I would rather avoid joystick for critical functions because of the risk of unintended use. It seems temporary functions like stutter or fx control would work better (so when the joystick is released everything goes back to 'normal' state).
The 8 additional buttons can be used in many ways, for example [1-3] could be dedicated to loop selection while [4-8] to trigger specific function (record, mute, reverse, clear etc.). As Andy pointed out a lot depends of the intended use/type of music. When designing the interface the ergonomics should be the priority (I know its obvious but important) - for this you must work closely with your colleague.
It might be useful to take a look at the following devices which offer quite different user interfaces - Boss RC-202/505, Korg Kaoss Pad KP3, Electro-Harmonix 22500/95000, Pioneer RMX-1000. For some of them you can download manuals with information about MIDI implementation - this is what the designers thought is useful for controlling the devices externally, it should give you some clues as well.
hi Brendan,should be plenty of advice here for you....but to unlock that it'd be good if you van share a bit about the type of music your friend wants to loop with.
from Ed Sheeran to abstract noise to ambient droney...and so on.each takes a different approach to controls needed.-------- Original message --------From: Brendan McCloskey <email@example.com>Date: 14/09/2018 10:08 (GMT+00:00)Subject: Live looping parameters for a disabled musician
Hallo,ifrst post so please forgive any list protocol mistakes.A physically disabled musician/colleague of mine has asked me to build her a DJ-like looper program (I can use PD or Supercollider), with an arcade joystick as the hardware interface. The design technicalities are up to me and she has been fairly specific about the nature of the instrument. The joystick offers 4-axis binary switches, with an additional 8 binary switches. My question is this: if this instrument was all you had to hand (on a desert island e.g.) what parameters would you wish to have available? Buttons for sounds (notes and hits), and joystick for control (record/overdub/erase etc.); or vice-versa. Option anxiety is a challenge at the moment, so any advice would be very much appreciated. Many thanks.