Author Topic: Funny and weird musical keyboard (ALPS/Mtek)  (Read 4060 times)

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Offline gaucho_81

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Funny and weird musical keyboard (ALPS/Mtek)
« on: Mon, 01 June 2015, 00:42:27 »
Hey guys

I found this weird looking half piano half mech keyboard (model MK 9500) the other day, it was made by Monterey/Mtek around 1996, i found a seller on my local "ebay" site selling them brand new (old new stock).
The piano uses a quite elaborate key system (for been some kind of toy) and the keyboard part of it is a mechanical board with plate mounted ALPS switches (i think) , feels pretty good to type on. Its verye different the feel from a well used switch against a brand new one in the case of alps. The switches say ALPS on them, they appear to be simplified white Alps (clicky and tactile) could they be clones?

I'm now in the search for a suitable housing for the board, if any of you have any ideas, they will be welcome.

I leave some pictures, sorry about the bad quality (phone pics)































Best regards
Gabriel

Offline chyros

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Re: Funny and weird musical keyboard (ALPS/Mtek)
« Reply #1 on: Mon, 01 June 2015, 04:23:55 »
Hahaha, that's pretty weird. Oh well, I suppose SOMEONE had to combine both types of keyboard xD .

I think you should be genuine, yes. The batch of Alps clones with stolen Alps housings had the old numbering system IIRC, which meant they had circles in them which didn't get number printed properly. These lack that, so I think they'll be genuine SKBM Whites, yeah.
Check my keyboard video reviews:


Offline rm-rf

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Re: Funny and weird musical keyboard (ALPS/Mtek)
« Reply #2 on: Mon, 01 June 2015, 05:04:49 »
ha! that's a pretty awesome find.
i wish i found that first, i like that case!

Offline mecano

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Re: Funny and weird musical keyboard (ALPS/Mtek)
« Reply #3 on: Mon, 01 June 2015, 05:38:26 »
Too weird! Looks like the musical keyboard has velocity.

Offline Shanghaied

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Re: Funny and weird musical keyboard (ALPS/Mtek)
« Reply #4 on: Mon, 01 June 2015, 15:38:37 »
I like it too! It's so wonderfully weird that I'd be tempted to just keep it as it is.

Or, since there's plenty of space inside, mod it with battery and bluetooth, and have the world's most kickass HTPC keyboard. You know, just chilling on my couch and typing, and I just flip it over and boom! Now I'm jamming on my synth!
« Last Edit: Mon, 01 June 2015, 15:52:18 by Shanghaied »

Offline rm-rf

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Re: Funny and weird musical keyboard (ALPS/Mtek)
« Reply #5 on: Mon, 01 June 2015, 15:41:53 »
you could wire the keys from one side to the other. so when you type it plays notes that don't make any sense.
but that might get annoying...

Offline chyros

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Re: Funny and weird musical keyboard (ALPS/Mtek)
« Reply #6 on: Mon, 01 June 2015, 16:29:05 »
you could wire the keys from one side to the other. so when you type it plays notes that don't make any sense.
but that might get annoying...
Hahaha that would be funny as **** xD . Would be funny in the office too; see how long it lasts before they tar and feather you ;p .
Check my keyboard video reviews:


Offline mecano

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Re: Funny and weird musical keyboard (ALPS/Mtek)
« Reply #7 on: Mon, 01 June 2015, 17:07:06 »
Hilarious rm-rf!

Gaucho, do you have a 5 pole din plug for the music keyboard and possibly midi?
Looks like it was sold under the omnifashion brand in japan. Same name as on the chip inside.
There is a driver here : http://www.driverguide.com/driver/detail.php?driverid=495946, maybe it is needed to make the piano working?
Does this unit produces sound itself?

Hey it could have been worse (or better the gods of the unicorns land are still arguing on this one) :
102360-0102362-1


Offline FoxWolf1

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Re: Funny and weird musical keyboard (ALPS/Mtek)
« Reply #8 on: Mon, 01 June 2015, 17:08:00 »
If the musical keyboard side is actually, y'know, good, and not just a toy, I could see this being useful for someone who dabbles in producing music on their computer. Maybe.

Even as just a novelty, it's pretty neat, at least.
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Offline mecano

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Re: Funny and weird musical keyboard (ALPS/Mtek)
« Reply #9 on: Mon, 01 June 2015, 17:12:23 »
I'm now in the search for a suitable housing for the board, if any of you have any ideas, they will be welcome.

As it has 3 octaves (and assuming these are real sized keys) have a look at the Gator GK-2110.

Offline gaucho_81

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Re: Funny and weird musical keyboard (ALPS/Mtek)
« Reply #10 on: Mon, 01 June 2015, 18:32:27 »
I think you should be genuine, yes. The batch of Alps clones with stolen Alps housings had the old numbering system IIRC, which meant they had circles in them which didn't get number printed properly. These lack that, so I think they'll be genuine SKBM Whites, yeah.

Good info man! , they certainly feel like Alps. I recently clean and restore a old Chicony KB7061 and after cleaning an lubing the switches they fell pretty similar, BTW, I want to thank you again regarding your Alps cleaning tutorial on Youtube, I have definitely make good use of it.

Hilarious rm-rf!

Gaucho, do you have a 5 pole din plug for the music keyboard and possibly midi?
Looks like it was sold under the omnifashion brand in japan. Same name as on the chip inside.
There is a driver here : http://www.driverguide.com/driver/detail.php?driverid=495946, maybe it is needed to make the piano working?
Does this unit produces sound itself?

Hey man, yes the plug is a 5 pin DIN connector, The keyboard and the piano work completely independent one from the other, the switch on the side changes the mode between them.
The Piano is a MIDI board, as far as i know and do not make any sound by itself (there are no speakers on the unit)

you could wire the keys from one side to the other. so when you type it plays notes that don't make any sense.
but that might get annoying...

Lol, that's a good idea, But there are a lot of people who hate my noisy keyboards already :)).


I bought 3 units of these, they where dirt cheap, One unit will probably going to be a toy for my little niece lol. A second unit I am thinking to butcher it and obviously use the keyboard part of it, the thing is that I want to find a more conventional enclosure.  Do not know exactly how. Maybe with a old keyboard case in which the board fits (I've already a prospect), or make something with acrylic or wood...mmm I don't know.

PS: sorry about my English, I'm pretty rusty (and I never was good in the first place)

Best Regards
Gabriel

Offline chyros

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Re: Funny and weird musical keyboard (ALPS/Mtek)
« Reply #11 on: Mon, 01 June 2015, 19:21:14 »
BTW, I want to thank you again regarding your Alps cleaning tutorial on Youtube, I have definitely make good use of it.
Cheers mate, glad I could be of help :) .
Check my keyboard video reviews:


Offline xoomsolutions

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Re: Funny and weird musical keyboard (ALPS/Mtek)
« Reply #12 on: Tue, 02 June 2015, 05:05:41 »
Great keyboard images you have shared. very interesting.
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Offline Axollott

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Re: Funny and weird musical keyboard (ALPS/Mtek)
« Reply #13 on: Tue, 02 June 2015, 05:25:17 »
This is the perfect board for me an my other studio rat friends.

Offline absyrd

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Re: Funny and weird musical keyboard (ALPS/Mtek)
« Reply #14 on: Tue, 02 June 2015, 06:36:18 »
This is the perfect board for me an my other studio rat friends.

Exactly. Let the hunt begin!

I would have used it back in the day for music production, but now it'd just collect dust.
My wife I a also push her button . But now she have her button push by a different men. So I buy a keyboard a mechanicale, she a reliable like a Fiat.

Offline mode

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Re: Funny and weird musical keyboard (ALPS/Mtek)
« Reply #15 on: Sun, 14 June 2020, 04:05:41 »

Offline funkmon

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Re: Funny and weird musical keyboard (ALPS/Mtek)
« Reply #16 on: Sun, 14 June 2020, 21:43:35 »
Holy ****, let's see how much it costs to ship to the US.

EDIT: Fifty pounds sterling. You had better buy it mode; I can't.
« Last Edit: Tue, 16 June 2020, 17:22:27 by funkmon »

Offline shallot

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Re: Funny and weird musical keyboard (ALPS/Mtek)
« Reply #17 on: Fri, 26 June 2020, 13:26:44 »
I am the PC music. (I bought the NOS one, will report back)

Offline ddrfraser1

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Re: Funny and weird musical keyboard (ALPS/Mtek)
« Reply #18 on: Fri, 26 June 2020, 14:12:40 »
What the... the more I look at it the more I'm perplexed. Aside from the intense amount of meta, the bottom row keys... what size is that space bar? Check out the 2u and 1u backspaces!?

I suppose if you can think it up, someone will make it.

Offline mode

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Re: Funny and weird musical keyboard (ALPS/Mtek)
« Reply #19 on: Fri, 26 June 2020, 16:05:22 »
What the... the more I look at it the more I'm perplexed. Aside from the intense amount of meta, the bottom row keys... what size is that space bar? Check out the 2u and 1u backspaces!?

I suppose if you can think it up, someone will make it.

It's almost normal iso, just instead of 1.25u mods, it's WKL but with an extra 1u key to the right of the spacebar, which makes it 6u. The irony is that this is still a remarkably "normal" layout for an alps board, especially considering that it's UK iso.

Offline funkmon

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Re: Funny and weird musical keyboard (ALPS/Mtek)
« Reply #20 on: Mon, 29 June 2020, 17:53:47 »
I am the PC music. (I bought the NOS one, will report back)

I am so excited for this. I want samples of both typing and music!

Offline shallot

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Re: Funny and weird musical keyboard (ALPS/Mtek)
« Reply #21 on: Mon, 06 July 2020, 06:21:07 »
So, I'm typing this from the PC MUSIC. A proper update will come soon, will mostly be doing stuff with it after I'm done at work.

Unfortunately, the software that comes with it for the piano side is 16-bit, so it's a no-go for now (though I may try passthrough to a win95 vm later).

It's got ALPS clones (not sure on type yet, need to do a bit of detective work) and the keycaps are shockingly decent for such a comedy item.