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Concept for MIDI accordions

Updated on November 26, 2011

An invention for a MIDI accordion.

I played an accordion years ago, I found it at a thrift store, it only cost twenty dollars and it was the only acoustic instrument I've ever played (I usually play synthesizers). Recently, I made up an invention for a MIDI accordion. Actually, the idea of MIDI accordions is not new. Some companies have actually made accordions equipped with MIDI. The illustration above shows my idea of what a MIDI accordion would look like.

The illustration above shows the keyboard side of the accordion. The keyboard is played with the right hand. The knobs near the keyboard are used for controlling filters, and digital effects such as vibrato, phase shifters, and ring modulators. Waveforms can also be selected with these knobs. The MIDI accordion would not have reeds, so it would not be able to produce any sound on it's own, it is basically a MIDI controller,that would be used to control a synthesizer, or a computer that was equipped with MIDI software. MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface, which is the common standard for electronic musical instruments today.

The illustration above shows the left side of the accordion. The left side has bass-chord buttons that are played with the left hand. In this instrument, there are twelve buttons and a large round ball called a 'track-ball'. The track-ball is used to control digital effects, such as filtering. Since this accordion has no reeds, it does not produce sound acoustically, it can only produce sound electronically. It would have an air-pressure sensor inside that would detect changes in air pressure. When the bellows is pulled apart, air is sucked into the instrument, and the air-pressure sensor would detect low air pressure. When the bellows is squeezed, the air-pressure sensor would detect higher air pressure. These changes in air pressure could be used to control various MIDI parameters, such as waveform, filters, and so on. For example, the instrument may be programmed to use square-wave modulation when the bellows is being pulled open, and would use triangle-wave modulation when the bellows was being squeezed shut. So, basic changes in the instrument's sound could be made just my manipulating the bellows. The musician playing the instrument could program his own changes, to customize his instrument's responses.

The illustration above shows a mini-accordion, based on the same invention. This instrument would have a small track-ball on each side. The straps that secure the instrument to the musician's hands are not shown in this illustration. The track-balls on the instrument could be used to control pitch bend, wave forms, filters, vibrato speed, or other parameters.

The illustration above shows one side of the mini-accordion. Five bass-chord buttons are shown, as well as a track-ball. The air-pressure sensor inside the instrument can be used to detect how forcefully the musician pulls the bellows apart, or how forcefully he squeezes the bellows together. The volume of the instrument's sound may be proportional to this force, for example, high air pressure equals loud sound, low air pressure equals diminished sound.

Anthony Ratkov. November 26,2011. Computer-graphic images by Anthony Ratkov.

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