Grid-style sequencers and touchscreens are a marriage waiting to happen, and not just on pricey gadgets like the Lemur. The mysterious Froggy Frog has built a simple, clever drum controller, arrayed in a convenient grid intended for touchscreens (but usable with a mouse if you just want to try it out). Originally spotted in a comment on MusicThing (see my previous KAOSS Pad story), the gControl software is now available to all:

Cool Looking Interface Part II aka GControl [Failed Muso, via matrixsynth]

eBay a touchscreen, get your fingers flexed, and you can use this to control drum patterns or other sequences! Windows only, but a Mac version is possible in future, especially if you go tutor Froggy in the ways of Objective C. Thanks, Froggy!

There’s some similarity to the Monome hardware project, but with the flexibility of a software interface. With touchscreens going for just a few hundred dollars, I hope this is just the first of many experiments. The possibilities for environments like Max/MSP and Reaktor are intriguing, too: as opposed to something like the Lemur, a real computer display means you can program the device to look and function however you desire.

So, here’s the next question: anyone got suggestions on inexpensive touchscreens, or even better, good ways of retrofitting something like my portable 17″ Shuttle display with touch?

  • mike

    try touchscreens.com, you can add a touchscreen interface to your display for around $200.

  • Damon

    I like this for even mere mouse mixing. It is large enough to make a mouse improvisational jam actually happen. If people can learn to type 80 words a minute with 2 fingers (and many have), surely 1 can learn to mouse jam with great effectiveness.

  • dartkick

    Seems to load just fine, but when the sounds are produced, they all sound like difft notes of a piano, not drum-like. Any help with this matter? Any way to customize the sounds?

  • Bill

    It sends out plain old MIDI messages. If you click on the setup button in the top right, you'll go to a page with several MIDI options. If you're already hearing piano sounds, change the MIDI channel to 10, the default for drums. There are also other MIDI-out choices if you prefer.

  • dartkick

    thanks for the help. I really enjoy all the helpful ppl on this site.

  • http://www.devilscartel.com fly*

    Hi….I am seeming to have issues loading the application up….when I 1st open it I will get a "list out of bounds" error msg….the app will then open and ill get an "access violation error"…any ideas on what im doing wrong ???

    btw im not using a touchscreen monitor…

  • http://www.froggyfrog.com GodzillaFrog

    Hey guys..

    If you have the access violations, try downloading the updated version from http://www.froggyfrog.com/gcontrol

    It wasn't tested on a machine with no midi inputs.

    Best

    Gerry

  • http://www.devilscartel.com fly*

    Thanks mate….works like a charm now ;o)

  • http://www.stirhouse.com Mark

    This is really cool, and works mostly.. however, I can't seem to get the tempo control to work. When I increase the tempo from 120, nothing really happens. Also, it seems like the tempo shifts off every once in awhile. Has anyone else noticed this?

  • http://none choy

    hi!

    I want ot know about the procedure sof making a digital mouse. is anyone knows it pls..

    show it to me.

  • Pingback: Electronic Music Interface » Blog Archive » gControl Touchscreen Grid Sequencer

  • Mark II

    Great for experimeting! Like a lot of synth guys, I'm clueless about drums, and this really helped.

    Any chance of saving midi files in future?

  • http://briarmonsmetrach.googlepages.com/home runagate

    Blimey, I wish I'd stumbled upon this website earlier! From this article I am continually stumbling upon all the gear I've just laboriously hunted down and either just received or already ordered. This program is genius, and I'll be using it in poor taste as soon as the cables the touchscreen I just got didn't come with arrive from various online sellers… serial to USB? Who'd have thought I'd ever need that?

    Froggy, a profound thanks!

  • pix

    this is great!!

    how hard do you think it'd be to convert this into a step sequencer with say 3 channels where you could choose notes or any CC# and assign values by touching the screen. Like the matrix sequencer in Reason. That would rock as well!!

    thanks for sharing!!!

  • Dg

    Having trouble geting it to sync to anything external in XP. Any recommended Windows versions or software that has been successful? Would love to get it to sync to Live. BTW great idea and interface, been having fun with it.

  • Dg

    Not sure what the problem was before but got it syncing now with Live using Maple. Are you sharing source of this so that I could change the patch names to be Guru specific? Understandable if not. Thanks again for the great interface.

  • bob r

    Is there any other software drum machine I can use this with?