Sometimes you need one button for the job, and sometimes you need many.

This project is a fully enclosed 3D-printed Bluetooth controller, powered by a METRO 328 and LiPoly battery, mapped to use with Livestream Studio.

Using the serial input on the Bluefruit EZ-Key and some MCP23017 i2c expanders, there's a whole load of buttons. Arcade buttons. Pushbuttons. Buttons and buttons and buttons!

Why Livestream Studio?

Livestream Studio is a powerful, streamlined video streaming software designed for use with PCs and Livestream's own switcher boxes. While incredibly robust, there isn't MIDI support for using just any controller you'd like. Using the hotkey portion of the software, this bypasses the need to use a regular keyboard to get at specific functions.

But what if I don't use Livestream Studio?

Map it to whatever you'd like! The code is pretty heavily documented, so feel free to modify it to your needs.

Tools You'll Need:

  • Soldering iron of some sort. I use an Aoyue, but any good ones will work.
  • Needle nose pliers. My favorites are on my Leatherman II multitool.
  • Flush cutters. Always and forever.
  • Third hand tool. The $6 one from Adafruit will do the job, the super fancy one will do the job even better.
  • Optional: Blu-Tack for soldering the NeoPixel mini PCBs. Amazon.
  • 3D Printer. If you don't have one, you can always source the parts out to Shapeways, or a similar service. Ever upward, never fearing.
  • Silicone cover wire. I'm reiterating this here from the side, because it's not optional. Without silicone cover wire, the arcade button hack won't work. Trust me. You can use regular hookup wire for the rest of the project, but honestly, the silicone stuff is incredible. If you've never used it, and especially if you do high temperature RoHS soldering (380* C), you will love it. If you ever have to do a lot of cable wrangling, you'll love it. This project switched me over entirely.
  • 2x M2 6mm machine screws.
  • 8x M3 8mm (or more, doesn't really matter) flat screws.
  • 1x 1000uf 6.3V (or higher) capacitor
  • 1x 300-500 Ohm resistor
  • 25x 150 Ohm resistors
  • 3x 10k Ohm resistors
  • Charting tape.
  • White paint pen.
  • Bluetooth 2.1 Adapter (if you don't have one.)
  • A drill of some sort.
  • A roughly 1/8" drillbit, or M3 to be specific.
  • Scissors.


  • This is a Bluetooth Raw HID and ASCII input project, not MIDI.
  • The casing for this project was 3D printed, and because of its size, you'll want to make sure your bed level is tightly calibrated. It was designed to work within the parameters of a Makerbot Replicator 2, but any 3D printer that has the right build volume will absolutely work.
  • This is a very large project, and quite a bit of work. None of the steps are difficult for soldering, or require wave ovens or sensitive scopes. But it is a not insubstantial amount of effort, so bear that in mind.


Let's get started!

This guide was first published on Nov 29, 2015. It was last updated on Nov 29, 2015.

This page (Overview) was last updated on Aug 17, 2015.

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