« Rock Band 3 Rocks at learning music | Main | Playing the Jammer - navigation and hand positioning »

Jan 17, 2012

Comments

Ken Rushton

You asked "I was curious on more details on your statement ("---modifying existing keyboards, using rebuilt keys - and blew a couple of thousand bucks fast designing 2 pieces of plastic it would have cost $10k just to make the raw keys for a couple of hundred conversion kit..."). Can you expand ?"

I once tried to make the keys to adapt a popular, inexpensive keyboard to become a janko and jammer. I created the keys in prototype, but it was expensive. and to go to mass production much more so.

see:
http://www.musicscienceguy.com/2009/01/converting-a-keyboard-to-janko-120-hand-made-keys-at-a-time.html

Roberto Trevisan

Hi again.
Guess what...I am practicing. On average 1 hour a day and your guess should be right: 1-2 year to get to where I was.
Tragic is that while technic I think will not be a problem (I am running today trough Anon at 95), eartraining and, consequentially, improvisation...are almost gone.
So as for left/right hand indipendence at speed. Will see...
I was curious on more details on your statement ("---modifying existing keyboards, using rebuilt keys - and blew a couple of thousand bucks fast designing 2 pieces of plastic it would have cost $10k just to make the raw keys for a couple of hundred conversion kit..."). Can you expand ?
Regards
Trevix

Roberto Trevisan

Thank you for your generous offer, but I have to pass, for now. I have many things going on and I don't hink I can add another...Thanks, really.
Also, if I may, looking at it I don't think the Axis keyboard is right for me. Let me explain. (I am not talking of the Jammer concept, just how the keys are made)
I remember 25 years ago when i first read about the janko keyboard and how exited i was (I still have the photocopies I made...). I remember also how costly would be to build then such a piano (it was the beginning of MIDI era i think, too early).
But these days, with $20 PC keyboards and virtual instrument you would think that should be really cheap.
I KNOW, it is not like that. (well, may be with a $2000 3d printer...?)
I played classical piano for 12 years, before going into jazz, on a piano with Renner mechanics, so I NEED a good sensitive keyboard, with stiffness and response (never liked to play the DX7). Great your linked article on touchweight.

I am saying this because before getting to your site, I tough I could find online a good hayden piano-like keyboard controller for less then $1.000. But I did not find any (the Darskin/Vandervoort is still in development and the "Cromatron" ?! is a joke).
If I am going to spend 2-3 years on studying on a new keyboard, I want to be sure that it is mechanically capable of allowing me to eventually play everything I can play on the old keyboard (don't know...Hanon at 108 metronome ?) before even thinking of new chords and arpeggios. Wouldn't you ?
Your instrument looks like a really "different" keyboard. Probably more capable then a regular Janko keyboard, but, for me, it is to much different (will take ages, at my age...;-)

These days I restarted practicing and it is really hard, specially since I don't have anymore a career to build...! But a new keyboard could be a great incentive.

One day I may buy one Axes, like you did, disassemble it for parts, design on cad a good feeling key and have some 3d printing service build all of them (180-200...don't remember but I want all my octaves...). It could be fun.

Thanks again and sorry if I did not express myself very well.
(ps. What does your piano player wife think of your Jammer ?)

Ken Rushton

Ps. "(p.s. your score reading drawing are a little hard to understand, but may be it's me...)"

On which posting?

Ken.

Ken Rushton

It's the classic chicken and egg situation. With Piano and keyboards at a high level of refinement and development, the entry cost for any other keyboard is quite high, in relative terms. the Axis-49 is quite inexpensive at ~$430 ea., in terms of what it cost to develop them, I suspect that the $430 is close to their break-even point. I further suspect that they are very, very aware that they could sell 10-20 times as many at $100 ea, to the many experimentalists out there, but they just can't!

I tried to build my own jammer conversion kits for modifying existing keyboards, using rebuilt keys - and blew a couple of thousand bucks fast designing 2 pieces of plastic it would have cost $10k just to make the raw keys for a couple of hundred conversion kit.

C-Thru used some very good firms and ingenious international hook-ups to get a device as good as the Axis-49 out in a limited edition for the price they have.

Compare this to the fabulous Yamaha Keyboard we bought for my choir's practicing - for $1000 we got an expressive, device that would have cost $10,000 fifteen years ago.
____________


Now for my plan: In 1 1/2 years I retire. I have negotiated with my saintly wife to spend the year working at jammer learning and promotion as a near full-time occupation (unpaid of course), instead of the 3-hours a week hobby it is now.

With decent promotion, and myself able to demonstrate some cool keyboard licks that can't be done on pianos, perhaps the egg/chicken problem can be (ahem) cracked.

And now for my proposal for you: I have two Axis keyboards sitting on a shelf, bought seconds-hand as insurance in case C-Thru stops selling them (did I say my wife is a saint?)

I can relatively easily re-arrange the keys into jammer mode - I would color and dot them too - and ship it to you to try out. You would cover the shipping, insurance, software and pledge to return them to me upon request. I would require only modest guarantee - say your first-born grandchild :). If you like it, buy me another pair of Axis-49's

Why would I do this? I have never had a good pianist express an interest in the jammer and would love to see if one could retrain his/her fingers. You have amazing mental flexibly to even be able to think of pianos as anything but the perfect instrument. So maybe you can beat me - or one of the other people out there quietly practicing - to the punch.

Ken.


Warning: in our age group, my research indicates to retrain to an "nearly effortless" stage should take 1 hour per day for 1.5 years.. It's not a walk in the park.

Roberto Trevisan

Hi and thanks for sharing.
I am 59 too, a former classical and jazz (Berklee) pianist (20+ years) but I did not play the piano anymore on the last 20 years (wow...).
Having now spare time, I am intrigued by the Janko-Hayden concept, but what worries me is that, after...let's say 100 years from its conception, looking on line there still are no good players (beside Vandervoort...but still), no cheap commercial keyboard (with midi and china this should not be a problem), no exercise or fingering books..
What gives ? What is your opinion ? Thanks.
Trevix
(p.s. your score reading drawing are a little hard to understand, but may be it's me...)

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)