DIY simple MIDI foot switch?

Jan 27, 2012
Reaction score
Hello everyone,

Since last summer I am the proud owner of a Roland RD300GX, and am really loving it. Recently, however, I have started playing with a band and have come to the conclusion that I need some kind of foot switch. The reason being that, while both my hands are busy playing, I can not simply tap the button to select the next Setup. It's frustrating, since it's only 5cm away from my hands, but if I try to hit it really fast while playing it sounds messy, so unacceptable when playing live.

So, I need a simple footswitch. All it has to do is switch to the next/previous setup - only two buttons. I have done some research online and found out that this can be done by using MIDI commands (which my keyboard supports).

Problem: all pedals/boxes that I have found tend to be A) ridiculously expensive and B) have >9000 buttons which I really do not need.

So I figured I'd make my own, shouldn't be too difficult, right? Everything I've found online is really complex, too, with lots of buttons and sliders and stuff, or it needs a computer to work. I just need two buttons... :( It doesn't even have to be able to receive messages.

My question basically is: has anyone here ever built anything MIDI-related themselves? Any and all experience on this topic would be greatly appreciated. (Am I wrong in thinking I'd only need some PIC capable of sending MIDI messages, a MIDI connector and a switch?)

Thanks a lot,

P.S. ...unless of course, there is any other way of doing this. Any affordable ready-to-use pedals on the market?
P.P.S. Sorry if this has been asked before. I have searched this forum but found nothing of use, mostly people discussing MIDI inbetween keyboards.
Jan 10, 2012
Reaction score
North Wales
What you want is an unlatched momentary footswitch, I had two doing exactly what you're talking about on my old Roland XP80. They sat either side of the sustain pedal and simply incremented or decremented the current program. This was setup in the control panel for the foot switches on board the synth, not on the pedals them selves. So they could always be used for "other" stuff.
At the end of the day, you've got an RD300 which is a decent bit of kit, if you don't know what you're doing you could inadvertently damage it by plugging in a dodgy foot switch, Just buy one, safer and cheap.

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Members online

No members online now.

Forum statistics

Latest member

Latest Threads