[chuck-users] a example of thinking on interface mapping

Kassen signal.automatique at gmail.com
Mon Jun 2 09:34:57 EDT 2008

mike clemow :

> Hey Kas,

Hello, Mike, thanks for sharing more of your thoughts on this!

> I guess I was suggesting that you build your own interface.  I do a
> lot of that in my work.  I think an Arduino and a 3-axis accelerometer
> would be pretty sick start to a sweet interface.  You could even add
> all the buttons that you wanted anyway.

Yes, this could make sense. I actually have a Arduino right here for
testing. There's a reason for me liking off the shelf game controllers
though. Over the years I played a lot of games so "my fingers are at home"
with traditional joypads and arcade sticks and I find that to be a big
advantage. Mass-production also does wonders for the price. Also; I'm fairly
confident with woodworking and soldering irons but a Playstation joypad is
really quite small for all the functionality that's in there with a
ergonomic grip so I like those. Making something like that yet with better
parts at home would be a major asignment.

Still; I'm starting to wonder whether the traditional joypad is the best
interface for this. I like the symetry of the Playstation pads but perhaps
another shape might be better.

This is a delicate issue that I don't think you can easily generalise about.
To take a example from my own experience; as I wrote about before I sequence
live music using a arcade stick. For this I have two large arcade sticks
here, one has a Japanse (Sanwa) youstick, a very light ball-top that
registers with just a light push. The other is a Korean (Fanta) stick, a
bat-top that feels quite heavy and solid with a heavier spring. I found the
tactile sensation changes my relation to my instrument and affects how I
play it, even if both are digital 8-way sticks.

It could be very worthwhile to see how different types of parts and shapes
affect this sensation for a "joypad equivalent".

> Having some programability
> on the microcontroller would provide some extra flexibility and power
> sensing certain gestures (and distinguishing them from others).  My
> controllers usually speak to the computer via serial (or usb) and I
> write some Python script or whatever to read those values off the
> serial bus and shoot them out as OSC to Chuck.  It works pretty well,
> although you do have to get over some of Chuck's idiosyncratic OSC
> issues.  ;-)

That's interesting. Having some intelligence in the controller itself could
be a good idea. The exact "shake" algorithem I described might even be
straightforward to implement in analogue parts, that would give us our
smoothing and interpolation for free. That's a interesting idea and
definitely a field where the Arduino would shine over a ordinary HID encoder
(you can order those as well).

This is very interesting stuff (at least to me....) I'll keep experimenting
(and playing!) and share my findings.

BTW, after the bug that Dan found and the recent issues on the list I now
saw this;
I think OSC could use some carefull atention for a future update. To me this
sounds like a bit much in the wat of "idiosyncracies to get around".

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts,
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