USB Ableton foot controller reuses old keyboard

footLooper2

No, Hackaday hasn’t started advertising shoes, this is [Matlek’s] foot controller for Ableton Live.

Matlek plays guitar and needed an easy way to control Ableton Live, which he uses as a looper. Ableton normally expects keyboard input, so that’s exactly what he gave it.

An old dell keyboard was gutted down to its controller board. This exposes  the leads the keyboard uses to scan the key matrix.  From there it is simply trial and error connecting different pins together and seeing which keys are printed on the PC screen (A text editor works well for this). Only 8 characters are needed to control the looper, so [Matlek] chose digits 1-8.

Since some of the wires are going to be sharing pins, a small piece of stripboard comes in handy between the buttons and the keyboard controller. [Maltek] used basic momentary push buttons for his mini key matrix, though we think that box looks sturdy enough to support some larger stomp box style buttons.

Everything comes together inside a sturdy shoebox, which also serves to insulate the exposed keyboard PCB from shorting out.

The only major downside to the project is that the box is light enough that it slides easily on the floor when recording or triggering loops. Adding some heavy items (or dare we say, some shoes) would solve this problem. Self adhesive rubber feet on the bottom of the box would help too.

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Making Music With Tennis Balls and Lego

We’ve seen a lot of interesting MIDI controllers, but this one uses some unconventional materials. The World’s Coolest Keystroke, built by [Audiobody], is made from a combination of tennis balls, Lego bricks, servos, and switches.

When a tennis ball is lifted up, a Lego arm is actuated. It looks like a servo is used to move the Lego arm so it hits a switch. An Arduino is used to detect this and send a message to their computer.

They use the device to control Ableton Live and play different clips depending on which tennis ball was removed. It’s an interesting way to control sound with a tactile interface, and it looks pretty nifty.

After the break is a short video of the device in action, but [Audiobody] says that they will be releasing more information soon. We’re looking forward to seeing other interesting controllers that they have in the works.

[Via Make]

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Massive MIDI station ditches the monitor

Who need’s a touch screen when you’ve got 800 inputs each backlit with an RGB LED? This impressive controller was built by Ander for use in his performances. He did it with the intent to get rid of the computer monitor in his setup. We think there’s something to be said about that. It seems weird to go to a performance and see the artist staring at a screen the whole time. Unfortunately we don’t have too many details about the hardware but we can tell you that he’s using Ableton Live on the software side of things.

Wiimote finger tracking music controller

The Evolution Control Committee has been doing live mashup performances for many years and recently upgraded their hardware. Inspired by [Johnny Lee]’s Wiimote whiteboard, they built a rear projection display they could use during performances. It displays a dense collection of samples in Ableton Live. On each of the performer’s hands is an IR LED mounted to a thimble. By touching the thumb to the forefinger, the LED turns on. Two Wiimotes watch for these IR flashes to trigger mouse clicks. [TradeMark G] found the Ableton display too complex to navigate quickly and accurately with a mouse; this new display make things much easier and enjoyable.

[via Laughing Squid]

Wii nunchuck used for mocap on 3D Studio Max


If you’ve been looking for a cheap way to do motion capture on 3D Studio Max, [melka] has devised an ingenious way to do mocap using a Wii nunchuck. As shown in his Vimeo video, the nunchuck is connected to an Arduino that feeds MIDI data to a computer running the MIDI app Ableton Live. Ableton Live feeds that data to 3D Studio Max via MIDI Yoke.

The video below the break shows that the motion of the nunchuck can be seen in real time in the 3D Studio Max Window. We’re really hoping [melka] will post a writeup of this project soon, as we are hungry for more details.

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