The Jammer, A Mutant MIDI Controller


MusicScienceGuy‘s Jammer is a custom-made mutant MIDI controller that he calls “the musical instrument of my dreams, and the closest approximation of the fabled Thummer that we are ever likely to see.”

He explains:

This is a full-fledged jammer, a keyboard with 2 keyboards, one for each hand. The keys are configured to play in a “folded major scale” pattern, (technically known as Wicki/Hayden) so that all important keys are right under the hand, and the octaves ascend vertically. They will be 7 octaves “high”.
Sorry, the key colouring does not yet match the pattern. Players will be able to do cool tricks like assign them to separate instruments, alter the octaves played by each hand, and other things.
In the centre is a Korg nanoPad, with the touchpad placed to allow tricks such as pitchbending to happen as one plays, using the thumbs.
To the bottom is my foot-pedal, made from a Korg nanoKey. It will have independent sustain pedals and other special keyboard controls, one set for each keyboard.

Total cost? Under a thousand dollars for a keyboard that is more expressive than any other keyboard in the world, and may rival or exceed a guitar.

The Wicki/Hayden keyboard is a hexagonal keyboard layout that offers two main advantages: fingering of chords is independent of the base pitch and you can play three notes with one finger by pressing the center of three adjacent buttons.

MusicScienceGuy’s site details the history of experimentation that went into construction of the Jammer MIDI controller.

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