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English Keyboard layout dimensions


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Hi,

 

Very new to concertinas. Can't afford to buy a proper concertina yet but building a MIDI concertina is possible.

 

Does anyone have a scale or dimensioned drawing of the keyboard layout for an English Concertina 48 key. I've looked at the Wheatstone patent but there's no dimensions.

 

I've attached a drawing of what I think the key spacings should be.

 

Best Regards,

 

Paul C.

post-9390-0-05464800-1307438232_thumb.gif

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I'm also building a midi concertina so I can play, at night, through headphones

without disturbing the family or the neighbours. If you need any help with

the electronics or software side of things let me know.

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Hi Shaun,

 

Thanks for your offer of help. I should be OK with the electronics and the code ( Electronics Engineer ), it's the instrument interaction that I may need some help on. Also sending the correct MIDI commands etc.

 

What model of push switch are you using for your buttons on your instrument? if you are using push switches. I'm planning to use a PIC18F45K22 as the main processor.

 

BR Paul C.

Edited by PaulDC
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Paul I'm using standard circular push to make switches made of aluminium

and plastic. The sort that are available on Ebay in packets of 10 or more

with various coloured tops. I don't know what the part numbers are.

 

For the electronics I'm using an Arduino Uno since its an open source

project. There is a guy called Tom Scarf who offers Arduino kits already

programmed for an English treble concertina. However I wanted to write

my own program because I wanted to add some extra switches.

 

Lists of Midi commands and note values are available on the internet. If

you can't find what you need, start a private conversation with me. Then

we can exchange email addresses and I can email these things to you.

 

One of the good things about a midi concertina is that you can choose to

play a bass, baritone, treble or piccolo concertina or even a church organ

if you want to. Do you know how to get a real concertina sound on your

PC because general midi instruments don't include a concertina sound.

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The nearest sounds to a concertina that I can get on my PC are listed in Sibelius as programs 20 to 23. 20 reed organ, 21 accordion, 22 harmonica and 23 tango accordion. There's not a great deal of difference between them and they're not a million miles away from a concertina sound. The Idea of a midi concertina is fascinating. Would it work for an anglo? I had toyed with the idea of re building a cheap keyboard into a kind of electric concertina trainer.

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The nearest sounds to a concertina that I can get on my PC are listed in Sibelius as programs 20 to 23. 20 reed organ, 21 accordion, 22 harmonica and 23 tango accordion. There's not a great deal of difference between them and they're not a million miles away from a concertina sound. The Idea of a midi concertina is fascinating. Would it work for an anglo? I had toyed with the idea of re building a cheap keyboard into a kind of electric concertina trainer.

 

There is no concertina patch in the general midi set of instruments but you can get real concertina

sound on your PC. In fact you can even use your own concertina to get that sound. To a concertina fan

the unique sound of concertina reeds is important. If I was happy with an accordion sound, I would

have learnt to play the accordion.

 

There are Anglo midi concertinas but building your own is more complex than building a midi English

because the bellows direction is important. Commercial Anglo Midis are expensive.

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Hi,

 

Very new to concertinas. Can't afford to buy a proper concertina yet but building a MIDI concertina is possible.

Does anyone have a scale or dimensioned drawing of the keyboard layout for an English Concertina 48 key.

 

 

Great, thanks Geoff. The push buttons I'm proposing to use are 5.5mm diameter.

 

Are you building a MIDI "concertina" from scratch?? - i.e. just using the keyboard and not using the device carried between your hands and a bellows in between at all?

Are you very anxious using the standard keyboard and button dimensions? and why in that case? These measures were obviously choosen initially with the intention making a 48 key instrument with the necessary 96 free reeds for sound sources as compact as possible in a portable unit much based on the earlier "Symphonium" idea. IF you are making a MIDI instrument today - independent from these mechanically determined characters why not modify the measures to make them more functional and comfortable?

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Hi FirstSteps,

 

The MIDI concertina is just a set of switches connected to a microcontroller ( small computer ). The microcontroller senses when the buttons are pressed or released and then sends the appropriate message to your computer, the computer then plays the sound. The behaviour of the MIDI concertina is controlled by the software ( sets of instructions ) stored within the microcontroller, so if the software is modified it's possible to change the way the MIDI concertina plays. As I understand it the Anglo plays a different note depending if the bellows are squeezed or pulled. Hence for an Anglo concertina some way of simulating the bellows is essential. Bellows simulation on an English concertina isn't so important, however if you want to add dynamics some form of bellows simulation is important.

 

I'm only at the design stages but I'm designing the bellows simulation to sense if the bellows are squeezed or pulled.

 

Best Regards,

 

Paul C.

Edited by PaulDC
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Hi Ardie,

 

Yes I'm building the MIDI concertina from scratch, so it would be relatively easy to change the button layout. However I wanted to match the spacing of a standard concertina so the transition from MIDI to normal concertina would not involve relearning button positions. The only concession I've made is the increased diameter of my buttons to use commercially available push switches.

 

I'd be interested in your thoughts of how the button layout could be modified.

 

Best Regards,

 

Paul C.

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Hi Ardie,

 

Yes I'm building the MIDI concertina from scratch, so it would be relatively easy to change the button layout. However I wanted to match the spacing of a standard concertina so the transition from MIDI to normal concertina would not involve relearning button positions. The only concession I've made is the increased diameter of my buttons to use commercially available push switches.

I'd be interested in your thoughts of how the button layout could be modified.

Best Regards,Paul C.

 

The spacing itself doesn't need to influence the transition very much.You switch pretty easily from one computer or telephone keyboard to another - don't you? Same between a normal piano and a piano accordion.

There are two spacings to consider. The button centre to centre distance and the button side to side distance.The first is important related to the finger width, the second to the button travel.Since you make your device "from scratch" you can choose not only these measures freely you also can pick whatever keyboard system you want and that of course is a very complex individual matter that may be discussed for ever.

The standard english keyboard spacing is too narrow both longitudinally and transversely for most people.Compare with the full size computer keyboards.

If your MIDI "concertina" will be fairly stationary you may to some part use a "flying hand" ( as when playing the piano) and a slightly larger keyboard size will be no disadvantage. Press buttons with a diameter 10-13 mm are mostly preferrable and are commonly used for calculators, computers, telephones etc.

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  • 11 months later...

Hi

I also have an odd project of building a midi concertina based on adruino controler and found this 'old' thread which I had not noticed before.

So, Paul, Shaun, what is the status of your projects ?

have you guys ended up anywhere ?

Edited by david fabre
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