Build Your Own Controller.

The Beatsurfing App has 4 objects available: the Line, the Polygon, the Fader and the Circle.  Each of them has specific features (direction detection, counter, etc.).  You use those objects to create swarms, groups of objects that you can arrange in layers, duplicate, etc. enabling you to create unique MIDI controllers that would not occur if you had to prototype them physically.  As you can link objects together and create interactions between them (“Behaviours”, of which an example is available here:, there’s also more to a controller than what meets the eye.

How does it work?

Using the Multi-Touch iPad gestures to bring the objects on the surface, position, resize, color and orient them.

– Everything can be modified seamlessly through an intuitive interface relying on iPad gestures.

– Each object can be positioned on a 3-dimensional space (through layers), further allowing you to be creative with your controller building.

Objects features

All four objects are very simple operators if you consider them separately. It is also important to highlight that each object has a concept of “behaviors” they can be assigned with.

  • The Line can trigger a unique MIDI note defined as the “root note.” Each time your finger collides a Line, the MIDI note message is sent. Then you have the notion of directional detection that you can enable or not. When enabled, it will detect in which direction you pass through the Line and trigger the root note if you slide your finger from right to left, or the next note relative to the root note if you slide your finger from left to right.
  • The Polygon is very similar to the Line, where each segment of the polygon has the same characteristic as the Line operator.
  • The Circle is more or less a sequencer. You can define from 1 to 16 steps. Each step triggers a MIDI note. Each time you collide a Circle, the current step is increased and as a result triggers the next MIDI note. Other objects in the scene can be configured to reset or set a particular step on the circle.
  • The Fader sends MIDI Control Change or Pitch Wheel messages.

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Included in Beatsurfing are 7 editable Tutorial Controllers that allow you to learn the basics of the App, with the relevant Ableton Live Project.