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Jun 13, 2012



Ah and I forgot to say that to add to this post, you should also look into the reusage of skills from one medium through another: for example, I often train on my phone using IsoKeys or Hexiano, and I've found that most of what I have trained myself to do was directly reusable on my real Jammer!

And yet, on my phone, I use only my thumbs because it supports only 2 touch points, thus it is very impressive that I can play most of what I learned on my Jammer, using my ten fingers!


Great blog and great post!

I've bought just recently an Axis-49 after having trained a bit on a tablet and on a phone using Hexiano and IsoKeys (the latter offering an OSC/MIDI interface, thus allowing to play the notes on your computer, although with some noticeable latency...), and also using my QWERTY keyboard with DynamicTonality's Relayer to remap to a cheap, but working half Jammer.

When I'd have mastered my Axis-49, I will certainly buy another one to make a full Jammer, and maybe add an accelerometer to allow for live modulation instead of the joystick (but both could be implemented for different usages).

@Jim Aikin: there is a firmware update for the Axis-64 which allow for remapping the keys to simple MIDI messages, so that you can use it in whatever way you want. The same was implemented into the Axis-49, hence I can remap mine simply by using DynamicTonality's Relayer.
I think the Axis-64 furthermore allow to have several banks/layers that you can switch to have even more mappable keys, but I'm not sure how it works since this functionality is not available with the Axis-49, you should take a look inside the forums of C-Thru Music.


Hi, a PCB for making your own isomorphic keyboard sounds really interesting! Who is Red Davies and where can I find out more about this?

I can be reached at vzizlzlzezgz@gmail.com (remove all z's) or comment here and I will check back..

thanks /V

Ken Rushton

I'm back from holidays. It was an nice month in Montreal and Ottawa: lovely cities.

If you are really keen, you can abut two axis-49s, end-to-end, one under each hand, and remap the notes to so that say one hand is the regular note, and the other is the micro-tonal note, perhaps with a thumb control to vary the micro-tuning. This is what I would do, and indeed will be doing, when in the medium-distant future, I have mastered the basics of playing the jammer with normal tuning.

Alternates are few:
1. buy a Axis-64, and remap the keys with to make them micro-tonal - This is certainly do-able, AFAIK, you do have to assign the 3 banks to 3 separate channels, so that each one has a unique value.
John Moriarty and the Alternate Tunings Mailing List are experts at this.

2. buy a Terpstra Keyboard, which is designed for MT work, for 2189 USD / 1789 EUR. 20 have just been promised to be available.

3. It's early yet, but Red Davies has just finished fabbing an really nice PCB for Isometric keyboards these can be tiled together to make a keyboard of any size. By working with him, you could likely make your own, or he could make you one and you could help him in other ways.


Jim Aikin

I've been searching for alternative MIDI keyboards, and stumbled onto your blog. I have no interest in using an instrument of this sort for standard 12-note-per-octave music -- I'm composing with microtonal scales. And having, I might add, very little luck finding a usable keyboard.

I need a broader layout than the Axis-49, and unfortunately the Axis-64 doesn't allow user programming of individual keys. Can you suggest any resources I might not have noticed? If so, I'd love to hear about them! (You can reach me at midiguru23@sbcglobal.net.) Thanks!

--Jim Aikin

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