Ableton Live might help too. So what we have here is a USB button controller - somewhat in the tradition of the Midi Fighter, but simpler. I didn't want anything that could get accidentally toggled, nor did I want to worry about finding 16 sounds that went well together. Five seems like a good number.
I have it mapped to an Ableton set for some fun finger drumming, but I think the uses for my live set are there as well. It makes a nice trigger for drones, and would compliment the Zendrum nicely. The Zen is amazing, but you can't sustain a note with it (without a pedal). Arcade buttons solve this dilemma nicely.
As a side, with a little creative mapping of keyboard shortcuts on the Mac, I can use this to manage my email too. It's very satisfying to go all Space Invaders on the inbox. The buttons are for Send, Reply All, Forward, Archive, and Delete. This lets you either deal with it, delegate it, or trash it.
Taking a look under the hood, we've got a MakeyMakey, 30mm arcade buttons, and some really cool Adafruit NeoPixels. I modified the default MakeyMakey sketch to trigger the LEDs, and then lay out a nice wash when there's no activity.
For email, I skipped the resting lights; it just gets blinky when the action heats up. USB hooks it all up, and since the MakeyMakey sends keyboard characters, mapping is easy. Ableton handles whatever you throw at it, just assign to clips. The much neglected function keys handle the Mail duties nicely.
Monday, November 04, 2013
Monday, January 28, 2013
A trio of kalimbas, that is. These three have a little more percussive sound than my older design. The heavier tines and vise give it a mellower sound, very reminiscent of a tongue drum. Combining that with the hand pan tunings yields something that it an exciting change for me. I'll be taking these guys with me to all future shows.