the-art of the prototype mechanism.

Or, perhaps by design, to conform more ergonomically to the hand as the hand sinks into the plane of the key bed?

My only concern would be the compressing of the range of the velocity curve due to the lowered key action of the affected domes.

Perhaps the same prototype limitation has limited the plain keyboard prototype to one or two (or three?) octaves, until you work out the solution to complete independence of the honeycomb key up/down action.

For all keyboardists who have heavily invested their time creating stable patterns of "muscle-memory", perhaps the change would be too frustrating.

But imagine NEW players and children growing up with the plain keyboard!

What new compositions will come forth, impossible for human players on the waterfall keyboard, but a physical pleasure to play on the plain!

Obviously a labor of love for you.

Thank you for sharing your passion fearlessly with the world.



Carry on!



P.S. Which CAD program are you using in the third video? TIA

Last edited by robobob; 4th September 2016 at 03:39 PM..
Old 4th September 2016
  #3
Here for the gear
 

Hi, robobob
You have very keen eye. Yes, I would like each visible key to be able to move independently but the hardware of the prototype has only pivot suspension and the rows 1-3-5 are interconected (not visible) as well as rows 2-4 with underlaying beams.

Also with all the honeycomb keys independent the actual sensor will have to be роугхлй trippled!!! 88 ×*3 ≈ 240 which will make it enourmously expensive together with the controllers, mechanics.
A good solution will be (and I have plans to do it) to make the keys suspended usng a parallelogram hinge mechanics - advantage over the pivotting keys suspension - better equal distribution of the finger pressing force, keys would sink equaly at each end... and so on.

Velocity is not compromised by the dome shape - quite the opposite is true - it makes it even more sensitive if I can put it that way because you have control of the angle at wich you possition your finger. In other words you can press sidewas which will make the vertical component less strssful. And gradually adjust by will or by performance means.

And "standard" switch quite easily on this one, because it gives them more expression and abilities to play "unplayable" patterns (chords, scales, movements) whilst decreasing the need to learn more and more different "shapes" startong from different root note (mode, tonality, key).

I have been using Rhinoceros 3D to model the organic shapes and Inventor Pro to make the assemblies for 3D printing. The keys have been 3D printed at home.


One pattern in each mode key!
Old 4th September 2016
  #4
Gear Nut
 
robobob's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by adXok View Post
Hi, robobob
You have very keen eye. Yes, I would like each visible key to be able to move independently but the hardware of the prototype has only pivot suspension and the rows 1-3-5 are interconected (not visible) as well as rows 2-4 with underlaying beams.

Also with all the honeycomb keys independent the actual sensor will have to be роугхлй trippled!!! 88 ×*3 ≈ 240 which will make it enourmously expensive together with the controllers, mechanics.
A good solution will be (and I have plans to do it) to make the keys suspended usng a parallelogram hinge mechanics - advantage over the pivotting keys suspension - better equal distribution of the finger pressing force, keys would sink equaly at each end... and so on.

Velocity is not compromised by the dome shape - quite the opposite is true - it makes it even more sensitive if I can put it that way because you have control of the angle at wich you possition your finger. In other words you can press sidewas which will make the vertical component less strssful. And gradually adjust by will or by performance means.

And "standard" switch quite easily on this one, because it gives them more expression and abilities to play "unplayable" patterns (chords, scales, movements) whilst decreasing the need to learn more and more different "shapes" startong from different root note (mode, tonality, key).

I have been using Rhinoceros 3D to model the organic shapes and Inventor Pro to make the assemblies for 3D printing. The keys have been 3D printed at home.


One pattern in each mode key!
Thank you for the quick reply.

My point about the possible compromise of velocity was not concerning the dome keys per se, but only in relation to the present design limitation's interaction among keys, which you have clarified as being a temporary limitation, not a design choice. I simply meant that the "co-dependent" keys would start off with less key travel, because of their lowered initial position.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adXok View Post
it makes it even more sensitive if I can put it that way because you have control of the angle at wich you possition your finger. In other words you can press sidewas which will make the vertical component less strssful. And gradually adjust by will or by performance means.
So, in your full conception, the plain keyboard would "read" the sideways force from the fingertip as well as the vertical displacement? Or only indirectly, by the effect on vertical displacement?

If the former is the case, then more sensors would be required but creating more possibilities for expressive playing!

The user could then set up "velocity" and aftertouch response curves in up to 3 dimensions! Yowser!

My comment about keyboardist investment was directed more at classical players, who demand such high precision from themselves and must meet such high expectations of perfection that they might not wish to retrain their physical habits.

For less rigorous genres, I agree that the freedom from the limitations of the waterfall keyboard will make the change worthwhile.

I thought I recognized Rhino but it has grown in sophistication since I last tried it.

For such a DIY protoype, the plain keyboard already has the look of a fresh and practical approach, a "rightness" or simple usefulness, which reminds me of an abacus.

Or perhaps my mind is responding to a "leaked" resonance from the future, where the plain keyboard will be widely utilized!

Please carry on and be sure to announce your KickStarter or equivalent, when you have completed your design process!

Old 4th September 2016
  #5
Here for the gear
 

Yes, I will.
I would love to make the keys move down via a paralleogram hinge suspension but that is next long step as I do everything by myself after work.
The parallelogram hinge will eliminate the problems with short vertical travel of the back keys. (which is present in the old black'n'white piano keyboards as well - they try to solve this by makent the actuall arm qute long).


Sorry fir the shaky video, but I hold the camera with my left hend (as you can see on the video) and with the other I try to play some notes on the Plain Piano Keyboard.

Btw, I can barely play keyboard. It is obvious.
Old 4th September 2016
  #6
Gear Nut
 
robobob's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by adXok View Post
Yes, I will.
I would love to make the keys move down via a paralleogram hinge suspension but that is next long step as I do everything by myself after work.
The parallelogram hinge will eliminate the problems with short vertical travel of the back keys. (which is present in the old black'n'white piano keyboards as well - they try to solve this by makent the actuall arm qute long).


Sorry fir the shaky video, but I hold the camera with my left hend (as you can see on the video) and with the other I try to play some notes on the Plain Piano Keyboard.

Btw, I can barely play keyboard. It is obvious.
If you are able to design tiny parallelogram suspensions for each dome, for practical/reasonable costs, that by itself is an engineering achievement!

Mechanical designs with fewer compromises, should permit much more playable instruments than continuing to use, or emulate, traditional technology from centuries past.

The Eigenharp comes to mind.

Necessity being the mother of all invention, making a better keyboard, which strains the hand less, allows wider compass of notes from each hand and more than 5 notes per hand (under control of course!) will allow more people to develop enough skill to express themselves musically AND and do it directly physically, including you!

Technological advances in digital control (sequencers etc) and stochastic (West-coast approach) modular synthesers, which allow those with only the physical skill investment in knob turning, to pull music (or at least interesting sounds) from complex networks, is one way.

Preferred by me and IMO, enabling more musical design, is to make physical instruments easier to play and more accessible with less commitment in time spent to work around traditional, non-ergonomic designs.

I chose trumpet in grade school, when they brought all the instruments in for us to choose, because it only had three valves to deal with!



Personally, I only took my keyboard chops so far, KNOWING that better keyboards or other types of physical interfaces designs would be forthcoming in my lifetime, if not from my own designs then from others such as you, which would then inspire me to practice more efficienctly, getting to a music-worthy proficiency that much sooner.

Thanks for sharing your work-in-progress!
Old 12th September 2016
  #7
Here for the gear
 

Thanks, one day it will replace the old black-n-white piano.
Once children grasp the easiness and the extendet possibilites the Plain Notation Keyboard has... there will be no turning back.
It is like getting on a rocket to space.
Old 15th December 2017
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Scoox's Avatar
I think I missed this thread!! Can you re-post those videos?
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