Artists use this
DIY Livid Brain Jr. MIDI Controller
Brain Jr. is a compact and affordable micro controller platform for connecting sensors, switches, LEDs, and more. A single USB connection powers Brain Jr. and provides MIDI communication to a PC / DAW. I have several of thee units, along with several "capes," that provide easy connection for knobs, buttons, encoders and faders to design and fabricate my own custom MIDI controllers, catered to my performance style. One of my creations is a simple box with six 1/4" input jacks- all for plugging in different pedals. Momentary pedals are used just like a momentary button. Expressive pedals are used just like a knob or fader. I have four momentary and two expression pedal jacks for use in live play. I can use them for loop control, Ableton device control or any function I may need to map a pedal for use when I need a "third hand!" Another Brain Jr. I used for control of a very specific device chain in Ableton. It has four endless encoders in a row. Under each encoder are two arcade style buttons: one-over-the-other. Two faders I set up horizontally and use as crossfaders within the device chain, and a set of six knobs and four shorter, 30mm faders are set up on the right side of the controller. A Third Brain Jr. controller I made uses touch fader strips I bought from an electronics online outlet. They work exactly like traditional faders except touching any point on the touch surface allows the parameter assigned to that touch strip to "jump" to the value closest to the point touched. In other words, a volume control could be at zero and if I touch the strip around the halfway point between the top and bottom of the strip, the volume level will "jump" to around 50% without visiting volumes 1-49% to arrive at the halfway point. Anything you can ting of involving faders, knobs, encoders, buttons, and even sensors can be wired to the Brain units to make your own MIDI controllers. Visit the website for a host more info than I could possibly provide with my limited scope of uses for my individual units.