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edited July 2014 in Hardware

Hello All-

I’ve been poking around the message boards and the website for the past few weeks, and doing some basic stuff with a Brain Jr, and I think I now have just enough knowledge to make a fool of myself with some newbie questions. I must say this board is quite pleasant and informative compared to certain other boards out there, so I gladly throw myself at your mercy.


What I am trying to accomplish is a “One Button One Function” interface that children (or other novices) can use to understand drum programming. I am imagining 64-button matrix which is a step sequencer, plus another bank of 4 buttons that is a “Reset/Pattern Select” bank.


OHM RGB, SIMPLIFIED: Maybe I could just buy one and hack it apart, or maybe Livid would just sell me the 8x8 grid, plus a bank of 4? Pro: Potentially the easiest option to build.

ARCADE BUTTON MATRIX: I know various people have built these, I know for DIY builders maybe this idea is a couple years old, but still for kids it could be pretty freaking fun. Con: The enormous amount of extra labor and cost may not warrant the marginal potential for extra fun of arcade buttons. If I built a matrix like this with RGB arcade buttons based on a Brain v2, would Drum Stepp:R work with my DIY device?

If anyone has answers to my questions above, or any other thoughts regarding this project, please let me know!




  • Also, I understand that I could build something like this out of Livid Elements, though it would cost more than an OHM RGB. In that case I'm still curious if Drum Stepp:R would work.



  • edited July 2014

    There are other's more knowledgeable than I to give you advice about what hardware to use.  But I can answer your question about the steppr:

    You'd probably need to do a lot of work to get one of the stepprs to work with a generic control surface.  The stepprs tie into the Python remote control script in Live, and its kind of tricky beast.  But it could be done if you're proficient with Max without the Python backend (some of it, at least), and there are many other simpler patches out there that could be made to accomodate your needs. (stretta's tr256 comes to mind.....)

    Hope this helps :)


  • Awesome, thanks amounra.

    That certainly helps.

    Just to clarify: so the Ohm RGB is not a "Brain 2 with a bunch of stuff attached"? I couldn't just start connecting stuff to a brain 2 and have equivalent functionality?



  • Something like the block might suit your needs:

    There are less extra controls than the ohm and its much cheaper!

  • Cool, thank you!

    Would it be possible to get one custom built removing the stuff I don't want, or would I need to buy a stock one and modify myself?


  • What would work for me is a block where the circuit board is only populated with the grid and the top left 4 switches. I'd like to have a custom panel that doesn't have holes for the other stuff. Is this possible?

    Thanks, Aaron

  • I think you may be in luck. I just found an old block circuit that fits that exact description! I'm going to follow up with the details through the helpdesk.

  • OK, So I've got my custom block! Thanks, Mark. I'm getting Livid Step going. Can I use all 8 rows? The bottom row seems dedicated to other stuff?



  • I'm really not sure, as I've never used that software. Pete?

  • I'm stumbling around the Max patch and it looks like I could maybe re-work the Max patch and have a modified standalone version, but I'm thinking the Max for Live version I cannot mod?

  • Anybody? Amounra?



  • Sorry, man.....that's Pete's baby, I've never messed with it.  I'll point him in this direction, though.....

  • Is the only modification you need to add an 8th row of step sequencing?

  • Hi Pete-

    Yes that's the only modification I need.

    Thanks guys,


  • Ok, I can hack this, but it will be a few days.

  • You guys are the absolute best!

  • This should work:

    There's a new option in the top left of the device "bl8" which gives you an 8th row of stepping, instead of the last row acting as a control row. Of course, you lose all those cool features, but you now have an 8x8 grid of stepping :)

  • Yes!  Awesome! I can't believe you're willing to write a new version of this software for me.  Thank you so much.

    But of course, I have a new problem.  I promise I have spent minimum 1 hour searching for the answer on my own before asking more of your time.

    Here's the thing:  as soon as I hit Play in Ableton, or touch anything on the block, it switches to Play mode and I'm unable to sequence using the step sequencer.  Am I insane?  I've checked every resource I can find online.



  • Hm...worked when I left it...weird. Have you tried just using it in Ohm46 mode?

  • Just tried it, it does the same thing.

    Thanks again,


  • I've been messing with Max some. Do you think I can open the patch and just delete the other modes? I don't need them. Then save as a standalone and use via Max for Live?

    I understand if you don't have time to do this! But if you had a chance to let me know if that was possible that would be swell.



  • OK I got discouraged with this bit for a while and when on to working on other aspects of this project.

    When I came back to this the other day, the new LividStep you wrote Peter totally worked as described! Again many thanks for your time. So, apparently turning the computer off and on again is a good thing to do when troubleshooting, in case anyone didn't know that.

    BUT my problem is that I can't figure out how to load presets into Lividstep as a Max for Live patch. I have 4 buttons attached to a Brain Jr. that I want to load preset patterns, then be able to modify via the block grid.

    The current road I'm exploring is to modify the BasicStep Max patch to accept transport info from Live via Rewire, and MIDI info from the Brain Jr. for presets via the preset object. I'm open to other ideas, or I'll let you know how I fare.

    Thanks again everyone,


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