Pedal Controller

MIDI Solutions Pedal Controller

The Pedal Controller accepts an expression pedal (such as the Yamaha FC7 or Roland EV-5 or any potentiometer connected to a 1/4" stereo phone plug) as an input and generates continuous MIDI data based on its position. The Pedal Controller may be inserted inline at any point in the MIDI data stream, allowing you to send continuous controller information to any device in your MIDI setup.

The Pedal Controller's factory default settings are for it to send CC#7 (volume) on MIDI channel 1, so if this is what you need the Pedal Controller to do then no programming is necessary - just insert the Pedal Controller in your setup and it's ready to use. The Pedal Controller can also be programmed to send other types of MIDI messages, for more info read on...

The Pedal Controller can be programmed to send:

1. Aftertouch Settings:

The Pedal Controller can be programmed to send Aftertouch in response to the pedal movement. The MIDI Channel is programmable, as well as the minimum and maximum values sent by the Pedal Controller.

2. Pitch Bend Setting:

The Pedal Controller can be programmed to send Pitch Bend in response to the pedal movement. The MIDI channel is programmable, as well as the minimum and maximum values sent by the Pedal Controller. Setting the minimum or maximum value to 40H (no pitch bend effect) allows the Pedal Controller to be used as an "up only" or "down only" pitch bender (it is not recommended to use the full pitch bend range since it is very difficult to find the exact halfway pedal position to bring the pitch to the no effect value).

3. Control Change:

The Pedal Controller can be programmed to send a Control Change message in response to the pedal movement. The Control Change number is selectable, as is the MIDI channel, and the minimum and maximum values sent by the Pedal Controller.

4. System Exclusive:

The Pedal Controller can be programmed to send a System Exclusive message with one byte that varies in response to the pedal movement. The System Exclusive message can be a maximum of 20 bytes in length, the byte of the message that varies is selectable, as are the minimum and maximum values sent.

 

The Pedal Controller has a MIDI Echo parameter that is selectable on/off.

The Pedal Controller accurately tracks the position of the pedal or potentiometer connected to it. Small fluctuations are eliminated when the pedal is in a stationary position and no extraneous messages are sent out. When the pedal is moved slightly, the Pedal Controller will send an update even if its position has only changed by a single value. Many control wheels or knobs only update themselves every two or every four values, resulting in coarser control, and sometimes zipper noise.

Another unique feature of the Pedal Controller is its ability to add a variable amount of curvature to the response of the pedal. This allows you to correct for pedals with nonlinear responses, or to add greater response at one end of the pedal compared to the other.

The Pedal Controller is programmed by sending it MIDI System Exclusive messages.

Once programmed, its settings are retained even after power is removed. The Pedal Controller can be reprogrammed with new settings as often as needed. The Pedal Controller's factory default settings are for it to send CC #7 (volume) on MIDI channel 1, with the Echo parameter set to ON.

The Pedal Controller is MIDI-powered, and requires no batteries or power supply to operate with most MIDI products. A MIDI indicator LED lights up when the product is powered and flashes when MIDI data passes through it.

weight: 4.1 oz.
dimensions: 4-3/16" x 2-3/16" x 1-3/32

 

Diagram

 

Application Examples:

Since the Pedal Controller can merge incoming MIDI messages with the messages it generates, it can be inserted inline at any point in the MIDI data stream, allowing you to add continuous control to any of your MIDI instruments. For example you can connect the Pedal Controller inline between the output of a MIDI keyboard and the input of a MIDI sound module. By setting the Pedal Controller to send volume, you can affect the volume of the sound module while playing the keyboard. You could also send this output to a sequencer which would record not only the notes from the keyboard, but also the pedal movements generated by the Pedal Controller.

Since the Pedal Controller accurately tracks the position of the pedal or potentiometer connected to it, it can be used to control more sensitive parameters such as filter cutoff. Many control wheels or knobs only update themselves every two or every four values, resulting in zipper noise. If the Pedal Controller detects even a slight movement in the pedal it will send an update even if the position has only changed by a single value, resulting in a smooth sweep.

The Pedal Controller can also be programmed to generate pitch bend messages. It's possible to program the minimum and maximum pitch values that the Pedal Controller sends, allowing you to set it up as an upward bend or downward bend only device. This makes it much easier to return to the zero pitch position at the top or the bottom of the pedal movement, rather than a position in the center.

Another application for the Pedal Controller is to use it to control specific parameters of a sound that can not normally be controlled by more common MIDI messages. The Pedal Controller allows you to send a System Exclusive message with a single variable byte, determined by the position of the pedal. These messages can be sent to synths that allow parameters to be controlled only via sysex, enabling you to experiment with sounds in new ways that were previously not possible using only MIDI controller messages.

It's not even necessary to use an expression pedal with the Pedal Controller - a custom-built knob or slider connected to the Pedal Controller can be used to send MIDI messages that typical knobs and sliders won't allow you to send. Potentiometers of resistances from 10k to 250k will work well with the Pedal Controller. As for connecting the potentiometer's three terminals to the tip, ring, and sleeve of the Pedal Controller's 1/4" input, just be sure that the wiper of the potentiometer is connected to either the tip or the ring, the other terminals can be connected in any way - the Pedal Controller will automatically determine the configuration on power-up.