Here are some of the MIDI controllers I've been building

Some are still a work in progress...........

The Claudeatron (Mk 4)

The Claudeatron is MIDI controller you wear around your neck (like a sax). There are buttons for turning notes on and a 2 – axis joystick controls pitch and filter/volume. Single notes or chords can be played and pitched up or down 2 octaves. There are 12 knobs and a ‘softpot’ mapped to continuous controllers as well as breath control and a piezo to trigger notes when struck.


A sustain switch allows the notes to stay on while silence between the pitches is achieved by either twisting the joystick lever or using the breath controller.


I’ve been using Logic’s ES2 analog synth, mapping the controls to the speed & depth of the pitch and filter modulation. Also, I have controls mapped to release, filter envelope attack, resonance as well as effects depths. I can produce everything from wild guitar wailings to gentle flutes sounds. 


The Megatron

This is an instrument I'm still working on. It's a bit like my Claudeatron but much bigger. It sits on the ground and the leaver has a piezo for triggering notes when you whack it.

MIDI CC's are sent when you 

  • Twist centre to left 
  • Twist centre to right
  • Downward force on leaver (pressure)
  • Lean left from centre (20 degrees)
  • Lean right from centre (20 degrees)
  • Leaver goes through a 150 degree arc (pitch bend)
  • 8 knobs that I might redesign to be more foot friendly
  • 1 rotary switch for octave transpose


A series of 13 triangular ‘drum pads’ arranged in a 1octave keyboard like layout and sending MIDI note numbers and velocity.

You can play it using your hands or the two ‘double actuator’ sticks. They have 2 prongs so as well as normal striking, it’s possible to place the prongs in the pad’s pointy bit (technical term) and wiggle to get a roll effect.

A 12 position rotary switch gives you 12 octave transpose functions. There is also two controls for volume and reverb amount.

Astro Gears

A MIDI device composed of 13 ‘gear sticks’ arranged in a 1-octave keyboard like pattern. Each stick has 2 optical switches, which are activated when it is pushed forward or pulled back. This makes a total of 26 switches. They all send MIDI note numbers which is designed to be used with a sampler plug in, set up to play rhythmic or melodic loops.

In addition to this is the ‘Bashatron’ attachment that plugs in to the Astro Gears and consists of 4 arcade buttons to be struck with the fist or hand. These send ‘all notes off’ to silence the loops and to trigger samples as well.

There is also a row of 8 pots to send continuous controller information for controlling the sampler’s parameters and effects etc. 

The final control is a 6 position rotary switch, which sends octave transpose messages in 2-octave leaps. That gives you the possibility to have 124 loops per song.

The whole thing will be wired with RGB LEDs ,which will change colour when the switches are activated.


The Tapatron

I'm using more or less the same code as the Whackatron but designed to be played with the fingers (and of course light up different colours based on velocity).

8 pots for controlling CC's & octave transpose rotary switch.

Still working on the pad sensitivity and the addressable LED's

Videos to come............