We Made Our Very Own Midi Foot Controller for Ableton Live! 


Something New:
Over the past few months we bid folk-rock adieu in order to create our own brand of electro-acoustic pop.  This shift in direction allowed us to get Ableton, a computer program designed for live performance, involved.  The thing with Ableton is in order to properly take advantage of what it has to offer, you must constantly tell it what to do (that means pushing a lot of buttons).  Since no one in this band is as fortunate as Vishnu, using a typical Ableton controller, like a Push or Launchpad, was not going to work.  We needed a foot controller.  I began my research shortly after but was overall unimpressed by the ones in my price range.  I eventually stumbled upon a number of DIY sites devoted to custom MIDI controllers and figured that making my own would not only get me exactly what I wanted, it would be more fun too.  
 


Getting Started:

Ok, so how did we make this midi foot pedal?

First we found some helpful resources online:

Here's the video we used for rewiring a Korg nanoKONTROL!
Here's an Ableton DIY forum that helped in the box's construction!

Then we figured out what we have and what we need...

Have:
  • 3' x 2' sheet of pine (3/4" thick)
  • Wood Stain & Brushes
  • Soldering Iron
  • Table Saw
  • Drill
  • Drill Bits (5/16", 7/16", and 1/2")
  • Wire Cutter
  • Screwdriver
  • Router
  • #8 1-1/2" Wood Screws

Need:
  • Korg nanoKONTROL - $40.00 @ Amazon Market Place
  • Solder - $3.00 @ Mammoth Electronics
  • 22AWG (Black & Red) & 24AWG (Blue & Green) wire - $6.40 @ Mammoth Electronics
  • 4 - 5mm LED - $0.72 @ Mammoth Electronics
  • 4 - 5mm LED Bezel - $3.60 @ Mammoth Electronics
  • 13 - Momentary Switches - $39.52 @ Mammoth Electronics

Total Cost: ~$93

Building a Box:


First thing I did, since I had a little cardboard lying around, was make a small prototype to get a sense of the dimensions I wanted.  For the face I used the 30 degree angle suggested by AlexMC in his Ableton Forum post.


All in all it was not too difficult to find a size I was comfortable with.  My initial design had 10 button (one for channel switching and 9 that could be programmed).  This quickly changed as I decided to put as many buttons on the box as I could reasonably fit.  The final design has 13.

When it came time to actually make the box, I used some spare wood from an older project.  After I marked up the wood, Carey and I spend an afternoon cutting and nailing the pieces together.  The construction was fairly basic since neither of us knew how to build a proper box.  Once that was done I, with a little help from my Mom, threw on some ebony stain and Carey routed the top (since 3/4" was too thick for our switches) before it was time to worry about the wiring.

 

The Innards:

Separating the circuit board from the nanoKONTROL was straightforward.  


When it came time to wire the box, the twelve year gap from the last time I soldered became apparent quickly.  My clumsiness, luckily, did not hurt this project and with some timely help from my Dad and Sister got everything to where it needed to be.  

With the soldering behind me, all that remained was securing the board to the bottom of the box.  I took the easy route and used electrical tape.


One big design flaw concerned the USB cable.  If you look at the picture a moment you'll see the problem.

Anyways, I think it all turned out well and with one performance in the books, the project was well worth it.


-Ross Weinstein
 

Join Us at The Beat Tonight @ 7pm 


Tonight, we'll be pulling it back acoustic-style at The Beat Coffeehouse in uptown.  Come join us if you're into that sort of thing.  You know, music, singing, laughing and REALLY bad jokes.  Plus, hey...you get $1 off your drink, and it's not even your birthday.  Well, maybe it is, and I just made myself look like an insensitive a**. 

<3 Carey
The Most Insensitive Member of Faun the Flame

Aaaaaaw.....We Played a Wedding!  

 
Oh my goshness!  Faun the Flame was invited to play originals this weekend as a part of a wedding ceremony!  How cool is that?  We played our very own "Lucky" as the bride walked down the aisle, and "Penny" as they left.  It was maybe the coolest thing EVER!  Congrats Mr. & Mrs. O!  Thanks for letting Faun the Flame be part of your special day!
/
  1. Lucky

Grab Your FREE Download -- Our New Single "Burn" 

Hey Superfans! We are so excited to announce our BRAND NEW band name (we were formerly 9/10 of Whatever), and to let you sink your claws into our new single, "Burn."  We'll be offering this for free for a limited time, so make sure you download it today!  Thanks so much for all your support!

Don't forget to like us on Facebook...so you can see what we're up to: 


And, of course, you get to grab our new single....CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD!

 
Keep on being awesome, Superfans!
<3 Faun the Flame

Want to be our favorite stalker? Sign up for our mailing list.

/
  1. 1 Burn 05:25 Your price

    Burn

    Track download

    Please choose a price: $ USD ($0.99 or more)

    Please pay at least $0.99

    or close
    /
  2. 2 Lucky 04:22
    /
  3. 3 Penny 03:22 Your price

    Penny

    Track download

    Please choose a price: $ USD ($0.99 or more)

    Please pay at least $0.99

    or close
    /
  4. 4 Serendipity 04:16 Your price

    Serendipity

    Track download

    Please choose a price: $ USD ($0.99 or more)

    Please pay at least $0.99

    or close
    /
  5. 5 Thief 04:03 Your price

    Thief

    Track download

    Please choose a price: $ USD ($0.99 or more)

    Please pay at least $0.99

    or close
    /
  6. 6 Distant Lands 03:56
    /
  7. 7 Earthquake 06:49
    /
  8. 8 Gold in My Pocket 04:08
    /
  9. 9 Who I Am 05:18
    /