I recently got a chinese knock-off USB DualShock Controller (like what's used with playstation) and I've been playing with that and rejoice (you can download it here) I've been using it with Ableton Live pretty much like they show in this forum post.
The main reason I got the thing was so that my wife and I can play with some NES emulators and other questionably free things, but Nesticle is stupid and doesn't recognise it. Fortunately for me autohotkey allows access to the joystick to emulate key-strokes, which after a bit of coding makes it bearable, but I need to take some time to perfect the script & make it work 100%
With Ableton Live's key-mapping ability I might just do-away with rejoice, if only I could figure out a decent way to send the actual joystick data to Live in a way that works well.
Originally when trying to get the DualShock controller to work, I figured I would use PureData's [hid] object. Unfortunately I was on a windows machine, which uses [hidin], which is nowhere near as functional as hid, so none of the buttons would register anything.With hidin the D-Pad, joysticks & select/start were the only buttons working; but with hid they all worked perfectly. maybe I'm just missing some minor detail, but I'm definately not using OSC just to access hid to make a $10 controller work properly.
As I look at the controller, I can't help but to be tempted to re-case it with arcade buttons & replace the joysticks with knobs (2 each) to be a custom ableton controller, but I'll wait til after the numark scratch deck comes out to see if it's worth-while, I mean look at this thing, imagine using that as a HID with ableton live? heck, maybe they'll even release one AS a hid for controllerists.