MIDI keyboard/controller project


Hi everyone, I’m currently in my 3rd year at university studying product design. I’m in the process of developing and soon finalising the design for my final project

I have chosen to design a concept for a midi keyboard/ midi controller.

The overall idea for the keyboard is to bridge the gap between on screen instruments/vst’s and tangible keyboards.
I will be designing a concenpital vst/virtual onscreen instrument that shares the same parameters and design identity as the keyboard for clarity of use. The vst would assign the necessary parameters to the controller to allow the user to edit the vst as if they were using a real synthesiser (this is my proposal anyway.)

Some details about the controller -

The controllers base unit/keyboard will have 4 octaves of full size keys, a modulation wheel, pitch bend wheel and volume slider of some sort. A small screen will also be present displaying information about parameters being edited.

The keyboard will have slots for 6 ‘modules’ to be inserted. Three of these will be required/recommended for the device to function. I am intending for the blocks to be able to be slotted into the keyboard/base and held in place by magnets, I need to figure out how data/signals/power would be transferred. I also want to look into the idea of the modules being used without the keyboard. For instance if someone had recorded a midi sequence and wanted to have the modules in front of their computer to edit/play with parameters in real time.

Current proposal for blocks/modules.

Block one - oscillator/tone generation.

Block two - filter cutoff/resonance x/y pad - The idea behind this is to allow the user to adjust the cutoff on Y axis and resonance on X axis.

Block 3 - filter/amp ADSR.

The remaining 3 blocks will be for effects units/expansion/extras.

I’m open to any suggestions/tips/advice anyone has. Particularly in regards to features on the modules e.g. ways you’d like to be able to edit sound or any effects units you think could be cool or relevant.

I might have missed out some parameters/sliders that should be there for basic synthesis to be carried out, the images below are not final representations of my intended design. The exact layout I arrive at for the modules requires me to carry out research etc so my actions can be justified.

Also if anyone’s read this far, thanks a lot.

Below are different iterations of my design, I am required to make a block model representing/communicating my design to the best of my ability. So sadly it won’t be a working model. (I’d love to try and make a working on but time constraints don’t really allow.)
So I’m basically looking for any suggestions on user interaction with the product/any ideas and comments anyone might have!