This Massive Teensy-Based MIDI Controller Is Operated By Foot

TeensyExpression is a DIY MIDI controller designed to be played by foot.

Cameron Coward
11 days agoMusic / 3D Printing

A MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) controller is a device with a bunch of buttons that are used for electronic music production. There are many styles available depending on how you want to use them, but the two most common layouts are setup like a piano or simply as a bunch of buttons arranged on a panel. MIDI controllers aren’t generally capable of producing notes or samples themselves, and just act as an input for a computer or synthesizer. Most of them are designed to be operated by hand, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Patrick designed a unique Teensy-based MIDI controller that is operated by foot.

This MIDI controller is perfect for performing when your hands are otherwise occupied. You could, for example, be playing a guitar while simultaneously operating this MIDI controller with your foot. Because this is a MIDI controller, pushing the buttons can do whatever you want, like play a note through a synthesizer or trigger recorded samples. That said, Patrick developed this for his own performances, so you may need to tweak his code to make it work for your setup. Thankfully, all of the design files and code are open source, so you’re completely free to do that. That even includes the Autodesk Fusion 360 CAD files so you can modify the 3D-printed enclosure and buttons.

You have a total of 25 buttons to work with, which are arranged in a tiered 5x5 grid. That makes it easy to reach all of the buttons with your foot. In addition to those buttons, there are four pedal inputs and four rotary controllers. There is even a MIDI host port. A large 3.5” touchscreen LCD is used to display information and facilitate configuration of the MIDI controller. All of this functionality is controlled by a Teensy 3.6 board. The enclosure and the buttons are all 3D-printed, and the buttons have RGB LEDs behind them to indicate in different colors what is active. If you’ve been looking for a DIY MIDI controller that you can operate by foot, this is definitely worth checking out.

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