Music Monster Prototype with 2 Axis-49

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June 2010

My Music Monster Setup

  • 2 Axis-49 midi controllers
  • 2 right angled midi cables
    • The midi cables that come with the Axis-49 takes up too much space.
  • Spray paint and labels
  • Laptop
  • Software for midi mapping and transposition
    • I use PureData and have developed a patch (program) to translate Axis-49 that is in Harmonic Table to Wicki/Hayden layout.
    • PureData is free. My patch is also freely available for anyone who sends me an email asking for it.
  • Virtual midi cable to connect PureData to a DAW
    • I use Midi Yoke. It is great software and is free.
  • DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)

  • I use LMMS (Linux Multi-Media Studio) on Windows and Ableton Live Lite.

    • LMMS is great software and is free. It has more latency on Windows. But it is still usable for me.
    • Ableton Live Lite only allows one plugin. I got the Lite version as a bundle with the M-Audio Audio I/O Interface.
  • Virtual instrument to be loaded into the DAW
    • I use Pianissimo as my piano vst. It is reasonably priced and the sound quality is quite good for me.
  • USB Soundcard
    • I use M-Audio MobilePre. It comes with Ableton Live Lite bundle as I mentioned earlier.
    • I have tried many way to reduce the latency on Windows and to get reasonable sound out of my laptop's sound card. By the end of the day, I would say it is just a waste of time. A hardware audio interface performs much better.
  • Sound Module or headphone
    • If you are buying a powered amp, remember to buy a keyboard amp not a guitar amp.
  • USB Hub (optional)
    • To tidy up the cables, I plug the midi controller and the audio interface into the hub. Then plug the hub into the computer.
  • Keyboard stand
  • A "custom play surface" to play the instrument
    • I intend to make a custom enclosing to put all the equipment inside it later.
  • Music stand (optional)

I have only started to play with this prototype for couple of weeks. My very subjective assessment is that it is easier to play than anything I have experimented with. Hopefully, for someone who does not have much talent and time (like myself), this will help us to open the door to music instrument playing.
- MusicLearner