I've been long wanting a tablet to use as an input device (drawing in automation, etc...), and I'd love to have a Jazz Mutant control surface, and lots of other stuff. But I just came across this: https://www.thinkgeek.com/computing/keyboards-mice/77ba/

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(source: thinkgeek.com)

Some of you may have seen it before (because I'm betting most of you are thinkgeek fans...), but I haven't, and now I want one. You can just stick a button anywhere (plug and play, as it were...), and quickly assign it a macro. That means you can have 25 programmable macros in whatever configuration you want. Sweet!

3 Answers 3


I've used my Bamboo tablet (no touch on mine, but looks like it would be cool) with µ MIDI Controller to control sampled recordings. I stole the idea from Ben Burtt from how he designed some of the sounds for WALL·E (see 1:11 in the video). He was using Kyma to translate the tablet moves into Motu's MachFive sampler. Thinkgeek is a great site for geeky instruments. That's where I was first introduced to the Kaossilator. Any other cool controllers out there?


  • Love the idea of the tablet, plus the midi controller makes it so much cooler. Thanks for sharing - May 4, 2010 at 7:43
  • Makes me wonder what software is out there to turn a tablet into an X/Y controller, similar to a Kaos Pad (other than Kyma, which I can't afford right now...). I bet you could do some cool stuff in Max/MSP.
    – Colin Hart
    May 4, 2010 at 14:40
  • I've got another one, although I'm absolutely clueless as to how it works. OSCulator supports all kinds of controllers, including iPhone and Wiimotes. osculator.net May 5, 2010 at 0:50
  • OSCulator is great, ive been using it with TouchOSC on my iPhone and with a wii remote. The touchosc app has some cool features, and an editor for making your own patches. An XY grid on the iphone screen is pretty fun.
    – deleted
    May 8, 2010 at 19:48

Wow, that's great! EXCEPT, no Mac support…boo -- thanks for the post, tho. It dovetails off a topic I posted a while back:

Best use of ergonomics in an Pro Tools editing environment?

Lots of folks answered with the fairly typical setup of keyboard-trackball mouse, but this input device you're talking about it really what I was hoping people would start chatting about. +1 for you!


With Max/MSP as a layer between hardware and software, I've used and built a variety of controllers for sound design, some of that in interactive products:

c74 app monome phidgets http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:pTZGDSXYM7b0VM:http://www.techchee.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/05/phidget-analog-sensors-leds-switches-18052007.jpg arduino

(c74 app) (monome) (phidgets) (arduino)

  • A Monome (basically a boutique version of the Novation Launchpad, that's where the concept of the Launchpad came from)
  • Wiimote, using the Max external by aka.
  • iPhone multitouch controller apps like Fantastick, TouchOSC and now c74.
  • Arduino prototyping board with various sensors and controls attached to it
  • Phidgets
  • A webcam for real-time camera tracking and image recognition using the cv.jit library

The controller mentioned by Colin looks awesome, it's probably speedier to work with than virtual keys because they provide physical (tactile) feedback.

When the iPad comes out in Europe I'll get one and run the iPhone controller apps on there, again using Max/MSP as interpretation layer between the hardware and the sound-generating software.

Edit: and then there is of course the very expensive Optimus Maximus keyboard that has a mini oled screen inside each key allowing dynamic switching of key functions, macros and icons. Awesome. optimus maximus
(source: techeblog.com)

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