Help creating a MIDI Controller

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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Help creating a MIDI Controller

Post by shabhy » Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:30 pm


New to Abelton and these forums.
I am in high school and have taken a digital music class at school. My school has MIDI controllers to use, but I want to make one myself for home use. I was thinking something like this but without the sliders. So basically a bunch of pads, a few toggle switches and some knobs. I was wondering if someone has already done this and had experience so I could get some guidance. I was thinking to use Raspberry Pi or Arduino as the controller, but am new to those, so I need some help getting it all started. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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Re: Help creating a MIDI Controller

Post by jestermgee » Thu Feb 20, 2014 5:08 am

As nice and possibly fun as the project would be it would be more trouble than worth unless you really are after the learning curve.

Using my good ole friend Google I find this for you:,22336.0.html

That would be a better start. Most of us are busy making or pretending to make music to build controllers.

Creating "pads" would be a real headache because I am not sure how much you know about proper expressive pad design but they are not simple contacts at all. Typically they are multi-stage carbon contactors where the more of the pads surface that presses over the spread of contacts the larger the velocity number so kind of like a big flat potentiometer using pressure. Then there is other fancy stuff in there too. But if you are a crazy scientist type you can learn something probably about that here: ... -drum-pad/

The cost though of all the parts and the time spent to make something that will function probably not even as nicely as a nanopad/kontroller may have you wishing you just spent it on an actual controller.

If you do make something tho be sure to let us see it.

chapelier fou
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Re: Help creating a MIDI Controller

Post by chapelier fou » Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:40 am

According to me,
midibox is by far the best.
There are also some ready-made solutions by Doepfer.
MacBook Pro 13" Retina i7 2.8 GHz OS 10.13, L10.0.1, M4L.
iMac 27" Retina i5 3,2 GHz OS 10.11.3 L10.0.1 M4L.

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Re: Help creating a MIDI Controller

Post by 8O » Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:13 am

I would also recommend MidiBox, from personal experience. Arduino's good too. Raspberry Pi would be a bit overkill for me unless you wanted processing power or interfacing at a PC-level, which you generally don't need for MIDI controllers.

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