I’m in the middle of building a new toy, or something.
(Verbs and nouns are a little tricky with such matters. “Instrument” and “Controller” both feel wrong, as do “Inventing” and “Creating”.)
Anyway, here’s a quick mockup of what will soon exist, that has never existed in this configuration before:
The two colorful grids there are each chronomes.
The keyboard is a Korg Microkey, with a handful of small modifications planned.
- I’m replacing the pitch wheel with the jack for a sustain pedal, and replacing the mod wheel with a touch strip. These modifications more or less follow the instructions outlined in this video.
- Additionally, I’d like to add arcade buttons on either side of the keyboard (like a pinball machine) to double up on the octave buttons.
Leveraging that keyboard’s existing functionality like this is cheating in a lot of ways, but seemed a lot more attainable than, say, trying to figure out how to integrate the keybed as a raw data source (version 2 will probably rely on this chip for that). Meanwhile, this is a class-compliant MIDI controller, and a USB hub for the two Chronomes to plug into.
The space for an iPad is probably self-explanatory. That will be driving a custom template in Control.
Current build progress:
- both chronome button boards are mostly constructed. LEDs and diodes are all in place.
- the two chrome controller boards are not yet started, but the components are in hand.
- Button pads are in hand.
- Korg MicroKey is in hand, but not yet modified.
- Touch strip is in hand. Though, I’m thinking I might make that a second foot pedal instead, and use a vMeter in that space. Or if the case is big enough, this could be a good place to integrate the Arc 4.
- iPad is in hand. Custom template is half-written.
- I’ve got a dozen packets of sugru ready to help integrate the keyboard when that time comes.
Still to do:
- Finalize the design and construct an enclosure.
- Name the thing.
Regarding the enclosure, this is going to be a little bigger and more substantial than we usually go for. I’d sort of like to model this on old wurlitzers, where the instrument was built into a suitcase, which legs attach to to form a free-standing entity.
I’d also like to integrate an overhead bar of some sort, to mount cameras and additional sensors on.
Regarding the name, I’m juggling three ideas:
- “GreaterThanZboard” or “GTZboard”
That’s a good name for my proprietary keyboard. But, is this that? Seems like this name gives one element of the setup too much weight.
- “Double Rainbow”
(What does it mean?)
This calls out its lineage (born of Chronome, son of Arduinome, cousin of Monome), while acknowledging that this is actually sort of a primitive early model / still evolving.
If we’re to be completely nerdy about this, one of the things that separates Chronome from Arduinome is the Arduino version required for its controller. Arduinome uses a standard issue Arduino, where Chronome uses the Arduino Mega. So, really, “Chro-MegNome” would actually describe its lineage more completely. It just doesn’t flow as nicely.
Anyway, there’s that. Progress towards something. Yay.