To add pitch-bend and modulation controls to a regular midi keyboard, just place a mouse, or even better, a touchpad or two (see: http://www.ergonomictouchpad.com/), on your keyboard in a handy spot.
Then fire up Midi Integrator, maximize it to fill the screen (so the mouse stays inside of Max/MSP’s purvey), and that’s about it: a pitch-bending midi control in easy reach.
By default side-ways moves are converted to pitch-bend and up-down moves to modulation signals and then each is sent to the “Left” keyboard.
To change the mapping rules, click on the “mapMouseHID” object within Integrator, then click on the “coll” table object, an edit screen will appear. By default it contains:
-1, L C BND 0 1.0;
-2, L C MOD 0 1.0;
Where the first number of the row is the Human Interface Device (HID) input number:
Thus the mapping rule defined by the first row above is:
HID inputs (mouse-horizontal movements) are mapped to the row with index -1 and the message is:
· sent to Left keyboard,
· as a Command
· to BeND-pitch, with offset 0 and multiplier 1.0)
Thus you can scale the amount of pitch bend the mouse causes by changing the “1.0”: making it 2.5 will increase the pitch-bend by 250%; and making it 0.25 will reduce the pitch-bend to 25%.
Changing the L to an R will re-route the pitch bend message to the “Right” instrument, instead of the “Left” one.
To play strings with the left-side of your midi keyboard, and piano with the right side, you alter the Midi keyboard mapping table, MidInt MidiRight v1.txt.
Standard piano mapping; input notes (60 = C3; middle C) are sent to the “right” instrument (virtual piano) unchanged.
58, R N 58;
59, R N 59;
60, R N 60;
61, R N 61;
To produce instrument re-mapping (split keyboard); input notes below middle C are sent to the “Left” instrument (virtual strings):
58, L N 58;
59, L N 59;
60, R N 60;
61, R N 61;
To produce instrument re-mapping / split keyboard plus octave shifting; input notes below middle C are also shifted up in pitch an octave by adding 12 to the output value so the notes overlap and one can play the same note with simultaneous piano and string sounds.
58, L N 70; <= 12 added to output note value
59, L N 71;
60, R N 60;
61, R N 61;
To switch easily between “normal” keyboard and “split keyboard” modes, load the “v1” version of the MidInt MidiRight v1.txt table with the standard mapping, and the v2 version with the split keyboard table, as altered above.
Then add these to the files MidInt PcKeys v1.txt and MidInt PcKeys v2.txt:
-17 F1, O P v1; (F1 mapped to load preset Table set v1)
-18 F2, O P v2; (F2 mapped to load preset Table set v2)
Press F2 to switch to split mode, and press F1 to revert to standard mode.
Example, if the file MidInt PCKey v1.txt contains:
106 j, R N 64; key #106 (ascii “a”) mapped to Right, Note 64 (E3: middle E)
104 h, R N 62; key #104 (ascii “h”) mapped to Right, Note 62 (D3)
103 g, R N 60; key #103 (ascii “g”) mapped to Right, Note 60 (C3)
Then the pc keyboard will play these notes. This works particularly well when the mapping is in the jammer layout, which matches the tuning of strings of a guitar in several ways.
Suppose you wish some notes in a song to have a bit of extra “punch”, and others to have unusual softness. You may assign an unused keys on the pc keyboard, for example the F1 and F2 keys, to the ACCent command by adding this row to a file:
-17 F1, R C ACC 127; ç added to the MidInt PcKeys v1.txt file
-18 F2, R C ACC 32; ç added to the MidInt PcKeys v1.txt file
The above two lines tell Integrator to convert the key-press on your PC-keyboard into an Accent instruction aimed at the Right logical instrument, as a command to kick up the “Accent” (whatever that is) to a factor of 127 or drop it to 32, depending on the key pressed.
Very low notes and sometimes the highest notes on a keyboard are not needed for making music.
21 A1, R C ACC; ç added to the MidInt MidiRight v1.txt file
The above line tells Integrator to convert the key-press on your right midi input instrument into an Accent instruction aimed at the Right logical instrument and give it a value depending on how hard the midi key is pressed (the default value is 64).
Hopefully, by the time you are reading this, the accent will be set to a neat, but subtle effect, like the touch that a good jazz pianist can give to a real piano keyboard.
Changing pc keyboard and any attached midi keyboards into a fun musical toy.
The piano keyboard is challenging to learn; neighboring notes are dissonant, while only some notes that are far way, for example C and G, are consonant. Learning how to play the piano for simple jamming-by-ear fashion is challenging, in other words not too much fun.
When mapped to the musically compact and efficient jammer arrangement, which is similar to that of a guitar, it is easy to play consonances and easy to play bass. The keys are arranged in sequence by the famous “Circle of Fifths”.
What this means in practical terms is that creating music is much easier. For example, adding harmony to the melody of a song becomes much more obvious. Doing a 3-chord bass accompaniment is simple.
If the PC keyboard is set to play notes in a full jammer sequence, it will teach children about the circle of fifths, and the principles of jamming in a fun way.
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