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DIY Custom Acrylic Music Keyboard Case

Posted on Tuesday 17 January 2012

My music keyboard is placed underneath my window, making it a great platform for my cats to walk on. They would constantly step on the keys or buttons, disrupting my Logic sessions by changing MIDI channels or programs. But the last straw was when one of my cats vomited on the keyboard. I decided to take steps to protect it.

After stopping at two hardware stores, I couldn’t find acrylic sheets thick enough to protect the keyboard, but got a referral to Gavrieli Plastics, who were helpful and had what I was looking for. For about $200 I got enough 1/4″ clear acrylic to encase the keyboard, acrylic hinges, Weld-On 16 Solvent Cement, cuts to the dimensions I wanted, and at the last minute, holes drilled in the back of the case for the cables to go in.

I peeled off the masking, assembled the box outside using bookends and books to create the right angles, and applied the adhesive. The adhesive stinks and is toxic so it’s good to do this outdoors, though I’ve seen youtube users touching the stuff. Most tutorials recommend using gloves to protect your hands.

Now that I know more about acrylic, I would have preferred Weld-On 4 and a syringe-type applicator. There are tutorials on youtube on how to weld acrylic, and using a syringe and capillary cementing looks easier and more secure if you have clean cuts in the plastic, which I did. The Weld-On 16 proved to be more difficult to work with because it poured out of the tube quickly, and you can’t wipe off the remaining residue, so I’m left with a few blotches. However, it did the job. I essentially applied the Weld-On like glue on the edges and let it set. The solvent cement actually melts the plastic and fuses it together, which is why it is more similar to welding than to gluing.

The hinges simply welded on as well; I just held them in place for 3 minutes each. You just have to be careful to apply the Weld-On away from the moving parts.

After a few hours, my roommate helped me move it indoors (I was worried the cold night temperatures would expand the plastic and interrupt its setting–some websites recommend welding at temperatures above 60°F), and after 24 hours I installed it with the keyboard.

The case has a hinged top and an open front for playing and accessing controls. Its dimensions are 55.5″ long x 8″ high x 16″ deep for my M-Audio Keystation Pro 88. Because the Acrylic is 1/4″ thick, I had the sides cut 15.75″ deep (instead of 16″) so that they would be flush with the front. The drilled holes for the cables are 2″ wide and 5″ apart centered in the back. I left extra room in the back for cable clearance, and extra height for playing. For the most part, aside from plugging in the cables, because the box is clear, I can play and access all controls without opening the top.

The case does its job nicely. It can handle light objects on top of it near the hinges. If you have irregular shaped objects and not a lot of space, this is one way to get more surface space. It does feel a little fragile – the bottom bended a lot when I put it on an X-style keyboard stand, so I reinforced it with wood underneath. The top bends a little too, because it is only attached by the hinges. If you don’t need it to be hinged, it would be a lot stronger. I might have gone with a thicker type of acrylic, but I didn’t want the thing to be too heavy. At 1/4″ it is pretty light (I can move it around myself).

So far, the cats have stayed away from it.

Jordan
Filed under: audio anddiy andGear andMusic andNew Instruments andoriginals
Go Home: One-Click directions for iPhone hack

Posted on Thursday 3 November 2011

Here is a hack that allows you to click a button on your home screen and get directions home or anywhere else from your current location.

Instructions

To begin, open Safari and go to this address: http://jordanbalagot.com/gohome.php

Next, enter your full address into the address field:

Then, add the next page to your home screen by clicking on the share button, the middle bottom button in Mobile Safari:

 

Choose any name for it.

Now, whenever you click on the Go Home shortcut, it will first open Safari, and then redirect to google maps with automatic directions to the address you specified.

 

You can repeat the steps again to set up as many shortcuts you want, such as work, friends, parks, etc.

This has been tested on the iPhone 3G, 3GS, 4, and the iPad, and should work on all iOS devices. It does not require a jailbreak. Currently this only works on iPhones in the English language.

This hack relies on connecting to my site to redirect you to your current location in google maps. Here is my privacy statement: I don’t care where you live! 🙂

Jordan
Filed under: Apple andiPhone andmisc andoriginals andThe Web andvideo
Killer Elite In Theaters September 23

Posted on Tuesday 13 September 2011

I am excited to have been part of Reinhold Heil and Johnny Klimek’s scoring team for the upcoming release of Killer Elite, in Theaters September 23.

I am credited as a music programmer and score performer on the film, and my original work can be heard on the tracks “Room Service”, “Hunter’s Release”, and “End Rollers”. A digital soundtrack is also being released.

Jordan
Filed under: audio andFilm Music andMusic andoriginals
Genderfreak Music Video and Kickstarter Campaign

Posted on Thursday 25 August 2011

I am the composer and music supervisor for Genderfreak, a new film by Becca Louisell. Below is a music video and Kickstarter campaign for the film:

I wrote the song in the music video and co-wrote the lyrics with Louisell. I am excited to be working on a film that deals with transgender issues in a positive light, as it is part of my identity as well.

Stay tuned for the release of the film as well as an MP3 release of the song.

Jordan
Filed under: audio andFilm Music andMusic andoriginals
6 Giorni Sulla Terra (6 Days On Earth) Released

Posted on Monday 20 June 2011

“6 Giorni Sulla Terra”, directed by Varo Venturi, was released this weekend in Italy. I had the privilege of being a co-composer of the film along with industry veterans Johnny Klimek and Reinhold Heil. This was my first co-credit with them.

The music on the official website features a track I wrote:
http://www.6giornisullaterra.info/

The film’s tag-line is: “Dr. Davide studies the alien abductions. From the abductees under hypnosis, he has understood that some alien races have been installing, for millennia, their active memories in the people’s brains, to exploit a special energy: the Soul.”

Official facebook page | IMDB page | More screenshots

Jordan
Filed under: Music andoriginals
Track Featured in Target Commercial

Posted on Wednesday 25 May 2011

A music library track I composed was recently featured in a Target commercial for hand sanitizer, part of their national “Everyday” 15-second spots. View it below:

Jordan
Filed under: Music andoriginals andvideo
Synesthesia event featuring Dirty Vegas and Orchestra in Miami 6/4/11

Posted on Friday 18 March 2011

Update: This concert has been rescheduled to June 4.

I am one of three orchestrators arranging for Dirty Vegas’s Synesthesia concert with live orchestra at the New World Center in Miami next week. The event will present the unique combination of a live 30-piece symphony orchestra performing with grammy award-winning Dirty Vegas along with other featured artists, while also incorporating visual projections by Laurence Gartel & Psyberpixie, together with scent creating technology previously only utilized by entertainment giants like Cirque Du Soleil and Disney.

I composed additional music for “Days Go By,” “Pressure,” and “Emma.” They will be played live with electronics with Dirty Vegas in medleys along with other orchestrations by fellow composers, friends and Columbia grads Alexa Ramirez and Victor Hernandez Stumpfhauser. Please come join us!

June 4, 2011, 7:00 pm
New World Center
500 17th Street
Miami Beach, FL
www.synevent.com

Jordan
Filed under: events andMusic andoriginals
You can be beaten by a disc

Posted on Wednesday 13 October 2010

I thought this was funny. I was out playing disc golf with some friends and we saw a sign that was only in spanish. I thought I’d give google goggles a try, one of its features is to translate signs when you take a picture of them.

This was the result (click for bigger):

Jordan
Filed under: Uncategorized
?autoplay=false

Posted on Wednesday 13 October 2010

I added this simple code to turn off autoplay when loading my site:


[object type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” width=”300″ height=”153″
data=”http://jordanbalagot.com/xspf_player.swf?playlist_url=http://jordanbalagot.com/jbplaylist.xml&autoplay=&autoresume=0&volume_level=50″>
Jordan
Filed under: diy andmisc andThe Web
Quicksilver Or Steam Automatic App Switcher

Posted on Wednesday 6 October 2010

I’ve written another app similar to my keep mainstage running app — Quicksilver Or Steam.

What this app does is quits Quicksilver when you’re playing games in Steam, and launches Quicksilver when Steam has quit.

I know I’m not the only one with this problem – you’re playing Left 4 Dead 2 and suddenly you can’t move because quicksilver has launched in the background with control-space. This app is designed to fix this problem.

This app is more responsive than my last app, and I’ve written a separate app that closes the silent version.

You can add the silent version to your login items to have it run whenever you boot your machine.

Note that the silent version is VERY silent, i.e. you do not see it in the dock, nor in the force quit window. You can quit it with the included “Stop QuicksilverOrSteamSilent” app or by finding “QuicksilverOrSteamSilent” in the activity monitor and clicking “Quit Process”.

Also note that the Steam process takes several seconds to unload after the application quits, so there may be a delay before Quicksilver relaunches.

Here is the source code for those interested. I tried “on idle” instead of “repeat”, but the app still does not respond to quit signals until the delay period is up. I’ve changed the delay period from 30 seconds to 3 seconds, but it still may take up to 3 seconds to quit. I welcome any suggestions on how to fix this. For now, 3 seconds does not seem to tax the computer too much.

on run
end run

on idle
        tell application "System Events"
                if (exists process "Steam") then
                        if (exists process "Qu?c?s?????") then
                                tell application "Quicksilver" to quit
                        end if
                end if
                if not (exists process "Steam") then
                        if not (exists process "Qu?c?s?????") then
                                tell application "Quicksilver" to activate
                        end if
                end if
        end tell
        return 3
end idle

on quit
        continue quit
end quit

If you're on mac, click here to open this in applescript editor.
Jordan
Filed under: Apple andmisc andoriginals