AW: RE: (2) DIY Digital Scanning ... and MS-20

J.D. McEachin jdm at
Sat Feb 24 07:57:21 CET 1996

On Wed, 21 Feb 1996, Haible_Juergen#Tel2743 wrote:

> >I think I missed something somewhere.  Please, tell me, WHY are you
> >building your own keyboard scanner, when MIDI keyboards can be had so
> >cheaply (you may have a few laying about)?
> Similar question: Why should anybody build a MS-20 filter, when there are
> so many MS-20's around?

My estimates may be off, but here's a cost analysis:

Cost of MS20 - US$500
Time to build MS20 filter clone - 4 hrs
Hourly rate - $125

Cost of used MIDI keyboard - US$100
Time to build polyphonic cpu scanned keyboard - 100 hrs
Hourly rate - $1

Building the keyboard seems like a complete waste of time.  BTW, having 
recently written polyphonic voice assignment code for an analogue synth, I 
can tell you that 100 hrs is a very optimistic estimate.

To me, the decision to build or buy depends on the uniqueness of the item
to be built, and cost in time.  My time is very valuable to me, so
puttering it away building a keyboard makes NO sense whatsoever.  I'd
rather spend my time building something novel sounding than reinvent the


More information about the Synth-diy mailing list