May 30-Hands-On Fader Control

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In the tip for May 22, we covered how to control effects and virtual instrument parameters with a footpedal hooked into a synthesizer or other controller. But what if you don't have a synthesizer or other controller...and would rather use a 100 mm fader than a footpedal?

No problem, if you're willing to do a little soldering. Take a 1/4" phone jack, and wire the tip to the fader's wiper (center terminal), the ground to the fader's terminal that connects to the wiper when the fader is all the way down, and the ring to the fader's terminal that connects to the wiper when the fader is all the way up.

Wire up a phone jack to a long-throw fader, and you can have fader control over MIDI parameters.

If you do have a keyboard or similar MIDI controller, you can use the fader instead of an expression pedal by patching a stereo cable between the fader jack and an expression pedal jack. A more versatile option is to use MIDI Solutions' Pedal Controller, because you can program it to output any controller number (as well as aftertouch , pitch bend, or system exclusive), and alter the potentiometer's curve to, for example, have a linear potentiometer give a logarithmic response.

Be a slave to the mouse no more—find out how some serious hands-on control can add more expressiveness.

The Story of SMOMID
May 29-Rendering MIDI to Audio