The schematic design is based on most popular PIC16F84 (or PIC16C84) single-chip controller by Microchip. It supports up to 64 keys without velocity sensing. I used keyboard from an old analog instrument, just adding a swich under every key and wiring swiches to connect them as shown on schematic below.
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You made it:
of realizations of MKC made by you are shown below. All materials
are published under kindly agreement of their authors. Publishing these
materials could help more people to build and use MKC.
More things about Igor's work and VRML can be found on Igor's sites:
The VRML demo can be downloaded directly from Igor's site here. If would require VRML plug-in installed in your browser. Plug-ins and many other things about VRML modelling can be found here (site in Russian).
Jones from USA (his
site here) developed his project using Visio package. His design
supports PC soundcard and standard MIDI devices as well. Shown is photo
of Vern's design. You can download the full files set from here.
Schematic file is included.
Vern also provided a picture of his Rodgers Trio organ. He added MIDI scanners based on MKC to organ's Middle manual and Pedalboard. Similar scanners will be added to Upper and Lower keyboards also and maybe one more for scanning tab stops (the red and white bars seen on picture). I'm proud with MKC working good in this nice instrument. Thanks again, Vern :-)
Here is Vern's Pedalboard Controller used in his organ:
That is how the ready Ahlborn control unit looks outside:
Pedalboard Controller and Stop Tab/Switch Controller were ordered and assisted by Jerry Cluff, another MIDI/pipe organs dedicated person. You may find more information about ordering/purchasing these units and many more organ related goodies on Jerry's site. Here is the second one of his sites.
Here are two more Pedalboard Controllers - 13 and 25 pedals.
Another popular MIDI expander - D110 by Roland has its Stops Control Unit, based on custom version of MKC, thanks to Vern again. Here si how it looks:
It can control up to 4 D110 units, set on different MIDI channels.
Nik 'Rebuzz' from Russia embedded MKC into his second (5 octaves) keyboard . Here is a picture of his studio. MKC based keyboard is the one below the computer keyboard. Thanks, Nik.
Paolo Airasca from Italy started his own modular keyboard scanner design. CPU unit based on MKC is shown here. The decoder chip (74LS138) is placed on another PCB, built-in in the keyboard unit for cabling minimizing. This kind of design is very flexible. It allows expanding the system by adding similar keyboard units and replacing only the CPU unit with more capable one (mkc128 or upper). Thanks, Paolo.
Gerrit Lammertink from Netherlands (his site here) built his own 5 octave MIDI keyboard based on MKC, using parts of an old electronic organ. Here you can find full information on his keyboard (pictures, schematic, PCB, instructions etc.). Thanks, Gerrit.
Here is another project of Gerrit made by old PC keyboard plus MKC unit. Gerrit added chord keys besides the normal keys. Chords keys are 'hard wired' to a number of major chords that can be played by clicking single chord key in accordion-like way. Thanks Gerrit for giving me the idea about adding chords implementation in MKC project.
Marco Tavan from Italy recovered an old 61 keys Orla DMK5 keyboard for using it with B4 Hammond organ emulator software by Native Instruments. Marco used MKC plus additional multyplexer, in order to use standard common rail keying instead matrix keying. Bravo, Marco.
Here is an interesting gadget whose hardware design is based on MKC. Paul Everett (his site here) wrote his own firmware for this. You can design such device using Paul's software as well as MKC native firmware. The original instrument that inspired this project was named Hayden Duet Concertina. I've never heard about it before but does this have a matter :-)
Ron Fleming got a pedalboard from an old Lowery Organ and after redesigning its contact system and adding MKC, here is how his rig looks. Thanks, Ron.
Pierre from France has built another exotic MIDI controller incorporating MKC in Nintendo game pad. Here is the picture.
If you have made your version of MKC and want to place here its photo, just e-mail me .
There are a lot of ideas about how to continue developing this project. The first is to make it Velocity sensitive. There are some ideas about it, especially I like the idea given by Paul Read. Unfortunately, there is an nasty RAM limitation imposed by the PIC chip (there are 64/36 RAM bytes only) which don't allow me to make software Velocity implementation. Anyway, I continue thinking about it... There are other Microchip products which have much more RAM. Let me see the prices.
main purpose of publishing this project is to give an easy way for
everyone to build his own MIDI keyboard using ready keyboard pad from
an old instrument. Information placed here is enough for more of readers
to make the project without any additional help. Unfortunately, buying
parts from the store is not enough for building the project. An PIC programmer
with software is also required in order to burn supported HEX files into
I'd like to mention the people who gave me some help and ideas about this project:
I have problems
while trying to connect MKC to my AWE soundblaster. It does not
seem to receive MIDI messages. What should I do?
I use a
soundcard which don't recognize standard 'NoteOff' message. Instead,
it recognises 'NoteOn' (Velocity=0) like 'NoteOff'. Can
MKC support 'NoteOn' (Velocity=0) message instead 'NoteOff'?
channel be changed at runtime?
How to make keyboard to start with MIDI note #36 (C - Do)?
Can I use this keyboard with standard MIDI stuff (non PC)?
Can I use PIC16F84 instead PIC16C84 shown on schematics?
Can I order pre-programmed chip by mail?
Can I use quartz resonator at 6MHz instead 4MHz?