[sdiy] is there a keyboard with keys that can be pulled out?

NT nathan at idmclassics.net
Tue May 2 05:57:55 CEST 2023

the idea of pull out keys is cracking me up - I'm picturing someone yanking
on one and letting it snap back like the plunger on a pinball machine.


On Mon, May 1, 2023 at 10:26 PM brianw <brianw at audiobanshee.com> wrote:

> Wow. Is there really nobody who has a followup to the Hal Chamberlin
> sliding key expressive keyboard?
> I was hoping that someone out there had actually seen one of these. I only
> ever saw brochures and talked to the folks at MTU about the keyboard. I
> never had the experience of seeing one in person, much less playing one.
> Brian
> On Apr 27, 2023, at 9:43 PM, brianw <brianw at audiobanshee.com> wrote:
> > On Apr 27, 2023, at 2:44 PM, cheater cheater via Synth-diy <
> synth-diy at synth-diy.org> wrote:
> >> As in subject, has anyone seen a keyboard where you can grab the keys
> >> and pull them out lengthwise as an additional axis of performance
> >> input?
> >>
> >> We all know about keyboards where you can move the keys to the side,
> >> but I don't think I've seen something where you can pull them out or
> >> push them in.
> >>
> >> Thanks
> >
> > Hal Chamberlin invented a keyboard where every key would slide in and
> out to control individual expression. There was actually a raised, knurled
> area on each key so that your finger wouldn't slip on the normally-smooth
> surface of a standard key. I believe that it had a rack and pinion system
> that turned a potentiometer for each key inside the keyboard enclosure.
> >
> > I saw flyers for the product in the late eighties around the time that I
> visited Micro Technology Unlimited, Hal's company that made a digital
> recording system based on floppy disks (!).
> >
> > I don't think that this was related to Hal's work for Kurzweil, but I
> think it was around the same time - perhaps right before.
> >
> > Needless to say, it was expensive to manufacture, and not exactly
> popular with the typical keyboardist. It certainly stuck in my mind as
> inspiration for purchasing the Ensoniq Performance Sampler with PolyAT in
> 1988 or 1989.
> >
> > Hal Chamberlin graduated from my alma mater, NCSU, and I remember
> reading through his hard-bound Masters Thesis in the engineering library:
> He designed a digital synthesizer in 1973.
> >
> > Brian Willoughby
> >
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