Playing with the SpaceMouse

SpaceMouseEarly last month I finally got to play with a 3Dconnexion Wireless SpaceMouse. This neat little device is designed for use with design and animation software, enabling people to easily navigate the 3D space. The wireless version contains a rechargeable battery and comes with a small USB dongle. It’s quite a heavy unit, which makes it feel very substantial.

What makes the SpaceMouse of interest is that when plugged into the PC it appears as a gamepad or joystick – ideal for use with Ensemble.

The mouse has several different axis of control that can take some getting used to and are best explained using the diagram supplied on the 3Dconnexion website.

SpaceMouse movementsEach of the above motions generate variable outputs that can be linked to musical scales or lighting controls. One of the exciting things about the controller is how sensitive it is to the slightest movement or pressure. I can see this being particularly useful for people who have a very limited range of movement.

As a test I played with the Pan Up/Down motion to control the pitch of a simple scale. You can see the results in the YouTube video below.

If you already have a SpaceMouse then you can download the blocks for your Ensemble software below.

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