One key play

I have a question, please:

If you check:

(WIKIPEDIA, Several tiny keyboards provide a step sequencer combined with an independent timing mode for recording and performance:
Casio VL-Tone VL-1 (1979), Casiotone MT-70 (c.1984), Sampletone SK-1 (1986), etc — Timings of musical notes stored on the step sequencer, can be designated by the two trigger buttons labeled “One Key Play”, around the right hand position.

Question: Can I use existing softwareto do this? (play midi notes with no tempo attribute, just note by note, manually; I tried to explain this to other folks, but they seem no to understand the explanation at Wikipedia; it´s simple, it´s used to play music for training purposes ).

The way I use it is:

1- I record a simple song, right hand only, with single note every step, note by note, NO TEMPO, just one after the other, manually, via a keyboard (either computer or controller), say “Twinkle, twinkle little star”.

  1. Then, I use any two keys of the keyboard to play the recorded notes, note by note, I set the tempo in every note at will by just keeping pressed the key lees or more time.

Casio has it in some of its models and it’s amazing how it improves music learning! See attached picture, please.If I could use existing software with my computer to record a simple song, right hand only, and then play it back at my own tempo, just like Casio does, note by note, that’s it. All students would be able to use it instead of purchasing a special keyboard, sometimes difficult to find…

Thank you for your help,


I can get you halfway there:

But you have to press the same key. You can however press any key and it will automatically transpose the song.

edit: It occurs to me you might not be familiar with Renoise, if that is the case feel free to ask any questions here. Download the Demo from the website and you should be able to open this song file I linked.

If you do know Renoise, then basically what I did was generate a sequence of single cycle samples to form the notes to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, they’re all layered, so set overlap mode to “cycle,” and now it will just cycle through the samples. Then just add a simple ADSR envelope and you’re done.

As renoise is scriptable, I could imagine possibility of a simple tool that maps keys to the “play single line” function (as standard it is on the enter key). Maybe “recording” would happen placing alternatingly note on’s and note off’s in a pattern, while pressing a key is triggering playing a note line, and the next one (with the note-off commands) when the key is released, or playing two lines (off and right on in the next line) when a key is still held, and another is pressed.

This could come close to what you want to achieve?

And I guess the purpose of such stuff is to learn rhythmic feeling for melodies without having to worry about the pitch of the notes?

If you can do with only one key, then the return key will do exactly this. Just insert the notes one by one on every line, then it will play the line and jump to the next every time you push return.

I own a PT-1 myself, but i don’t remember exactly how it worked though, maybe i missed something?

I have a VL-1 and can vouch for the appropriateness of either solution!

Although I never found a music educational application for it. I’d just program in as many arpeggios as the memory would hold and then mash the keys as fast as possible with the keyboard held in a guitar-god posture and something nasty on the CD player.

Wow, Julian!

I’ve been trying for years to find some midi sequencing software that contained

the “one-key-play” rhythm entry concept with no success.

I own Casio and Fisher keyboards that do the “one-key-play” function and I use them

all the time to enter my choral music for practice.

Unfortunately, the Casio has no data output to computer and the Fisher only does

analog out, not midi!

I’ve been starting to write my own python midi code to be able to create files this way,

because I haven’t find it out there.

Have you had any luck?

This is definitely scriptable, you could edit tools like noodle trap for what you want to achieve.

Alternatively, natively you can do the reverse, first play the rhymth with any notes, then edit their pitch one by one.

record>move to next row with note/move to previous row with note(search that in the keybinds setting, this includes note offs however)>edit note