Finished Ambassador Pics

This is what I'm using to control Ableton now. All arcade hardware, aluminum top panel by FPE, and a nice wood case courtesy of my man Michael Yates. It uses all key commands through a custom driver to handle playback, effects, editing, warping, UI, mouse clicks, scroll messages, and more, with a lot of tweaks (some strobe, some send double messages, etc):






7 comments:

Mark said...

That's very, very tasty. How is it mapped, if you don't mind?

CoolBox said...

This is a very nice controller. I am looking to build one myself and this has given me some great ideas. Keep up the good work.

Robert said...

Looks GREAT! I can't wait to see some vids of it in action.

I have been working on a similar project, but ran into big problems when I got to the custom driver. How did you go about writing that? There seem to be precious few resources out there that explain how to write custom drivers, especially for midi or audio applications...

I would also love to know some more of the nitty gritty details like what kind of microcontroller you are using? Did you create custom PCB's?

I have been working with Arduino, which is great, but I have been having trouble finding info on getting it to communicate reliably with USB-MIDI...

Anyway, keep up the good work, and come play in the Detroit area sometime soon!

Dazzle said...

The keys aren't even labeled... Good god man, the complexity. It's like it was constructed by a madman to conduct an alien symphony.

Josiah Guile said...

Thats freaking awesome man. I would love to see it/you in action. Lets see a vid?

Also where can I hear some of your music? I too am an avid Live user. I always get excited when people mix technological gadget trickery with music software.

The Prevolt said...

The "video" and "downloads" tags on our blog link to different examples we have posted, but there's a lot more in the works. I'm getting ready to post a downloadable 35 minute piece from the end of our SXSW show tonite that represents all of us together, and we also have another video from our SXSW show on our vimeo/youtube/myspace channels that has footage of us operating everything mixed in with Cinematics' live visuals. As far as stuff I've done in Ableton specifically, I'm real happy with this one:

http://www.vimeo.com/781885

Regarding the way it's mapped, here's a post from the Ableton blog where I explained it:

The red buttons act as guides for different hand positions based on what task you're doing. The four broken vertical lines mark the track effects. Each track has clip select, track select, a fake send on/off, 6 momentary insert effect buttons, and one shift button that modifies each of the inserts in a different way.

The center buttons are for tap tempo, clip looping, the button-assignable clip window controls, and tracks 1-4 play & transform.

The far right controls all the different UI toggles: full screen, clip/track, I/O, etc.

The far left has all the browser controls for mouseless navigation. The leftmost red button is enter (to trigger clip cells or browse effect presets), surrounded by up/right/left/down, then copy/paste/duplicate and all that.

The top two white rows on the left past that are mostly devoted to warping, then some useful Mac OS keys are spread around in there too. The two buttons below the trackball were supposed to be for tempo push/pull, but I haven't been convinced to buy L7 yet.

All the keys that are mapped use the hidden shift and option characters so that the regular keyboard keys are still available for assigning. At the moment it uses only key commands, and no MIDI at all. I tried to design it to fit into any existing setup without conflicting. This one is made to the height of a 1200 and wide enough to accommodate chunky arcade buttons, but I can see how it could be made a lot smaller and still work just as well. I just like the 70's space cartoon thing.

The keys don't look labeled because as Snoop said, da game is to be sold, not to be told. There's actually faint etching in the faceplate that I didn't have them fill in with paint so if I get paranoid I can look down and check.

There's some photos from the making-of process here if you didn't see them:

http://aux-armes.blogspot.com/2007/12/controller-izm.html

rod said...

Awesome... it's blindingly ugly... I love it