Since the previous story on using joysticks with MIDI and music applications, I’ve been getting more tips on how to make this work. First up is a very powerful application for managing joysticks and gamepads on Mac OS X:

ControllerMate v4

The software just got a major software update, and it looks terrific. (That is, it looks tremendously powerful and — typical of a Mac app — looks aesthetically lovely, too.) Using modular “building blocks,” you can use the application to build sophisticated chains of interaction based on controller input. Notably, there’s no MIDI present, but apparently users have already bugged the developer to add that, so stay tuned. Even without MIDI, you could connect this to software, or use an app like MidiPipe to add MIDI output. More tips on this and other applications in the growing thread on the forum; thanks, Cris (atariboy) and Tonmeister for pointing this out. Anyone got a PC alternative (Linux/Windows) that does some of this stuff?

I’ve been using a wireless Logitech gamepad that works very nicely as a remote control, so I’ll be anxious to hook the two up. The Logitech pads even ship with Mac drivers. Mac users looking for more extensive driver support (and aren’t we always), be sure to check out the CarvWare Gamepad Companion. Even if your device is already supported, this gives you some additional options.

Of course, all these things could also be useful for playing games, but I’ll ignore that. Isn’t the major draw of gamepads and joysticks controlling music apps?

  • I'm planning on using ControlMK combined with the command-line midi utilities you linked a while back. ControlMK turns the joystick into keystrokes, sends them to the command line window to be turned into midi messages, and then MIDI-Yoke those over to the command line drum sampler. It sounds complicated, but I'm guessing it'll be much more responsive than the VBA sampler I was using.

  • Arthur

    What a cool app! Not only did it tell me that my "broken" DDR pad still works, I can now finally delete infuriating e-mails by stomping! This is gonna be great! And no, the major draw of HID devices is clearly assigning them to Quicksilver triggers. 😛

  • JunXion works pretty easily, too. Any USB device works to send midi.

    • ENDIF

      Which would be awesome if it weren’t 75 euro