These midi controllers stink!


Well, maybe saying it stinks is too harsh. But if you build a midi controller out of an old pair of skate shoes you can be certain that they smell. [Thobson] put odor issues aside and added four force sensitive resistors to his shoes (one in each heel and one under the ball of each foot) for a creation he calls BeatSneaks. As force is applied to the resistors, they become less resistive. This change in resistance is measured by the ADC inputs on an Arduino and used to trigger midi events via USB. There’s video after the break, and [Thobson's] has provided the schematic and code that he used for his addition to a growing family of unusual musical interfaces.

Does this make tap dancing cool again?


  1. JD says:

    What do you mean, “again”?

  2. nate says:

    Reminds me of That One Guy’s boot. I doubt he used a lame Arduino, though. =P

  3. andrew says:

    When did tap dancing become not-cool?

  4. cyanide says:

    what’s tap dancing and why is it not cool?

  5. daniel says:

    blast it! i totally had this idea several weeks ago. there’s always someone else…

  6. VIPER! says:

    Wow thats a lot of work for some spacey sounds.

  7. Roly says:

    @daniel – doncha jus HATE that? I was having similar ideas for a wearable drumkit, sensors heel and toe, and maybe two on each knee (or slippers and gloves), basically triggering very conventional damped oscillators and noise gates (yes, I *KNOW* you can do anything with an Arduino but I want audio not MIDI, and was thinking of a small control deck to allow real-time parameter control).

    This would be better played seated to avoid looking like Austria’s answer to Morris Dancing, slap-dancing in lederhosen.

  8. Mallie says:

    Isn’t this what the Ting Tings use?

  9. Mikey C says:

    This is a 20 year old idea that was done in Tap.

  10. this could be totally rad with kick snare hihat and crash. people totally underestimate what rad beats you can do with only 2-4 sounds if they fit into those four categories in that order. I’ve had people bust flows to toy keyboard drum pads with total radness as a result.

    play would be intuitive because I stomp beats like that all the time while bored. with this kinda deal the result would be audible not just in my own mind.

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