Melodicade MX

US DIY keyboard synth with Wicki-Hayden layout      11/03/22

Melodicade MX is a home made, portable 6+ octave, 3D printed, velocity sensitive MIDI keyboard and synthesizer by Koop Instruments. It uses mechanical key-switches arranged in the Wicki-Hayden button layout, which is explained in the accompanying video - inspired by the Axis 49 Keyboard. It looks like a very versatile and well realised device for not only sending MIDI but for making noise with the on board sound engine - capable of playing a range of waveforms. Here are some thoughts on the build from the maker: 

Overall, I'm happy with the way this project has turned out.  Assembly is a bit more complicated than with simple arcade buttons, but the cost savings, and especially the per-key velocity detection, more than make up for it.  With the extra row of buttons, the instrument is also brought up to nearly the range of a full 88-key piano, which is pretty fun considering that it easily fits in my backpack.

I think this is past the point where a sensible person would have designed and sent away for a PCB, but I rather like the idea of keeping things unrefined enough that a dummy like myself can assemble by hand with the help of a 3D printer and some off-the-shelf parts.  I'm continuing to work on the software side with the on-board synth, and making tweaks to the menu system, but barring a massive redesign, hardware wise I'm comfortable with where this is right now.

Much of the project code, CAD files, build guide and more are available to view and download at:


About the author [midierror]: midierror makes nifty Max For Live devices, innovative music hardware, award winning sample packs and hosts a podcast speaking to people in the music world.

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