Thursday, April 05, 2007

DIY "Midi" foot pedal controller

Sometimes, a report of a homebrew or DIY project comes along that is so creative, yet at the same time somehow mentally unbalanced, that I just have to share it with others. Like this DIY "midi" foot controller, which incorporates an old laptop computer, components of a qwerty keyboard, and a bunch of dirt cheap fx pedals from Radio Shack. The full account of its construction, and the deranged sleep-deprived logic behind it, can be found + here. + It's well worth a read.

The interesting bits, in my opinion, are that the project itself only takes rudimentary understanding of electronics, and that it operates over MIDI with zero (or near-zero) latency. The idea is that the pedals get wired into the pcb from the old qwerty keyboard, which in turn connecs to an old laptop via the ps/2 keyboard interface. This laptop runs a program that turns the qwerty layout into a sort of crappy improvised piano, and sends along a midi signal correponding to the keys played. Only now the external qwerty keyboard's been turned into a plank with pedals nailed to it. Get it? Caveman like in its simplicity. Also on the linked page is a video of the creator, a dude named Forrest, using the controller to accompany himself playing guitar.

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