NoteWorthy Composer Forum

Forums => Tips & Tricks => Topic started by: OmarFirestone on 2013-04-14 02:24 pm

Title: Using a Programmable Keypad (was: "Remapping Numeric Keypad")
Post by: OmarFirestone on 2013-04-14 02:24 pm
Is anyone else using a remapped numeric keypad to enter notes?  If so, what functions, and in what configuration, have you found to optimal.  I am in the process of experimenting and would like to avoid learning twice (three/four times!) "18-key-by-touch" if the group mind has already hit upon the "right combination".  If not, I'll post mine :-)  Omar
Title: Re: Remapping Numeric Keypad
Post by: Lawrie Pardy on 2013-04-15 01:20 am
Hi Omar,
hmm, I've never really thought about remapping the numeric pad as I find it does pretty much what I need it to...

Could you share your thoughts on why you want to remap it?  Perhaps I'm missing something.

Title: Re: Remapping Numeric Keypad
Post by: Haymo on 2013-04-16 07:11 pm
I find it does pretty much what I need it to...
Same here,
and my numeric keypad has only 17 keys.

Title: Re: Remapping Numeric Keypad
Post by: OmarFirestone on 2013-04-18 05:18 pm
Since my original post I have discovered that a standard 18-key numeric keypad, even when remapped,  does not offer a sufficient speed advantage to justify learning "a new way".  However programmable macros are a "game-changer".  For instance you get the ability to add  a dynamic with one keypress: Pressing a key labeled <p|pp> can "read" the lower boundary of its staff and insert a "piano" two spaces above that. (Use <SHFT> for pianissimo)

The 24-key keypad I have ordered has three "double keys", situate-able/orientable to taste.  These are most useful optioned as <ENTER>, <SHIFT>  & <CTRL>.  <ENTER> and <CTRL>+<ENTER> work as expected, but I am assigning <SHFT>+<ENTER> "rest" and <SHFT>+<CTRL>+<ENTER> to "bar line".

Rather than dedicate 6 keys to note values (as the program does), I labeled one key "3|." (period) and flanked it with the "-" and "+" functions.  (Pressing <SHIFT>+"3-Dot" cycles through dot/double-dot/no-dot.)  Common note values are thus a maximum of three key presses of adjacent keys.

The top row is dedicated to to articulation and the second row to dynamics.  

A little background: I am a cellist (who also plays a little piano) and the idea of turning a keypad into a musical instrument has always appealed to me.  The functionality above is based on the assurances of the tech staff at Fentek Industries (I am waiting for delivery) that the N-key roll-over will work as billed: E.G "shifting" flat will toggle double flat

I have attached a keyboard diagram.  As I have not yet made the final selection, please feel to comment.  NB NCRB = "Note | Rest | Chord | Bar (line)"

Title: Re: Using a Programmable Keypad (was: "Remapping Numeric Keypad")
Post by: David Palmquist on 2013-04-21 09:04 pm
Hi Omar,

While I don't see myself wanting to change from what I'm used to and prefer, your idea sounds interesting.  I have a couple of questions you might want to work through if you think others will want to adopt your idea.

Title: Re: Using a Programmable Keypad (was: "Remapping Numeric Keypad")
Post by: OmarFirestone on 2013-04-27 04:35 pm
David, to answer your questions in order:

1) I purchased (  USB Programmable Keypad from Fentek Industies  (

2)  Yes.  The cost is $85 + shipping and applicable sales tax

3)  No.  My idea was to use the KeyPad is to supplement and not replace regular keyboard/MIDI_Instrument note entry.  Starting with 24 keys: One is dedicated to "shift" (in the LLHC) and two are configured as "double keys".   There are therefore 42 possible commands (21 * 2) available for a judicious selection of functions.  "ppp" and "fff", being the most infrequently encountered dynamics, must be entered from a regular keyboard.  The "payoff" is after learning  "22-key by touch",  you don't have to look away from the score/screen when composing/arranging-transcribing.

4)  Pressing one of the dynamic keys will place that dynamic 3 spaces above the lower boundary of its respective staff.  (Care must be taken when manually inserting a dynamic to always exit the Dialog Box with the "Dynamic" tab having focus and the "Alignment Placement" control set to "at next note bar".)

***Suggestion for improving Noteworthy*** Avoid having multiple commands (in the same spinner control) that begin with the same letter

5)  The ULHC key is now configured as Slur/Tie depending on whether "2nd Level" is selected.

6)  To avoid confusion, key 2 ("rastering" from the ULHC) is now labeled "Ten/Stacc".  In the revised keyboard diagram (attached) all "2nd Level macros" are printed above the primary level function

7)  Yes, Articulations toggle on/off just as with keyboard entry.

8)  No.  Again, I am using the ControlPad (Fentek's name for the keyboard) in conjunction with a regular keyboard.

9)  Pressing 3 [dot/double dot] selects a quarter note.  The "minus" and "plus" augment/decrement the NoteValue, respectively.  UPDATE: Would changing the minus/plus key legends to a [whole note followed by a left-pointing arrow] and a [right-pointing arrow followed by a 64th note] respectively improve clarity?

10)  There are now only two double keys Note/Rest and Chord(note)/Bar Line just above it.  Use 2nd Level Toggle (the LLHC, or "key 21" in the documentation's nomenclature) to insert a Rest and Bar Line

11)   I designed the macros specifically to work with Noteworthy.  I have attached the  ControlPad Key Definition file (Noteworthy_1.txt) that contains the macros corresponding to the JPEG keyboard diagram.  You will have to change the extension back to *.ckd before it can be loaded into the application that flashes the keyboard

NB: The short arrows move the insertion point one note.  The long arrows, one measure.  The crosshatched double arrows select one note/measure respectively.  The up/down arrows flanking the "Note/Rest" key behave as expected.  8vo/8va shift down/up one octave.

I know it's a lot of money to spend on a "pig in a poke".  I'll post updates/revisions here as the "most intuitive" key configuration evolves.
Title: Re: Using a Programmable Keypad (was: "Remapping Numeric Keypad")
Post by: David Palmquist on 2013-04-28 06:46 pm
Thanks.  Best of luck, eh?