This gentleman describes how he uses Midi Integrator (a tool for converting any PC input to a midi command) in his Music Electronics site
He has these comments on the tool:
I’m very surprised if, as you say, Integrator isn’t more well-used –
it’s a great program and was exactly what I needed for this application.
I hope I explained it correctly!
... The idea of saving the complex note-allocations so they can
be called up on request and shared with others is an excellent one – and
the format of the text file wasn’t that difficult once I understood
what the 5 elements of each line were.
I could have emphasized more the fact that the program can accept
multiple MIDI keyboard inputs, and also has a feature for mapping mice,
joysticks, etc. I’ll certainly continue using it to experiment with
other layouts (The AXiS uses the Harmonic layout, I think, which I
haven’t yet tried) and other input devices.
Thanks Andy, for writing these kind words.
Now that Midi Integrator is complete, a number of new things can be done easily.
One example is hooking up any alternate instrument with midi to interesting tools like Rock Band 3, which has a "Pro" i.e. real music mode. In the case shown above, a jammer has been hooked up to an Xbox running Rock Band 3 Pro via a couple of midi connectors.
It has just recently become possible to hook up midi instruments to a high-quality, training video game like this. The ingredients (beside the game console itself) are:
- A decent game: said game is Rock Band 3, and it has a “PRO” instruments option; the option to select having a real instrument (midi) hooked up to it
- A Gaming console (Xbox/Playstation/Wii) to Midi input interface: Rock Band 3 midi PRO-Adapter. One plugs a standard Midi cable (non-USB) into it.
- An instrument with standard midi-out, of course.
Readers of this site will be interested in a bit more: what about alternate instruments? Can they work as well? The answer is an unqualified yes.
The additional ingredients are:
- A decent alternate keyboard or other instrument: even a PC keyboard will do, although it has definite limitations. The raw, unmodified Axis-49 will work, but the signal has to go through a computer.
- Midi-routing software to convert the instrument’s production (which comes in on the “Midi-In” logical buss) to a signal on the “Midi-Out” buss. The new Midi Integrator does this well and there are doubtless others. Midi Integrator is free, works on Win/Mac machines, works as soon as installed and is easily configured.
That’s it. Setup is pretty simple.
Still unknown is the rate at which, if at all, this rig will facilitate learning. For news on this, see: www.musicscienceguy.com/
Here are the connectors used in the example shown.
1. to output the jammer's signal into old-style midi, a USB port is connected to an M-Audio Midisport 1x1 (~$35):
2. to input the midi signal from the midisort into the Xbox, we have this new gadget:
Ever wonder why the PC and the Midi world are separate, even though midi is often routed through and made on computers? Me neither. Having to go through arcane rituals and jump through hoops to get the PC to change the music produced was just a Fact of Life.
Until recently it was just a fact, an assumed way we had to go.
Well, not any more, I've written and tested Midi Integrator 1.0, a free, documented (!), open-source program that runs, right out of the box, on Win/Mac platforms. This is my gift to the music-geek community. How does it "integrate" and what the heck is "midi integration" anyway?
Well, what it does is convert an input, any input that there is a subroutine for (I have provided for mouse input, PC keyboard input or joystick input), into a common message format, which is like an enhanced, human and machine-readable midi message. It does the same for genuine midi device input too; everything is converted to a common format.
This enhanced midi message is then routed to a chosen instrument pre-processor, which combines the message with other messages, converts it to a real midi commandand then fires said midi command at your sound-making device.
The above is the basic foundation, To this just add a simple set of tables to control each input's translation to enhanced midi, and setup becomes a lot
simpler and a lot less costly than buying ReWire.
Your PC and Midi equipment become as integrated as you wish.
For more details, see Mid Integrator.
for downloads, see Midi Integrator Downloads
AltKeyboards.com and AlternateKeyboards.com have been registered and are now this site!
Step one in our plan for musical world domination is now complete: www.AltKeyboards.com is for the serious stuff and www.MusicScienceGuy.com is for the babel-lings of Ken Rushton.
Second, the Keyboard Integrator is seriously under construction. For details, see http://www.altkeyboards.com/instruments/integrator. ETA: New Years day.
That's all, Ken.
News: Michael Eskin has developed jammer applications for Apple products:
- mJammer is a WiFi-based wireless MIDI jammer-style control surface for the iPhone/iPod Touch
- iJammer is a WiFi-based wireless MIDI jammer-style control surface for the iPad
- HexJam is a high-quality, easy-to-play, jammer-style hexagonal layout "Jammer" concertina for the iPhone
These present a cool new way to try out jammers
As well, Musix is a fully-customizable multiple-layout isomorphic musical
keyboard generator with sounds.
"Each hexagon on the screen is a note, and surrounding
hexagons are harmonically related. Songwriters benefit by discovering
new melodies and musical relationships. Novices find it easy to learn
to play. Experienced musicians are rewarded with an intuitive interface.
Shiverware presents Musix: the definitive isomorphic
keyboard. For beginners, for experts, for you".
They give a good digest of what some isomorphic layouts are good for:
(- Maj. 3rd; + Min. 3rd; Vertical) Designed
specifically for the iPad and Musix, this layout attempts to balance the
advantages and disadvantages of other layouts listed
below. Scales are tight and chords fit naturally on the fingers.
(- Min. 3rd; + Maj. 2nd; Horizontal) A variation on the
Wicki-Hayden (listed below), this layout, white notes are together
patterns easier to see, and scales can be played by
sliding fingers along the screen. Alternate and jazz chords are
means this pattern sounds great when button mashing.
(- Perf. 4th; - Perf 5th; Horizontal) This is the
classic layout used for centuries on Accordions and Concertinas. White
notes are together, and the I-IV-V pattern of many many
songs forms a compact triangle. Scales play linearly left-to-right
piano) with jumps for each semitone. Whole-tine scales
are linear. Simple chords are comfortable, more complex chords are more
challenging. This is also the preferred layout for
(- Maj. 3rd; - Min 3rd; Horizontal) Also called
the Harmonic Table, this relatively modern layout was developed and
popularized by C-Thru Music, the makers of the excellent
Axis line of isomorphic MIDI keyboards. The harmonic table provides
impossibly easy chords, with major and minor triads in
triangles playable with a single finger. Scales are somewhat cumbersome,
with all layouts, once learned in one key, all other
keys are the same pattern.
I’ve had an interesting dust-up (slang for “polite little fight”), with of all people, the Wikipedia culture, as you can see from this:
It’s been aggravating, time-consuming and a big red alert to anyone that wants to contribute to the famous repository.
You may recall that I decided to try to add a bit of formality and order to the little world of alternate keyboards that is my interest by writing a series of inter-connected articles. These turned out to be:
For more, see: wikipedia-blues