MATRIXSYNTH: Haxophone - A Hackable Electronic Saxophone with Mechanical Keys


Tuesday, August 01, 2023

Haxophone - A Hackable Electronic Saxophone with Mechanical Keys



Javier Cardona, the maker of Haxophone wrote in to let us know about his upcoming instrument. Here's what he had to say followed by details from the upcoming crowdfunding campaign.

"I'm excited to connect with you as the creator of the Haxophone, an open and hackable electronic saxophone. The instrument's design files and software have been available to the public on GitHub for some time now at https://github.com/cardonabits/haxo-hw.

We are gearing up to launch a crowdfunding campaign for pre-assembled Haxophone units, bringing the magic of this instrument to a broader audience. The campaign is scheduled to kick off on September 7th.

via Crowd Supply

Haxophone is an inexpensive and fully customizable electronic musical instrument that resembles a travel saxophone. Under the hood, Haxophone is a particularly elegant (and fun!) Raspberry Pi HAT. The mechanical keys and custom ergonomics give Haxophone a unique and satisfying feel. The design is fully open source, hackable and OSHWA (Open Source Hardware Association) certified. This means that you can make Haxophone entirely your own, from changing the type of key switches to making your own note and instrument mappings. It is a good fit for musicians who are looking for a way to practice saxophone silently, musicians who are also hackers, and for hackers looking for a fun musical project that won’t break the bank.

While it is not a substitute for a traditional saxophone, Haxophone is accurate enough to allow saxophone players to rehearse both in silence and "on the go". Muscle memory when practicing on Haxophone is transferable to the traditional instrument, and vice versa. This means you can rehearse in all kinds of places that would be unthinkable with a standard saxophone. If it breaks, it is relatively cheap and easy to repair. And, Haxophone is smaller and lighter than any saxophone.

Haxophone has been designed to utilize standard mechanical key switches as fingering keys. In addition of being cool and unique, these are cheaper, more reliable and more repairable than the custom molded keys that you find on digital saxophones. Hackable Haxophone
Haxophone is purposefully designed to be hackable. Inspect it, modify the fingerings, change the sounds, add features like beats or LEDs. The software is written in Rust, a modern language that has been the most loved code language for the last 7 years (according to Stack Overflow).

Haxophone is designed as a HAT (Hardware Attached on Top) for the Raspberry Pi family of single-board computers. This HAT is a special type of keyboard laid out in the same way that saxophones are. We’ve also designed a mouthpiece and a pressure sensor to detect breath intensity. The HAT includes an audio amplifier, so Haxophone does not need to rely on the amplifier built into the Raspberry Pi 3 and 4. This means the HAT will work with the least expensive of the Pi family, the Raspberry Pi Zero.

Haxophone is fully repairable and customizable. Did you break the thumb rest or would like to use a different color? (3D) print yourself another one. The source models for all 3D printed parts are included in our repository."

You can find additional details at https://www.crowdsupply.com/cardona-bits/haxophone/

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