Author Topic: DIY Electric Piano  (Read 1003 times)

Offline drpepper

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DIY Electric Piano
« on: May 02, 2021, 04:32:23 PM »
Hello,

If anyone is interested in creating their own electric piano or just following a project.
I have created a video on the first part of my attempt to create my own electric piano.
I have modelled my own hammer design, inspired from the a hybrid Fender Rhodes design.

This has been designed to be 3d printed.

Link to video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INKy_MSkNs8






Rhodes Suitcase 75
Wurlitzer 200a
Gibson es 335

Offline drpepper

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Re: DIY Electric Piano
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2021, 02:01:02 PM »
I have now uploaded part 2.
In this part I look in detail at a mk1 key and try to create my own basic version.

Link:
https://youtu.be/nTUWjyOdyq0

Rhodes Suitcase 75
Wurlitzer 200a
Gibson es 335

Offline epluznante

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Re: DIY Electric Piano
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2021, 02:28:57 PM »
wow! super interesting! thanks for this!

Offline drpepper

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Re: DIY Electric Piano
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2021, 05:24:59 PM »
I have uploaded part 3. I have created a test bench with spare Fender Rhodes parts.
This allows me to change the spares and compare how my designed parts perform.
There is same sound difference, though I think this is due to impedance when compared to a Fender Rhodes.

Link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQPBL-JfnQo

Rhodes Suitcase 75
Wurlitzer 200a
Gibson es 335

Offline gotkovsky

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Re: DIY Electric Piano
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2021, 06:44:22 AM »
Once again, that's super cool! What are your plans for the tone generators? Do you want to use Rhodes tines or are you thinking about making your own?

Offline drpepper

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Re: DIY Electric Piano
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2021, 02:58:28 AM »
Once again, that's super cool! What are your plans for the tone generators? Do you want to use Rhodes tines or are you thinking about making your own?

Thank you! My plan is create my own tone generators. I have a few ideas and prototypes, but I am not certain what I will go with just yet.


Below is the latest version where I create a pickup in the style of a fender Rhodes pickup.

Link:
https://youtu.be/NThxo_2onsE

Rhodes Suitcase 75
Wurlitzer 200a
Gibson es 335

Offline epluznante

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Re: DIY Electric Piano
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2021, 03:17:55 PM »
amazing work man!

Offline drpepper

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Re: DIY Electric Piano
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2021, 02:47:22 AM »
amazing work man!
Thank you, hopefully we get something useable at the end of this. Still lots of things to work out.

I have upload the next instalment, where I create damper arms.
I am trying 3d printed ones, though will move to aluminium if this is an issue.

https://youtu.be/dRznq3ap3Xs

Rhodes Suitcase 75
Wurlitzer 200a
Gibson es 335

Offline drpepper

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Re: DIY Electric Piano
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2021, 03:25:56 AM »
Here is the next instalment:

Tine and tonebars

In this I create my own tuning fork Fender Rhodes mk1 inspired design.
I have tried to understand this part in as much detail and share what I have found.
If you have any information or corrections that could be useful for me or someone else taking on
a similar project, please let me know.

hope you enjoy!

Link:
https://youtu.be/XugQ9BgsVpI

Rhodes Suitcase 75
Wurlitzer 200a
Gibson es 335

Offline gotkovsky

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Re: DIY Electric Piano
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2021, 03:59:58 AM »
Congrats on the progress! Love the stack of tone-generators assemblies at the end of the video, I also have a box full of these haha.

I also tried using bicycles spokes a few days ago just for the sake of it and had pretty good results, it's nice to see that you went further with material experimentations!

I have a few questions:

Did you try using the thread that's already on the spokes for assembling with the brass block? That would require to machine the brass block on the other side to attach the spoke just like on a bicycle rim though, so I'm not sure that would be a time saver compared to  brazing. I think the Rhodes tine are press-fitted into the block, right?

Were you able to hear and/or measure an improvement in sustain with the spoke alone, versus the spoke associated to the tone bar?

Did you have a good result with your reed and tone-bar assembly that can be seen at the end of your video?

I'm also very curious to know what program you are using to simulate natural resonant frequencies in a CAD environment. I'm pretty new to 3D modeling (I'm working with Rhino), and I'd love to learn to use a tool that could do that.

Thanks, and congrats again, so far it looks amazing!

Offline drpepper

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Re: DIY Electric Piano
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2021, 04:22:24 AM »
Congrats on the progress! Love the stack of tone-generators assemblies at the end of the video, I also have a box full of these haha.

I also tried using bicycles spokes a few days ago just for the sake of it and had pretty good results, it's nice to see that you went further with material experimentations!
Thank you - yes I thought I would try a few ideas. They all seemed to give good results, though the fence wire I think will fail the first due to being much softer material. I am glad you enjoyed the pile of tone generator assemblies, I would be interested what is in your pile, what worked? and what you learnt?

Did you try using the thread that's already on the spokes for assembling with the brass block? That would require to machine the brass block on the other side to attach the spoke just like on a bicycle rim though, so I'm not sure that would be a time saver compared to  brazing. I think the Rhodes tine are press-fitted into the block, right?

Ah - interesting idea. I guess my only issue with that is could they unscrew with use - some thread adhesive would work to stop that. I had an idea looking at the spokes the other way. Having the thread at the end nearest the pickup, then a tuning nut/spoke nipple could be used for tuning. The precision of tuning would be so much better.

The reason I chose brazing was I think if there are any gaps in this joint then the sustain will suffer.  Though it is a softer metal, what does it do in fatigue? it's all experimentation.


Were you able to hear and/or measure an improvement in sustain with the spoke alone, versus the spoke associated to the tone bar?
That's an interesting question -  I didn't test this, if I get chance ill post some results.


Did you have a good result with your reed and tone-bar assembly that can be seen at the end of your video?

I only had a little mess around with these but yes, I think there is some good potential with these. The goal was that wurli sound with rhodes sustain.
My plan it to complete this tine piano, then revisit this idea.


I'm also very curious to know what program you are using to simulate natural resonant frequencies in a CAD environment. I'm pretty new to 3D modeling (I'm working with Rhino), and I'd love to learn to use a tool that could do that.

Thanks, and congrats again, so far it looks amazing!

The CAD software is Freecad. This has a bundled finite element solver, which I used for the frequency stuff. Feel free to message me for help or if you want I could create a guide on how I set it up. I would be interested if running this analysis on your reed bar and see what small changes could help.

Keep up the good work, look forward to hearing yours in action!
Dean
« Last Edit: June 13, 2021, 04:27:25 AM by drpepper »
Rhodes Suitcase 75
Wurlitzer 200a
Gibson es 335

Offline drpepper

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Re: DIY Electric Piano
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2021, 10:14:31 AM »
Hammer Tips

This is the latest update.
I have decided to go along the direction of felt hammer tips as I really enjoy the sound of the early fender Rhodes with felt hammer tips.
Though I have created a shape for the felt to fit around allowing plenty of strike energy to be transferred and the dark attack to also be present. 

https://youtu.be/4tXZq4aoTZM

Rhodes Suitcase 75
Wurlitzer 200a
Gibson es 335

Offline drpepper

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Re: DIY Electric Piano
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2021, 03:50:06 PM »
Springs

This week I have been making springs.
I would be interested if anyone else has tried this.
There are a lot of springs in these piano, it takes some time to make them all.

https://youtu.be/Z-ntcRvU_U4

Rhodes Suitcase 75
Wurlitzer 200a
Gibson es 335

Offline drpepper

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Re: DIY Electric Piano
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2021, 04:00:29 PM »
A little update on the project.
Some small improvement to the action and parts created so far.

The main improvement is a spring/clip that reduces key bounce.

I just need to make a few copies of everything created so far.

Link:
https://youtu.be/cp38zGdgmxI

« Last Edit: August 04, 2021, 04:03:05 PM by drpepper »
Rhodes Suitcase 75
Wurlitzer 200a
Gibson es 335

Offline drpepper

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Re: DIY Electric Piano
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2021, 03:19:28 AM »
I have started to move from my single note piano to a short scale piano.

Link:
https://youtu.be/QObFDnf8hXM

Rhodes Suitcase 75
Wurlitzer 200a
Gibson es 335