Arcade MIDI Controller

March 18, 2009 | 6 Comments

Photo courtesy of King Vitamin

Photo courtesy of King Vitamin

March 18th, 2009 – Ever since I saw Ean Golden tearing up his VCI-100 with the arcade button mod, I knew I had to have my own. Along the way, I started to wonder if I could take the concept of a Monome, and use arcade buttons instead. Well it turns out that I’m late to that party. Not only have people already done it, they’ve been doing it for a while.

Check out King Vitamin’s controller that he’s showcasing on DJ TechTools today.  He used simulated wood paneling to create an elegant case. William “Logo” created the EM411, a gorgeous arcade button controller using the MIDIBox project. All told, he spent about $400 although he states that it could have been made for significantly less had he known what he knows now.  DJ TechTools also has a great DIY article on how to build your own arcade button controller for only $58.80 in parts. I just stole my friend’s soldering iron…time to get building!

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  1. marc says: March 20, 2009

    i think that EM411 is the website that william posted it on and not the name of his controller. i think it was bogdan that created EM411

  2. Sean says: March 20, 2009

    @Marc : Oops, you’re absolutely correct. William’s Flickr page lists it under MIDIBox, but that’s because it uses the MIDIBox project as a base. I guess the controller doesn’t have a name.

  3. William says: March 24, 2009

    Thanks for the nice mention! Yeah, unfortunately the controller is nameless. Um, I should probably get on that (almost a year after I finished it) 🙂

    Let me know if you have any questions…

  4. Sean says: March 25, 2009

    @William : Thanks for stopping by! The workmanship on your controller is fantastic. Did you figure out a mapping and then build it from there, or did you build the controller and then set out to map it?

  5. William says: March 29, 2009


    I basically designed it with a generic 4 channel, Ableton/Traktor DJ focused layout in mind. I had a fear of designing it with a specific mapping in mind, due to software revisions dating it. It’s also a plus that you have a lot more freedom aesthetically, but it would be nice to have a set in stone mapping (I still haven’t found one I’m perfectly ok with).

    I hope that the Ableton/Serato partnership comes up with something sexy and soon. I think it would be perfect sitting in between a couple decks, serving as a conventional mixer while firing off cue points/loops/samples/fx.

  6. Sean says: March 29, 2009

    @William : I’m also hoping the same thing from the Ableton/Serato partnership. Let’s hope it happens!


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