DIY controllers

Posted on October 22, 2015

When I began to prepare to play live, earlier this year, I was amazed how few decent USB MIDI footpedals were available. Especially ones small enough to fit in my gig bag. As an aside, after spending ages in previous bands, lugging and setting up gear, one of the tenets of Cutlasses was to have a live act that ostensibly fits into a single bag (plus my guitar). It strikes me as strange that there isn’t a 4 switch, programmable USB pedal, around the size of those larger EHX pedals, widely available. There is Looptimus, but that’s rather expensive and over-customisable for my needs. Another thing that struck me as strange was that the vast majority of information online about such pedals was from people playing music at church congregations. Am I really the only electronic musician who wants to use their feet as well as their fingers? (I realise I’m not.) My eventual solution was to buy a homemade non-programmable USB 4 switch midi pedal from eBay (pretty cheap, sub £50), and replace the DPDT switches with the combination of toggles and latches that fitted my needs.

 

I found this very slight foray into the world of soldering and DIY controllers pretty fascinating, so I’m going to try and take it further. I’m considering for my next project, building something from scratch using the TEENSY USB development board, more on that if and when it happens.

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