Author Topic: Creating a "Musical" keyboard  (Read 1566 times)

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Offline KeyboardKrazy

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Creating a "Musical" keyboard
« on: Wed, 25 March 2020, 17:56:41 »
I'm rather new to the keyboard enthusiast scene and have never really owned or built one. Although I've got this idea for a build that I'm sort of curious to see if anyone has tried or thought to try.
basically when you type, there's a loose variable rhythm based on which finger is pressing which key, additionally distinguished by the frequency of individual letters in any given language. In a normal keyboard the difference between keysounds isn't really distinct, except with keys like space bar or something.
so my build idea involves using a combination of different keycaps and switches or even mods to create a sort of "song" based on the frequencies and common groupings  of letters in English.
Now that I'm typing it out it seems a bit out there, however I'm curious to see if any one has suggestions for unique sounding switches, or caps, or mods even.
Or even suggestions for ways to develop the "rhythm" which I think just means potential patterns of letter distribution in English.
I dunno, weird idea, but I think it's pretty interesting.

Offline ErgoMacros

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Re: Creating a "Musical" keyboard
« Reply #1 on: Sat, 28 March 2020, 00:20:56 »
I think it would be easier to do in the microcontroller than in the keys themselves.
Good luck on your journey.
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Offline Findecanor

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  • Location: Koriko
Re: Creating a "Musical" keyboard
« Reply #2 on: Sat, 28 March 2020, 05:14:32 »
BTW. Did you know that the QWERTY keyboard was based on (a variation of) the piano keyboard?
It was cut into two shorter lengths and then one length was placed above the other — and that is where the staggering comes from. (There is obviously also the difference that there is a "black" key in-between every "white" key, whereas that is not the case on a real piano.)

There is a lot of software that uses this feature in the layout for inputting music. The letters Q and Z are typically the note C, with Q being on a higher octave.

There are some keyboards that produce clicks only using a speaker, but you could of course use any sound you like (maybe a "ping" sound?) and use a different pitch for different keys.
One thing I have not seen in those clicky keyboards is stereo. If you would use two speakers: one on each side of the keyboard, you could simulate that a particular sound is coming from a particular key.
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Offline SolenoidJoe

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Re: Creating a "Musical" keyboard
« Reply #3 on: Tue, 31 March 2020, 11:34:58 »
This is a really cool idea. Reminds me a little of the talking piano art project:

An interesting start would be building a database of the sound waveform of keys.  The problematic variable is that the "sound" of a keystroke varies depending on the keycap, the switch, the lube, o-ring. Still, you might be able to find constant qualities in these variables (that a certain switch fills out one part of the sound that a certain keycap lacks) and match them up.

You'd also have to consider plate material, case, & mounting, and how they affect the keyboard as a whole. Those things make a huge difference, they're basically like the body of a violin.

Basically: this sounds really cool, but there are so many variables that you may need to limit your choices and accept limited potential. Building a database of waveforms from components and sorting them by tone, pitch and quality would be a super cool and huge data science project.

Offline senjo

  • Posts: 13
Re: Creating a "Musical" keyboard
« Reply #4 on: Tue, 14 April 2020, 04:35:40 »
Very interesting

I think I came across a youtube video -  two guys built a "musical" board themselves - yeah "keyboard" keyboard very cool