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Ocean Beach SK challenge


B. J. Love

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Hey Ocean Beach Digital

 

You guys did such a great job of fixing the Nord's major shortcoming with your DB-1 Drawbar controller; how about coming up with a pitch bend/modulation device for the Hammond SK1? Something that attaches to the little space in the up-left corner near the main volume control. It's not much space, but it could hang a little over the edges. You could probably do those mini wheels, but I'm thinking of something like the 3-axis joystick on the Novation SLs or the Roland paddle. I'd certainly pay a reasonable price not to have to haul around another keyboard just for pitch bend and modulation. I'll bet lots of others would too. C'mon guys, you can do this!

Hammond SK1, Casio Privia PX5-S, SpaceStation V.3, Behringer B1200D, 2-EV ZxA1s

MacBook Air, Novation ReMOTE 37SL, Logic, Pianoteq 5 Stage, Scarbee Vintage Keys

The MIDI Gizmo Museum!

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Interesting idea, but a little hamstrung since, based on the manual, the SK1 itself does not respond to pitch bend or mod. So the only use it would have would be when using the SK1 to control another device like an external module which itself responds to these functions but doesn't include its own controllers. Kind of a niche within a niche within a niche. Do you have some specific device in mind that you want to control?

 

I wonder if there would be a way to hack apart something like an Alesis Q25 to create what you want. Also, you could possibly hook up foot pedals to do modulation and pitch bend, with things like the MIDI Solutions boxes or Behringer FCB1010. Though that Behringer pedal weighs almost as much as the SK1. ;-)

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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For you DIY-guys there are preprogrammed midi circuits, which will provide this functionality. Add a set of wheels or a joystick and a casing you're good to go!

 

Doepfer Wheel electronics

 

This kit costs about $40 - might be a bit hard to find in the US, but I'm quite sure I've seen other kits like this, from other companies. As usual - google is your friend! :)

Nord Stage 3 sw73, Yamaha CP88, KeyB Legend Live, Kurzweil PC3K7, EV ZXa1 + sub. K&M stands, Hammond E112, Leslie 3300, EHX V256, Roland SE-02, Yamaha EX5R & TG77, Novation Nova desktop & much more...
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I asked Bruce Wahler at Ashby about this once. He said there would be too low of a demand for a mass production run and a one off could cost a couple of hundred $$ or more.
You might have said the same thing about the DB-1 - and it was designed to control something Nord users already had control over, just not in the form they wanted and lots of them have shelled out 300 bones to get it. And since Pitch Bend and Modulation controls are standard MIDI CC#s, the device could be used with any keyboard that recognizes the those CC#s but lacks the hardware - digital pianos, personal portable keyboards, etc.

 

you could possibly hook up foot pedals to do modulation and pitch bend
My feet are much to busy with expression pedals, sustain pedals, foot switches,to add 2 more sweep pedals into the mix.

 

Yeah mr Tobbe, I'm aware of the Doepfer kits - they prove it doesn't have to be very expensive. But again, the serious DIYer could have built his own drawbars too, but I think lots of players would be willing to spend maybe $150 or so to have a good looking plug n' play device. Especially folks like me - good enough with a soldering iron to make my own cables, but wouldn't go near a circuit board.

 

Hammond SK1, Casio Privia PX5-S, SpaceStation V.3, Behringer B1200D, 2-EV ZxA1s

MacBook Air, Novation ReMOTE 37SL, Logic, Pianoteq 5 Stage, Scarbee Vintage Keys

The MIDI Gizmo Museum!

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There are probably a lot more Nord devices than SK-1s floating around out there at the moment. May be a more feasible project in a few years.

I guess it could also be a matter of how they decide to market it. On one hand, yes, the potential market for the drawbar unit is every Electro and Stage ever made over x years, vs. there being just a few months of SK1/SK2 shipments. OTOH, Hammond is not the only board missing pitch and mod controls. A more generic device, like the old Yamaha MCS2 but made more compact, could be of interest not just to SK1/2 owners, but also owners of a pretty good number of other boards that can trigger other devices over MIDI, but lack these controllers as well. There are a lot of Casio PX3s out there without mod wheels, for example... and Roland FP-4, Yamaha P155... It's still a niche, people who are hooking sound modules up to these boards... but it's a bigger niche than strictly SK1 owners.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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Yeah mr Tobbe, I'm aware of the Doepfer kits - they prove it doesn't have to be very expensive. But again, the serious DIYer could have built his own drawbars too, but I think lots of players would be willing to spend maybe $150 or so to have a good looking plug n' play device. Especially folks like me - good enough with a soldering iron to make my own cables, but wouldn't go near a circuit board.

I actually have the Doepfer kit in front of me (bought it to make a Breath controller in for my boards) and it doesn't take much soldering at all. It comes with cables with a circuit board connector in one end. Just solder a potentiometer (wheel or joystick) or connector for your pedals in the other. Connect i to the circuit board - done! Then you need a small box to put it in.

 

Well - maybe someone should start making Pitch Bend units based on this Doepfer board. Sell 'em for $150 and you make about $50 profit. :)

Nord Stage 3 sw73, Yamaha CP88, KeyB Legend Live, Kurzweil PC3K7, EV ZXa1 + sub. K&M stands, Hammond E112, Leslie 3300, EHX V256, Roland SE-02, Yamaha EX5R & TG77, Novation Nova desktop & much more...
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Hey guys, I was away all morning. Did I miss anything? :laugh:

 

I agree with Bruce's assessment - I think it'd be too much of a niche product to ever recoup the development costs. I appreciate the shout-out, but I think the Doepfer wheel kit would probably be your best bet.

 

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Hey Dave - thanks for giving it a thought anyway.

 

I happen to agree with Another Scott. Seems to me like a pretty good-sized niche. But I'm not much of a businessman. ;)

Hammond is not the only board missing pitch and mod controls. A more generic device, like the old Yamaha MCS2 but made more compact, could be of interest not just to SK1/2 owners, but also owners of a pretty good number of other boards that can trigger other devices over MIDI, but lack these controllers as well. ...it's a bigger niche than strictly SK1 owners.
I own an old MCS2 - works great but the footprint is huge. I tried sitting on top of my PX-330, but it hangs way off the end; the wheels seem miles from where they're needed and it would have to be velcroed - way too unstable on it's own.

 

Maybe I'll give the Doepfer a try with a small joystick.

Hammond SK1, Casio Privia PX5-S, SpaceStation V.3, Behringer B1200D, 2-EV ZxA1s

MacBook Air, Novation ReMOTE 37SL, Logic, Pianoteq 5 Stage, Scarbee Vintage Keys

The MIDI Gizmo Museum!

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But I'm not much of a businessman.

 

I may not be much of one either. If I was, I'd be making iPhone apps or xbox games or something.

 

I figured the DB-1 would eventually recoup because drawbars are something that are totally essential to the Hammond organ experience. I figured there were lots of folks like me who love their Nords but who cut their teeth playing a real Hammond and miss the drawbars. It helped that the alternatives (ie, V5 + power supply + MIDI solutions box) were all kinda hideous, and I figured that it would be an easy pitch to retailers trying to overcome a buyer's resistance to the Nord because of the drawbar issue. It just seemed like a natural to me.

 

By contrast, I don't think anyone's not buying SK-1s because of the lack of pitch bend. If anything, they're not buying it because you can't get it in anything but a 61. I'm guessing it's only a matter of time before Hammond-Suzuki figures that one out. It will be interesting to see what they bust out at NAMM.

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It could also be used on the Nord Electro.

 

That one does not accept pitch bend messages.

I don't think it responds to mod, either. Though attaching wheels to the Electro could still be useful if you also wanted to use the board to trigger some external sound module.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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I wonder if there would be a way to hack apart something like an Alesis Q25 to create what you want.

I'm beginning to like this idea. I did some poking around on the interweb last night and I think the Korg K25 is a prime candidate for cannibalization. Most of these small controllers are usb only and/or use the keyboard to enter programming data; the K25 has both usb & midi and is programmed with Mac/PC software. And it has both wheels and a joystick.

Hammond SK1, Casio Privia PX5-S, SpaceStation V.3, Behringer B1200D, 2-EV ZxA1s

MacBook Air, Novation ReMOTE 37SL, Logic, Pianoteq 5 Stage, Scarbee Vintage Keys

The MIDI Gizmo Museum!

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