Dance Wednesday continues, so get your dancing shoes on. You
can trigger audio and video with a Dance Dance Revolution pad (or any
USB game controller).

Resources: You'll want some kind of PS2-to-USB converter so
you can plug it into your computer, for starters (here's an example). Then check out software like STEIM's JunXion (Mac OS X), which maps USB input to MIDI, or, better yet PSmaX (Mac/Windows), which is designed specifically for this purpose and runs standalone or (if you've got it) in Max/MSP. (Savvy Max users might also map the dance pad to the OSC
protocol.)

Examples of the system in action:

Why would you want to do this, aside from the basic cool factor? A
dance pad could let your audience get up and jam, triggering sounds or
video, or you could use this as a cheap foot controller — and hey, if
you have four limbs, why should your hands have all the fun?

See also: game controllers as instruments, Unreal Tournament 2004 for music (part 1 and part 2), and how to use the P5 virtual reality glove with your Mac or PC.

As always, CDM is anxious to hear your tips, experiences, and see your
work, so just drop me a line if you're doing this kind of thing. I'll
even promote your next gig!

  • Kim

    Anyone tried to open/cut/modify the pad ?

    I mean, would it be possible for example, to cut the mat into 8 pads and stick these pads to solid frames so they could be used as drum pads ?

    Hope I get an answer before I just destroy mine!

    Kim