Have an old iPhone lying around? You can use it as a spare phone, a portable media player, or remote control. Or you can step on it… to use it as a music controller.

Beat Bars has introduced a set of cardboard kits that let you transform an old iPhone into a MIDI footswitch or expression pedal.

Beat Bars Cardboard Expression Pedal

Here’s the idea – follow the instructions to fold the cardboard into the shape of one of the effects pedal systems, install an app on your old iPhone, slide your phone into a slot in the cardboard, and then step on it (gently).

The iPhone apps allow you to use the DIY foot controllers to act with VST or AudioUnit plugins in your digital audio workstation (DAW) software for hands-free controls. MacOS is officially supported, but you may also be able to use a Windows PC by using rtpMIDI.

The Cardboard Footswitch consists of two switches that you can use to trigger MIDI actions. You can assign a different function to each button using the app and then trigger each with a tap of your foot.

You can buy a Cardboard Footswitch kit from Beat Bars for €40 (~$47) or download a DIY template for free – it should take about 15 minutes to build your own assuming you’ve got the enough carboard.

The Footswitch app is available for free in the App Store.

Beat Bars’ Expression Pedal, meanwhile, is a slightly more complex build that works like a wah pedal – you can place your foot on the pedal and tilt forward and back for fine controls over your audio effects. This pedal takes advantage of the motion sensors in your iPhone.

A cardboard kit sells for €50 (~$59), but this model is also available as a free, downloadable template and the iPhone app is free.

Beat Bars says its cardboard foot controllers & apps are compatible with most iPhones released in the past four years, starting with the original iPhone SE.

via GearNews

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3 Comments

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  1. I definitely have the parts (old iphone and cardboard) lying around to make one of these, and I love not spending money on gear, so this is great!

  2. When the aliens analyze our planet for intelligence, I’m not sure I want them knowing that we have hundreds of options for ultra cheap project-oriented SBCs to do things like this, but someone elected to use a portable-supercomputer to essentially act as a switch.