The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Anybody miss having a tape remote?
Old 23rd March 2021
Gear Addict
🎧 15 years
Anybody miss having a tape remote?

Yeah me too! I started doing studio work in the 90’s when tape machines were still being used quite a bit (along with ADAT) and I always appreciated having a big tape remote sitting off to my left side. I enjoyed the immediacy and feel of pressing dedicated buttons versus being a mouse/keyboard jockey which can feel a bit like filing taxes.

So I set out to build an Arduino project that functions like a tape remote for Reaper. This HID uses an Arduino Leonardo and Mayhew Labs Mux Shield II multiplexer and it is completely USB powered.

Programming (and some much needed guidance) was handled by my friend Aaron Cendan and circuit board and product design were done by me.

So far it is working great, feels solid and it’s pretty fun to use. On power-up it automatically boots Reaper and opens a 16 track template which makes things pretty efficient also.

Below are some build pics. I can provide more information if anyone else is interested.

Best regards,


Old 23rd March 2021
Lives for gear
nucelar's Avatar
🎧 10 years
Hi Martin, this is absolutely brilliant!!

I have also been thinkink about a standalone device that mimics the tape-recorder workflow, and this fits the concept ideally.
In fact I started a thread some time ago with the ideas I had. You could show your achivement there:
Standalone multitrack recorder build

What communication protocol are you using? how do you handle interaction between the software and your hardware? for example the record arm status LEDs?

Again, congrats!

I sincelely believe there ¡s a market for this kind of device. I think it would be cool also to have it as a tabletop device
Old 23rd March 2021 | Show parent
Here for the gear
Hey Nuclear! As far as communication protocol, this thing is effectively a computer keyboard designed specifically for delivering keyboard shortcuts in quick succession. More details on the how & why for that decision on my personal blog, covering the software side of things:

As far as record arm status LEDs, it's actually quite straight forward. By using "Record Arm All" or "Unarm All", you can effectively refresh the LED status for all tracks if it's desynced (i.e. when you first open a session that might have certain tracks armed already). From then on, record arm status is just cached in arrays on the Arduino, no comms required to/from the PC, making it DAW-agnostic. Let me know if you'd like further clarification on that front.

TL;DR: It's a one-way street from controller -> PC, no current need for PC -> controller in this implementation.
Old 26th March 2021
Gear Addict
🎧 15 years
Thanks Nucelar! It's been a very fun project and it is a pleasure to use. As Aaron mentioned above, the remote essentially works like a keyboard and it spits out custom 'Reaper Actions'. This makes it work at extremely low latency. Aaron also created a Autohotkey (.AHK) file for me that opens up Reaper and loads a 16 track template when the remote is switched from Off to 1-16 or 17-32 mode.

See docs below for clarification:
Old 26th March 2021
Lives for gear
🎧 15 years
Wow, coming here from nuclear’s other thread- this is amazing!
Old 27th March 2021
Gear Guru
Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Nicely done CONGRATS!!! You should think about making this available for others. Either in a kit form or a completely built unit.
Old 27th March 2021
Lives for gear
lame pseudonym's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Some time ago I was doing a lot of editing in Audacity, and there were a couple of commands that I used a lot. So I got a two-button mouse and a usb keyboard from the junk store, wired the mouse switches to a crosspoint on the keyboard's chip, and named the resulting characters as hotkeys to Audacity.

It did convenient things up to a worthwhile degree.
Old 30th March 2021
Gear Guru
tINY's Avatar
1 Review written
🎧 15 years

Cooler looking than my bluetooth keyboard.... Might be about as functional.


Old 4 weeks ago
Gear Maniac
Perfect timing!

I just got a Studer transport that I’m going to clean up and house. Looking to use it as a daw controller...more for fun than functionality...but I’m not sure how to do anything but the general mechanics. I’d like to recreate the standard Studer UI...flashing stop when “unloaded” etc. and absolutely firm on using the lamps and not LEDs. So it’s not completely straightforward.

This thread is my first stop, so I’ll update here as I go along, and would love to hear suggestions.
Attached Thumbnails
Anybody miss having a tape remote?-2607a467-de2a-41c6-a567-33d220cf0b73.jpeg  
Old 2 weeks ago
Gear Addict
🎧 15 years
Nice score on the Studer transport. Should interface just about perfectly with the Arduino/Mux.
📝 Reply
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearspace Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.

Slide to join now Processing…

Forum Jump
Forum Jump