Hello, everyone! I figured I should probably post about my latest project- an isomorphic synthesizer keyboard.

To fully understand why these exist, let's look at a keyboard that isn't isomorphic: that of the piano and the organ and all the other instruments that happen to use this layout

I can't be bothered to make MS Paint graphics for this, so we'll have to make do with more... primitive educational aids, as they say in the graphics biz.

Here's our keyboard (that I'm way too proud of). Say I want to play a basic C major triad, followed by a D major triad.
C major:

| # # | # # # | |
| # # | # # # | |
| # # | # # # | |
|C|D|E|F|G|A|B|C|
|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|

D major:

| # # | # # # | |
| # # | # # # | |
| # # | # # # | |
|C|D|E|F|G|A|B|C|
|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|


Even though the intervals in the chords are the exact same, the shape your hands make must change, which is uncomfortable for some people and generally inconvenient. Sure, it becomes second nature after practicing, but what if even a complete non-musical beginner could learn and memorize all of the major chords (and all of the major scales, and all of the other common scales and chords) in just a few minutes, as opposed to upwards of a few hours for a standard keyboard?

Enter the isomorphic keyboard.

Every interval of the same size has the same shape, regardless of which octave it is in or what notes are in it.

My keyboard is effectively a Wicki keyboard, except it has a modification to make playing some scales easier. Let's take a look at what our chords look like on this keyboard:
C Major:

   __    __    __    __
 _/  \ _/  \ _/  \ _/  \
|_|C  |_|D  |_|E  |_|F# |
  \__/  \__/  \__/  \__/
  |_| G |_| A |_| B |_|
 _/  \ _/  \ _/  \ _/  \
|_|C  |_|D  |_|E  |_|F# |
  \__/  \__/  \__/  \__/

D Major:

   __    __    __    __
 _/  \ _/  \ _/  \ _/  \
|_|C  |_|D  |_|E  |_|F# |
  \__/  \__/  \__/  \__/
  |_| G |_| A |_| B |_|
 _/  \ _/  \ _/  \ _/  \
|_|C  |_|D  |_|E  |_|F# |
  \__/  \__/  \__/  \__/

As you can see, the triads have the same hand position. Minor chords are similar but flipped a little bit, making them just as easy to play.

Now, the little squares ("approach keys") in between each octagonal key aren't simply for decoration- they're chromatic tones. For fast passages, it's often easier to just use the corresponding octagonal key because of Fitt's law, but they make it easier to learn, in my experience. You're unlikely to hit them unintentionally, and they're there when you need them.

I recommend checking out this user's manual of sorts for Wicki keyboards if you're interested in learning how to play it (if that link breaks in the future, let me know with a post in this thread- it's just a pdf that has the shapes of the most common scales, intervals, and chords).

You can try the keyboard out here. It supports multitouch- it's meant for tablets/phones/etc. There are a couple of bugs (most notably with pitch bending) at this moment, and compatibility isn't great from what I've heard so far.

I'm not sure if this is the case on Android, but if you're on an iPhone and your phone is on vibrate, you won't hear anything (which is kinda annoying).
  
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