protodeck first demo from Julien Bayle on Vimeo.

Speaking of special Abletronic miracles out of reach of most mortals, meet the Protodeck. Inspired by Robert Henke’s legendary Monodeck, it’s an all-stops-pulled bundle of delicious overkill. The specs are — insane, really.

  • 87 potentiometers
  • 90 buttons
  • 81 rgb leds
  • 2×20 LCD
  • 2 PIC 18F4620 (20MHz RISC processors)
  • fully custom rgb led drivers
  • fully custom firmware
  • 2 MIDI IN/OUT interface

The ingenious design of Julien Bayle, the Protodeck isn’t available for sale. You can’t buy one, but you can build one – or treat the copious documentation on his site, from control layouts to firmware and electronic specs as inspiration for your own projects. Perhaps a full-blown Protodeck isn’t your cup of tea, but you might want a tip on how to do LED arrays, for instance — it’s in there. I would say more, but that’s time you could spend browsing through images and schematics. (Maybe it’s just the Club-Mate speaking at this point.)

For more on the art behind this:

Julien promises performances and workshops, so I look forward to seeing more. (This is slightly old news for those of you tuned into such things, but for everyone else – and a reminder of the sorts of hacking you could do this summer – great hardware never goes out of style.)

  • apalomba

    Now we're cookin!

  • karlp

    I am glad that the midibox concept gets some fresh attention, with all those monomes and ohms and launchpads out there… I am using my midibox-based controller all the time. Thorsten and all the users in the forums are extremly helpful and consistently at work over many years now.

  • man…..
    this is incredibly awesome!
    hoorah for buttons!

  • Julien is a great guy who worked really hard on this controller. He did an excellent job and was nice enough to document along the way. He deserves all of the praise he can get. I wish i had the time to build the same controller.

  • Damon

    EHBE – Extreme Home Brew Envy

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  • i second that Damon.
    incredibly sexy.

    the details on the blog is very sexy too.
    now, if only i could afford max for live -.-

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  • ed

    cool controller.. but in the long run a waste of time.. people are getting to involved on how good there tools are.. ill stick to writing good tunes cuz what i just heard was complete garbage… doesnt matter what u use to make music, just make good music…

  • ed

    ^^ especially when touch screen lemur is the best ableton controller..nuff said

  • lematt

    building his own hardware is interesting: it gets you to have a big reflection on your musical direction and the use of the computer in live situations.

  • ed: you're jealous πŸ™‚

  • Rics

    I know what means build yourselfa midi controller.
    Lot of effort and fun, and more important, configure a controller layout for your needs!

  • Birds Use Stars

    Ever think about how weird it is how minimal techno guys always have the most maximal setups?

  • I wish could try it out, somewhere , sometimes πŸ™‚

  • Julien is a very talented guy. I dig his music too !

  • Julien has realized a dream many of us have. But most important of all, he is sharing what he learns along the way.

    BTW, I dig his sounds/music too. πŸ™‚

  • Duke of Viougues

    very impressive, it's amazing.

  • thanks all of you πŸ™‚

    Duke: je pense que le virus de l'électronique est génétique … ! alors merci !!!

  • phortran

    congrats julien!! amazing work my friend. it's great to see this completed, as i know how much work you've put into it. amazing documentation as well.

  • Justin Reed

    man, very cool build…the led feedback is incredible – to me that's the future of controllerism.

    are those state buttons really that clacky?
    i thought it was a percussion sample!

    keep up the good dope CDM!

  • noofny

    Julian…great work getting published mate…you have good public relations! Nice to see all those tech support questions finally paid off mate!

    Top work πŸ™‚

  • julien

    justin: buttons are clacky at you wrote, but when the sound system is really loud, no problem πŸ˜‰

  • WOW – just amazing!

  • this engine will be visible in New York at in/out fest