I enjoy playing the C-system chromatic button accordion, which is different from the diatonic-button accordions (“button boxes”), piano accordion, and bayan (B-system) accordion. See my links for a better description of what a C-system accordion is.
I wanted to leverage my comfort with that keyboard layout with an instrument more designed for electronic music. There are some MIDI button accordions available (Roland V-accordions have a button model) but I wanted something more compact and abstracted and under $500.
The right hand side of this instrument has 65 “Cherry-Mx” style mechanical keyboard switches with round key caps. The left-hand side has a 2-axis analog joystick and some buttons. So far I am using the joystick for pitch modifications and volume modifications and the buttons for switching octaves and waveforms.
- USB for MIDI / power supply
- 1/4 MONO line-level audio out
- Octave down
- Octave up
- Joystick. vertical axis makes the controller louder / softer. Horizontal controller bends pitches
- Four Red control buttons. (well 3 because the bottom one already broke. No more cheap switches for me!) They are:
- cheap-ass broken button
- Change pitch bend between entire instrument mode or last note played mode
- change wave form
- Two LEDs that initially showed which of the 5 octaves was selected, from one (bottom blinks twice) , 2 (bottom blinks once), 3 (no lights), 4 (top blinks once) and 5 (top blinks twice). I disconnected them because the blinking was distracting.
There is also a close up of the keys, where you can see the round Cherry MX key caps I am using for the buttons. There is not really a pattern to what letters go to what switches other then the C-G in the middle. The black keys are just white keys with sharpie.
You can see how tight I am for space on the back. Im leaning towards making this model MIDI only and building a second prototype with a little more room.