DIY MIDI Controllers For Fun And Profit!
Okay, this is going to be a somewhat convoluted tale, so try to bear with me here. Our label just signed this fellow from Chicago (more on that when it is appropriate) and his prefered method of working is with Live. Since Wade and I will be doing a certain amount of production on the resulting album, I thought it not a bad idea that we spend a little more time with Live. I have it, but I'd only really used it for testing Audio Damage stuff. I did one show with it back when it was in 2.0 land, and decided it wasn't for me.
So, I put Live 5 on my HP laptop, which is my main Road Machine I've talked about at length in previous entries. This laptop is heavily tied in to my modular, so my experiments with Live 5 as an actual working tool today were based around that, rather than a loop fest which is what would occur if I had have done this on my main music computer. Since I don't really have any loops on my laptop, I started out by just poking some sounds in using the loop recording tool in Live.
That was around noon yesterday. Since then, except for a brief break to sleep and get the oil changed on my Jeep (not simultanously, I'll add) I've been rocking this setup. Let me just say that I've become a True Believer. With version 5, Live is finally ready for Prime Time. I don't mean any offense to the Ableton guys, as I think they've always made an imaginative and useful product. However, it just wasn't for me. Didn't fit in my world. Whatever. Well, all that has changed, and I've actually thought up a couple new modules for my modular based upon having Live 5 in with it.
So, you're wondering if there's a point to this post anywhere in your future. Well, yes, as a matter of fact. Pictured above you'll see a controller made by my good friend Mike Fisher. It is one of several featured on the Doepfer site that were created using Doepfer's Pocket Electronic series of DIY MIDI modules. Mike made this controller for working with Live specifically, and the giant video game buttons are intended for easy visibility during a (dark) stage performance.
One of the modules I've been thinking of making for my system would have, say, 3 or 4 large knobs and a couple buttons, and would be just for sending MIDI CC to Live. It's kind of an odd way to do things, but it would make more sense than buying one of those crappy throw-away Evolution controllers or something, and it would be right in my modular. Has any of my dear readers done something like this? Or is there an already-existing Frac-Rack module that sends MIDI CC that I don't know about?