New Janko-keyboard synth is awesome !!

I’ve been intrigued by the Janko keyboard for years now, but never got to play one before.

Well, I just received my shiny new Chromatone 312 in the mail from Tokyo, and — Wow, it really kicks ass!!!

My first impression, after playing for a few hours, is: It’s just fundamentally, massively superior to the ordinary piano keyboard layout!

The Chromatone 312 itself is a good but not fantastic piece of equipment — the built-in sounds aren’t great (though it can be used as a MIDI controller for another sound generator), and the keys don’t have an awesome feel to them….  But hey, it works! … and the Janko layout is just plain better

It will take probably hundreds of hours for me to acclimate to it, to the extent I have to the ordinary piano layout.  Probably dozens of hours for me to become even OK at it.  Although, picking out songs by ear on it is easier than on the ordinary piano keyboard….

But it just makes composing and improvising fundamentally easier, removing a bunch of unnecessary awkwardness and opening new possibilities via making the geometric structure of melodies correspond more closely to the geometric structures on the keyboard…

As another plus, it lets the hand span many more notes than on an ordinary keyboard .. so that those of us with small hands can play wider chords…

What I really want now is a Janko acoustic piano — but I guess that will need to wait till the hypothetical day when I get a lot richer… I guess the existing ones are all collector’s items….

Too bad I’m soooo busy with work these days that I don’t have much time to learn Janko, and will proceed bit by bit, maybe 15-20 minutes a day….  But hey, those will be a fun 15-20 minutes 😉

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