DIY Midi Pedalboard

[Nick] sent in this sweet midi pedal organ. [Seffan] modded an old set of organ pedals with the cheapest midi keyboard he could find. Each pedal was equipped with a switch mechanism, so it was just a matter of patience and wiring. To come up with enough wire for the job, he sacrificed some IDE cables. If you’ve ever played with some organ pedals, you know that these things can really add another dimension to music – especially with the newly added MIDI interface.

11 thoughts on “DIY Midi Pedalboard

  1. Oh man, motherfucker beat me to it. I’ve been wanting to do this for a LONG time. I’d love to find a nice vintage organ and gut it, replacing the shitty electronics with midi hookups and synthesizers.

    Unfortunately, the wallet is not fat enough for that project at this time. I’ll have to check out this guy’s work. Say, i wonder if there are enough people doing this to warrant a website for other entheusiasts to share tips…

  2. Dear Sir.
    My name is Jorge from Argentina and I have a musical band
    ( and we like to improve our show building crazy midi instruments.
    I d like tu built a midi vibraphone with 3 ó 4 octaves.
    ? Do you have circuit for this project.
    in this case I will apreciatte if you indicate me prices including shipment to my country ARGENTINA.

    Also we will apreciatte if you sugest us some ideas or circuit to buit midi instruments

    best regards
    Jorge Lacoste

  3. HI I want to do the same project .for now I have a 25 note pedalboard wat type of old keyboard r u using? I got a midi cottroller maudio cant figure it out to save my life. Can u let me know¿?

  4. I wired an altered 32 note AGO board into a Roland Juno 106 many years ago. It is still working, but I’d like to run the pedalboard direct into its own midi channel and not lose the lower half of the Juno 106 or replace it with a triton and stay with two manuals. The upper manual is a hammer action Kurzweil. Any ideas on where to get an affordable, but good midi converter? The pedals have normally open switches, and also diodes at this point. It would also be advantageous to have an input for a CV pedal on the same midi channel as the pedals. I like to use this for original classical compositions. It is really cool to add timpani on the pedals… tons of fun.

  5. For those who may be interested, I have designed a simple circuit (and accompanying software) to interface general-purpose switches (such as my DIY pedalboard) to a Linux computer, using the old-school parallel port.
    (These days, you can use a USB-to-parallel converter cable since most computers don’t have the real port any more.)
    I call it “solder2midi“. The software on the Linux computer converts the keyswitch-closures to MIDI protocol to send to fluidsynth or elsewhere. However, there is no “hardware” MIDI signal, so latency is potentially much lower.

    Anyway, I have written about “solder2midi” on my blog, at the entries should be searchable. Anyone who wants the source code, just ask, but PLEASE READ MY BLOG POSTS FIRST to be sure you understand what this project does, and does not, do.


  6. Hi, Please help!
    I bought a Hammond 24-note (old) pedalboard that had been fitted with a MIDI connection. I connected it to my Roland C50, and it sounds. (Great!) Unfortunately, it sounds an octave higher than it’s supposed to, and I haven’t a clue what to do about it.
    Thanks in advance for any ideas.

    1. If your keyboard has a capability to do transposition, set it 12 half-steps flat on the midi channel your pedal transmits on. I’m not familiar with a C50, but I know I can do it with my Triton and Motif rack units. I run into the same problem running into a synth. Normally I use a sound module and do the same thing with good results.

  7. I just did the same thing, but couldn’t find an old pedalboard, so built the whole thing out of scrap acrylic. Ended up taking about a day, and really makes playing multi-layered tracks easier.

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