Melodicade MX – 6+ Octave MIDI Keyboard

While QWERTY dominates the world of computer keyboards, there exist many less-common layouts such as DVORAK and various chorded offerings that tout numerous advantages over the dominant format.

Similarly, in the world of musical keyboards, the traditional piano layout dominates, but sundry alternative input layouts offer potential advantages to their users. The Wicki-Hayden layout groups notes in a more logical fashion, and it was this unique arrangement that KOOP Instruments look to explore with their Teensy 4.1-based Melodicade MX.

Building on the arcade-button-based Melodicade, the MX uses Cherry MX-compatible mechanical key switches, which are both smaller and less expensive than arcade buttons, allowing 6+ octaves to fit in the space of 4.5 octaves’ worth of 24mm arcade buttons (while saving about $100!).

A complete build guide, including code, CAD Files, and BOM can be found on the KOOP Instruments web site, and a detailed demonstration of the instrument’s capabilities, as well as a delightful rendition of the Pokke Village theme from Monster Hunter Freedom Unite can be found in the video below.