How to Hack a Keyboard

Moldover has made an appearance on MTV’s “How To Show”, showing off you how to turn an oxygen 8 or any other keyboard into your own expressive controllerist musical instrument. With only a handful of items you can easily find around the household and using the similar techniques to that used on his own Novation Remote-25 SL keyboard, Moldover shows in three simple steps how easy it is to become a controllerist armed with just a oxygen8 and a copy Ableton live.

One of the first things you learn while trying to perform controllerism techniques is that the hardware out there at the moment is not very suited to the techniques that we try to perform. Thankfully there is a ton of existing midi controllers on the market that you can modify to help breach the barrier. An Oxygen 8 is a great first step controller to start modifying as its cheap yet functional, so it was a great choice for Moldovers video shown here:

To make things a bit easier I have compiled the list of things you will need:

  1. An Oxygen 8 or any other similar keyboard you don’t mind “re-purposing”.
  2. Old bike tube.
  3. Old stiff dvd case.
  4. Super glue.
  5. Black permanent marker.
  6. Screwdriver
  7. Scissors

By the time you are done rearranging the keys the idea is that one white key, one black key and two knobs will control a single audio channel. There are four sets of these keys to control 4 different channels each doing the same thing.

The white button is used to launch a clip, the black button is used to mute and un-mute that clip, a knob will control the channel volume and the second knob will control a filter cutoff point.

If you want to see more mods or have a mod of your own and want to share head over to the Mods and DIY controllers section of our Forums.

Have fun chopping stuff up – BentoSan

ControllerismDIY Projectsmidi controllermoldoverTipsVideo Tutorials
Comments (15)
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  • Sturt

    I’m trying this now with an Oxy 8v2 I got on craigslist, and the hardware for the keys doesn’t allow reordering the black and white keys. Dag, yo.

  • Keith

    What software did u use?

  • Anonymous

    [quote comment=""][…] To read more just follow this link […][/quote]

    [quote comment="12369"]Krilikz – Moldover uses Reaktor for his smartmixer, effects and mastering. Its impressive, but for the most part can be done inside Ableton live, including the smart mixing.[/quote]

    I just side chain a compressor and just keep an eye on my levels.

  • Frank

    I did this to my oxy for use with Traktor and im loving it. Great for the Hot Cue points. I will post pics of my controller soon!

  • Mohan

    very cool, ive been looking at controllers, but can't find anything out of the box that fits what my needs. maybe i'll pick up one of these and tear it apart and rearrange.


  • BentoSan

    Hes not using his Reaktor ensemble on the oxygen 8 if thats what your trying to say. Though they have mixed in jams hes done on his modded remote 25sl with the oxygen 8.

  • tekki

    True that!

    Thing is, he is using his Reaktor ensemble in this vid, without telling people how he achieves his effects.

    Don't get me wrong, cause it's a killer ensemble! But I do think he should have shown what's the real deal with his setup. 😉

  • BentoSan

    Krilikz – Moldover uses Reaktor for his smartmixer, effects and mastering. Its impressive, but for the most part can be done inside Ableton live, including the smart mixing.

  • Krilikz

    I think Reaktor is only for his smart mixer? correct?

  • BentoSan

    Tekki – Thats true but this is a great first step into implementing Moldovers vision of controllerism. You don't need Reaktor to be able to do great controlerism sets.

  • tekki

    The only thing he forgets to tell ya… His custom Reaktor ensemble for making it cool! 😀

  • rjw

    wicked! Anyone know when Moldovers album comes out?

  • Frank

    I have wanted to do this mod since Moldover’s og controller. Soo excited right now!

  • Dj Xsquizet

    you don’t know how helpful that was glad to see something that is albeton oriented lol.

    time to go get a another oxygen