Awesome Controllers

PC Audio Volume Slider Controller

PC Audio Volume Slider Controller
Buy

This made-to-order controller from Return to Paradise adds five linear slider controls to your Windows or Linux PC (sorry, no Mac support). It can be used to map volume controls and faders in DJ and gaming software via a USB connection. It works right out of the box with the open-source app deej.

The Abacusynth

The Abacusynth

Electronic instrument maker Elias Jarzombek created this unique synthesizer that looks like an abacus. The otherworldly sounds it makes are controlled by sliding and spinning its triangular “beads” on metal bars, along with turning its side dials. Read more about the Abacusynth on Elias’ website.

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Megalodon Triple Knob Macro Pad

Megalodon Triple Knob Macro Pad
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This desktop control deck has 16 hot-swappable mechanical keys, along with three programmable knobs. The two small and one large knob are also clickable, and you can switch between four function layers visible on its display. It has an anodized aluminum case and built-in RGB backlighting behind the keys.

Loupedeck Live S

Loupedeck Live S

Loupedeck takes on the Elgato Stream Deck with their own programmable streaming controller. The Live S console has 15 touch-sensitive LCD buttons, four tactile buttons, and two push-button analog dials, all of which can be used to control popular streaming and creative apps.

Game Controller Keycap

Game Controller Keycap
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This keycap from HolyOOPS looks like a tiny game controller with D-pad, ABXY, and start/select buttons. It’s made from CNC-machined aluminum with silicone buttons that let light shine through. At 1.75u wide, it’s the perfect replacement for your Caps Lock key and is compatible with Cherry MX switches and clones.

BigKNOB Macropad Controller

BigKNOB Macropad Controller
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LeafCutter Labs’ add-on controller has four programmable macro keys and a 360º encoder knob, making it a great input device for creative apps or for controlling media. It comes in a powder-coated steel case with a 32mm aluminum knob. Choose from case lit or key lit versions.

Hercules DJControl Mix

Hercules DJControl Mix

This awesome Bluetooth wireless controller connects to iOS and Android devices to provide a full set of controls for live DJ sets. It works in concert with Algoriddim djay software and music streaming services. In the hands of a talented performer like DJ Carlo Atendido, it’s truly an impressive bit of kit.

Hyperkin Duke 20th Anniversary Controllers

Hyperkin Duke 20th Anniversary Controllers
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To celebrate 20 years of Xbox, Hyperkin is offering these limited edition “Duke” controllers for today’s Microsoft consoles and Windows PCs. The wired controller has vibration feedback, a headset jack, and a display that plays the original Xbox startup animation inside the Xbox button. Available in black, white, or purple Cortana variants.

Backbone Mobile Game Controller

Backbone Mobile Game Controller
Buy

The Backbone adds console-quality thumbsticks, buttons, triggers, and a D-pad to your iPhone. The controller cradles your phone and connects via the Lightning port for lag-free input, and it’s perfect for game streaming services. For a limited time, new members can grab a free 3 mo. subscription to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.

ChonkerKeys

ChonkerKeys

Our lives are filled with Zoom calls and other video meetings these days. ChonkerKeys are giant keys that offer quick shortcuts for common videoconferencing functions like mic muting, camera, and screen sharing, and light up to indicate status. Choose from the five-key Original or the reconfigurable 11-key Max model.

Monogram Creative Console

Monogram Creative Console
Buy

Designed for creative pros, these modular controllers let you build your own custom control scheme. In addition to the base module, there are keys, sliders, dials, and an “Orbiter” that combines tilt, spin, and pressure inputs. They work with popular creative apps on Mac and Windows and can be fully programmed to your workflow.

OXI ONE MIDI + CV Sequencer

OXI ONE MIDI + CV Sequencer

This robust input device for music production and live performance packs not one but four fully configurable and independent sequencers, with LFOs, loopers, arpeggiators, and more. Each supports up to 128 steps, with auto-harmonization capabilities. It connects via MIDI, CV, or Bluetooth.

Noodle Pad v1.0 Keyboard

Noodle Pad v1.0 Keyboard
Buy

The Mad Noodle’s 8-key mechanical keyboard is fully programmable. It has Cherry MX switches, an knurled encoder knob, and RGB LED accent lighting in its baseplate. Outfit it with custom keycaps and make it your own. It runs QMK firmware for ease of configurability. They also make a special Star Trek edition.

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Enth Wooden Arcade Controllers

Enth Wooden Arcade Controllers
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Italy’s Enth Creations builds these unique handmade game controllers from Iroko wood, a dense African timber. They feature authentic Sanwa arcade joysticks and buttons set into custom-cut plexiglass and 3D-printed PLA bezels. They also make all-button hitboxes for fighting games.

Fidget Controller Pad

Fidget Controller Pad
Buy

Have a spare game controller lying around? Its tactile buttons and joysticks are great for fidgeters. Pilpoc’s Fidget Controller Pad is a fidget toy based on the same idea, but in a pocketable size. It has eight functions to keep fingers and brains occupied, yet measures just 2.8″ x 1.4″ x 1.0″.

Game Controller Wall Light

Game Controller Wall Light
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LEDclaw makes all kinds of geeky lights, including this wall light inspired by game controllers. The 20″ wide light is made from wood and cast acrylic and backlit with colorful LEDs. The design is based on the Xbox controller, though the buttons and thumbstick have been reversed. And that’s an upside-down Dreamcast logo on top.

ProLab Mouse

ProLab Mouse

This tiny gadget is small enough to hold between your thumb and index finger, but it looks mighty versatile. At its center is a tiny clickable 360º trackball, surrounded by directional buttons. The wireless controller offers air mouse, media, and keyboard modes, and is ideal for presentations.

Thumb Mouse Game Controller

Thumb Mouse Game Controller

Joystick-based controllers are great for casual gamers, but hardcore players prefer a mouse and keyboard for precise control. Tech Yesterday shows off a custom-made gamepad with a thumb-driven optical sensor to bring mouse-like precision to a handheld controller thanks to a miniature optical circuit. (Thanks, Lambert!)

TourBox Neo Creative Controller

Buy

This controller’s mix of programmable buttons, a D-pad, knobs, and a smooth-turning scroll wheel complements your mouse, trackpad, or tablet in creative workflows. It works with Mac and Windows apps, including Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator, Final Cut, Premiere, and more. Save another $10 with code CREATE10.

Nacon MG-X Android Controllers

Nacon MG-X Android Controllers

Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass cloud gaming service lets you play more than 100 Xbox games on Android devices. To get the most out of mobile gaming, you need a proper controller. Nacon will offer two designs – the tablet-style MG-X, and the MG-X Pro, which looks like a stretched-out Xbox controller. Both models drop in early 2021.

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Loupedeck Live

Loupedeck Live

The guys behind the excellent Loupedeck+ photo/video console are back with a controller for live streamers. Loupedeck Live offers integration into streaming tools like Twitch, Streamlabs, and OBS Studio for quick source switching, on-the-fly replay recording, and the ability to customize its buttons based on your workflow.

Fightboard Gaming Keyboard

Fightboard Gaming Keyboard
Buy

Love to play arcade games on your PC, but don’t have room on your desk for a big controller? Thnikk’s Fightboard is a compact keyboard designed just for gaming. It features low-profile Kailh Choc switches, with eight remappable keys and RGB LED lighting. It can also be used with some consoles using adapters.

Restoring a PSone Controller

Restoring a PSone Controller

After bringing a distressed, 20-year-old PSone console back to life, Odd Tinkering figured he’d need a controller to go with. Watch as he takes a nasty, yellowed old DualShock controller and miraculously makes it look good as new after a piece-by-piece disassembly, a soap scrub, and a hydrogen peroxide bath under UV light.

The Evolution of Console Controllers

The Evolution of Console Controllers

Cheddar shares the origins of the controllers of the N64, and the Xbox and PlayStation series to point out how their designs were not based on ergonomics alone. Sometimes, management or technological constraints led to these familiar forms.

Sensel Morph Controller

Sensel Morph Controller

Sensel’s versatile multi-touch panel can be used as a custom controller for just about any creative tool. Swap out tactile overlays for musical performance, video editing, music production, typing, and more – or create your own custom interfaces using the bundled software. Sold with one overlay, or in a special musician’s bundle.

Lekholm DM48 MIDI Harmonica

Lekholm DM48 MIDI Harmonica

Like a real harmonica, Lekholm’s musical tech senses its player’s breathing both in and out, but it outputs those modulations as MIDI signals for controlling synthesizers. The example performance is Cole Porter’s You’d Be So Nice to Come Home to, using a Yamaha VL70-m acoustic sound module.

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