New project build!

Bring your custom casings, arduinos, raspberry pi's, axoloti's and other creative hardware projects

Moderators: MattKingUSA, khz

Count
Established Member
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:59 am

New project build!

Postby Count » Sun Dec 10, 2017 7:20 pm

My new exciting project build!

I picked up a faulty upright electric piano. I intend to use the casing to host my hardware. Then I stick some wheels on it and roll this thing out and use it for gigs!

IMG_2779.JPG


I've removed the 61 keyboard and the internal electrics.
IMG_2781.JPG
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Count
Established Member
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:59 am

Re: New project build!

Postby Count » Sun Dec 10, 2017 7:24 pm

I've then got a 61 key MIDI keyboard to go in the place where the previous keyboard was.

IMG_2877.JPG


And attached the MIDI a Roland JV 1010

IMG_2880.JPG


Next I'll fix some kind of rack mount inside the piano and cut holes in the front and place the Roland and other modules inside it.

So, just the start!
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
Michael Willis
Established Member
Posts: 546
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2016 3:27 pm

Re: New project build!

Postby Michael Willis » Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:45 am

Super fun, I'm loving the colored keys instead of black. Keep us posted on how this project goes!

Count
Established Member
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:59 am

Re: New project build!

Postby Count » Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:37 am

Michael Willis wrote:Super fun, I'm loving the colored keys instead of black. Keep us posted on how this project goes!


Yeah I've wanted an upright piano to hollow out for a while now, to make into a MIDI 'music box'. However, if you've ever seen inside an acoustic upright piano you'd know they are a nightmare! The inside is made of a double harp kind of structure made of thick cast iron, and the wooden outsides isn't just a box put around it, it's integrally part of the iron structure. I guess otherwise the wood would vibrate and resonate?

Then one day on Gumtree a faulty electric upright came available so i snapped it up!

IMG_2881.JPG

Laptop - Dell touchscreen with KX Studio
M-Audio MIDI 25 keyboard controller
Korg Electribe ER1
Alesis SR16 Drum Machine
Yamaha PSS 680 MIDI Mini keyboard

Everything ends up in a Behringer mono mixer and then to my Aiwa EQ and Amp separates and pair of Aiwa speakers. The whole setup is geared around producing live on the fly and not recording. At the top there is an M-Audio audio interface that I will be using with a dedicated laptop to recording. As it is we are recording from the room on a mobile phone!

I now have have a slight dilemma regarding the piano... it seems artificially restrictive to only use a piano voice, which was actually my original intention, only using one really nice piano voice. As it is, I will end up duplicating what is already on the rig on the left; synth, drum machine sequencer, MIDI etc. Which is not necessarily a bad thing.

I'll keep you posted as I go along.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
Michael Willis
Established Member
Posts: 546
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2016 3:27 pm

Re: New project build!

Postby Michael Willis » Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:40 am

Count wrote:only using one really nice piano voice.


You could start out with a selection of piano sounds and see how far that takes you... maybe add in some organs or other traditional keyboard instruments if you want more variety.

Yes, acoustic pianos are monstrous (in terms of construction and weight). After he retired, my dad took up a hobby project of restoring an old spinet piano that had been in the family for decades, just to see if he could. He got pretty far on it, the only thing he found that he couldn't work on was some wooden nuts near the backs of the keys that somebody had glued in place because their inner threads were stripped. So some of the keys don't align vertically and can't be adjusted, but other than that it's in surprisingly good shape now.

Of course you won't have to deal with such issues because you're building a digital system.

Count
Established Member
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:59 am

Re: New project build!

Postby Count » Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:12 am

Yes and it's also pretty light as well. The aim is to be able to wheel this out as one unit for gigs!

Gps
Established Member
Posts: 132
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 3:09 pm

Re: New project build!

Postby Gps » Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:08 pm

This looks awesome.

Count
Established Member
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:59 am

Re: New project build!

Postby Count » Wed Jan 24, 2018 5:03 pm

We played live for the first time this week using this basic setup!

I'm using the bits that are intended to be built into the piano: left the piano at home and used a keyboard stand.

Snag is - which I knew all along, is that it's going to be difficult to get the piano to every gig! It's intended for a full on gig, particularly festivals - fingers crossed we are hoping to line up for a festival in September. So, I'm building it up modular, so that I can take pieces off for small gigs and open mics.

This week we used this set up live - was quite pleased how well it went! Lots of mistakes, but the basic sound mix was pretty good and technically everything worked liked a dream. Good signs for the future!

CAPTURE THE FLAG: Debut Live Performance

Si is using;
Korg Electribe ER1 drum machine
62 MIDI keyboard connected to a Roland JV-1010
Ibanez S Series guitar (tuned to open C)
Johnson J-Series multi effects pedal (Set to Brit Stack*)
Dragon Attack treble boost (Brian May clone)
Behringer 4 into 1 mini-mixer
I send one audio out straight to the desk, no amps.

Pete is using;
TC Electronic DItto x4 Loop Medal with MIDI connected to the Korg to quantise the loop with the drum machine.
Electric acoustic guitar and Mic into the Loop Pedal, each on its own loop channel quantised to MIDI.
Sends 2 audio outs straight to the desk.

It was a good test of proof of concept of quite a complex set up - but it works mainly becaase of the Ditto x4 - with that Pete is able to loop his guitar and vocals in perfect sync with the drum machine.

We've tried manually syncing to a drum machine and it is a nightmare of unmanageable proportions.

Now that this works I'm planning on bringing the laptop into the mix... that way I'll be able to put keyboard or guitar parts into a loop as well :)

https://youtu.be/DUEFaf_pCmU?t=1724 - this is our last song - we did 5 songs, and they were all 5-6 minutes each! Might have to work on bringing one or two of them in shorter!

Count
Established Member
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:59 am

Re: New project build!

Postby Count » Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:20 am

Hey folks, it's been a while!

I've been busy putting my photography career together, but getting back into music just lately.

We played a few gigs over the summer, but have been on hiatus just lately, just trying to put some tracks together for an EP.

Anyway, I have been working on the 'piano' - I've added a drum kit.

I bought one of these partly working for £30 - Session Pro DD 501 Electric Drum Kit
Image


I drilled some 40mm holes into the top of the empty piano body to take the support poles for the drum kit, and sunk the poles into the body of the piano.

Image

I changed my mind about the placing of the poles halfway through hence the extra hole.

Image

The support poles are stood on the main board inside the piano.

Image

Can't get through any jobs these days without kitty trying to help!

Image

And here it is attached to the piano, covering the right hand side. It's pretty solid. It took me about an hour to attach the main poles to the piano. It then took me about 6 more hours to attach the drums because I kept changing the configuration! Got there in the end and pretty happy with the layout.

7 triggers in all - 3 toms, a Snare (body and rim) and two symbols. Two of the symbols wouldn't work, so I opened them up and managed to repaire a loose wire in one of them with some gaffer tape.

Image

Overall I'm pretty pleased, I got the poles set in the piano better than I thought was going to go, and the layout is nice and easy to hit.

As for the drum kit device... well... lets out a big sigh...

It's MIDI yet not MIDI. It's a USB only MIDI. I was hoping to plug the Alesis SR16 into it, but to do that I'd have to route it through an interface and a DAW. I really do not like this trend of removing the MIDI 5 pin and using USB only, it completely destroys any notions of connectivity for those of us not using PC/Mac driven DAW. So it limits me as to what I can actually do with this kit. For now I'll have to use the presets in the device and route the audio into some effects.

I am guessing that as each of these is essentially the same on/off trigger in a variety of housings all with a standard phono socket, that a) I can use these to trigger other devices that accept phono switches - i.e. like foot pedals; and that b) I can buy a decent drum kit module that has MIDI IN/OUT to connect to my other MIDI synth modules.

The main piece of kit we use in all our gigs and songs is the Korg Electribe EMX.

The keyboard with the coloured keys is attacked to a Yamaha sound module.

More mods to come later!


Return to “DIY projects”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest