Isomorphism FTW

For fans of synths, pianos or keyboard instruments of any sort.

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Re: Isomorphism FTW

Post by Folderol »

That looks very nice :thumbup:
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Re: Isomorphism FTW

Post by BJG145 »

I've been looking out for the rare/discontinued Axis 64 for years now. I thought I might be within reach when one turned up at Vemia a few weeks ago, but was outbid at £1100, plus fees and delivery. That's just too much.

There's another one for sale at the moment on Reverb, but it's even dearer at £126K...

...behold the original prototype for the Axis 64. Now, that's cool.

Image

https://reverb.com/uk/item/47445296-the ... ru-axis-64

* * * * * *

There are currently only two hexagonal MIDI controllers commercially available; the Lumatone and the Microzone, both well over $3K. But I still think the Axis 64 had something special going for it, and I'm daydreaming about trying to build a clone. I think I found just the keys for it.

https://wooting.io/lekker

This is a new Hall-effect analogue key in the Cherry MX format. (The Lumatone uses Hall-effect keys. These produce a continuous range of values rather than on/off, thus velocity.)

To my surprise, I recently found these are already available to order, and comparatively cheap. I've ordered half a dozen to start with, though if this works out I'll need a few hundred more. (And a crash course in Arduino key-scanning libraries.)
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Re: Isomorphism FTW

Post by Folderol »

Looks very interesting. Where are they actually available from?
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Re: Isomorphism FTW

Post by BJG145 »

Folderol wrote: Tue Dec 07, 2021 9:48 pm Looks very interesting. Where are they actually available from?

I originally came across these optical ones...think they might be out of production and selling off old stock, though I'm not sure. (I'm also not certain if these are entirely self-contained, or if they're just part of the sensing mechanism.)

https://wooting.store/products/analog-f ... s-big-pack

I contacted them via the address on that page to ask, and they suggested the Hall-effect ones instead, although I don't see them advertised anywhere. But they let me order half a dozen which are apparently now on the way.

Here's a blog from a few years back where they describe the different technologies.

https://blog.wooting.nl/analog-input-te ... keyboards/

They produce "gaming keyboards" where individual keys provide a range of analogue values for use with compatible software, but potential applications seem much wider, and I think they're hoping they'll catch on.

It's very difficult to find light, comfortable buttons which can be used to deliver velocity information, so they could be onto something.

* * * *

Assuming they work...what's the best way to sample the state of a couple of hundred of them with a Teensy to get note-on velocity values? :)

(The original Axis used a custom silicon-rubber overlay with concentric carbon contacts. Velocity was calculated from the timing between the two consecutive connections.)

Image

*edit*

...oh, looking at those keys again, I don't reckon they include the Hall-effect sensor, just the magnet that activates it. In the same way, I think those Flaretech optical keys only have half the equation.

Never mind; still interesting. If this is the case, you can pick up bundles of Hall-effect sensors fairly cheap if you know what type you want. Hopefully they can advise.
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