All you need to know about MIDI foot controllers
The best midi foot controller will be easy to use, and will have the pedals or pads located for convenient access. A midi foot controller is designed to make projects run smoothly, and allows you to operate equipment with both your feet and hands. These footswitch pedals can be found in several professions that include transcriptionists, construction, and more commonly musicians. Guitar players in particular enjoy the added convenience of controlling effects and amps with their feet, which leaves their hands free to continue playing their instruments. There are several different types of midi foot controllers, which can make it difficult to find the right one. Before you purchase a foot controller, you need to understand the differences and features to make sure you get the right controller for your project.
What is the best midi foot controller
Types of Midi Foot Controllers
One of the first steps is to decide which type of midi foot controller best fits your needs. Musicians often need more than one footswitch to control all of their gear, making it necessary to own several types of controllers. The most basic type of foot controller has two pedals that can each be programmed with a different command. The double pedal foot controller is most often used by guitar players for controlling the volume on their amp, along with creating their signature “wah” effect.
The other types of midi foot controllers include heavy duty ones either with or without guards. Normally constructed from steel, these foot controllers are heavy and durable. The bulkier weight often makes these midi foot pedals impractical for most musicians. The most common musician owned controller is the single pedal, which is ideal for volume control or simply turning an amp on. If you frequently perform outdoors, a midi controller that is also waterproof may be the best choice for you.
The Type of Foot Pedal Action
The pedal action refers to how the controller operates, and there are four types. Some of the midi controllers are easy to use, while others may require you to perform more than one option. One of the first things you will want to consider is how often you will be using it. Frequent or prolonged users generally prefer a device that has maintained action, which means you simply press the pedal once to turn it on. Momentary footswitch need constant pressure, while a midi controller with two stage action can control different functions depending on how many times it is pressed. Midi pedals with an anti trip feature use momentary action once the safety latch has been disengaged. The best Midi footswitch will have the right type of action so you can concentrate on playing your music.
When you are looking for the best midi foot controllers it is important to look at the pedal’s amperage rating. Electrical current is measured in amps, and you will want to make sure that the midi foot controller can handle the amount of electrical current your device uses. If the device puts out more electricity than your foot pedal is set to handle, you run the risk of ruining your expensive equipment. Using a pedal with a lower amperage than your devices can also create a potential fire hazard. Checking the electrical output on equipment is especially important for musicians who frequently use different devices that have individual amperage ratings. This is another reason for potential buyers to familiarize themselves with the different types of midi foot controllers before purchasing one.
Additional Features to Consider
The different types of midi foot controllers also include different features, and the best midi foot controllers include everything that you need for easy, hands free operation. While some include safety latches to prevent the controller from accidentally being turned on, others include different activation points that can be adjusted. This makes it possible for you to control how long it takes for the footswitch to turn on. Adjustable foot pedals normally have screws that can be rotated, while others have a spring lever that lets you know when a command has been started. This helpful feature keeps you from adjusting the volume too high, or let you know if you have accidentally commanded the pedal to turn off. Spring mechanisms are especially helpful in foot pedals that have a two stage action, since it will let you know when it is time to signal the next function.
Connects and Cables
There are several different ways to connect a midi foot controller to a device. Sound technicians and recording artists generally prefer a USB cable, while others use a foot pedal that has a wireless connection. If you need to customize the connection, than a cable that has either terminated leads or open wiring might be the best choice for you. Many transcriptionists and guitar players, think that the best midi pedal controller includes a traditional 120V plug for easy use almost anywhere. If you do decide that the best midi foot controller is one that is wireless, it is important that you remember to frequently changed the unit’s batteries.
Best Midi Footswitch
This is the best Midi footswitch for musicians, and especially guitar players. The controller is easy to operate, and lets you keep your hands free for strumming on your guitar. The midi footswitch is designed to work with your Line 6 amp and POD for complete control over its functions. The controller features everything that you’ve come to expect from a Line 6 product, along with a few bonus functions.
There are four foot switches and a large, durable pedal that are located on the controller for convenient and easy access. The foot switches let you control 4 separate channels, while the pedal controls volume and the necessary “wah” effect. To withstand hours of play on stage and at the studio, the chassis and switches are constructed of a durable steel. Volume and wah control is always crucial, which is why the large foot pedal has a textured surface to keep your foot from slipping off.
Playing in dim lighting is not a problem with this midi control since the bright LED lights make it easy for you to see which channel you are on. The chromatic turner is also displayed, along with your tap tempo, volume or wah. The foot switch can be connected via a USB cable so you can record your guitar solos and program special effects, along with upgrading new firmware. The jack for the RJ-45 cable makes it possible for you to plug directly into your amp. The midi footswitch is designed to be durable, long lasting, and easy to operate so you can concentrate on making music.
Best Behringer foot controller
This has been rated the best Behringer foot controller for guitarists, by the company’s website, but it is designed to be used by anyone who wants almost unlimited controller over their equipment. The controller is engineered for easy operation, without slowing you down when you are performing. It features a durable construction that can even be used when you are traveling.
With ten preset foot switches you can get started playing right away, or edit and reprogram the banks to fit your current needs. Guitar players will appreciate the ability to switch channels with their feet, which lets them turn their amps on and control effects without having to stop playing. The two switch jacks can also be programmed to select a specific channel on your guitar amp. The midi foot controller also features two durable expression pedals, that include a tire tread surface for gripping with your feet. Control and manage all of your midi equipment, along with channels and even range.
The foot controller is ideal for live performances, studio, and practice, and uses a built in power supply so you can use it on the road. It is designed to be rugged, durable, and easy to program so you can managed all of your midi equipment while you are playing. Enjoy the ability to customize your controls, and send up to 5 midi commands simultaneously. Change tempo or tap patterns all without having to sit down or risk becoming frustrated. As an added bonus the Behringer midi foot controller can also download any new software that might be released after your purchase.
Best USB Midi foot controller
Easy to set up and operate, this is the best USB midi foot controller for connecting to a PC or Mac. It is able to use the mapping abilities in most DAWs, and can be programmed to your specifications. Since it is a standard midi controller you don’t need to worry about using any drivers. The controller is ideal for recording in the studio, or anywhere else with your PC.
It is the best USB midi foot controller for anyone that wants the convenience of being able to use their device straight out of the box. It plugs directly into a Mac or PC via the USB cable, and will appear as a 3 note midi controller. It is ideal for keyboard players and percussionists who need the ability to control live looping and other midi functions. The convenient USB plug also makes it possible to download software, and assign it to the separate midi keys.
The compact design is portable, and it is constructed from durable steel. It works great for live performances, along with solo time in the studio. The three footswitches can be easily configured to your preferred settings, and you can also plug in an expression pedal. Along with being able to set up different mapping features, the standard midi foot controller can also be used as a step sequencer. This lets you change an individual footswitch’s function each time it is pressed, or you push another switch. With the ability to change the different functions, it can control up to 24 different midi commands. Use it to record new music in the studio, or impress your audience at the next live show.
Best Peak midi foot controller
The best midi pedal controller should be flexible and easy to operate, and also durable. The Peak programmable midi foot controller gives user plenty of options, along with the ability to support different devices. Not only is ideal for musicians, but anyone that needs the convenience of foot control for their standard midi devices will benefit from this programmable footswitch.
Not only can this pedal controller support all types of midi devices, it is also designed to be reliable and durable. The chassis is constructed from aluminum, and the black coating has been anodized for long lasting protection. The compact design fits almost anywhere, and it can be used with different power sources. It is able to plug into to 9 and 12Vdc, and it can also use 9Vac, with an additional 200mA adapter. For added versatility, polarity is not important with phantom power that runs through the 7 pin DIN connection.
Along with plenty of power options, the foot controller has two bank and four patch switches that are already preprogrammed so you can immediately start sending midi commands. In addition, the controller includes a foot switch that can withstand continuous stomping. You can have up to 128 EPROM memory settings that you can arrange in 4 sets of 32 banks. This not only gives you the ability to send continuous control messages to the different midi channels, but you can also assign program changes when you need it. The foot controller includes both an up and down bank, and features switches that you can feel when it is engaged. Control any type of midi device with the controller, while leaving your hands free to complete other tasks. It is durable, reliable and extremely versatile, both in midi commands and its power source.
Best Yamaha Midi foot controller
If you are looking for the best midi pedal controller to use with a guitar synthesizer or the Tyros keyboard, then the Yamaha MFC10 was designed with you in mind. The midi controller is easy to operate, and it also comes programmed for use with the Tyros 3 and 4 keyboards. The midi foot controller is also ready to use with WX5 wind controller. This gives you almost unlimited options on what you can create.
The flexible midi controller features 12 footswitches that can be programmed to your favorites, along with a textured control pedal. You also have the capability of adding 4 more pedals of any type. The expression pedal is built in to the controller for convenience, and you can also assign commands to the pedals that you decide to add. For even more playing options, there is also a jack to connect to WX11.
You can have up to 12,800 changes when the 100 bank messages are being used. This gives you complete control over all of your midi devices. You have the added advantage of using the controller in three different operational modes that include normal function, non-function normal, and MIX. Each gives you the ability to send midi commands, while performing different functions. For added convenience the midi controller is illuminated with LED lights. Green lights show you the individual numbers on the foot pedals, and red is used to display the preset that you chose. Not only does it make it easy to use, it can prevent you from making embarrassing mistakes during live shows. The casing is constructed from durable plastic that is tough enough to withstand constant use, and still lightweight for easy carrying.
The best midi foot controller can make it easy to finish a wide range of projects, and these innovative devices are used in a variety of different fields. Transcriptionists can use a midi footswitch to help dictate and type, while many construction projects also depend in the versatile devices to help the jobs run smoothly. Musicians and sound technicians are still the most common users of midi foot controllers, and many depend on it to finish, play, and record their music.
With all of the different uses for the controllers, it can be difficult to find the right one for you. Some midi controllers are designed to be used for simple functions like turning an amp on, while others can be programmed to issue multiple commands at one time. With so many options to choose from, it is easy to pick the wrong one. We created this buying guide to not only help you find the right midi foot controller, but to also show you the different possibilities. Create music, finish projects, and even type faster with a convenient and versatile midi foot controller.