I love finding new uses for good stuff that’s been shelved. So it goes with my X-Keys Pro SE Keyboard Interface. The Pro SE has been discontinued but there are several new models to take it’s place. So where did I get one and why is it lying around?
Back in 2003 I began building a replica F-16 cockpit in my basement. You can read about it here. The switches and knobs of the cockpit interface to the computer through a device called an X-Keys Matrix board by P.I. Engineering (great company by the way). Anyway, once I got the thing up and running I joined an online Virtual Fighter Squadron. At the time my teenage son also ‘flew’ with us although while I sat in the cockpit downstairs, he flew from his desk. In order to help him out with simplifying some of the complex control-key sequences I got him the Pro SE. These devices are popular among gamers who like to jam complex keystrokes into them to speed up game-play. Unfortunately he lost interest in the squad and the Pro SE sat untouched in a box since then.
Flash forward to my new studio. I found the Pro SE in a box in mint condition. I also found that their new software, ControllerMate was a far cry more powerful than the earlier software I had experienced. Bear in mind that the earlier software made it possible to have a functional make-belive cockpit so it didn’t suck. I haven’t even scratched the surface of ControllerMate’s features which include logic processing and the ability to send MIDI commands.
So I plugged in the Pro SE and set up a series of keystroke shortcuts that will really help simplify things while I work with my DAW software Reaper. You’d be surprised by how much quicker things can go with the tap of a button rather than with removing your hands from the keyboard, grabbing the mouse, sliding it through something wet, cursing, right clicking, right clicking again over the correct item, you see where this is going.
Best of all I put a perfectly good piece of technology back to work. Hell, it’s paid for so why not!