Continuous Jankó keyboard

Last year, I programmed a Sensel Morph to use it like a Linnstrument but with the Jankó keyboard layout.

I initially tried the Linnstrument layout (among other isomorphic keyboards), but I felt the chords were unergonomic. Yes, the keys are technically closer together, but the vertical positioning means you have to twist your hands and contort your fingers in unnatural positions compared to playing chords on a traditional piano.

I settled on the Jankó keyboard because it’s isomorphic but also ergonomic. Like on a piano, your hand can remain neutral and untwisted while playing any chord. And, since there are multiple rows with the same keys, you have a choice for which row would be most comfortable for each finger (this happens by default on a piano since keys are vertical blocks).

Also, because of how the layout is isomorphic and 1-dimensional, we can easily do chord slides that would be difficult on other continuous instruments like the continuum, linnstrument, and seaboard:

I programmed it with the API because afaik the overlay creator doesn’t have the snap-to-key feature like on a Linnstrument.

I carved out the overlay out of adhesive foam. Adhesive foam is good for prototyping but gets unreliable over time, so I need to look into making a proper silicone overlay.


This is great! Do you have a link to the kind of “adhesive foam” you used for prototyping? Looks very interesting!
Yanko layout is very promising! The only downside I see is that when trying to spread it over several Morphs (for more octaves), then the last and first key on every other row has to be cut in half by the gap between the Morphs. Probably possible to get used to it(?) But a great thing to play around with in any case!

Interesting! I found the Linnstrument worked best for me ergonomically when set to a tritone (augmented 4th). Chords just seem to lay out a bit better, but not great.

I just walked into a craft store and purchased whatever cheap material is sticky and foamy:

and then took the blunt edge of a scissor and engraved lines into the foam, then attached it to the innovator layout

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I googled for “Linnstrument tritone layout” and found this post in a discussion about layouts

After experimenting with chord shapes and accompaniment in various tunings, I’m gradually settling on using the tritone tuning except for situations where I want to play guitar-like phrases. I find the problem with the fourths tuning is that I have to bunch up my hand to play normal chords and it’s difficult to include the thumb. But with tritones, the notes for chord playing are often more spread out, making it easier to use the thumb, especially for piano-style gestures where you rock from thumb to fingers. The shapes also seem more predictable and tend to avoid the situation where you have two fingers side by side which can get quite uncomfortable. But, you wind up with notes on the same row, so it isn’t going to work for idiomatic guitar playing.

I can imagine it’s an improvement! But probably not as nice as a Janko keyboard

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I am following this thread, and the one about @NothanUmber’s Janko layout, with interest. I play the Linnstrument as a former bassist, and I am mainly interested in melody lines when I do, so the fourths isometric layout works well for me in that case, but the Janko layout looks intriguing for doing more chordal work and might be worth some experimentation…

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@delu This is awesome! Can you make the program available to people who only have the overlay creator, or can it not be exported as a conventional map?

I programmed it with the API because afaik the overlay creator doesn’t have the snap-to-key feature like on a Linnstrument.

I can put the source code online, but you will have to know your way around the command line and also it is in Rust so you need the Rust compiler too. The tactile feedback of the grooves between the keys on the overlay also turns out to be important.

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Then I think I’m out of luck… I haven’t done any coding or serious command-line stuff in years. I should ask on the Sensel forum if this is something they can add to the overlay creator if it’s not there already.

Thanks anyway.

Have created an MPE janko layout with the sensel app at some point (must me somewhere in their forum).
Playable but of course the sensel app (and Morph form factor) constraints apply.

Edit: here you go:

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