Midihex

The Midihex is a new isomorphic MIDI controller inspired by the rare Axis-49

It updates the original format with five function keys and 98 playing keys in the original Harmonic Table layout, each of which return a continuous range of values via Hall-effect sensors. This makes it possible to implement not only note velocity, but also potentially MPE. The Midihex is based on a new custom PCB powered by Teensy 4.1, with 3D-printed hexagonal keys styled after the original. To enable user customisation, the firmware will be open source, it will be possible to choose from a range of diatonic and microtonal layouts, and interchangeable keycaps will be made available in different colours to allow people to define their own playing arrangement.

Midi Polyphonic Expression

MIDI supports 16 channels which are traditionally used to access individual instruments. With MIDI Polyphonic Expression, these are repurposed to allow the expressive control of individual notes in a single performance, via controllers that provide continuous key position data like the Linnstrument and the Osmose. The Midihex has Hall-effect keys which return data about the position of every note, allowing musicians to take advantage of the features in MPE-enabled synths and VSTs.

Microtonality

The isomorphic keyboard layout of the Midihex lends itself to layouts like the Harmonic Table and Wicki-Hayden, which have the advantage that scales, patterns and chord shapes remain the same wherever you move them on the keyboard. It also opens up the possibility of exploring microtonal scales such as Bohlen-Pierce or 31-TET that can’t be accommodated on traditional keyboard controllers with a piano-based layout.

prototype

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