midi keyboard contoller

Has anyone made or thought of making a midi keyboard controller? I’d like to build something flat without keys, perhaps using strain gauges to measure force. It could well be more ergonomic than the standard keyboard. Any ideas? Thanks in anticipation.

i’ve certainly thought about that, but i’m still learning this stuff!.. keep us up to date somehow…


I’m planning something similar, but it will be a type of wind controller (like Yamaha WX5). I already have a WX5 and VL70m (physical modelling synth module) which gives quite good results for wind instruments, but I’d like to take it further.

There is a much better set of physical models available for wind instruments, but for the best realism they rely on a large number of continuous controllers (e.g. tone holes can be partially closed, not just on/of). So… I’m looking to build something like:

20 keys (Boehm fingering) analog scanned for partial closure
Breath pressure sensor (based on a Yamaha breath controller)
Lip pressure sensor (for reed pressure)
Microphone for breath noise

This last bit will probably have to be implemented with different hardware. Current physical models use a fixed shaped noise source simulating breath noise, to excite the rest of the model. I want to pick up the noise shape of the actual breath noise created by the player, which would let the player alter the tonality and expression through their playing style, just like a real instrument. Not sure how feasible this is with Arduino alone though, so I may need to seek out a separate dedicated USB audio controller.

The physical model software itself would run on a PC (probably using NI Reaktor, a modular synth development environment, as a foundation) and the wind controller would output MIDI data (plus an audio stream if I can get the mic working).

It’s quite ambitous, and I’m an Arduino newbie, so won’t be tackling it until later this year. Do keep us up to date with your project though - good luck and hope it all goes well.