Posted by: sebion | August 7, 2012

What would you pay?

Since I’ve got some requests I’m thinking about selling EPiCK as a retrofit/midifying kit for all kinds of keyboard instruments including Hammond organs, Rhodes, Wurlizer, Clavinet. If you want to support me now, which might help me to evaluate legal issues before crowdfunding, you can of course donate an amount of your choice at the ‘About’ Page.

So let us assume everything goes well and I can make EPiCK available for customers. What would you pay for it?

EDIT: I’ve got an interesting custom answer in the poll that I won’t keep secret: “Sell the plans to build it ourselves $100 US”. Of course this would be the best way to go for me, as it would not involve all the CE/FCC testing stuff, but honestly: Who except me and some rare other persons are able and willing to solder this system by hand? Besides it will be much cheaper in mass production. Also If I give away the plans I would risk piracy and that would really be a shame given the huge effort the development took me. Of course you are welcome to comment on this topic here.



  1. love the idea man. been trying to do the same thing by taking out sushi sensors out of a yamama electric keybaord and putting it in my baldwin but i can’t seem to get the compromise of same great action vs. digital give up

  2. Those “sushi” (lol what a cool name :D) sensors can’t work well in an accoustic piano, as you would have to make them trigger at the trigger point. That would be very hard to adjust correctly and you would then get in trouble with the additional way the key travels after that point -> you’d destroy the feeling of the piano action. Another problem is that even if you could make it work you are likely to get a weird velocity response, as the sound is always triggered at the same key position, which is not true for acoustic instruments, and the hammer can bump in a way that lets the keys move faster as it usually would, so you’ll get sticking out very loud notes, too. That’s a problem you can only solve by physical modeling of the action or very strict repetition rules.

  3. hows the project coming along? people think im crazy trying to make my piano hybrid but i love its feel and get my best ideas from it. I just want to be able to plug right into my mac, open up Logic, hit record, and come back to it later if something good comes up musically. recording an upright isn’t too practical either so i’ve given up there too. you’re brilliant though – keep up the good work i can’t wait to see the final product.

  4. Due to the polyphonic aftertouch I wonder: will it also be possible to do this midif-kit on a conventional synth keyboard? Let’s say I like the action from my doepfer LMK or Roland A-50, but there is no PA available and the velocity response is not good. Could I take all electronics out of the casing and put your kit in instead and therefor build my own master keyboard with polyphonic aftertouch? If so, will there also be an option to include other controllers of that keyboard to the midi out, like the mod wheel or pitchbend?

    • Yep that might be possible depending on the space available in your keyboard action. Actually I’ve started this project as an enhancement for a cheap digital piano, but there I kept the original electronics unchanged and melted metal strips into the keys in order to sense velocity at the front of the keys (just have a look at the older posts in my blog). if there’s enough space in your action you might need to add paper sheets to the moving part of the key that presses the rubber switches in the original setup in order to get optimal reflectivity. depending on the key’s your keyboard has you might get in trouble with ambient light disturbing the key measurements. So when the sun shined on my pimped DP I could literally play notes with my shadow pretending to have telekinetic powers 😉

      Regarding additional controllers EPiCK is very flexible. It supports up to 8 analog controllers (that could be a pitch or mod wheel or a progressive pedal). Furthermore it supports up to 8 rotary encoders or 16 switches. Its mainboard can be programmed to do pretty much anything with attached controllers/switches.

      • Sounds great! Any idea, when you will make this available?

      • Unfortunately I can’t tell a date of availability yet. Actually I don’t know how and if I can make EPiCK available to the public. There are patent issues and a lot of things like the CE mark to mention one big step that would have to be done before I could sell this device. Being a student makes it impossible for me to fund all this stuff, so the only thing I can offer now is keeping you in mind as a candidate for the beta test phase.

      • I’ll beta-test this any time. Makes even more sense, since I am located in Germany, as well. 🙂 I also have my own plans regarding poly aftertouch and a software-based composer enviroment – mainly aiming film composers. This is still in an early phase also, as I need a real programmer to work with. I can only handle MAX MSP, so I work on it to make it presentable. Availability of PA on a keyboard would greatly improve the coolness of this project of mine. I already got a Kurzeil Midiboard, so I can test it in my studio, but there is no new keyboard available with PA, except for the very expensive VAX77, which will even increase in price by $1000 in 2013. So, I would be very interested to get some freaks together to realize something truely great. If you are interested, feel free to contact me any time …

  5. The question is how mush would one pay . I think the statement of under $1000 will attract those on a tighter budget, like my self. The Music business is financially unrewarding I must say I am on a very tight budget,I am disabled and care for a mother post stroke this adds to my inability to work (she cant be left alone) so you have attracted me with the offer. I could never afford the product if over 300 dollars, however, after seeing the effort and work you have put in to the project, you deserve the 999.00 (just to keep it under 1000 as the add says lol) The price of other sensor strips is outrageous I believe

    1 What is your beta program and how will it work?

    2 Will you offer the system as a multipal level device? Meaning a basic sensor strip (entry price something with a simple midi input only no bells and a more technically advanced device all the bells?

  6. Did I mention I would love to be considered for the bata test phase, I am no master pianist. I have an AA degree in music from Los Angeles City Colledge (Hollywood Ca.) Where I studied Electronic Music, and Composition. I could give you a idiots perspective I am abreast of most computer composition software windows and mac (Logic, Cubase, Protools) I use them all If you need someone to beta the midi input via multipal software or simply testing from a diverse beta group please keep me in mind

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