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SME Cloned KS Keyboard

 
 
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LATEST INFORMATION ON THE KS CLONE PROJECT

UPDATED DECEMBER 2014

latest news in WHITE TEXT

With the arrival of the IPad app iVCS3, I am very concerned that if I continued with this project, I'm unlikely to sell more than 10 off, as that is the number of people that have expressed a serious interest, it's very strange that in the 21st Century it is hard to replicate this project using modern integrated circuits that are easily available to the hobbyist, I've investigated alternate circuit using Dynamic RAM chips, but I've got to admit it's looking like it's a dead project.

Heinfried has very kindly offered to help out on this, he's based in Australia, and runs his own Electronic Company, he is based in Fairy Meadow, North Wollongong, his company is called MARTIAN ELECTRONICS, he is investigating several options, so I'm waiting eagerly to see if he can come up with a working circuit, I have every confidence that he will, and hopefully if I ever get down to Australia, I will take my AKS to him so he can see how it works in practice, as although I've written emails to him that explain the operation of the KS, without actually seeing the beast working, that is the KS not Heinfried, it's understandably difficult for someone not normally associated with electronic music production, after thorough investigation, we have decided to abandon this project, as it's simply too expensive to produce a viable reproduction/clone KS sequencer, so we are investigating another avenue, this is to supply a device that is able to accept MIDI data from a standard MIDI Controller Keyboard, record and playback notes stored in memory.

After some feedback from Jonathan, I'm looking at an Arduino project, it doesn't look too daunting at the moment, given that there is some code and practical electronics available to copy, just maybe, this project may become viable, fingers crossed. I'm off to the States, I'm looking to purchase a Arturia Beatstep device whilst I'm out there, this looks like a good substitute for a KS keyboard, as it's able to generate 16 steps as a sequencer, and also has CV out, and a trigger pulse, anyway it's worth a look.

I also found a rather interesting project in an old ETI magazine May 1991 for a Synthesiser Sequencer Project, after looking at the circuit most of the IC's are no longer available, but two chips DAC0808 and ADC0804 which are used to manage the CV in and out, are still available, I am going to adapt the circuit, and use an Arduino to do the number crunching, and storing of the different voltages, hopefully I can get something to work in roughly the right way, I think a MIDI keyboard can provide the key and trigger pulses, which I feel I could function as intended. Don't expect any results too soon, as I've a lot of projects on the go at the moment, but feel free to drop in on the page from time to time, to keep abreast of the project.

Latest info, is that I seem to have lost the plot on this project, as I feel that fellow cloners were hoping for a direct drop in replacement for the KS as was originally supplied with the EMS Synthi A, at the moment this project is moving in a direction that doesn't archieve this goal, so until someone provides me a circuit that would lend itself to fit on a PCB that would fit into the Spartanite lid case, I'm afraid that this project is dead in the water.

derekrevell@aol.com

MORE INFO TO FOLLOW SOON