Games Controllers by Dave Green

Dave Green runs, a site dedicated to showcasing affordable ways of creating music technology.

He realised that electronic instruments were often prohibitively expensive for many people. Using his background in computer science he decided to do something about it.

The instrument he created at our Southbank hackathon is a brilliant example.

Picking up four Playstation Quiz controllers for £2, he ran them into a Raspberry Pi module to allow them to be used to play sounds.

Playstation controllers upcycled into an instrument

Costing around £20, Raspberry Pi is a fully functioning computer. Green was easily able to map the USB inputs from the controller buttons onto sounds running on a software synthesiser.

Thus, for under £30, he created an accessible digital instrument that, with four controllers, can be used collaboratively.

Robustly made, and with large, simple buttons, the Playstation controllers are ideal for those who struggle to control more complex instruments.

These and other games controllers are often being thrown out, which makes them a good, cost-effective resource for DIY instrument-builders.

The code is very simple to manipulate, which means that the output sounds can be easily modified in a vast array of ways.