I just finished reworking an old USB QWERTY keyboard to serve as a custom keyboard for controlling Ableton Live, and thought you might like a look. The whole thing is well-documented with photos and comments at my Flickr site:
The basic idea: instead of buying an expensive controller to expand my tactile control of Ableton Live (or building something custom with MIDI controllers), I decided to use an old USB QWERTY keyboard and custom-paint it to enhance its use as a live performance device.
The big idea behind the keyboard is that the humble QWERTY keyboard offers a ton of control possibilities, thanks to the flexible keymapping capabilities of Ableton Live. I’ve been using the built-in keyboard on my Powerbook for a while now to trigger clips in performance, but it’s tough for a couple reasons. First, it looks like you’re writing e-mail during a show, and that’s kinda boring. Second, all the keys look the same (minus the markings, of course) – there’s not much that lets you navigate easily in low-light conditions and in the heat of the moment on stage.
You can see a full write-up here:
custom USB QWERTY keyboard for Ableton Live [Ableton forum]