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Prototype building? For patent pending keyboard

Posted By: charleslang

Prototype building? For patent pending keyboard - 02/19/19 07:27 PM

I need someone to build a prototype of this keyboard. This could be a garage prototype or if someone knows a company that could create one in China etc. Could be acoustic or digital, but I would be inclined toward something small and easy to transport. Could also be acoustic non-piano (like using metal chimes).

Here is the text of my provisional patent application. I had a patent attorney do a search for this and he found no patents for this idea; if anyone knows otherwise please inform me.
(In the image, the rear part of the white keys seems shorter than the front part, but I actually intend for them to be the same length, again to emphasize the string-like, one-dimensionality that can be perceived horizontally midway up the black keys.)

Quickest summary: Imagine 88 computer space bars lined up next to each other and the piano’s tones assigned to them all in the usual chromatic way. Then imagine shaping them more like the black and white keys of a heritage keyboard (see image; black keys raised). These are not levers and so that is why I’m calling it the Leverless Keyboard.

——- Current Art ——-
- Both the chromatic equality of the twelve tonalities in standard equal temperament, and the one-dimensional nature of music (as it can be for example understood on successive frets of a single string of a guitar) are difficult to perceive and employ in association with a standard keyboard. Students usually begin by using the heptatonic keys (“the white keys”, pressed most easily in their front region, and also often viewed as having their psychological center of gravity in that region), and so as they progress and add notes from the pentatonic keys (“the black keys”, perceived as having their center of gravity farther toward the rear), a perception is created combining vertical (front-rear, longitudinal) and horizontal (left-right, latitudinal) elements. They get a zig-zag understanding, thinking of for example a jump rising in pitch from F-sharp to C as a diagonal move to the right and away from the back of the instrument. Transposition of a passage, which helps to understand the chromatic equality of the twelve tonalities in standard equal temperament, involves reassigning the relationships in awkward ways that are dependent on the contingencies of the standard keyboard layout. For example the relationship between F-sharp and C (a tritone), transposed a semitone higher, becomes a diagonal movement to the right and toward the back of the instrument, rather than away from it (G to C-sharp). Transposed higher by an interval of a fourth, the tritone becomes purely a lateral movement (B to F) with no vertical component. In a one-dimensional understanding as for example on a single string of a guitar, the tritone can be grasped much more intuitively because in every case it is simply a movement of six frets.
- Piano teachers sometimes direct students to focus on the rear portion of the keyboard, where white (the heptatonic scale) and black (pentatonic scale) share space and their similar width offers some isomorphism. When this region is thought of along the lateral axis, it helps to see musical sequences one-dimensionally. However this offers only limited help and initial impressions psychologically anchoring the heptatonic keys in the front region of the instrument can be extremely difficult to erase or modify.
——- Idea For Patent ——-
- The invention of extension, duplication or representation of the heptatonic keys in an additional row behind the pentatonic keys allows pianists to more easily shift the psychological center of gravity for the keyboard to the area where pentatonic and heptatonic keys share space and are more isomorphic, thus assisting in gaining and applying understanding of the chromatic equality of the twelve tonalities in standard equal temperament, and in gaining and applying understanding of the one-dimensional nature of music.
. The invention of leverless long buttons, in which both the front and rear sections of the heptatonic and pentatonic keys depress in concert regardless of the location of the pressing (as with a space bar on a computer keyboard), further assists in shifting the psychological center of gravity to the shared region and in the aforementioned musical understandings and applications.
——- Charles Lang, 2/8/19, Guerneville, California

[Linked Image]
Posted By: Chernobieff Piano

Re: Prototype building? For patent pending keyboard - 02/19/19 09:47 PM

Interesting idea, however the keys are levers for a reason of function. For example, in the piano the wippen has to be lifted. I was going to suggest build a clavichord because it's light weight and you could demonstrate your keyboard and have a range of dynamics, but again, the tangent has to be lifted. My gut feeling on this is when you leave the lever system you go into a spring based system, and those feel very odd to a performer.
Musically, i think the most successful deviation from the standard keyboard would be the Janko keyboard.
-chris
Posted By: charleslang

Re: Prototype building? For patent pending keyboard - 02/19/19 11:09 PM

Originally Posted by Chernobieff Piano
Interesting idea, however the keys are levers for a reason of function. For example, in the piano the wippen has to be lifted. I was going to suggest build a clavichord because it's light weight and you could demonstrate your keyboard and have a range of dynamics, but again, the tangent has to be lifted. My gut feeling on this is when you leave the lever system you go into a spring based system, and those feel very odd to a performer.
Musically, i think the most successful deviation from the standard keyboard would be the Janko keyboard.
-chris


Of course they are levers for a reason of function. The idea is that there are didactic and artistic reasons for them *not* to be levers.

I like your idea of a clavichord design. A linkage could be attached beneath the keys to lift the tangents. (This part could utilize levers, as the importance of the leverless aspect is only with the parts that directly interface with the player.)

Janko does not present the notes one-dimensionally, which is a real virtue of for example a guitar string. Janko has had over a hundred years and few people even know of it — not much of a success. I have my sights set higher — I could imagine this under every Christmas tree in a few years; it has helped my playing ability so much, even without having a prototype.
Posted By: David Boyce

Re: Prototype building? For patent pending keyboard - 02/19/19 11:33 PM

There's always the Seaboard...
https://roli.com/products/seaboard/
Posted By: BDB

Re: Prototype building? For patent pending keyboard - 02/19/19 11:42 PM

Or you could put the tangents of a clavichord under the key, and have them press down on the strings.
Posted By: charleslang

Re: Prototype building? For patent pending keyboard - 05/21/19 11:38 PM

Another aspect of this idea is to put the fulcrum, hinge, of the levers far back behind the keys. In this case the keyboard is not actually leverless, but the levering action of all the keys is changed so that the black and white keys move more similarly with one another.
Posted By: UnrightTooner

Re: Prototype building? For patent pending keyboard - 05/22/19 11:28 AM

I am presently employed as an Electrical Designer, but also do some mechanical designing. What you are asking the keys to do is pretty tough. To put pressure on the end of something and have both ends move as if the pressure was equally distributed is probably impossible. But if the difference cannot be noticed, then it would be inconsequential. Sure hope they don't ask me to design something like that!

My first thought would be to start with some kind of "scissors" arrangement and then go from there.
Posted By: Gene Nelson

Re: Prototype building? For patent pending keyboard - 05/22/19 02:20 PM

Guerneville eh? I spent many summers in Rio Nido
Get flooded out this year?
Seems that if you want wood key sticks it would take 4 front rails to support and guide their travel but they would likely not feel or move like computer space bars.
The layout and design of the keysticks would be similar to a standard key set and cut out on a bandsaw with added mortise on the sharp blocks.
But then there would be no fulcrum so you would need to figure how to support them.
Maybe the computer space bar is the answer.
Curious - is this key set just for touch development or is it intended to make some sound??
Posted By: charleslang

Re: Prototype building? For patent pending keyboard - 05/23/19 01:39 AM

Originally Posted by Gene Nelson
Guerneville eh? I spent many summers in Rio Nido
Get flooded out this year?
Seems that if you want wood key sticks it would take 4 front rails to support and guide their travel but they would likely not feel or move like computer space bars.
The layout and design of the keysticks would be similar to a standard key set and cut out on a bandsaw with added mortise on the sharp blocks.
But then there would be no fulcrum so you would need to figure how to support them.
Maybe the computer space bar is the answer.
Curious - is this key set just for touch development or is it intended to make some sound??


There was major flooding this year. One resort I’m associated with was flooded 13 feet or more. I rode a kayak right along the roof.

It is intended to make sound if possible. I hadn’t thought of making it just for touch development; that would be better than nothing.
Posted By: charleslang

Re: Prototype building? For patent pending keyboard - 05/23/19 01:45 AM

Originally Posted by UnrightTooner
I am presently employed as an Electrical Designer, but also do some mechanical designing. What you are asking the keys to do is pretty tough. To put pressure on the end of something and have both ends move as if the pressure was equally distributed is probably impossible. But if the difference cannot be noticed, then it would be inconsequential. Sure hope they don't ask me to design something like that!

My first thought would be to start with some kind of "scissors" arrangement and then go from there.


Yes, a “scissors” could maybe do it; another option is like the sway bar on auto suspension. Another idea I’ve had, if I do a complete self-built thing, would be to put a board or frame extending directly downward from each key, with rollers and a track or side panels to roll on. (Imagine a chest of drawers flipped on its back, each key being like a drawer.)
Posted By: charleslang

Re: Prototype building? For patent pending keyboard - 05/23/19 07:42 AM

Originally Posted by UnrightTooner
I am presently employed as an Electrical Designer, but also do some mechanical designing.


Hook me up — could you or anyone you know bid this job?
I could then get some crowdfunding going.
My assumption has been that the main marketable item should be built much like most electronic keyboards, with injection molded keys etc.

There’s a guy who is a regular at the bar where I play piano who works at IBM, so I’m thinking of asking him about pitching it to them — they know how to make space bars, that’s for sure. LOL.
Posted By: UnrightTooner

Re: Prototype building? For patent pending keyboard - 05/23/19 12:53 PM

Sorry, I work in a heavy industry. Not my line and don't know anybody. But you will surely want this made from plastic to avoid binding with humidity changes. Here's an interesting patent I found when googling "Parallel Motion Devices". Had to laugh when I saw what it is for. No spoilers, folks. You'll have to follow the link (No Rickroll either):

https://patents.google.com/patent/US4387623
Posted By: Ed Sutton

Re: Prototype building? For patent pending keyboard - 05/24/19 04:22 PM

Your learners will eventually have to play on the pianos that are already here.
You could accomplish your pedagogical purposes by cutting off the naturals at the front of the accidentals, or extending the accidentals to the front of the keyboard. Or you could just cover the fronts of the naturals with a strip of wood or plastic and eventually return the piano to its original condition.
(This might be something you could patent and sell as a learning device!)

You will still have the architectural ups and downs between naturals and accidentals, which are perhaps the greater navigational challenge.

Probably the best ways to learn to deal with the inherent biases of the keyboard involve blindfold practice to develop proprioceptional "images" of the relations between sound and feel of the keyboard and a loving study of the history of the keyboard and its harmonic development.

The guitar fretboard has its own "cognitive" dissonance since the length of intervals shortens as you go up the fretboard.

In matters like this we face the principle that "The perfect is enemy of the good."
Why do you suppose the Janko keyboard never achieved acceptance?
Posted By: charleslang

Re: Prototype building? For patent pending keyboard - 05/26/19 04:57 PM

Originally Posted by Ed Sutton
Your learners will eventually have to play on the pianos that are already here.


They might want to but they might not want to. I am in effect the first to use my keyboard to learn, even though I have used it only mentally due to not having a prototype. I have largely managed the process of returning to levered keyboards but it has been quite a challenge. Due to the levers I find that the only place where the twelve tones are geometrically close to being in balance is the area right at the front of the sharps. But even that focus has had to be balanced with other mental tools, in a long process, in order to make sense of the existing keyboards.

Originally Posted by Ed Sutton
You could accomplish your pedagogical purposes by cutting off the naturals at the front of the accidentals, or extending the accidentals to the front of the keyboard. Or you could just cover the fronts of the naturals with a strip of wood or plastic and eventually return the piano to its original condition.
(This might be something you could patent and sell as a learning device!)


That is good thinking; I have used all these methods mentally. However it is a piecemeal approach to working with a flawed device that we don’t have to live with forever. Cutting off the naturals or covering them leaves fingering problems that prevent musical seriousness, so at best this is a learning exercise but with extremely limited effectiveness. Also, the levers are still there. For one thing, on a standard piano the fulcra of the sharps and flats are different. But even on a keyboard where the fulcra are the same, the tops of the sharps have different geometrical relationships to the hinges and move differently from the naturals (they move forward in addition to downward).

Originally Posted by Ed Sutton
You will still have the architectural ups and downs between naturals and accidentals, which are perhaps the greater navigational challenge.


I disagree that they are perhaps the greater navigational challenge, but I do think that different people come to the keyboard with different assumptions and some will find this or that aspect to be more difficult. The greatest challenge is to see the keyboard as one row of keys and not two rows of keys.

Originally Posted by Ed Sutton
Probably the best ways to learn to deal with the inherent biases of the keyboard involve blindfold practice to develop proprioceptional "images" of the relations between sound and feel of the keyboard and a loving study of the history of the keyboard and its harmonic development.


Sigh. That is true with the traditional keyboard as well as my invention; the idea is that my invention makes this process hugely easier. And my invention is part of the history of the keyboard and it’s harmonic development.

Originally Posted by Ed Sutton
The guitar fretboard has its own "cognitive" dissonance since the length of intervals shortens as you go up the fretboard.


Yes. That is one of the reasons why my invention holds the promise of winning back many of the students and market in music that has gone to guitars.

Originally Posted by Ed Sutton

In matters like this we face the principle that "The perfect is enemy of the good."
Why do you suppose the Janko keyboard never achieved acceptance?


The heritage keyboard is not good, it is an unmitigated disaster. Musical competence has declined and most of the population finds music totally baffling and is dead to the meanings that framed the story of the Western world.

The Janko keyboard has no portion that is the twelve tone scale, while mine has that in the middle. Also, to the broader audience it looks daunting, while mine is immediately recognizable as being similar to a piano.

What I think happens is that the most advanced keyboard players all learned the hardest proprioceptional lessons when they were toddlers, or some who began a little later simply bring linear assumptions about music with them, that they got for whatever reason, and so for both groups these things are maybe viewed as obvious. But I’m certain that my own beginnings of being very baffled by the two rows of keys is extremely widespread.
Posted By: charleslang

Re: Prototype building? For patent pending keyboard - 05/26/19 05:01 PM

The interviews of baffled people in this ad for Dodeka serve actually as an ad for my invention (my invention is far superior to Dodeka.

Posted By: edferris

Re: Prototype building? For patent pending keyboard - 05/26/19 06:03 PM

Try playing the conclusion of Chopin's Larghetto (from the Second Piano Concerto) and you'll see why the white and black keys are shaped and located as they are. There is also the fact that real (not synthesized) music does not use absolutely equal temperament, so Bb minor, for example, should give you different intervals than C major. Why do you think Beethoven went to the trouble of writing in F# major? Just to make it hard for students? Getting up on the black keys sounds different.
The Janko keyboard has always struck me as insane. You have to worry about where your hands are in two dimensions, not one. If there were, say, two octaves between the keyboards, and they were the usual shape and size, it might be useful in playing glissandos across the entire range of the instrument.
I have myself cut a keyboard out of plywood in one afternoon. If you're not good with tools, don't try it at home. A top-action clavichord seems easy to make; I wonder why they're not made that way?
Posted By: edferris

Re: Prototype building? For patent pending keyboard - 05/26/19 06:31 PM

Wait! Isn't that the piano bench cover from the Online Store, minus the roses? You say it's PATENTED?
Posted By: charleslang

Re: Prototype building? For patent pending keyboard - 05/26/19 09:03 PM

Originally Posted by edferris
Try playing the conclusion of Chopin's Larghetto (from the Second Piano Concerto) and you'll see why the white and black keys are shaped and located as they are.


The white and black keys are shaped and located as they are for historical reasons of the development of keyboards hundreds of years before Chopin was born.

Originally Posted by edharris
There is also the fact that real (not synthesized) music does not use absolutely equal temperament, so Bb minor, for example, should give you different intervals than C major.


Absolutely equal temperament is the standard for tuning pianos.

Bb minor has a different sequence of intervals from C major because it is a minor tonality rather than major. The tonality also has its tonic a whole step lower.

Originally Posted by edharris
Why do you think Beethoven went to the trouble of writing in F# major? Just to make it hard for students? Getting up on the black keys sounds different.


The reason Beethoven wrote up there is probably the same reason Liberace played Christmas tunes up there: that part of the keyboard presents all tones in one line, while in whiter key signatures you are playing more in an area where only seven of the twelve tones are even present.

Saying that the black keys sound different is like saying that people who live in houses with street numbers divisible by three are different.
Posted By: edferris

Re: Prototype building? For patent pending keyboard - 05/27/19 03:45 PM

You can read about Janko and other innovators in Alfred Dolge's 1915 book:
https://archive.org/details/pianosandtheirm00dolggoog/page/n10
You will note that he uses much the same arguments that you do.
I tune pianos to eighth-comma meantone, unless the performer tells me not to. Sure, the tuning device is set to equal temperament, but you have to stretch the octaves and the device doesn't work in the extreme registers anyway.
Were the classical pianists playing equal temperament? I say not, because they did write in different keys and obtained the effects of differing intervals. I don't think that was completely accidental (joke).
Posted By: BDB

Re: Prototype building? For patent pending keyboard - 05/27/19 04:11 PM

Have you tried mocking up this keyboard on a touchpad?
Posted By: charleslang

Re: Prototype building? For patent pending keyboard - 05/27/19 04:44 PM

Originally Posted by edferris
You can read about Janko and other innovators in Alfred Dolge's 1915 book:
https://archive.org/details/pianosandtheirm00dolggoog/page/n10
You will note that he uses much the same arguments that you do.
I tune pianos to eighth-comma meantone, unless the performer tells me not to. Sure, the tuning device is set to equal temperament, but you have to stretch the octaves and the device doesn't work in the extreme registers anyway.
Were the classical pianists playing equal temperament? I say not, because they did write in different keys and obtained the effects of differing intervals. I don't think that was completely accidental (joke).


All cool info from clearly a professional and I appreciate your taking part in this discussion.

I didn’t dig through the book to find Janko’s arguments, but I think that having separate rows of whole steps, while providing evenness in a respect, seems less than ideal; I actually find it worse than the heritage keyboard, which at least provides an area where mentally you can try to see the chromatic sequence. (Of course, xylophone players make do somehow, without having much of a chromatic space. . . )

With respect to your worries about tuning, there is really no worry, because all of that can stay around with my invention. Remember mine is not the Dodeka keyboard. You can view it in the way of the heritage keyboard, if you want those tunings to have meaning. You can view it chromatically like Dodeka. You can even view it as two interlaced rows of whole steps, doing justice to Janko’s insight, as with this variant with alternating black and white. You can have your cake and eat it, too.

[Linked Image]
Posted By: edferris

Re: Prototype building? For patent pending keyboard - 05/27/19 04:48 PM

Sorry, you were looking for practical advice. What I have seen done is to take a grand piano that isn't worth repairing and to construct a new experimental action. If a planar key arrangement is what you're after, you could just have a keyboard constructed on top of the existing key levers. If you want a non-pivoting action, it could be built above the hammer line, but you would have to use a clavichord tangent -- unless Morris Steinert was right and a non-escapement action will work on a piano (see Steinertone). A straight-down clavichord action, with the keys returned by leaf springs, would be a simple carpentry project.
Posted By: charleslang

Re: Prototype building? For patent pending keyboard - 05/27/19 05:12 PM

Originally Posted by edferris



I may eventually have to do a project like that in order to have a prototype, and definitely that kind of suggestion makes sense considering that I posted this topic in the technicians forum. But I think the value of the invention is so plain that I might be able to get some people on board to go straight to something more marketable: an electronic keyboard/organ (with the usual injection molded keys etc).

(Furthermore I’m actually a van dweller without even an apartment let alone a garage (though if need be I could move a few hundred miles to use my parents’ tools and garage.))
Posted By: BDB

Re: Prototype building? For patent pending keyboard - 05/27/19 05:22 PM

I do not see any value in this. The rear natural keys would be difficult to use without accidentally hitting the middle sharps. So that is just useless.
Posted By: charleslang

Re: Prototype building? For patent pending keyboard - 05/27/19 05:23 PM

Originally Posted by BDB
Have you tried mocking up this keyboard on a touchpad?


No. Maybe that would be a good step, especially if the whole key changed color when pressed.
Posted By: charleslang

Re: Prototype building? For patent pending keyboard - 05/27/19 05:27 PM

Originally Posted by BDB
I do not see any value in this. The rear natural keys would be difficult to use without accidentally hitting the middle sharps. So that is just useless.


The idea is not even to use the rear natural keys (though they could help in certain passages no doubt). It is about the proprioception.
Posted By: charleslang

Re: Prototype building? For patent pending keyboard - 05/28/19 12:05 AM

This thread has become a sort of defense of the value of my invention, not unlike a dissertation defense, and I think that is great and I appreciate everyone’s participation. This is exactly the kind of vetting this idea needs in order to prove its worth.

To the topic of proprioception consider what Harvey Diamond says in this video at 7:37 about how one gets a very special feeling when playing chords pressing the white notes up close to or in between the black notes. This is about getting a more equal, more chromatically linear control of and feel for the white notes with the black notes. So, it stands to reason that making the notes even more equal, as is achieved in a game-changing way with my invention, will enhance the effect this artist desires.



Consider also the similarity my invention has with this practice chart, voted best practice chart by NAMM. (My patent attorney found this for me). As I’ve said, I believe that certain students grasp the linearity of the keyboard better than others, and I believe the former greatly outperform the latter in their learning and interest in continuing to work, and I believe this mirror aspect helps greatly in suggesting that linearity. Practice chart on Amazon

I would venture to bet that students who begin lessons on a piano with a shiny fallboard that sits at 90 degrees from the keys, as is common on grand pianos (or students who have some formative experience on such a piano), outperform students who lack experiences on such a piano.

It’s with this thinking that I took this photo when I noticed that the reflection creates an appearance almost as if a prototype of my invention:

[Linked Image]

Posted By: charleslang

Re: Prototype building? For patent pending keyboard - 05/31/19 04:26 PM

Originally Posted by edferris
Try playing the conclusion of Chopin's Larghetto (from the Second Piano Concerto) and you'll see why the white and black keys are shaped and located as they are. There is also the fact that real (not synthesized) music does not use absolutely equal temperament, so Bb minor, for example, should give you different intervals than C major. Why do you think Beethoven went to the trouble of writing in F# major? Just to make it hard for students? Getting up on the black keys sounds different.


You share some knowledge of Chopin but it is clear that you are not a very advanced player. This is how the keyboard looks to an advanced player, one who can transpose anything.

Indeed my invention is perfect for people like you. The black keys are just like the marked frets of a guitar neck! Who would ever say that using those frets “sounds different”? A breathtaking sad misunderstanding of the musical keyboard — but unfortunately an extremely widespread one!

[Linked Image]
Posted By: charleslang

Re: Prototype building? For patent pending keyboard - 06/26/19 06:28 AM

Video demonstration of first key of prototype which I have just constructed. Notice noise reduction in second part due to an improvement. Notice excellent repetition and smoothness of operation even when pressed at ends. I would love to show the mechanism underneath but I don’t have confidence that it’s okay to show given the related patent issues.

Posted By: parnassus

Re: Prototype building? For patent pending keyboard - 06/28/19 11:51 AM

Slightly off topic: Years ago, one of my friends wanted to develop a computer game with me. He would come up with the concept, he said, and I would write all the code and do all the artwork. We would share the profits equally. You can be sure I never took him up on his offer! Thanks, but no thanks! Every clown thinks they can “design” a product, not realising how much work is involved in development and re-iterating on a concept!

My advice: don’t be like my friend. If you believe your idea has merit, pay somebody to build a prototype, or be like Steve Jobs and go 50/50 with your future Woz. Put your money where your mouth is.
Posted By: Rick_Parks

Re: Prototype building? For patent pending keyboard - 06/28/19 12:45 PM

You have many more hurdles than simply getting the prototype to work feasibly... The whole piano realm (mfg.'s, performers, techs, etc.) are accustomed to the current operation and feel of the already-existing keys. I really don't think your efforts (in this particular area) are going to be worth your time, as it is not going to revolutionize the 200+ year-old industry. Unless you can convince a mfg to produce your desing- which would involve major change in current operation set-up, you won't even get off the ground with the idea.
It simply will not prove to be worth it for such a small factor in the piano design.
That's my opinion anyway.
Posted By: P W Grey

Re: Prototype building? For patent pending keyboard - 06/28/19 02:56 PM

Charles,

I can easily see this done on an electronic keyboard. You definitely need to have a working model with at least an octave or two, actually operating a musical scale, for anyone to truly evaluate it.

The obstacles in the way for an acoustic piano are basically leverage, touch control, and repetition (oh and durability...significant hurdles. However if your working invention were to make some famous musicians go gaga on an electronic unit, you might be able to get the backing to solve the above problems.

Pwg
Posted By: charleslang

Re: Prototype building? For patent pending keyboard - 06/30/19 03:03 PM

Originally Posted by parnassus
Slightly off topic: Years ago, one of my friends wanted to develop a computer game with me. He would come up with the concept, he said, and I would write all the code and do all the artwork. We would share the profits equally. You can be sure I never took him up on his offer! Thanks, but no thanks! Every clown thinks they can “design” a product, not realising how much work is involved in development and re-iterating on a concept!

My advice: don’t be like my friend. If you believe your idea has merit, pay somebody to build a prototype, or be like Steve Jobs and go 50/50 with your future Woz. Put your money where your mouth is.


LOL, some piano techs can sometimes be cranky or pessimistic but loveable.

But silly, too . . . You say your friend offered 50/50 but you recommend that I offer 50/50.

My guess is you didn’t think your friend’s idea was all that great. If it had been great and you thought you’d get rich you probably would have wanted to do that work. Getting an offer to work with someone on a good original idea is an opportunity! They are sharing their good fortune of coming up with the idea with you.
Posted By: charleslang

Re: Prototype building? For patent pending keyboard - 06/30/19 10:31 PM

Originally Posted by Rick_Parks
You have many more hurdles than simply getting the prototype to work feasibly... The whole piano realm (mfg.'s, performers, techs, etc.) are accustomed to the current operation and feel of the already-existing keys. I really don't think your efforts (in this particular area) are going to be worth your time, as it is not going to revolutionize the 200+ year-old industry.


As you say, that’s your view. My conviction is that this is the greatest innovation in musical keyboardry in at least 500 years. As inexpensive electronic instruments it could revive societal musical literacy — it could be under every Christmas tree one season soon. As an acoustic instrument it could solve the industry’s problem of market saturation by making millions of existing instruments undesirable.

Originally Posted by Rick_Parks
It simply will not prove to be worth it for such a small factor in the piano design.


This comment actually stirred anger in me, but I understand that there can be a lack of understanding between people who have different experiences. Either you are not a proficient pianist, or you are proficient but you take for granted things you learned as a toddler and don’t appreciate how hard won competence on a standard piano keyboard is. I want to say: what do you think we do, when we practice twelve hours a day? There is a huge difference between a standard keyboard and this keyboard!!

As Michel Petricciani said, for a good pianist the keyboard becomes “transparent”. What he means is that through many hours of daily interaction you develop a 3D mental map of how the action works (even though you aren’t seeing it), including things as subtle as the way the back parts of the tops of the black keys move forward when they are depressed.

What this means is that a keyboardist learns a lot of idiosyncrasies. My invention eliminates a whole host of these idiosyncrasies. (Additional ones: the fulcrums of the levers on a melodica or mellotron are in one line, while those in a piano are not).
Posted By: parnassus

Re: Prototype building? For patent pending keyboard - 07/01/19 03:46 AM

Ha, Charles, you caught me out! I was offered 50/50, thought it was unreasonable since I would be doing all the heavy lifting and then told you to offer the same cut. Something is very wrong with my thinking.
Posted By: charleslang

Re: Prototype building? For patent pending keyboard - 07/01/19 06:10 AM

Originally Posted by parnassus
Ha, Charles, you caught me out! I was offered 50/50, thought it was unreasonable since I would be doing all the heavy lifting and then told you to offer the same cut. Something is very wrong with my thinking.


Ha! That’s kind of you to concede; also however, maybe I should have been more charitable and considered that maybe your friend hadn’t put all that much work into his idea, while maybe you could tell that I have put a lot of work into mine.
Posted By: newer player

Re: Prototype building? For patent pending keyboard - 07/04/19 05:46 AM

Maybe you can demo some of your ideas with a sponge keyboard connected to a virtual instrument on your computer. The Haken Continuum playing surface provides a lot more than simple note velocity but you can ignore the extended functionality for now.

Posted By: P W Grey

Re: Prototype building? For patent pending keyboard - 07/04/19 12:36 PM

Now that is seriously cool! I like it.

Pwg
Posted By: charleslang

Re: Prototype building? For patent pending keyboard - 07/04/19 04:06 PM

Originally Posted by newer player
Maybe you can demo some of your ideas with a sponge keyboard connected to a virtual instrument on your computer. The Haken Continuum playing surface provides a lot more than simple note velocity but you can ignore the extended functionality for now.


I’m aware of the Continuum and view it as potential competition; I’m hoping my keyboard offers better connection with the inherited world of piano and maybe is better for fingering in various passages.

I guess I can reveal that in the demo video I posted above, the spring action is actually provided by a Roland Juno-D that is situated about a foot below. The key I press is pressing the top C. (I chose the Roland in part because the spring action is pretty firm and so it easily works with the added weight of the upper mechanism.). I could have just plugged the Roland in and turned it on and the key would have been making sound, would have velocity sensitivity etc. (I was preoccupied with my excitement at getting the parallel motion to work and so the sound seemed of secondary importance.)
Posted By: charleslang

Re: Prototype building? For patent pending keyboard - 08/30/19 06:09 PM

Update: I now have more than half octave fully functional (F to C) as shown in the video below. Some notes:
- In order to even more fully emphasize the equality of the twelve keys I lengthened the area where white and black share space and made the wide white areas quite short.
- A normal keyboard shows that it privileges C in that the top key is full width all the way back. In order to show that my keyboard is foremost approaching the 12 tones equally, I cut that top note narrow in the 12 tone region, as visible in the video.
- “MTE Keyboard” is my new working name for this invention, standing for Million Times Easier Keyboard.

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