Q: How many keys?
A: The circle has 288 keys. But, as of 2016, it depends on the model. We now make 72 note (6 octave) quarter-circle sections that combine into different configurations. The Dual Wing features dual 72 note keyboards (thus 144 keys). The Brock360 (full circle) now features a contiguous 288 key, 24 octave design built from 4 72-note sections.
And yes, these sections are compatible between stands – you can convert a circle to two Dual Wings….you get the picture. Or start with a Dual Wing – and expand to a circle.
We can also produce 96 note length sections – an option for single (or multiple) keyboards.
Historically, in the original PianoArc, we combined three 88 note keyboards, and a small control section.
Q: How do I find Middle C?
A: There can be multiple Middle Cs. Depends upon the hardware setup choice you select. In the default layout – there are 4 72-note sections – and thus 4 middle Cs. Experts believe human hearing is limited to a 10 octave range (120 keys/notes). Since MIDI ( the Musical Instrument Digital Interface Standard) maxes out at 127 notes, a keyboard with 288 keys requires at least 3 splits. We also have a 120 note section if you want to experiment with the range of hearing (better have good speakers!).
If you want to get nerdy, our splits allow up to 16 Middle Cs (MIDI note value 60). The beauty of the PianoArc keyboard is that you can easily access multiple sounds in their playable range on one level and easily within arm’s reach.
Q: I need 4/5 keyboards for my live performances at the moment
And in every keyboard I use 4 or 5 sounds…. Could I create a similar set up with your instrument?
A: Yes, the option is to use either MainStage (requires a high-specification Mac for this setup), or a combination of MIDI racks/hardware. This is the perfect scenario for PianoArc.
Q: Is a PianoArc suitable for home use?
A: The stunning design of PianoArc, and our ability to offer custom finishing on every part (including key color) means that we can fulfill some pretty interesting requests. Let’s just say that PianoArc could be (or dare say, should be..) part of every player’s rock and roll fantasy. We take design seriously, and truly aspire to help venues and individual’s make best use of PianoArc’s varied possibilities in design and finish. Best first step is: Info Request Form
Q: Is it hard to play?
A: It might be easier. The key dimensions where the white/black keys intersect are the same as a traditional piano, and translates easily to most keyboard techniques. The curvature actually places the natural key intervals closer together – enabling 10th intervals for many of those with a normal octave reach. Also, based on anecdotal feedback, the curvature also seems to inspire solo line improvisation. That being said – some repertoire – stride, Chopin Ballades etc., will require some adaptation to say the least.
Q: How does it make sound?
A: Through MIDI/USB output. Any MIDI sound module (or keyboard) or software sound solution is compatible. Apple’s Mainstage is the high performance stalwart for live performance management – but we are equally compatible with all USB/MIDI capable devices.
The Lady Gaga tour made use of Mainstage and allows customization to configure the PianoArc’s sections and both independently and together.
As of 2020 – we feature packages that include a fully configured Macbook Pro with sound etc.
Q: How much does it cost?
A: Let’s just say about the price of a high quality acoustic grand piano. The full circle with everything comes in at $60,000USD. If you are looking for a single section and don’t care about the stand – considerably less. For more info please complete our Info Request Form
Q: Can you rent it?
A: Yes, but it will depend upon availability – generally PianoArc units are made to order. If we have a unit available – we will consider rental. Best please to start is our RENTAL INQUIRY form.
Q: Will you make something custom?
A: It could be said that’s our specialty. Let us know what you’re thinking via our contact form.
Q: You have any other cool ideas?
A: Yep. Having built the first circle and now that it’s completed two world tours, we now are adding other ideas to the roster. Use our contact form, tell us what you’re thinking and let’s start a dialogue.