Custom Ableton Controller – Part 3

After a week or two of ordering parts, shouting at people on ebay for only sending me half my order, and deciding on whats going to go where, I’ve finally got round to starting my controller.

The controller is based on the Arduino platform, allowing me to write my own firmware, and subsequently update and improve it whenever I wish. I already have plans to bank the physical controls into four groups, and may look into working in some form of OSC output.

Marking out where to drill for everything. Still doesn’t help my wonky drilling. The casing is two (well, one at the moment until they decide to send me the other one) A3 sheets of 5mm acrylic on 35mm spacers, giving just enough space to house all sorts of electronics, but still keeping the case nice and streamlined.

I decided to go for roughly the same layout as the APC40. 8 pots, 8 buttons, and then we’ll see what else we can jam on. Perhaps some arcade buttons and touch strip potentiometers. Each pot has an LED to give a rough indication of its position. They’re wired separately to the Arduino so I can control what they display, whether its a fade in, or a blink rate that increases as the pot is turned.

Testing the LEDs with the Arduino.

I can haz Arduino? Novation Launchpad ready to be ripped apart and mounted in. That’s a whole new story though, i’ll take care of the main controller first if you don’t mind.

Cleaned up the mess. Given the acrylic a polish with some Mr Sheen and routed 8 x 16mm holes to fit the backlit push buttons, again wired separately with the Arduino allowing either illuminated on the push only (like a drum pad) or push on/push off functionality. Leaving these things open to coding will allow me to customize everything depending on what the control is used for.

That’s it for now. I’ll update my progress in a week or so once I get the rest of the buttons and the bottom sheet of acrylic.


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