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Posts posted by MusicScienceGuy

  1. From the web pages, I assume that playing is done via a MIDI conncetion, to a keyboard or synth box, using a standard 5-pin "smiley" MIDI cable. Right? You mention a way to use a PC as a synth box -- is that via the USB interface?

    2) I'd really like to have more buddies with an Axis so I can trade ideas.

    Do you want buddies using its native system, or Hayden players? I play Hayden Duet, so natch I would want to reprogram it *sometimes* to play that way. However, the native scheme is really cool -- major chords with one finger in the right corner!

    3) This would make a terrific chord generator for rhythm,backup work.


    4) So, is it easy to reprogram it back and forth between Hayden and Axis modes?


    --Mike K.

    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



  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.



    Ken Rushton, @ MusicScienceGuy.vox.com :uGeek. B)

  3. I think that the Thummer may have had the right ergonomic idea -- split the keyboard so each hand can come at it at the proper angle, much like Microsoft's ergonomic PC keyboard.

    The bad side of splitting the keys is that each hand is now confined to its own keyboard, much like with a ...


    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.



  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 B)

  5. 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 B)

  6. Will it work with a small portable tone-module/synthesizer (like Yamaha MU-15), or does it require PC support?


    -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.


    And ISTR from your Web page, that it has only 4 rows of keys, whereas 5 or 6 is more funcitonal (even a Stagi 46 has a partial 5th row on the RH side). Off course a wide (two-handed) 4-row keyboard is better than nothing, and worth playing. ...

    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.



  7. It's like saying "I'm solving the problem of a shortage of marriageable women by increasing the supply of pigs".

    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. :lol:



  8. The number one drawback of the Hayden system is surely the almost complete lack of anything other than small instruments to progress to.

    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

  9. I know a little bit about music theory, but, as an Anglo player, I try to keep it separate from my playing. ;)

    On a Hayden Concertina, music theory and playing are one. B)


    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. :D


    The fingering is working out well too.



  10. 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.


  11. http://musicscienceguy.vox.com/library/pos...er-playing.html

    Perhaps I'm stupid, but I didn't understand the idea.

    What's wrong with just reading the score?

    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?


  12. Hi Good people,


    While you are on the topic if W/H, I have posted a method for a new musician to mark up a musical score so that it can be read and played on a W/H unit and perhaps it can help on several other layouts.



    I'd like your feedback.



    PS. jjj, I hope you don't think I'm not crediting Hayden and Wicki for their idea on my blog/website. :unsure: I've added a mention on my main page.

  13. Thanks for the Post. I was very intrigued by the video. When I first saw the Axe 64 keyboard, 2 years ago, I didn't know what to make of it because it didn't have a demo or a explanation. of the mapping.

    It's a more condensed layout than mine, and I'm really jealous of his ability to play it.


    On my new keyboard. I've had 2 months of practice, 2-3 hours per week, and thus far can do a passable run through on just a couple of simple pieces on one hand (when I can do better, these will be my "show pieces" for YouTube). I can also play through the songs in our choir repertoire. If absolutely nothing else, being able to play my choir's scores in the correct key has made it worth it.

    Casting back in your memory, is this about the normal rate of progress with the Wicki-Hayden?


    Another question: I've just realized that I could totally eliminate the sawing step in converting an M-Audio 88es keyboard controller to "ZipEx" (extended Wicki-Hayden or Janko) design by having replacement keys made up. In other words, I could create a simple kit to do the conversion (better yet sub-contract it to some friends in India), and the conversion would then take a single weekend. Do you think there's enough interest?



  14. There is never any reason to concern yourself with which are the "white" notes and which are the "black" notes unless you are stuck in the piano-centric mode of music theory, which will hold you back on a Hayden.

    I have, OTOH, colored most of mine. I have my reasons, only one of which is to help me learn. Another is that it helps explains to others how the layout works.

    And... it's pretty.


  15. Hi,


    I'm just a guy trying to show people my better mousetrap, and have made a fairly easy to build one for you to copy. I'm also trying to show the world why it's a better mousetrap.


    I think you're confusing me with Pim Plamandon, of Thummer fame, who has mortgaged his house trying to bring his version of the idea to market.



  16. In other words, I didn't seem to notice, that if you move horizontally on Hayden, every next note is the whole step up, without any octave jumps. But since our scale is not based on all whole steps, vast horizontal expansion still doesn't make any sense to me. I don't have time to look at diagrams carefully right now, so I'll let it rest for awhile, then make another attempt.


    See Easier to play?


  17. In other words, I didn't seem to notice, that if you move horizontally on Hayden, every next note is the whole step up, without any octave jumps. But since our scale is not based on all whole steps, vast horizontal expansion still doesn't make any sense to me. I don't have time to look at diagrams carefully right now, so I'll let it rest for awhile, then make another attempt.


    See Easier to play?


  18. A general response to the many notes on this tread.


    Thanks guys for the feedback and information.

    Regarding fingerings, from what I’ve gleaned from the interesting notes posted here in concertina.net especially in the learning section, I gather that there are two fingerings basically.

    1. The middle finger on the root of major (for relative minor the ring finger on the root), and
    2. the index finger on the root (for minor the middle finger on the root). I prefer the first, especially since I’ve thus far found the accidentals tend to be to the minor side and can be reached easily by the index finger.

    See Jammer basic fingering here and note assignments here . Experimentally, I’ve found the mirror-imaged Hayden layout works well for learning. To your thought that it’s nice to be able to put the hands together, I hope that my keyboard’s ability (when I get around to programming it) to independently octave-shift each hand will compensate & I’ll be instead able to play contrapuntal themes in the same octave, one with each hand.


    Also see: ZipEx split


    Thanks, Ken.

  19. Those Eubie Blake 10ths are going to be a piece of cake....

    -- Rich --

    This is also a good layout. Since my key-caps are moveable, I may tweak the layout.

    Also, the key-mapping is in a table, and I will, once it get the option programmed, be able to switch layouts.

    One option would be to switch to Janko layout to show people the intermediate step.


    Note that the keys in the commercial design will be closer together. I was constrained by the source material.


  20. ... conventional piano keyboard will fly circles around it.

    Au contraire. I believe that a properly designed wicki-Hayden keyboard will be faster to play than a conventional one by at least a factor of two.

    The hand only has to move inches vs feet to change octaves, at any time 16 keys are under the fingers, and over 10 musically useful key combinations are under ones fingers.

    The design is brilliant. I've tried to document it here.


    I've also tried to document the deep connection to music theory and human perception that makes it doubly significant here.


    How about a 6 octave Hayden keyboard but with special tricks:

    _____ x x x o o o o x x x ______ x x x o o o o x x x _____

    ____ x x x x o o o x x x x ____ x x x x o o o x x x x ____

    __ +8 x x x o o o o x x x ______ x x x o o o o x x x _+8 +1

    __ -8x x x x o o o x x x x ____ x x x x o o o x x x x -8 -1

    _____ x x x o o o o x x x ______ x x x o o o o x x x

    ____ x x x x o o o x x x x ____ x x x x o o o x x x x

    Add octave scrolling functions (+8,-8) and modulation (+1,-1) and a bit more, then we start to talk a serious instrument.


  21. I'll build into the design the option to swap the left hand button order. I can see advantages to both
    I thought you're building a single keyboard?

    I'm developing a small community of jammer developers. We're working to develop the best design. Mirror-imaging the sides seems to give a very significant learning speed boost. We're not sure if it slows down playiing or makes playing some things awkward. Your opinions are valued.


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