Audio & Music
Keyboards & Input Devices

Haxophone

A hackable electronic saxophone with mechanical keys

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The Haxophone offers a budget-friendly and fully customizable electronic musical experience akin to a travel saxophone. Powered by an elegant Raspberry Pi HAT, this unique instrument provides mechanical keys and custom ergonomics, ensuring a satisfying feel for musicians and hackers alike. Embodying the spirit of open source, the Haxophone is hackable, OSHWA certified, and encourages creative freedom, enabling users to customize key switches, note mappings, and more.

Versatile Rehearsal Tool

While the Haxophone is not a direct substitute for a traditional saxophone, it offers remarkable accuracy, allowing saxophone players to practice quietly or on the move. With transferable muscle memory between the Haxophone and the traditional instrument, rehearsals can now occur in unconventional settings that were previously inconceivable with a standard saxophone. Moreover, repair costs are reasonable, and the Haxophone’s compact and lightweight design makes it more portable than any regular saxophone.

Designed for Customization

The Haxophone cleverly utilizes standard mechanical key switches as fingering keys, offering cost-effective, reliable, and easily repairable alternatives to digital saxophones’ custom molded keys.

Explore the Hackable Haxophone

Embracing hackability, the Haxophone encourages exploration and creativity. Modify fingerings, change sounds, add features like beats or LEDs—the software, written in the beloved Rust language, enables easy customization.

The Haxophone comes as a HAT (Hardware Attached on Top) for Raspberry Pi single-board computers. Its keyboard layout mirrors that of saxophones. Additionally, it features a neck compatible with regular saxophone mouthpieces and a pressure sensor for airflow detection. The built-in audio amplifier ensures optimal performance even with the cost-effective Raspberry Pi Zero.

For repair and customization needs, simply 3D print replacement parts, including the thumb rest, using the provided source models available in our repository.

Streamlined Design with Cost Efficiency

The Haxophone PCB is an integral part of the instrument’s structure, directly attaching key switches, thumb rests, mouthpiece, and Raspberry Pi. Side keys (left palm and right knuckle keys) are mounted on smaller detachable PCBs, effectively reducing manufacturing expenses.

Keyboard Layout

The keyboard adopts a 3x8 matrix, with the mapping of saxophone keys to keyboard column/row values.

Please note that due to PCB size constraints, the high F# key is not included. However, the Haxophone is already pre-configured with common high F# mappings. For less common configurations, the software is easily extendable.

Enhanced Audio Experience

The Haxophone incorporates an audio amplifier and a 3.5mm mini-jack, facilitating connectivity to headphones or external amplifiers.

Haxophone Pinout

The diagram below shows how the Haxophone connects to a Raspberry Pi. The keyboard matrix uses discrete GPIOs, the pressure sensor uses I2C, and the audio amplifier uses I2S.

Features & Specifications

Embracing Open Source

The Haxophone is officially certified by the Open Source Hardware Association with UID PT000005.

Comparisons

HaxophoneMark VI tenorYDS-150YVS-140
Manufacturer Cardona Bits Selmer Yamaha Yamaha
Quality of SoundGood Great Good Not Good
Multiple Sound InstrumentsYes No Yes No
Same Fingering as SaxophoneYes Yes Yes No
Plays in TuneAlways Not always Always Always
Open Source Hardware CertifiedYes No No No
RepairableYes Only by professionals Only by professionals No
CustomizableYes (keycaps, code, 3d printed parts)No No No
Silent Playing (with Headphones)YesNo YesNo
WeightVery light (180g) Heavy (3.5 Kg)Medium weight (1.1 Kg)Light (438g)
ProgrammableYes No NoNo
Can Carry and Play on AirplaneYes No Only in business class (due to 70cm length) No (loud)
Price$ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $

Support & Documentation

The Haxophone is designed with transparency and community input in mind. Our extensive Github Repository includes open-source information, hardware files, software, assembly instructions, and more. For assistance, documentation, and discussions

In the Press

Synthtopia

"The design is fully open source, hackable and OSHWA certified. This means that you can make Haxophone entirely your own, from changing the type of key switches to making your own note and instrument mappings."


Hackaday

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Produced by Cardona Bits in Porto, Portugal.

Sold and shipped by Crowd Supply.

Haxophone

A fully assembled HAT ready to be plugged into a Raspberry Pi (RPi not included)

$236 $8 US Shipping / $18 Worldwide

Raspberry Pi Zero WH

From the Raspberry Pi Zero project.

Half the size of a Model A+, with twice the utility, plus Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity and pre-soldered pin headers.

$16 $8 US Shipping / $18 Worldwide

16 GB UHS Class 4 microSD Card WD/SD

From the Crowd Supply Basics project.

16 GB UHS Class 4 MicroSD Card

$12 $8 US Shipping / $18 Worldwide

About the Team

Cardona Bits

Porto, Portugal  ·   cardonabits.com

Quirky devices designed to delight

Javier Cardona
 jcard0na

See Also

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