Home »Forum»Recording and mixing»EASY diy GarageBand (etc.. ) USB foot controller

EASY diy GarageBand (etc.. ) USB foot controller

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Hi guys

As a Garageband user, i've struggled frustrated when recording because of having to stop playing, grab the mouse, click here, there & everywhere, my bass neck hanging dangerously close to my iMac's monitor, ready to kill it at any distraction..

Scored the web for solutions & came across a couple, the Apogee Gio & 1 of Korg's Nano controllers
The Apogee is GREAT, nice reviews BUT.. too much for my needs hence way too expensive
The Korg is cheap & seems merry but didn't work quite right

Then i remembered a device a friend used to edit in Photoshop & for video as well, the [url=http://ergo.contourdesign.com/US/product/shuttlepro-v2/]Contour Shuttle Pro v2[/url]
This allows an endless number of commands to an also almost endless number of softwares including Logic Pro, Abledon Live, Cubase, etc.. among many others.
It occurred to me i could remove it's board from the casing & bypassing it's own micro switches by wiring them to foot switches it could be done !!

Bought one on EvilBay, opened the case, soldered a foot switch to one of it's micro switches, tried it &… BINGO, it works !
Time to go full steam ahead so i bought some 2mm thick alu sheet to make the pedalboard casing itself, 7 non latching foot switches, a Neutrik reversible USB panel socket, some reflective tape & after getting it powder coated in a sexy matt grey smooth finish, assembled it all.

Contour supply a piece of dead easy software which allows to ''map'' each switch for each intended command & all in all in a couple of days it worked PERFECTLY & for the tremendous expense of 80 or 90€ - instead of 400 for the Apogee…….

For those who might have the same struggle i had & want to make one, here are some [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/13706825@N03/albums/72157662909102776]photos of it[/url], along with descriptions

As i said, this build IS idiot proof, you only need to know how to solder & either make or buy a suitable enclosure then just take your time & be methodic
In case you need feel free to hit me up, i'll try to assist best i can

it's not totally perfect & can use further deveolpment BUT.. it DOES cover my needed basic funtions !
Enjoy hands free recording !!!
Edited by nuno1959 on October 22 2016 16:21
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posted on #2
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Very cool build Nuno
posted on #3
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Cool idea, but i would have went for a arduino leonardo or similar uc that can interface as a hid device
Pure fingerstyle
posted on #4
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Thanks for sharing Nuno
posted on #5
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Great idea Nuno. Thanks for sharing.
posted on #6
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nilton wrote:
Cool idea, but i would have went for a arduino leonardo or similar uc that can interface as a hid device


Please don't forget i know NOTHING about electronics Nilton, i'm just stubborn & sneaky !!…LOL…
Thanks guys, glad you liked it !
As i wrote it's still not perfect but Version 2.0 will be better… ;)
Edited by nuno1959 on October 22 2016 20:02
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posted on #7
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awsome ! Ôô
clusters Clusters CLUSTERS !!!!!!
posted on #8
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OliVBee wrote:
awsome ! Ôô


Eh, eh, eh… thanks Master OliV.. ;)
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posted on #9
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Very cool Nuno!!
posted on #10
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Thanks TG, when money doesn't fall from the sky & you know nothing about electronics, you just GOT to think outside the box to get stuff done.. ;)
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posted on #11
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I'm just waiting for Siri to become actually useful so that we can use voice commands to control applications like Garageband, that would be a big improvement.
posted on #12
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jmrukkers wrote:
I'm just waiting for Siri to become actually useful so that we can use voice commands to control applications like Garageband, that would be a big improvement.


I hear you Jo, that would be AWESOME but.. as little as i understand how it works, i wouldn't hold my expectations on that one too high : wouldn't Siri be thrown off by all the sounds produced while playing mixed with the voice commands ?
That would require a MASSIVE development for it to be able to distinguish AND separate while actually playing & simultaneously recording !? Unless the audio would be routed via headphones perhaps ?
plenty of time to rest when i'm dead...
posted on #13
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I'd route the voice through a different channel, would not work for singers I guess but everything going directly should be fine. But you're right, that will probably be some time coming.
Edited by jmrukkers on October 23 2016 21:56
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