Make a custom 26 button Live controller the easy way :)

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Angstrom
Posts: 14705
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 2:22 pm
Contact:

Make a custom 26 button Live controller the easy way :)

Post by Angstrom » Tue Mar 01, 2005 7:54 pm

I've seen a few people lamenting their inability to create / afford a custom controller.

Here's the simple way to make a USB based 26 button controller with a shift key to give you 52 buttons !

What I mean is a controller something like this ...
Image

or perhaps a little bit like this
Image

but built much worse, obviously ;)

you can combine these with a small cheap midi dial box if you need some potentiometer control in addition to the triggering a button matrix provides.

basically you just have to 'think outside the box', instead of labouring over programming up a basicstamp for MIDI or blowing an eprom for usb ... we simply canibalise an existing controller board - a little soldering is required ... but nothing too frightening!

By dismantling a cheap USB keyboard (or one with a few keys missing) you can get the 'keyboard encoder' out. Make the most of their bulk discounts on cost and decent construction techniques. (IE nice soldering :))

Image
a selection of keyboard encoder boards

That is the device that sends rational data to your computer and Live, all pre-programmed and ready to go. A lot easier than making a midi box, which required something similar to a BasicStamp chip and a bit of programming knowledge.

Obviously you will need to source a load of nice buttons or perhaps you prefer monster size triggers :) ... and a box. Plus it wont build itself ... so you need at least a little practicality.

But if you are interested - read this article:
http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1 ... 427,00.asp

It is geared around building a 'game' controler , but it suits our purposes exactly.

I plan to use one to complement my doepfer Drehbank.

mikemc
Posts: 5454
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 2:14 pm
Location: Maryland USA
Contact:

world's stupidest midi controller

Post by mikemc » Tue Mar 01, 2005 8:04 pm

maybe this joke will be funnier in this topic...

Image

ehh ... maybe not. :)

Machinate
Posts: 11646
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:15 pm
Location: Denmark
Contact:

Post by Machinate » Tue Mar 01, 2005 8:30 pm

or buy one pre-stripped, usb control, screw terminals, so there's no soldering required on the board itself, none of that matrixing that goes on with regular keyboards, it has a s/w editor, that supports MACROS, it's extra small etc.
32 inputs.
Free airmail, 35$. only thirtyfive dollars.

http://www.ultimarc.com/ipacve.html

I think it'd be great for a faderfox-style handheld unit, it's usb-powered.

hoffman2k
Posts: 14717
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 6:40 pm
Location: Belgium
Contact:

Post by hoffman2k » Tue Mar 01, 2005 8:37 pm

I have an edirol pcr-50 lying around with some busted up keys. I've considerd making a mini midi controller with the 8 knobs and sliders. But i'm wondering if i could use the velocity sensitivity from the keyboard with other buttons.
That would be cool. it wouldn't matter which note is sent. because i can remap everything with software.

i opened it up already. and i can see no logical reason for those keys not to work. instead of fixing it and have it break again for no reason. I rather take it appart. Iwant those knobs for on my uc 33 :)

cheers

AdamJay
Posts: 4757
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 7:17 pm
Location: Indianapolis, USA

Post by AdamJay » Tue Mar 01, 2005 8:43 pm

silly me, i've just been using the 26 keys on my laptop all this time :roll: :)

mikemc
Posts: 5454
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 2:14 pm
Location: Maryland USA
Contact:

Post by mikemc » Tue Mar 01, 2005 8:46 pm

I think it'd be great for a faderfox-style handheld unit, it's usb-powered.
This is really pretty cool, the software that accompanies it looks like it would be a great help in designing a controller layout as well as providing you with the ability to program the EEPROM http://www.ultimarc.com/winipac_ipd.html

Also, someone was asking about arcade buttons and the like: http://www.x-arcade.com/products.shtml

Would one of these http://www.gamecabinetsinc.com/stinger.shtml What sort of software can be used to map the inputs to MIDI?
Last edited by mikemc on Tue Mar 01, 2005 9:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Machinate
Posts: 11646
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:15 pm
Location: Denmark
Contact:

Post by Machinate » Tue Mar 01, 2005 8:59 pm

AdamJay wrote:silly me, i've just been using the 26 keys on my laptop all this time :roll: :)
Adam has one of those rare laptops with arcade-buttons and a joystick. (no wonder you're selling :wink: )
Tell me, Adam, do you recommend using your laptop as a floorboard controller?

8O :wink:

robin
Posts: 2141
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2004 2:43 pm
Location: UK

Post by robin » Tue Mar 01, 2005 9:29 pm

so, can you run two keyboards at the same time then?

ie. i can use my laptop keyboard and have extra buttons from the cannibalised usb-keyboard too?

not sure you can can you?

AdamJay
Posts: 4757
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 7:17 pm
Location: Indianapolis, USA

Post by AdamJay » Tue Mar 01, 2005 9:43 pm

Machinate wrote:Tell me, Adam, do you recommend using your laptop as a floorboard controller?
nah i only recommend using 16BIT's laptop as a foot pedal. :lol:

Machinate
Posts: 11646
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:15 pm
Location: Denmark
Contact:

Post by Machinate » Tue Mar 01, 2005 9:44 pm

ouch. 8O 8)

hoffman2k
Posts: 14717
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 6:40 pm
Location: Belgium
Contact:

Post by hoffman2k » Tue Mar 01, 2005 9:56 pm

AdamJay wrote:
Machinate wrote:Tell me, Adam, do you recommend using your laptop as a floorboard controller?
nah i only recommend using 16BIT's laptop as a foot pedal. :lol:
:lol: :lol: :lol:

drush
Posts: 1282
Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2003 4:40 am
Location: Venice, CA
Contact:

Post by drush » Tue Mar 01, 2005 9:57 pm

speaking of building things: http://www.ladyada.net/make/x0xb0x/

hoffman2k
Posts: 14717
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 6:40 pm
Location: Belgium
Contact:

Post by hoffman2k » Tue Mar 01, 2005 10:07 pm

almost everything in this thread is german. If not everything.
That tb 303 clone is some thing i gotta hear to believe.
Would be cool though. Builing a 303 within your custom controller 8O

kabuki
Posts: 1893
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2003 11:26 pm
Location: ATX, fyi

Post by kabuki » Tue Mar 01, 2005 10:39 pm

I was actually thinking about using my busted Ox8 and rig it in a case made of Legos. Ugly and kitshey.

remove the ivory and replace with buttons (Lego Blocks), Knobs replaced with Lego wheels

Keep the Mod Wheel, Pitch Wheel and Slider...

Now I would rather build an arcade controller and use the USB2MIDI app that translated the controller messages to MIDI... SKROO PCB boards and programming shite.... :evil: :evil: :roll:

Hehe?
15" PB 2.5 Ghz, 4 Gig RAM, 750 GB HD, Live 9 still no cue points or program change messages?!?. Doesn't do shit.

hoffman2k
Posts: 14717
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 6:40 pm
Location: Belgium
Contact:

Post by hoffman2k » Tue Mar 01, 2005 10:41 pm

kabuki wrote:
Hehe?
sweet. lego's. Made me think i shoud do one in mecano. K'nex is too fragile :wink:

Post Reply