Home » DIY MIDI Controller » DIY Midi Foot Controller Using An Arduino Uno: The Best Way To Build Custom Foot Controllers
Midi foot controllers are a game-changing piece of equipment for guitarists and musicians alike.
Maybe you don’t want to spend $150+ on a foot controller.
Maybe you haven’t found a foot controller that does everything you desire.
Wouldn’t it be cool to build your own?
In this article, we’ll be building a DIY midi foot controller that was inspired by an article on the very cool and helpful site, ‘Randumb Page’. The article there was good, but I wanted to make it even more clear and easy-to-follow.
Let me know what you think of this build in the comment section below!
Make sure to share this article on social media if find it helpful, awesome, or both!
Recommended course: The DIY MIDI Controller Course. If you want to become a master at making your own custom controller, this is the book for you! Packed with 11 action-packed chapters that include downloadable images, schematics, sample code, and libraries. Even if you’re a hobby musician that doesn’t know anything about circuitry or programming, this book breaks it down to an understandable sense.
An Overview Of What We’ll Be Making:
What we’ll be making is a very functional midi foot controller.
It is made using my favorite board of all time, the Arduino Uno.
Basically, you’ll be making a very customizable midi foot controller.
The enclosure can be made out of just about anything. I’ll leave that up to your interpretation. Also, let me know if building custom enclosures is something you’d be interested in learning more about in the comment section below.
3 potentiometers (for volume and wah)
LCD to display info information such as volume level, stompbox status, and your current patch name.
3 10k resistors
MIDI – IN , and MIDI OUT ports.
<–Let me save you some time! Click the orange shopping cart on the left to add all of the materials to your cart on Amazon.com.
Step 1: The Circuitry
The first step is to get everything wired-up correctly.
Refer to the super-handy diagram above. Everything is color coded to make your life a bit easier.
Is the image not big enough for you to read? Click here for a larger version.
Step 2: Uploading the Code
Connect your Arduino Uno to your computer via usb as normal.
Open up the Arduino IDE software. (If you don’t have it, you can download it here)
Copy & paste the code from down below into your software. Compile the code and you shouldn’t get any errors.
// Printing Switch number and data MIDI data that is sent to the LCD screen
wahLevelPrev = wahLevelCurrent;
}// End Of wah Control Loop
Step 3: The Boot-loader
In order to make the Arduino show up like a proper midi device, you will need a boot-loader.
An alternative to this would be to use serial-to-midi software. That is a bit lame and not as fun, so I’d recommend going with the boot-loader option.
First, download the corresponding USB Midi Firmware file. (aka the boot-loader) There’s even some useful sample code provided as well. This project basically takes the code and tweaks it to be more suitable for a DIY midi foot controller.
Unfortunately, it seems like the website with those firmware files went down. These days, I use Hiduino anyway. Give it a shot! If you’re confused at all with it, Hiduino is covered in-depth in my DIY MIDI Controller course.
Follow this guide from Arduino. It will walk you through everything you need to know about uploading the midi hex file to your Arduino.
Step 4: Testing Time!
If you have successfully made it to this step, congrats! The hardest part is over.
Everything should now work perfectly.
Beware of Loose Connections!
If you notice your knobs are outputting some random midi signals, it could be because of a loose or faulty connection. Arduinos tend to continually search for inputs if they aren’t connected correctly.
So There you have it!
Hopefully your DIY midi foot controller is functioning perfectly.