Joystick/gamepads possibly useful as a midi controller? (concept/prototype demo)

Hi everyone,
i had too much time at my hands recently and wanted to find a way to use a midi-controller as an all-purpose input device like Samuel Nicholas (Enetheru) / midi2input · GitLab. As always I got sidetracked across multiple levels and found a library for gamepad-inputs and wondered if you can actually reverse the idea and the result can be seen here:

I wonder if anyone had some real applications for this?
I am thinking along the lines of reusing hardware (maybe somebody has a hotas lying around?) and combining multiple controllers together to create a quirky super-controller like whacky things of Daði Freyr & band but solving parts of the troubles in software instead of having to build new hardware?

I know that there is commercial software for the mac doing something like this so it doesn’t seem to be a completely stupid idea.
If I were to continue to invest time in this I wanted to know beforehand what kind of ideas/requirements you would come up with? Any constraints in regards to targeting zynthians in particular?

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This is a cool idea! Why not connect a game pad and use an analog stick to expression x/y-control different CC parameters like reverb or cutoff. I asume the algorithms for coding this is not this difficult. Hopefully we find a bored developer who is looking for a new challenge :laughing::+1:

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I though I saw this fine before. Have a look around the interwebs. I had the idea to convert summer old Xbox controllers but never got around to it.

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I found something that is already capable of doing this and much more.
Altough it seems a bit daunting for “average joe” users it might fit into lots of setups:

I havent tested this yet.

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Ive seen midi mapped game controllers used in DJing a lot, there’s lots of libraries out there.

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I’ve been working for a few years on a midi controller I call the Button Smash. The prototypes are pretty fun. It feels like a game controller, looks like a game controller but has a midi looper, a chord machine and and arpeggiator on it. I’ve had trouble making a quantity of them because of supply issues but when I sort things out later this year I’ll probably sell a few. I’m considering sending out a couple of beta units to get some feedback.

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What do the buttons and knob do?

The top rows are 16 chromatic keys for playing an octave and a half. There are triggers on the rear that can shift up or down an octave, either momentary or latching. The keyboard can also be used to switch midi channels.

The right “d pad” adds a chord to the note played on the keyboard. There are 4 buttons in addition to another 12 button combos that allow access to 16 chord types, latchable or momentary.

The left d pad controls the looper- play/stop, dub, erase and metronome

The joystick controls pitch bend and velocity since the keyboard is not velocity sensitive. The joystick also controls the arpeggiator type when the arp is engaged.

There are triggers for arpeggiator, octave, sustain, and a couple for multiple functions like tap tempo and changing midi channel.

There are LEDs above each button and around the joystick for visual feedback.

The idea is to be able to make midi loops on a device like the Zynthian or any DAW. Do a bass line on midi ch1, switch over to do chords on ch2 or whatever, melody on ch3, drums on channel whatever, etc. Maybe chip-tune loops?

It runs on Teensy so any feature can be reprogrammed.

There are videos on my Instagram @buttonsmashcontroller

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Has a variety of mostly game oriented controllers that can also be used for midi or various Human Interfaces, such as remote controls, etc. Some are even intended for non-game function, this is BigKNOB:

Which is intended for media control, like VNC, or graphics applications like Photoshop, Blender, etc.

They were previously based on AT Mega processors but all new products and gradually converted existing products are based on Raspberry Pi’s RP2040, supported by Open Source ‘qmk’ - Quantum Mechanical Keyboard.

I’m currently trying out one of their unreleased products with Zynthian-Zynia.

I have heard that they are planning a product based on LMN-3!

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