December 20, 2012

The Clipper Ableton Live Guitar Controller

If you’re brave enough, you can take your favorite (but simple) DJ midi controller and hack it apart to see what’s underneath.  It may not be as simple as you thought.  I for one tried this with my Akai LPD8 midi controller, hoping that I would find switches and sensors underneath that I could manipulate to create my own Frankenstein controller.  When you really get down into it, you’ll find that the sensor underneath each pad is specifically designed for the button directly above it.  There are no single solder points that you can unsolder to wire in your own – it goes way beyond connecting wires together.

It doesn’t mean that it can’t be hacked; it just takes more knowledge than the average tinkerer may possess.  When I see new MIDI instruments being developed, it takes me back and I congratulate those who have put in some serious time to create these beasts.  The Clipper controller is actually a beauty compared to other creations out there.  It has to form factor of a guitar, yet each string represents a line in a typical Ableton session layout.  They’re also LED lit, which I assume matches the color codes of each sample on your Ableton screen.