pc keyboard as midi controller
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  1. #1
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    Default pc keyboard as midi controller

    So I was wondering has anybody tried taking a regular computer USB/PS2 keyboard and turning it into a MIDI controller? Maybe modding a row of keys into pads being creative on a cheap keyboard doesn't sound like much risk

    I think you can use this software called MiniHost to link the keys to a VST
    http://www.tobybear.de/p_minihost.html

    So you in theory you could use NI Battery to sample stuff or play notes. I don't know if you could add knobs for filters/Fx but that would be sweet..



    Any ideas, or insights to share on this topic?

  2. #2
    Tech Guru charo's Avatar
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    check out this thread, it's about a DIY footcontroller but the same principals apply:
    http://forum.ableton.com/viewtopic.p...2242&hilit=DIY

    i have started a project based on the internals of a usb keyboard.

  3. #3
    Tech Mentor cheft's Avatar
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    Keyboards are a great place to start modding. You can learn basics of how hardware and circuits work and hone your soldering skills for that big project in the sky. You can replace the keys with simple switches, or a rotary encoder even! Grab some LED's and make it glow and show "keystrokes."

    I recommend using GlovePIE for a few reasons. It's decently stable, turns anything into midi, easy to program, AND it can differentiate between multiple mice and keyboards.
    AMD Turion 64 X2 Mobile 2.0GHz, 4GB Ram, BCD-3000, WinXP(Pro)-SP2, Traktor Pro

  4. #4
    Dr. Bento BentoSan's Avatar
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    The only problem with using keyboards is that they donot support multiple keys being pressed at a time try to hold E and R down on your keyboard then press T and you will know what i mean - this is due to the matrix design used by the keyboard to save money. Take that into consideration when your placing in things like switches and shift buttons because you may find that certain button combinations will not function.

    Also this is a modding question so it belongs in the hardware\modding section of the forums

  5. #5
    Tech Mentor cheft's Avatar
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    Great Point!
    AMD Turion 64 X2 Mobile 2.0GHz, 4GB Ram, BCD-3000, WinXP(Pro)-SP2, Traktor Pro

  6. #6
    Über Tech Guru Ed Paris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BentoSan View Post
    The only problem with using keyboards is that they donot support multiple keys being pressed at a time try to hold E and R down on your keyboard then press T and you will know what i mean - this is due to the matrix design used by the keyboard to save money. Take that into consideration when your placing in things like switches and shift buttons because you may find that certain button combinations will not function.

    Also this is a modding question so it belongs in the hardware\modding section of the forums
    hm...when mixing with my keyboard in traktor it actually recognizes and supports multiple keys pressed...
    I'm just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.
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  7. #7
    Dr. Bento BentoSan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by earl-panda View Post
    hm...when mixing with my keyboard in traktor it actually recognizes and supports multiple keys pressed...
    Trust me its a hardware thing - certain button combinations wont register due to cost saving designs used in all keyboards.

  8. #8
    Tech Mentor CerebralExcretion's Avatar
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    If i remember correctly they use a matrix of 10 x 10, it can detect multiple presses from buttons on different pins so if you are clever you should be able to make a pretty usable controller. Also i would use glove pie to create midi out, it will dectect uppercase/lowercase letters so you can have secondry functions for each button using caps lock, it can also easily be used with any software that supports midi.

    It takes forever to map out all the pin combinations, line up several films to watch while you work or you'll loose your mind!
    Last edited by CerebralExcretion; 04-29-2009 at 03:19 AM.

  9. #9
    Über Tech Guru Ed Paris's Avatar
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    well some keys on my keyboard have 4 different functions by pushing the brackets...dunno. maybe i don´t understand it right...but when i push 10-20 buttons at the same time they all get recognized and supported
    Last edited by Ed Paris; 04-29-2009 at 03:36 AM.
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  10. #10
    Tech Mentor CerebralExcretion's Avatar
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    Different manufacturers employ different algorithms and techniques to correct the issue but if you are holding down a key on a keyboard their are around 10 other keys that cannot be detected untill you release the first one. Keyboards are mapped to mask this issue pretty well but open notepad (or mac equivalent) stick a pen across arrow of keys and push it down, only a few of the keys will actualy be triggered.

    But hey if it does what you want, who cares how it does it

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