DIY Ableton foot controller build thread!

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AlexMC
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2007 6:12 pm

Re: DIY Ableton foot controller build thread!

Post by AlexMC » Thu Jul 30, 2009 8:10 am

Yup - definitely #6.

'Momentary' is key!

indiependente
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 1:16 pm

Re: DIY Ableton foot controller build thread!

Post by indiependente » Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:43 am

Und0 wrote: Will a PC keyboard work on a mac ?
Yes. At least, I've tested a Dell Space Saver USB keyboard on my MacBook and the keyboard gets recognized and usefull for entering text.

I'm also on the process of building my one. But haven't got the time for the last months... :(

Cheers

outershpongolia
Posts: 2230
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 8:40 am

Re: DIY Ableton foot controller build thread!

Post by outershpongolia » Thu Jul 30, 2009 6:28 pm

AlexMC wrote:Caps doesn't shift non-alphabetic characters to their 'upper case' output (i.e. 4/$, 5/%, ,/< etc).
Ya I was so confused when the CAPS key didn't work for my second set of Key mappings on : ; / and so on..

and I like the idea of using the CAPS LED to know which "bank" your on.

AlexMC
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2007 6:12 pm

Re: DIY Ableton foot controller build thread!

Post by AlexMC » Fri Jul 31, 2009 8:06 am

outershpongolia wrote:
AlexMC wrote:Caps doesn't shift non-alphabetic characters to their 'upper case' output (i.e. 4/$, 5/%, ,/< etc).
Ya I was so confused when the CAPS key didn't work for my second set of Key mappings on : ; / and so on..

and I like the idea of using the CAPS LED to know which "bank" your on.
When I first realised this, I kicked myself pretty hard! But a little research into the Autohotkey app showed me I could use the caps lock status to determine which hotkeys were generated. Let me know if you need a hand with the script (can't remember if I already posted it...).

outershpongolia
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Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 8:40 am

Re: DIY Ableton foot controller build thread!

Post by outershpongolia » Sat Aug 01, 2009 7:00 am

I just made all the SHIFT's for the non-alphabetic keys stuff that I wouldn't want to hit on accident.. Those are the ones you will miss trigger the least since you have to actually hit SHIFT and the key.

AlexMC
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2007 6:12 pm

Re: DIY Ableton foot controller build thread!

Post by AlexMC » Sat Aug 01, 2009 10:04 am

My Live Looping AutoHotkey script:
;original chars:
;row 3: 6 x w s \ 5 CAPS
;row 2: 7 m u j h n y
;row 1: 4 v r f g b t

;outputs COLUMN 1-6

;row 3

$6::SendInput % GetKeyState( "CAPSLOCK", "T" ) ? "a" : "1"
$x::SendInput % GetKeyState( "CAPSLOCK", "T" ) ? "s" : "2"
$w::SendInput % GetKeyState( "CAPSLOCK", "T" ) ? "d" : "3"
$s::SendInput % GetKeyState( "CAPSLOCK", "T" ) ? "f" : "4"
$\::SendInput % GetKeyState( "CAPSLOCK", "T" ) ? "g" : "5"
$5::SendInput % GetKeyState( "CAPSLOCK", "T" ) ? "h" : "6"

;row 2

$7::SendInput % GetKeyState( "CAPSLOCK", "T" ) ? "z{del}z" : "q{del}q"
$m::SendInput % GetKeyState( "CAPSLOCK", "T" ) ? "x{del}x" : "w{del}w"
$u::SendInput % GetKeyState( "CAPSLOCK", "T" ) ? "c{del}c" : "e{del}e"
$j::SendInput % GetKeyState( "CAPSLOCK", "T" ) ? "v{del}v" : "r{del}r"
$h::SendInput % GetKeyState( "CAPSLOCK", "T" ) ? "b{del}b" : "t{del}t"
$n::SendInput % GetKeyState( "CAPSLOCK", "T" ) ? "n{del}n" : "y{del}y"
$y::SendInput % GetKeyState( "CAPSLOCK", "T" ) ? "m{del}m" : "u{del}u"

;row 1

$4::SendInput % GetKeyState( "CAPSLOCK", "T" ) ? "z" : "q"
$v::SendInput % GetKeyState( "CAPSLOCK", "T" ) ? "x" : "w"
$r::SendInput % GetKeyState( "CAPSLOCK", "T" ) ? "c" : "e"
$f::SendInput % GetKeyState( "CAPSLOCK", "T" ) ? "v" : "r"
$g::SendInput % GetKeyState( "CAPSLOCK", "T" ) ? "b" : "t"
$b::SendInput % GetKeyState( "CAPSLOCK", "T" ) ? "n" : "y"
$t::SendInput % GetKeyState( "CAPSLOCK", "T" ) ? "m" : "u"
Row 1 records a clip into the appropriate track on the first press, pressing once more triggers the track to play.

Row 2 deletes the existing track and starts recording at the beginning of the next quantize period (i.e. delete and re-record)

Row 3 stops whatever is playing in the respective track.



When CAPS is toggled, the alternate set of characters is triggered via reading the state of the CAPS LOCK key.

fireballgames
Posts: 67
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:47 pm
Location: Israel
Contact:

Re: DIY Ableton foot controller build thread!

Post by fireballgames » Tue Aug 04, 2009 3:02 pm

very very cool, fellow DIYer :)
check out my baby, Calliope:
http://fireballgames-musictipsandtricks ... rough.html

chawchaw
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 4:30 pm

Re: DIY Ableton foot controller build thread!

Post by chawchaw » Wed Aug 05, 2009 5:42 pm

very cool post

thanks for sharing

mcintosh_i
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 5:40 am
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Re: DIY Ableton foot controller build thread!

Post by mcintosh_i » Fri Nov 06, 2009 1:40 am

This is a really interesting thread, and I'm dying to try it out. However, I'm not that confident with the electronics side of things, although general hardware and construction I can hold my own (I built a nice foosball table a few years back).

With that in mind, how about this for an alternative idea?

- take an existing USB (or even wireless) keyboard,
- don't open up or modify the keyboard in any way,
- secure the keyboard inside a box (just like the box built by original poster Alex) so that the keyboard doesn't move,
- instead of electrical switches, you have rows of buttons, say 3 rows of 8, which when pressed cause something which is physically attached to the bottom of the button to press a certain key on the keyboard. My best guess is some very strong wire with soft rubber stoppers or something on the keyboard end.

That last step is the major area of uncertainty I have, and I'm sure there are more elegant ways to do it, but it seems as if it could be done. What do people think about this idea? What other ways could the large foot-pressed buttons be "translated" inside the box to press a very specific and smaller key on the keyboard?

cheers,
Ian

mcintosh_i
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 5:40 am
Contact:

Re: DIY Ableton foot controller build thread!

Post by mcintosh_i » Fri Nov 06, 2009 3:21 am

Here's a crappy diagram of what I'm talking about:
Image

The black lines are the outside box, the grey lines are the keyboard within, the red lines are some sort of connector (like some pretty solid wire) to actually press the key when the outside button is pressed.

outershpongolia
Posts: 2230
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 8:40 am

Re: DIY Ableton foot controller build thread!

Post by outershpongolia » Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:20 am

That has definitely been done before, I've actually seen posts on this forum where it's an apple keyboard with a wooden enclosure.. I think he might have actually put the pedals directly above the actual keys, and the pedal had a rail that actually pushed down on the key, but I'd assume some soldering would be a lot more reliable..

mcintosh_i
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 5:40 am
Contact:

Re: DIY Ableton foot controller build thread!

Post by mcintosh_i » Fri Nov 06, 2009 6:09 am

Ah cool, I'm not completely off the planet then :D

I'll try and track down some references to it to further nut it out.

mcintosh_i
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 5:40 am
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Re: DIY Ableton foot controller build thread!

Post by mcintosh_i » Fri Nov 06, 2009 6:11 am

And eleven seconds and one search later, this post here, I believe, is what you're referring to. Ta.

AlexMC
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2007 6:12 pm

Re: DIY Ableton foot controller build thread!

Post by AlexMC » Fri Nov 06, 2009 9:17 am

mcintosh_i wrote:This is a really interesting thread, and I'm dying to try it out. However, I'm not that confident with the electronics side of things, although general hardware and construction I can hold my own (I built a nice foosball table a few years back).

With that in mind, how about this for an alternative idea?

- take an existing USB (or even wireless) keyboard,
- don't open up or modify the keyboard in any way,
- secure the keyboard inside a box (just like the box built by original poster Alex) so that the keyboard doesn't move,
- instead of electrical switches, you have rows of buttons, say 3 rows of 8, which when pressed cause something which is physically attached to the bottom of the button to press a certain key on the keyboard. My best guess is some very strong wire with soft rubber stoppers or something on the keyboard end.

That last step is the major area of uncertainty I have, and I'm sure there are more elegant ways to do it, but it seems as if it could be done. What do people think about this idea? What other ways could the large foot-pressed buttons be "translated" inside the box to press a very specific and smaller key on the keyboard?

cheers,
Ian
I like your approach!

My original design was inspired by this:

http://createdigitalmusic.com/2007/08/0 ... -required/

Where a guy takes a regular keyboard, removes most of the keys and modifies the remaining ones to be accessible by your feet.

HOWEVER you are limited by the physical size of the keyboard.


I think your idea is certainly an imrpovement on that basic design, but you don't get away from the keyboard-form-factor, i.e. you will have a small number of keys, or they will be very close together!

The thread linked in the last post is a pretty good realisation of the concept... but if you are going to the trouble of building an enclosure, I would personally go the extra distance and beyond the limits of the keyboard itself.


In regard to electronics experience; I had pretty much NONE before I started this project. I had to learn to solder (and solder VERY precisely!); I did a lot of research and tried many dead ends when figuring out how to attach the aftermarket footswitches to the keyboard controller card. The project occupied my thoughts almost constantly for weeks befre I had finished! But in the end the feeling of personal satisfaction was unbeatable... and I was glad I hadn't settled for less.

outershpongolia
Posts: 2230
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 8:40 am

Re: DIY Ableton foot controller build thread!

Post by outershpongolia » Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:11 am

mcintosh_i wrote:And eleven seconds and one search later, this post here, I believe, is what you're referring to. Ta.
Well, I don't believe in spoon feeding! :mrgreen:

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