A Piano Keyboard Please!

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Joined: Wed May 02, 2012 1:24 pm

A Piano Keyboard Please!

Postby paradox148 » Sun May 27, 2012 5:37 am

While I absolutely love Thumbjam's amazing keyboard with it's amazing level of control and playability, I still miss having a good piano keyboard layout for its familiarly and flexibity with assessing half tones.

In my mind, a good piano keyboard within Thumbjam should have the following features:
-choice of one or two rows of keyboard
-able to zoom/scroll the keyboard. (single octave keyboard with octave button is just too restricting as I find I can play very small keys with some practice anyway)
-velocity sensitivity(as I have seen in some other apps(eg BS-16i)
-retaining most of the other fantastic controller features of thumbjam, maybe adding instrument parameters control via position of key pressed.
-various scales still able to be assigned, with the un-used keys shaded out with the option of having them muted or not(this will give more flexibility in playing and also help users to actually learn the scales as he/she plays)

I am loving Thumbjam more and more as I discover more of it's many features and I think having a piano keyboard would also help many serious players immensely especially jamming in a key changing performance.

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I like the idea of showing

Postby mistajolly » Sun Jun 03, 2012 5:28 pm

I like the idea of showing the full chromatic notes and muting the unused notes to help learn scales from a piano.

If we could use custom colours on the notes then we could create a black and white keyboard of sorts.

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Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2012 4:20 pm

I can't say a piano design is

Postby halayuuko » Sat Jun 23, 2012 2:01 am

I can't say a piano design is required. Velocity yes, but not so much piano.
I usually just turn my device to it's side.. But, I personally think it's a better design to have it in portrait. You fit more on the screen and it's easier to glide. That's very much the essence of ThumbJam, I just think adding a piano would be too obvious and non-required, and out of character.

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I absolutely agree that

Postby paradox148 » Thu Jun 28, 2012 3:25 pm

I absolutely agree that thumbjam has an ingenious design with it's thumb keyboard and the arrays of scales available. Together with the tilting and positioning controls it is the most natural feeling and expressive music playing app by far!

My request for a piano keyboard is not so much that I prefer to play on a horizontal keyboard at all. I LOVE the thumbboard! It is for those times when the songs demand notes being played outside conventional scales, or that when a song changes keys or scales midway, then it gets difficult to do on the fly. The thumbboard is more than adequate for casual playing but in certain situations it just does not work as well as a conventional piano keyboard. I think although a piano keyboard may not be as cool or unique as the thumbboard, it does open up TJ's potential to be used more in pro settings with all it's other amazing features and sounds.

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An idea for paradox148 :

Postby Yorizen » Thu Jun 28, 2012 4:33 pm

An idea for paradox148 :

About the need of a Piano Keyboard, think that you can use any external midi keyboard to play the Thumbjam sounds AND scales as easily as you use the touch pad especially if you are more familiarized with conventionnal keyboards. Personnally , I discovered the new and fantastic possibilities of sensitive keys BUT I am sure that midi piano keyboards offer other expressions. GOOD AND NICE EXPERIMENTS !!!

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Joined: Wed May 02, 2012 1:24 pm

Thankyou Yoizen for the

Postby paradox148 » Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:18 pm

Thankyou Yoizen for the suggestion. I do use external midi keyboards and wind controller(EWI4000s) to assess many apps on my iPhone and iPad via my iRig/Line6 and Tascam MIDI interfaces. I also use other apps like BS16i as MIDI controller with piano keyboards to play the sounds on TJ via virtual MIDI. However that does kinda take away the magic of Thumbjam as it would just be turned into another dumb sound source like any other midi responding app. Once again, it is not that I prefer the piano keyboard over the Thumbboard, I LOVE it! but there are just times that I need to assess notes that are not within a scale, or when I need to change keys/scales in the middle of a song. I still want to be able to use TJ's many other fantastic features like tilting(axis) control, dual keyboard, looping, MIDI implementations...etc. etc. Not to mention being able to use just the iOS device as an ultra-portable all in one music production powerhouse.

I do not imagine that it would be too difficult to implement? Really the piano keyboard is just a new skin for the scales is it not?

Or maybe somebody can enlighten me as to how they assess notes that are not within a scale(apart from bending) and how they change key/scale mid-song quickly? (maybe I should start a new thread in the appropriate forum section) At the moment I use bending/dual scale but it is not the same, and using the chromatic scale Thumbboard for all playing is just beyond my limited skillset. :)

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I won't (yet) commit to doing

Postby Jesse » Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:39 am

I won't (yet) commit to doing piano keyboard interface, but I'll give you tips for your other questions.

The quick switch buttons were added specifically to let you save a set of key/scale combinations and quickly switch between them. Press the #/b button on the side bar (once on iPad, twice on iPhone/iPod) to bring it up. To set it up, just select a key and scale, then hit the Edit button on the keyscale presets area, and tap the slot you want to save it into, name it and store it. Do the same for all the combinations you want to switch between. Then when you save an overall instrument preset, that set of key/scale presets will be saved along with it.

Just tapping the buttons switch among them.

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Thankyou Jesse for the great

Postby paradox148 » Fri Jun 29, 2012 5:04 am

Thankyou Jesse for the great tip. I didn't know that this feature existed and thought it is only for playing chords! :) Although it still does not give the full flexibility of playing all the available notes on the fly as on a piano keyboard it does help quite a bit if I can have it set up prior to playing a song. Hmmm.. it would be a different set for each song though.

Please do keep the piano keyboard on your maybe to do list. It would really allow for some serious playing. :)

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Yes, it would be a different

Postby Jesse » Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:40 pm

Yes, it would be a different set for each song that you would save with the Edit->Save Preset feature. It does take some preplanning if course, and isn't a substitute for a piano keyboard in the general case.

I would be tempted o go with a grid type layout instead, similar to Geosynth, which gives chromaticism yet is more friendly to patterns.

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Jordan has certainly done

Postby paradox148 » Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:10 pm

Jordan has certainly done some amazing stuff with Geosynth(you've all gotta watch him play on Youtube!), and I have imported quite a few of the sounds from Samplewiz. They play great on Thumbjam!.

I find that to utilize a grid type interface, to fully exploit it's potential, one does need to spend quite some time getting familiar with the app and a degree of theroical musical knowledge is helpful. Whereas with TJ's Thumbboard, even a five year old can pick it up and sound amazing! TJ IS JUST TOO MUCH FUN! I now find myself tilting and shaking my iPhone even when using other apps cos I am getting so used to TJ!!! By contrast, a piano keyboard may seem boring and does not break any new ground but would serve great as a baseline as most musicians would find it instantly comfortable due to it's familiarity and many of us do visualize interval, chord and scale structure in terms of the old fashion piano keyboard. :)


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