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OEM 3 Octave Keybed?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY  
Author OEM 3 Octave Keybed?
devinw1
So, i've found a couple threads on this, but a lot of them are really old and I'm finding that some places like Doeopfer (which, BTW has the most dreadful website I think i've ever seen lol) DID make such things, but they don't anymore. Same for Fatar...their site says they only make a big "synth keybed".

So, my question is, does anyone know of options for a bare bones 3 octave keybed that I can integrate into my own housing for a custom DIY synth project?
ektoquip
Reluctantly, I'll divulge my secret.

Craigslist.

Threre's always someone selling a little home keyboard. $20. $50. Maybe $100 if you're feeling rich.

Seeing as how you're going to re-house the thing and, ostensibly, rewire the thing, whattaya got to lose? Re-purpose a home unit. You don't care what it sounds like or if it even makes sounds at all.

Often, they send midi. $25 for 49 notes of midi, already wired up? That's pretty good in my books.

I'm right now using one to be the brains of some home-built some bass peds.

Anyway, dunno exactly what you're after, but it's a possibility.

EQ
devinw1
ektoquip wrote:
Reluctantly, I'll divulge my secret.

Craigslist.

Threre's always someone selling a little home keyboard. $20. $50. Maybe $100 if you're feeling rich.

Seeing as how you're going to re-house the thing and, ostensibly, rewire the thing, whattaya got to lose? Re-purpose a home unit. You don't care what it sounds like or if it even makes sounds at all.

Often, they send midi. $25 for 49 notes of midi, already wired up? That's pretty good in my books.

I'm right now using one to be the brains of some home-built some bass peds.

Anyway, dunno exactly what you're after, but it's a possibility.

EQ


Heh.

So you're talkin' like some kind of poopy Yamaha PSR type thing? Or Casio etc.?
whoop_john
devinw1 wrote:


So you're talkin' like some kind of poopy Yamaha PSR type thing? Or Casio etc.?


That sounds a little harsh devinw1, as does your comment about Doepfer's dreadful website. I too repurpose old keyboards and there are all kinds available. You didn't say what quality you are after, what contacts you need or what your intended purpose is.

Being so negative is not the way to get the best advice and help. It sounds as if you want to buy something new, in which case I wish you all the best in finding a suitable supplier.
devinw1
whoop_john wrote:
devinw1 wrote:


So you're talkin' like some kind of poopy Yamaha PSR type thing? Or Casio etc.?


That sounds a little harsh devinw1, as does your comment about Doepfer's dreadful website. I too repurpose old keyboards and there are all kinds available. You didn't say what quality you are after, what contacts you need or what your intended purpose is.

Being so negative is not the way to get the best advice and help. It sounds as if you want to buy something new, in which case I wish you all the best in finding a suitable supplier.


Ah shoot, I guess my humor was taken the wrong way! I'm not being negative at all, really. smile And I do appreciate any help or responses from any of the fine wiggler folks. Really. we're not worthy

I was just trying to get at whether ektoquip was refering to really cheap-o "toy" keyboards (which can often have pretty dreadful key action, even by non-weighted synth key standards), or if he meant broken examples of more "pro" instruments to scavenge keybeds out of. My application is to make a playing re-do of the Sequential Pro-One, so I would like a synth keybed that pretty much plays like a decent synth keybed. Nothing weighted but not plastic clicky business.

As for the Doepfer website, well, I dunno. It's pretty bad. No offense to the company and they make some cool stuff, but it's a pretty bad site. Lots of pages with information on stuff they don't even make or sell. Big long price lists with stuff scratched out. Lol. It could use some love. That's all I'm saying.
ektoquip
Yeah........
Still not real glowing, there.

See, just read that part of your post that said...
devinw1 wrote:
does anyone know of options for a bare bones 3 octave keybed that I can integrate into my own housing for a custom DIY synth project?


So, no, I didn't hear the "pro" or "not plastic clicky business" in that.

And, in my experience, 3 octave is usually smack dab in the middle of not-so-hot actions. After all, most generally, "real" keyboard actions start at 61 and go up from there. So to find a nice DX7 keybed (I really like DX7 keys) or a nice Roland MKB (ditto) or a KX-88 in a 3 octave size is a non-starter.

But hey, now that we're all on the same page, yes, I exactly intended the PSR and similar garage-sale keyboards. There's a jillion models in the genre and some, if you can get past their looks, have surprisingly good keys on them. Just put a sack over their console and you'll find they're not too bad.

EQ
devinw1
ektoquip wrote:

But hey, now that we're all on the same page, yes, I exactly intended the PSR and similar garage-sale keyboards. There's a jillion models in the genre and some, if you can get past their looks, have surprisingly good keys on them. Just put a sack over their console and you'll find they're not too bad.

EQ


Cool, that is good to know! And yeah, I'm not looking for weighted keys or anything and realize this kind of thing always comes with larger key numbers (61 and up). It's just there is sort of a range of "niceness" feeling even within synth action keys. Hard to describe. But, I'm not going to feel bad if I get a CL special for $15 and it doesn't do the trick. Just back to Goodwill with it!

I'll see what I can dig up. Thanks for the replies.

And again, I really hope nobody has taken offense to anything I said. I guess I just have a weird sense of humor. hmmm.....
devinw1
BTW, Doepfer wrote back to me and confirmed they do not make the 3 octave OEM keyboard anymore because they said nobody wanted to buy it (but they apparently sold whatever amount they made (1?)). No plans to re-pop it. waah
J3RK
I wonder if you could convince Fatar to send you a sample.

Otherwise, maybe buy a decent MIDI controller, and gut it for the action. The Akai controllers feel really nice, and aren't terribly expensive. More than a yard sale item of course, but it'll be brand new, and already have some of what you need circuit-wise. Even better, find a controller that includes CV like the Akai Max series, (that maybe only be 25 or 49 though) but then you can interface directly to the CV circuit. (though, getting it to stay on a set control scheme could prove tricky)

Some ideas anyway.
Chrutil
devinw1 wrote:
My application is to make a playing re-do of the Sequential Pro-One, so I would like a synth keybed that pretty much plays like a decent synth keybed.


This might be an expensive solution, but have you looked at this one?

http://techsmechsvintagesynth.com/home/tm-2%20pro-one%20keyboard%20rep lacement%20kit.html
devinw1
Chrutil wrote:
devinw1 wrote:
My application is to make a playing re-do of the Sequential Pro-One, so I would like a synth keybed that pretty much plays like a decent synth keybed.


This might be an expensive solution, but have you looked at this one?

http://techsmechsvintagesynth.com/home/tm-2%20pro-one%20keyboard%20rep lacement%20kit.html


Hot damn! That is EXACTLY what I need. Very cool. Thank you !
Chrutil
devinw1 wrote:
Chrutil wrote:
devinw1 wrote:
My application is to make a playing re-do of the Sequential Pro-One, so I would like a synth keybed that pretty much plays like a decent synth keybed.


This might be an expensive solution, but have you looked at this one?

http://techsmechsvintagesynth.com/home/tm-2%20pro-one%20keyboard%20rep lacement%20kit.html


Hot damn! That is EXACTLY what I need. Very cool. Thank you !


Awesome! w00t
If you do end up getting it, please let us know how it works out.
I have been wanting to build a synth from scratch many times in the past.
devinw1
Chrutil wrote:
devinw1 wrote:
Chrutil wrote:
devinw1 wrote:
My application is to make a playing re-do of the Sequential Pro-One, so I would like a synth keybed that pretty much plays like a decent synth keybed.


This might be an expensive solution, but have you looked at this one?

http://techsmechsvintagesynth.com/home/tm-2%20pro-one%20keyboard%20rep lacement%20kit.html


Hot damn! That is EXACTLY what I need. Very cool. Thank you !


Awesome! w00t
If you do end up getting it, please let us know how it works out.
I have been wanting to build a synth from scratch many times in the past.


You bet!!

I was discouraged at first by the Pro-One due to some of the chips on board, but looking around it seems a lot of them are being re-made!
devinw1
Well, luck would have it that I remembered I had an old M Audio Oxygen 49 controller in my basement closet... I haven't used it as my main controller in my studio for so long I forgot I even had it!

So I think this will be my budget solution for my upcoming Pro-One clone build. The question is, can I cut it down to 3 octaves? I've seen people do this before and assume it is possible. Otherwise, having 4 octaves will be cool but I'll have to try to use it in MIDI mode to make that work, as the standard inputs for a diode matrix keybed on the Pro-One microcontroller are limited to 37 keys.
devinw1
Well, the answer is yes!

I chopped off the extra octave and transplanted the high C key and it works great! At first, the last 5 keys were dead and I realized I had severed a trace that needed to loop around back to the second pin header. I did a little surgery to solder a jumper from that trace back to the header and voila! 4 octave keybed on the cheap. Upcycling!
ektoquip
uh-oh...
challenge unlocked.

I loves me some keyboard surgery.
devinw1
Indeed!

BTW, this keyboard looks EXACTLY like the Fatar synth keybeds (from the pictures on the website). It doesn't say anywhere on it, but I'd bet dollars to donuts M Audio got that board from Fatar.
devinw1
Shit, it's not going to work I just realized... The 49 key one is wired to groupd the make/break contacts for the first 5 keys onto the same pin, but the 37 key groups the first 8. This is what the Pro-One schematic is expecting, and what I'm going to be feeding the keyboard to. Damn.

http://www.doepfer.de/DIY/Matrix_37.gif
http://www.doepfer.de/DIY/Matrix_49.gif

Unfortunately it seems 37 key keybeds are insanely hard to find.
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