Full-size keyboards have one problem: they’re big. We’ve seen roll-up pianos, but limp pieces of vinyl with membrane action aren’t much fun to play. Ever looked at your keyboard and just wished you could fold it up?



Inventor David Bubar thinks he’s got the answer. He’s patented a design for a fold-up keyboard, and has published the patent in hopes of generating interest. All the electronics for the keys and even a full-fledged synth action are there, but by dividing the instrument into modules with interconnecting sockets, Bubar claims you can fold his keyboard into an area a third its size. Suddenly, your 88-key mega-synth folds down to the size of those cheap two-octave keyboards.


There’s only the patent — no working prototype — but the designers will be at NAMM next week where CDM will be interviewing them. If you’re intrigued, or skeptical, or both, there’s a call for musicians at FoldupKeyboard.com, with forums and even an open call to join their development group.


Could this work? And will we ever see an actual product? Stay tuned. As for the various surveys asking if we like the idea, well, heck, yeah. Personally, I’d carry a keyboard with me everywhere if I could fold it into a backpack.


Image from the online patent:


  • Oystein

    :) Congratulations. A year ago I had the same idea, but did not proceed to the level of patent and so on. But this is great; With todays laptop computers you get a complete studio in your hand luggage, The only problem has been the keyboard! Now this is solved too!

    The only thing I would suggest, is to make the units 2 octaves in stead of one. The will make them 33 cm wide, which is about the size of a laptop. And the box will not be so high, then.

    Good luck! Hope to hear from you when this is in production.

    Best regards,
    Oystein Sevag
    composer / musician / producer

  • paulvg

    I guess no-one is interested in this keyboard: anyone hasn't noticed that the keys on the most right part of the keyboard are in the wrong order…
    I hope the inventor didn't used these drawings for his patent request.

  • Gino

    Try to make an version of 88 keys too.

    Good luck,

    Gino

  • Ty

    This idea came to me in a dream the other night. I was so frustrated trying to get any decent play out of that roll up keyboard I dreamt I took a circular saw to my Roland RD-150 to "portabalize" it. My idea was two halves, but 4 is good too. If this hits production, I will buy it. Otherwise I will have to peice my hundred pound roland back together each time I try to saw it in half and fit it in a suitcase.

  • Raymond

    I think it's a good idea, but what about the space between the peices? The keys need to overhang the connectors by just a little so that when the unit is assembled, there is no space between the keys on either side of the connector. According to the picture, it looks as if there is room for a whole other key in between each octave! (No good for those of us who don't see and go entirely by feel!)

  • Andre

    Hi, My name is Andre, I hope your Idea flys, and gose well.

    I have looked, and don reserch on the oll up pianos, and they eather have few keys as manny

    as 37, or 61. I only found one that can even use a sastain peddle for true playing, and it only has 49 keys.

    I like your Idea better, also because I have read that the roll up idea is not good for your hads anny way.

    I have bought one fold up piano by Kawasaki, but the keys are to tinny, and there are ony 32 keys.

    so, good luck getting it off the groud.

    I would want to know when you do.

    Andre

  • DERIK

    I THINK IT WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA FOR ALL MUSICIANS WHO TRAVEL ALOT. I HAVE A PRIVIA 100 & ITS HEAVY TO CARRY AROUND UNLESS YOU HAVE A CAR OR VAN. IT WOUILD HELP A GREAT DEAL. I HOPE IT COMES OFF THE GROUND & WORKS. YOU WOULD SELL ALOT OF THEM.

  • http://donaldpatriquin.com DONALD PATRIQUIN

    This is a wonderful idea – I had it myself years ago but as everyone know it't the perseverent who get things into reality. I note that the fourth module is incorrect (how do things like this happen?) and that there could be a larger than normal spacing between modules, resulting in errors in playing/entering music.

    I would DEFINITELY buy one to take on trips that involve an airplane. KEEP AT IT, Dave! Donald Patriquin, composer

  • Paul Rasmussen

    As in previous comments, what a great idea and one that I've pondered on with a fellow keyboardist. You have thankfully taken it to at least the stage of a patent. I would again point out the errors in the drawings, but I'm sure when it's at the Prototype stage, those things will become obvious.

    Keyboardist all over the world are waiting! Is there an update on the project available?

    Thanks,

    Paul

  • http://www.notejuste.com Andrew

    Looks good, but would be an arse to get together with enough lateral flexibility to act like a proper keyboard. I favour a hinged system where the keyboard folds up in the middle and down at the ends, so that when assembled the weight of the unit holds the halves close together.