Introducing the Midi Foot Switch Project

As a guitarist, I have a small arsenal of effect pedals that I have accumulated. Not a ton, but all I have ever needed in the past.

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I have also spent some time in college playing with FL Studio and creating electronic music. There are many effects in FL Studio 12, including effect pedal emulators and FlowStone, a program which allows you to create your own effects from scratch (without coding knowledge).

FL Studio

Currently, I can play my guitar/bass through the computer using my Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface with little/no lag. I can use any FL effects in the program and output the sound to my PC speakers (or amp). However, unlike the hardware version of effects, I cannot turn them off and on easily while my hands are busy on the guitar. I need a midi controller for my feet!

At first glance online, it’s evident that a half decent pedal board is going to cost $250+. I think I’ll build my own, customized to my needs, for a fraction of the cost.

I plan to have at least half a dozen step buttons, and would like maybe a pair of expression pedals on the side. Some feedback indicators would be great, such as LED’s or even a simple LCD screen.


Assessing the Problem, Defining the Project

Problem: I cannot switch effects in my DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) while I play guitar through it. Commercially available solutions are expensive.

Requirements: The end result should:

  • have 4+ on/off trigger buttons
  • have 2 variable pedals
  • be durable for use outside the home
  • plug and play as a midi controller without a second program between my controller and the DAW
  • be easy to use and build, with the possibility of becoming a hardware “kit” that any musician could put together
  • be easy to transport

With a clear goal in mind, and before I start committing to the design, let’s do some research and see what is already out there!

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