Straightforward MIDI pedal

Howdy makers!

I’ve been trying to find the simplest MIDI controller imaginable: a footswitch pedal, that triggers whatever percussive sound I designate to it in a DAW. Basically, a fixed-note MIDI trigger. I thought it quite reasonable to expect that someone would have already started making and selling such a device.

Turns out I was wrong. There’s apparently NOTHING available on the entire internet that fits that description.
Scandalous, I know.

The most closely-related products are:

  1. the Roland SPD ONE Kick, which is definitely a digital percussion pedal, but employs only its on-board audio library. It does not trigger MIDI.
  2. the Airturn Quad 200 Page Turner. This thing actually appears to do the job; however, it connects ONLY through bluetooth. That’s perfectly fine as an extra feature; but I’d have more confidence in a USB cable. And - unless there are no power sockets around - I prefer mains- over battery-powered gadgets generally.

MIDI appeals to me mostly for its (supposed) compactibility. Right now I have 2 basic switch pedals (one per foot); but the only way I can get my laptop to read them as MIDI signals, is to run them through a Roland Octapad (essentially a briefcase-size electronic drum kit) first. Which is ridiculous.

I’ve just wasted $80 on a Korg littleBits MIDI module, after thinking it might solve the problem (due to my misinterpretation of its description… would anyone like it??)

Now, having noted the mention of a “Teensy board” on a DIY video, and then finding the Core Electronics tutorial on the subject, I now have some idea of what’s actually required (thanks Sam). However, despite knowing that I’m fairly capable of building what I need, I really couldn’t be bothered starting ANOTHER project (especially one in such an unfamiliar field); I’ve recently quit my job, just so I can find the time for the projects I’m already working on. I really need to outsource this one, to someone who’s actually keen, and proven competent. So would someone like to help me please?

I live on the Gold Coast, so close as possible would be preferable. . .

Thanks for reading :v::slightly_smiling_face:

Hi Greg
Do you just want a foot pedal with a switch in it?
Core Electronics have 2, ADA 423 and COM-11192.
Jaycar have 1, SP0760.
Element 14 and RS-Online probably have lots, I haven’t had a look. Search “foot switch”.
Cheers Bob

Hi Bob,
No, MIDI won’t recognise a simple switch on its own; from what I understand, the purpose of a Teensy board is that it can convert the switch “event” to a MIDI signal that the DAW can recognise


Sorry I am not familiar with any of that.
Cheers Bob

Actually, you know what would be equally cool? Just a little box, with 2 input jacks, that would convert the signals from any basic switch pedals into MIDI, with a USB output. That would be gold :ok_hand:

Hi Greg,

How interesting! If you’re looking to put together something like that from scratch, the first thing that comes to mind is the Teensy boards, specifically with an Audio HAT of some description.

You can design that functionality to convert across those different standards, it’ll take some work (make sure to add shielding to everything from the start to get the cleanest possible output) but with the appropriate switch setup, programming, and interface with the GPIO on the board, along with the huge 44.1 kHz sample rate you should be able to set up a converter with all the appropriate jacks and outputs that you need for your project.

I’m not sure of any boards or setups that can handle all those conversions straight up, but I’d also check out JB-Hi fi, they’re usually pretty good for adaptors such as that. Best of luck with it mate!