MATRIXSYNTH: The Monolith - Monolithic Two-dimensional Keyboard

Monday, October 05, 2015

The Monolith - Monolithic Two-dimensional Keyboard


The Monolith Video.mp4 Uploaded on Nov 23, 2011 jacobduringer

You can find more info on The Monolith including some pieces composed with The Monolith on Jacob Duringer's website here.

"The Monolithic Two-dimensional Keyboard (Monolith for short), invented by Jacob Duringer, allows a composer or musician to perform all the parts or arrangements of instruments simultaneously strictly by skill. This paradigm shift in thinking required the reconceptualization of the one-dimensional piano keyboard that controlled pitch only into a two-dimensional keyboard that controls both pitch and timbre in any combination at any given moment.
Jacob Duringer's album "The Fruit of the Spirit" is available on itunes."

Some details from The Monolith site:

"The Monolithic Two-Dimensional Keyboard, or Monolith for short. This new MIDI keyboard is based upon a simple idea,: that of expanding the one-dimensional piano keyboard (which has a fixed timbre and sequential pitch changes in the X-axis) into two-dimensions (offering sequential pitch variation in the X-axis AND timbre variation in rows parallel to the first row. Each row of keys offer the possibility of different instruments in the Y-axis.

The keys are all equal in width, facilitating easier and more linear fingering than is possible with the piano keyboard. The key length on the Monolith is only that of a finger tip. The extra key length found on a piano keyboard does not serve a useful purpose for synthesizers since the piano keyboard originated from the cantilever action of the hammer-string mechanism. Thus, the new keyboard has been reduced to a thin strip of keys. Note however, that the piano structure and scaling is left entirely intact.

With this new design other rows of keys can be arranged above or below the first row. These rows of keys are manually accessible by moving the finger horizontally AND vertically. Now two adjacent fingers can play different rows of keys, each row assigned to a different MIDI channel and processed through a different timbre or instrument. The Monolith engineering prototype, 4th generation, contains 15 rows each of 4 octaves of keys.

Since each row can be a different instrument the performer is effectively playing an entire arrangement of a musical composition, not just a part. At any moment in time the performer can change the timbre and pitch of multiple instruments simultaneously..."

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