Please help with my joystick/midi controller!?!

Jan 16, 2010 at 12:21am

Please help with my joystick/midi controller!?!

I’m trying to control parameters in Ableton Live with a usb joystick. Basically, just trying to get Live to recognize the joystick as a midi controller. I’ve been told that this is very possible, but I can’t find any information on how to do this. I’m totally new to M4L. I’m using a Mac – I have no idea what to do – and yes, I’ve searched and read everything I could find on this. …and I was unable to find any useful info at all!!!

Any help would be tremendously appreciated!

Jan 16, 2010 at 1:05am

You want the “hi” object, which talks to USB Human Interface devices – the helpfile should explain what to do…


Jan 16, 2010 at 3:17pm

I’m sure that in the old cycling site there was an article just on what you’re looking for. I don’t remember the exact name of the article but I use it to start a messy patch implementing a discrete amount of controls of Mackie Control Protocol on a logitech rumblepad. the controls missing from my patch, unfortunately, are just the ones about device parameters. It seems that the infos I have about Mackie Control Protocol relative to device parameters control are wrong, or maybe I was just missing something when I worked on it.
Anyway, as mo-seph (and the article) said you have to use the hi object.

basically there are three steps (that I remember of):
- you choose the usb device
- you see what kind of data arrives from the device (apart from numbers coming from the buttons what I personally had most problems with, was calibrating/mapping my control to the range of output values from the joystick, and I had to recalibrate it a few times because after a while I became softer and smoother in joystick movements…)
- you link specific data outputs to specific controls.

Ok, after I have written this much…
If you search for “hi joystick” on cycling74 home page you find the article I was speaking of at the start of this message.
“Making Connections: Connecting a Joystick to MaxMSP/Jitter”

The article suggests also where to go next…
I don’t have the time, but I think that if you use your controllers exclusively with computers, and if you use them mainly through something like max, the usb-hid (human interface device) standard it’s really a good simple way of making fast and powerful custom controllers.

Also… if you use it live… I have to ‘warn’ you…
Unless you use it ‘a la Tim Exile’, a lot of people will think that you’re just playing a videogame on stage… this after reading you emails of course!



Jan 16, 2010 at 3:21pm

just to be more clear…

a few years ago I found it simpler to just use the Mackie Control Script that already offered some functionality, instead of going through the pain of writing the python control script myself… obviously

now with the official M4L LiveAPI we don’t need to attach to Mackie Control Script to do some operations…


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