Your feet are your two most valuable, underused extremities for music. Your hands are busy, but your feet can trigger transport, recording, looping, different instruments … you get the idea. All you need is a perfect controller.

AlexMC on the Ableton forum liked our $10 DIY footcontroller for Ableton Live, as engineered by Mike Una. But he thought he could do better. So he takes the design from ghetto-fabulous in Mike’s previous iteration to dead-sexy.

The starting point is again a USB QWERTY keyboard, but now AlexMC takes the brains out (the PCB that handles input from keys and communication with the PC). Alex has copiously detailed, step-by-step instructions for soldering and assembly, along with circuit diagrams and specs for the case. There’s even still an LED attachment.

And because it all sends keystrokes, this is hugely useful in something like Ableton Live:

I now have 21 buttons, 20 of which send up to 40 unique outputs depending on the status of the BANK switch…

The main intended use will be to control REC, PLAY and STOP for each of 12 separate tracks in Live, leaving three switches for:
– CAPS (i.e. BANK)
– Stop/fade out all tracks
– Tap tempo/engage metronome

Of course I can dynamically re-assign any function during a Live session by activating the Key Mapping function – without stopping the music.

Sure beats a Boss looping pedal, doesn’t it?

DIY Ableton foot controller build thread!

Thanks to gbsr for sending this out way!

Previously (and with additional tips on key mapping):

Get loopy with the DIY $10 Ableton Footcontroller (no soldering required)

Elsewhere (and in a slightly more compact form factor, as that’s what that author desired):

Making Connections: Building a USB Footswitch [Cycling ’74]