We create custom high quality music instruments of any kind - be it acoustic, electric, or digital - on demand. Also, we modify your existing instrument to your needs whilst respecting its identity. For better performance, ergonomics, or both we produce standardized but custom made (grand) piano interfaces consisting of keyboard and action.
What we stand for
We stand for a future of artistic musicians. We believe in aesthetics and science as well as in meaningful communication. We want to take a relevant position in the upcoming transformation of the music scene, consolidating on understanding, joy, health, cooperation, and musical expression.
A sculpture in time - In dialogue with your audience
We believe that music is a sculpture in time in which the musician removes all fragments that do not fit into the expression of his meaning - as a sculptor does in stone. Yet, haven't we all experienced music as the most direct form of art? Penetrating directly to the soul it doesn't need words as symbols. Ideally, live music is a dialogue between artist and audience, as well as between the conscious and the unconscious. In its optimal form this dialogue assists its participants to discover what is relevant in life.
The perfect instrument, the perfect match - In dialogue with your instrument
Each of our instruments is rich of character, yet transparent in contact and approach, offering a wide array of nuances to play with. This balance of character and transparency causes our instruments to be easy to move, but hard to master, which makes it joyfully interesting to play. In dialogue with the instrument, a broad range of possibilities opens up, and together you create music out of sound.
Play, and we will listen - In dialogue with the maker
From concept to production we connect different fields of the sciences and the humanities. With access to modern and diverse professional production facilities we make choices solely based on knowledge and understanding, not shying away from advanced fighter jet technology. Implementing the most advanced research and production technologies to date is exactly what the great piano builders from the 1880's till the 1920's did. We believe in their approach and follow the tradition they set.
The modular piano
Make your piano modular. Start with the interface, which consists of a keyboard and an action. We offer easily switchable piano interfaces in different qualities, sizes, and layouts for different instruments and for different needs. We offer the keyboard in any size in a traditional piano layout, and we also offer Janko layout or improved Janko layout. All interfaces/keyboards are custom made to fit your instrument and you. We can build one for you on basis of the following series:
The playing This keyboard plays like any other traditionally built keyboard. This technique is perfectly usable for straight keyboards.
Regulation and maintenance Series 1 requires the same adjustment as any traditional keyboard.
The edge of innovation To reduce prices, we use computer models to speed up the design process. Subsequently, the vast majority can be manufactured by computer-controlled machines. This allows us to maintain a favorable price for a traditional keyboard.
When using this technology for smaller or bigger than original sizes, problems appear as in any other keyboard made from wood and felt.
When this technology is used for smaller or bigger keyboards, the keys will experience torsion and irregular and high friction as well as side-movement that all contribute to significant energy losses.
As with all wooden products, changes in humidity will affect the shape of the keys, forcing you to adjust the regulation.
Plastic key-tops, can stick and slip under your fingers and are aesthetically less pleasing than wooden ones.
It has to be regulated as any other normal keyboard and that takes time.
Included in price: key-frame, keys, key-tops.
Not included in price: action frame, action, hammers, regulation.
3 Series: a cost-effective step towards future
Prices start at € 3.700
The playing The 3-series plays exceptionally well as a straight keyboard or as a narrowed or broadened keyboard. It is kind to different levels of expertise . The keys are constructed from thin layers of quality wood and will be built as desired for optimum performance or stability.
In a narrowed or widened variant, the keys will weigh slightly more than in the straight because fiberglass composite reinforcements are needed to protect the wooden keys from twisting. Nevertheless, still very light compared to keys that have to derive their complete stiffness from just a wooden construction.
The bushing system prides itself in carrying qualities of more classical makes. We have improved it to complement narrowed / widened keyboards. It provides a much more direct playing character because the keys are better limited in their freedom of movement. This reduces energy loss to the lateral movement of the key.
The keys are designed with less sharp corners to reduce tension and offer players a lighter, more stable touch. In addition, it provides a better basis for the fiberglass laminate.
Regulation and maintenance The three-series will have to be adjusted like any traditional keyboard. The plastic bearings are more durable than felt and are not affected by fluctuations in temperature or humidity. In addition, it is easier to replace them. If lead is used, it should never be placed in the sloping part. This is also the case with traditional keys.
The edge of innovation There is no other wooden keyboard that achieves such high rigidity with such weightlessness. There is also no other wooden keyboard that consists of layers of exactly the right, sometimes different, types of wood to properly drive the specific instrument for which it is made. This is especially noticeable with narrowed / widened keyboards. In combination with the advanced plastic bushing technology this is the only wooden keyboard in the world that can perform acceptable to many with a narrowed / widened variant.
Good value for money
Wooden key-tops feel natural, will never become sticky or slippery and are therefore very comfortable to control. Also they look beautiful.
When made in a smaller or bigger then standard size it functions reasonable, and at least significantly better then any normal wood/felt keyboard on the market. The keys will be always heavier then they have to be with the straight keyboard. This is the unsolvable downside of using wood for smaller/bigger keyboards. To achieve the appropriate strength much weight is simply needed. But due to the advanced precision bushings with 0.1mm tolerance and very low friction the side movement is much more restricted then with felt and the friction is much more linear and predictable then with traditional felt bushings. The torsion of the keys will be within very acceptable range for the good amateur or beginning professional.
It has to be regulated as any other normal keyboard and that takes time.
Included in price: key-frame, keys, wooden key-tops, action frame
Not included in price: action, hammers, regulation
5 Series: a cost-effective professional solution
Prices start at € 11.000
The playing All keys are carefully calculated and tested and should not deform at 100% of the force that can reasonably be applied. At 101% they should start to deform, or otherwise they are built too heavy. The polymer custom developed bearing technology is not only a factor ten more precise than the one used in the three series, 0.01mm, but also sturdy enough to withstand years of professional abuse with any size of keyboard.
The keys are in balance by design and do not require lead. There is an optional magnetic energy storage system that can store the energy of the hammer falling down, and can give it back in the first moment of hitting the key only to overcome the initial inertia. This all enables the pianist to play with a feeling as if he directly controls the hammers, down to the millimeter, without having to deal with the inertia that their weight causes.
Regulation and maintenance The keyboard is built on a self bearing aluminum anodized frame to accommodate even more stability and extremely upgrading the ease of maintenance. Unlike any other keyboard in the world it can be regulated outside of the instrument with a screwdriver. This does not only save a tremendous amount of the usual keyboard maintenance time and costs, but just makes it affordable and practically manageable to keep your keyboard in superb shape through the years.
The whole bushing system can be replaced within minutes instead of weeks as is common. All normal labor intensive regulation is now obsolete since all is adjustable easily and directly via the sturdy self bearing frame.
The edge of innovation The extremely high level of efficiency in production makes it possible to offer such an outstanding keyboard within a price range in which you would normally find just a wooden one. Our advanced computer models can automatically calculate and generate this keyboard design so that CNC machines can autonomously create most of the product by themselves after which follows an easy assembly process.
Very responsive and direct
In different sizes of the keyboard no more energy losses then in a straight one
Super easy and cheap maintenance
Ever lasting even when continuously played
Price/quality ratio extremely high
Included in the price: self bearing keyframe, keys, wooden keytops, self bearing action frame, full composite action, partly regulation, namely of the keys.
Not included in price: hammers, final regulation (not included in the standard price does not mean we cannot offer it, but the costs can vary drastically. Therefore we can only give individual prices after seeing the instrument)
7 Series: true perfection
Prices start at € 65.000
The playing The evenness and souplesse of the keyboard is absolutely unmatched. Normally the key, which is the biggest chunk of material, contributes negatively to the directness of the action. We have redesigned this. Working with extreme stiffness and weight characteristics every vibration can potentially start to live its own life. All keys passed through a complete and thorough modal analysis though and are by design all tuned to below the audible range of the piano on a frequency harmonically related to each key to be sure to be able to create the best tone at every string. Every viber is put in the right direction in order to completely control the progression of vibrations. Does this make a difference? Yes.
But all is about significance. Is your instrument good enough to really benefit? The bearing system only holds the key in the middle and this is one of the most crucial parts of the extreme performance of this product. The high precision miniature bearing system works so well because of two things, it is incredibly stiff, therefore the key cannot move in the limited direction, staying direct and not "muddy". And it is incredibly precise, the tolerance is less than a micron. Therefore we can manage the exact right bearing pressure to create an extremely low, predictable and even amount of friction in the free direction. And only in this keyboard there is simply no difference measurable between friction or mass in any of the keys.
Maintenance It shares the frame of the five series, making it extremely easy to regulate it precisely and in a short time frame. There is no other maintenance on the keys. They will easily stay in perfect shape after your whole life of pianistic heavy abuse. Don't force the keys into another direction though. They are only exactly as strong as needed to play on, and to hold the biggest force you will ever need - only - in the normal direction.
The edge of innovation In this series we create the exact perfect material characteristics because we control every fiber. We use advanced computer models and measurements to be sure to control every vibration we can think of. When the hammer hits the string, it is in contact with the string for often up to seven vibrations before it goes down. This means that the whole connected system influences your tone. Only in this keyboard all parts are optimized for perfection, using true space grade technology.
Best possible performance
Best possible precision
Most direct of all as if you are able to touch the hammers directly
Can be made without problem in any size. Different layouts though can make it significantly more inert then on the normal layout since other layouts need more key-top parts. Still it will have much less inertia then even the five series in a straight keyboard layout.
No maintenance in a lifetime of heavy use
You get a 67 page design report for every key. That is almost 6000 pages of funky looking colorful drawings under different stress situations that you can all show to all your friends while having a drink
Extremely high production costs, and therefore a huge total price.
Included in price: all materials and all labor including regulation.
But for those who can afford it and are interested in the technological extremes (as in the most direct piano experience possible), we would highly encourage this product.
Sense your expressivity
Any great instrument retains its own identity, while allowing for expressing yours. A portable digital piano keyboard, Respons forms the link between you, the player, and your musical instrument. Whilst ergonomically designed to your personal needs, Respons makes your instrument respond to you, sensing every nuance in your touch on micro-second level. With its unparalleled real-time continuous sensing, it provides you with reins over the instrument enabling you to reach peak performance together, expressing the best of both your identities.
Liberate your artistry
For our product to flourish, we need to change the industry and the way musicians think about their instrument. We believe the proof is in the product, so our product has to be easily available, portable and modular, and at the same time of unprecedented quality compared to anything else in its class, while still being realistically affordable.
Reveal your personality
The best music is made with the best musicians playing on the best instruments - instruments that fit them like a tailor-made suit. And because every great musician has (and is) a unique personality, the instrument played by that musician should connect with that identity. This means that the choice for a specific instrument is inextricably linked to the identity of the musician that plays it, so we believe that this choice should always be yours, not ours.
Embrace the quality
We aim to achieve this by using a radically different approach: by relying on thorough research and modern, advanced and efficient production technology. This makes it possible to develop a product of the highest possible quality in its class, that is at the same time manufacturable on a large scale and therefore realistically affordable.
Just pull the interface out of your acoustic piano and place it into the DPDS. Now you can play digitally and easily take your own interface anywhere you want.
Practice anywhere, anytime on your original interface.
You need electricity.
The price is excluding the keyboard itself.
Interested? Contact us for questions and for our terms and conditions on pre-orders via the email ([email protected]).
€ 360 limited edition
Our favourite digital page turner, a beautiful piece of art in itself. It is fast and reliable and is the only page turner that doesn't make a sound. As always optimised for full human control. Hand-polished wood and beautiful light effect. Plug the device into any digital device - for example Windows, Android, iOS, OSX, DOS, Linux, BSD, Unix, Citrix - and it will work. We stopped production, but there are still a handful left. If you would need more than 50 Tornitores we can start up production again.
We can build any custom music instrument or modify your existing one. These are our favourite projects, so never hesitate to contact us if you have the slightest wish. We help you to discover the possibilities. If desired, we can start a trajectory realising your musical dream and build your new grand piano, violin, or other dream instrument, or maybe just modify your favourite analogue synthesizer?
Basic scientific principles of playing a piano key
Let's just start with a very basic explanation of the parameters that are relevant. A piano key has zero momentum in rest. Momentum is the product of mass and velocity. Thus when the velocity is zero, it doesn't matter what the mass is, the momentum is still zero.
Then there is force. Force = mass times acceleration. This is Newton's second law. If a certain force is applied, and the mass is higher, then the acceleration is lower.
The pianist applies a certain force into the key over a certain time. The pianist thus creates a so called impulse. So if you have a graph of force and time, then the area underneath it is the impulse. Impulse is what changes momentum, thus what changes the motion of the mass (or the mass, but that is in this case not possible). Impulse thus is not the same as the momentum, but it is equal to the change in momentum that is given to the system. To create an impulse or to change the momentum work is needed.
Chemical energy from our food is transferred to kinetic energy by the so called work of the pianist. Work is what transfers energy from one form to another one. Work here is force times distance. When the action is moving it has kinetic energy, equal to the work done by the pianist. For the energy of the system the speed is way more relevant then the mass, since the amount of kinetic energy is only 1/2 times the mass times the speed square, Ek=1/2mv^2. The momentum divided by the mass is the velocity (momentum = mass x velocity --> velocity = momentum/mass). So if we use momentum divided by mass instead of v in the formula of kinetic energy you get 1/2mass(momentum/mass)^2=momentum^2/ 2 times mass. In this formula you can easily see the counter-intuitive relationship between momentum and kinetic energy. You can see that a system with the exact same momentum, but less mass caries more kinetic energy. I say that again: If a heavy system and a light system have the same momentum, the light system has way more energy.
When the key is played, the pianist uses a certain amount of energy to create the work that generates the impulse that creates a momentum in the piano key. Momentum is always conserved (about friction I can explain later). So moving mass times velocity at the beginning is moving mass times velocity at the end. Thus the moving air mass, of which we interpret the propagation of the disturbance it caused in the medium - air - as sound, has the same momentum as the fingertip striking the key.
Before the airwaves move through the room a series of so called inelastic collisions occur already in the piano action. An elastic collision is a collision of objects in which all kinetic energy is conserved. An approximation of that can be seen when one billiard ball stops completely when hitting the second that instantly gains the speed of the first. An inelastic collision is one in which a part of the kinetic energy is transferred into internal energy. Usually this so called internal energy is still kinetic energy on the molecular scale. The first molecule hits the second, starting a wave of molecular collisions, and that we call thermal energy or heat. Then there is also a perfectly inelastic collision possible in which the bodies are bonded together. This does not mean however that the newly combined body doesn't move. It moves because of the conservation of momentum.
In the piano the collisions are very inelastic; i do not say perfectly inelastic. A substantial amount of kinetic energy dissipates into the system as internal energy. Moving as waves through the materials, like usually ivory, wood, felt, metal.
Implications of changing piano keyboard size within an existing grand piano