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    Building and learning how to play a new keyboard, the Axis-49 that is like a concertina crossed with a piano, also known as a jammer.
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    Vancouver, BC

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  1. 1) The Axis-49 only has an usb-midi, so requires a netbook of some such, as I show here, making a 2-kilo portable synth that's smaller than a shoebox - like a concertina! 2) Hayden players - it's a better system, I think. 3) yes, although inversions are not as easy. 4) It requires a mouse-click to toggle conversion on/off Ken.
  2. Hi gang, some continuing of the saga, As mentioned a few months ago, I'm using the "harmonic table" keyboard made by C-Thru Music called the Axis 49, tricked out to play as a Wicki-Haden (Thummer) keyboard. It works with both my pc and macs as a midi keyboard. If you're interested in alternative keyboard controllers or music notation in general I recommend checking it out, as it teaches music theory like nothing else, and in the hands of someone skilled (unlike myself) is fast to learn and play. It is velocity sensitive, albeit with a touch more like a guitar than a piano. It needs a computer to work; a netbook works very well. They just added a forum post with the details of 50% off the regular price (250). The post says the sale is only happening on August 2nd and requires purchase via a paypal account. I'm not sure what they are up to, but there is a chance that this will be as they say, truly a "one-time only" offer. See http://www.c-thru-music.com/cgi/?page=prod_axis-49 for the gory details. Why am I posting this? Two reasons: 1) I don't want them fail to fail, like Thumtronics: this is one on the most unique and cool keyboards that's been built since the piano came on-scene, and ... it isn't vaporware. I'd much rather they do well and inspire competition. 2) I'd really like to have more buddies with an Axis so I can trade ideas. Cheers! Ken Rushton, @ MusicScienceGuy.vox.com :uGeek.
  3. My experience thus far (2 weeks of practice, learning only one hand) is that the hand does not get cramped - it's mobile enough so the that blood flow etc. is normal. On the down side, I may have to get a second, so I have one for each hand. Having a independent keyboard under each hand seems like it would make for one heck of an instrument to me, but that can wait. Ken
  4. The Axis is a possible stand-in. I've remapped mine to play like a Thummer. I think that's better than the "harmonic axis" mapping they have. Jim Plamondon is going to grant his patents to the open source, and encourage universities to develop them. He did a truly huge amount of analysis of the optimum design. Very visionary. With luck, the Axis will prove a market, then the Thummer will be reborn. Ken Rushton, MusicScienceGuy
  5. He dared to think big. He just was not as good at selling as he thought he was.
  6. A while ago there was a fair bit of discussion about which keyboard layout was best. Well now there is a new instrument on the market with yet another layout, the Harmonic table. I've bought one, disassembled it, and reviewed it in depth, and its a decent, well made controller. I've also re-programmed the keys to play in Wicki-Hayden mode. If you are interested in alternate keyboards, we finally have one that's worth a look. Jim Plamondon has proclaimed his Thummer project dead. For more detail see www.C-Thru-Music.com and my blog, MusicScienceGuy.vox.com Ken Rushton, MusicScienceGuy
  7. -Yup, It currently requires a PC. If I can get help, we'll rapidly shrink the pc part to the smallest unit that works, i.e. that new $300, 6 ounce unix unit. Agreed, I'd give much to have a 6- row unit. 4 rows is what I can currently do by folding the 88 key unit over - 6 rows will come if I can demo a market exists. Ken.
  8. What a straight line! I'll be cool and not make a "smart" remark. I'm trying to increase the supply of "marriageable women", it's just that our definition of marriageable is a tad different. Ken.
  9. I'm working to remedy that - I'm making a kit to convert a standard 88-key keyboard (controller - needs a laptop to work) to a Wicki-Hayden jammer (a simple Thummer). ETA? June 31st. The cost? $500 (300 for keyboard, 200 for my kit) The catch? I need enough demand to justify going to production. Please tell people about it. Ken Rushton, MusicScienceGuy
  10. On a Hayden Concertina, music theory and playing are one. I expected, based on my readings, that the combination would provide a powerful synergy (it's like being in a city with straight streets, arrayed on a regular basis - it's simple to get somewhere, give you time to enjoy the view), but it's still gratifying to have it actually so work. The fingering is working out well too. Ken.
  11. Here is a link to a chart of all the main chords and how they are built on a Wicki / Hayden layout. concertina/jammer-chords I'm learning / inventing how to play a jammer, which is essentially a Hayden-layout concertina writ large and flat. I'm finding it's fun. My hat off to Brian for inventing & publicizing it. This fingering works well. I hope this helps. Ken.
  12. You are very polite! I'm quite aware that I'm stark, staring bonkers. Anyway, did the chord patterns help? They took me quite a while to do. Ken.
  13. I wrote this for jammer (like a concertina but wider, keywise) keyboards, but perhaps you will find it useful. Jammer playing - reading music scores. Ken.
  14. The m-audio series has inexpensive controllers (no sound- must be connected to a computer) - the smallest, 49-key one is only $129. It is usb-powered, and can be converted, using the technique jjj has posted (please provide a link jjj) to a janko-type easily. if you use 2 of them, facing each other, you can create a 6-row janko unit. with a bit more work and by reassigning the keys, you can convert the unit to a 4-row flat W/H or B-system or C-system. see my posting in How to Build a Jammer which is also how to build a Janko. Ken.
  15. For an experienced player, "just reading the score" is pretty straightforward. The technique is for those new to music. Also, when playing chords on a W/H layout it's sometimes hard to see from the score whether the interval is say a third, or a minor third, and what inversion is meant. With the three "root line" notes highlighted, it's much more obvious: if the notes both are in the yellow band or both in the white, they are a major third, if they cross the bands, they are minor. (play a I, ii, iii, IV, V etc progression) Does this clarify? Ken.
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