• Posts
  • RSS
  • ◂◂RSS
  • Contact

  • Game Controller MIDI

    June 20th, 2018
    music  [html]
    Expression controllers can make synthesized instruments sound much better, but they're generally pretty expensive. For example, the breath controller I've been playing with cost me EUR 132. There's nothing fundamentally expensive about it, just a low volume product. Which got me thinking: is there some commonly mass produced device that gives a smooth range of outputs? What about a game controller?

    I've never been into console gaming so I don't know much about controllers, but after looking at some pictures it looked like the PS4 one is well laid out for joystick use, so I ordered one ($26, shipped):

    It connects via USB, and pygame can read from it out of the box:

    >>> import pygame
    >>> pygame.init()
    (6, 0)
    >>> j = pygame.joystick.Joystick(0)
    >>> j.init()
    >>> while True:
    ...   for event in pygame.event.get():
    ...      print(event)
    ...
    <Event(7-JoyAxisMotion {
      'joy': 0,
      'value': 0.003906369212927641,
      'axis': 0})>
    <Event(7-JoyAxisMotion {
      'joy': 0,
      'value': -1.000030518509476,
      'axis': 4})>
    ...
    

    Since music is so latency sensitive (though maybe not for expression controllers?) I didn't want to have to go via python, so I decided to write something small against the OSX native API. The docs for the native API are pretty annoying, so the SDL source was a helpful guide.

    It's ready and working, and you can try it out:

    • Build it from source (github):

      $ git clone https://github.com/jeffkaufman/gcmidi.git
      $ cd gcmidi
      $ make run
      
    • Download a binary:

      $ wget https://www.jefftk.com/gcmidi
      $ chmod ugo+x gcmidi
      $ ./gcmidi
      
    It presents as a virtual MIDI controller named "game controller" with ten continuous controller outputs on CC-20 through CC-29.

    Comment via: google plus, facebook, r/WeAreTheMusicMakers

    Recent posts on blogs I like:

    What should we do about network-effect monopolies?

    Many large companies today are software monopolies that give their product away for free to get monopoly status, then do horrible things. Can we do anything about this?

    via benkuhn.net July 5, 2020

    More on the Deutschlandtakt

    The Deutschlandtakt plans are out now. They cover investment through 2040, but even beforehand, there’s a plan for something like a national integrated timetable by 2030, with trains connecting the major cities every 30 minutes rather than hourly. But the…

    via Pedestrian Observations July 1, 2020

    How do cars fare in crash tests they're not specifically optimized for?

    Any time you have a benchmark that gets taken seriously, some people will start gaming the benchmark. Some famous examples in computing are the CPU benchmark specfp and video game benchmarks. With specfp, Sun managed to increase its score on 179.art (a su…

    via Posts on Dan Luu June 30, 2020

    more     (via openring)


  • Posts
  • RSS
  • ◂◂RSS
  • Contact