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
    • unassigned
    • 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.



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