The hybrid expression pedal

Categories: Hardware Prototypes/Non-Commercial products

Submitted by:Andrea Panzera

24 May 2023

Elevator Pitch

The hybrid expression pedal

A passive expression pedal that can be used also as a fully programmable MIDI expression pedal, ready for on stage performances.

Product Description

The hybrid expression pedal

This expression pedal has two channels: one channel is used as a passive expression pedal, the other one is used as a MIDI expression pedal. Since both the channels act simultaneously, it is possible to mix both the analog volume of an instrument and the volume of a MIDI sound added to it, granting the same amount of effect. A rotary switch allows to select the actual pedal MIDI behavior, such as volume, expression, pitch bend, etc... It is READY to be used with wireless MIDI adapters (such as WIDI Master).

How It's Innovative

This pedal can control both an analogue input and a MIDI control in the same time through a unique gesture. It is ready to be used on stage, since its MIDI behavior can be changed by simply turning a rotary selector during the performance or between one song and another. It can be supplied in several ways: by a standard supply adapter for guitar pedals, by a 9V battery or even by a USB cable connected to a PC or a USB charger. It supports all commercial wireless midi adapters (I used the WIDI Master), providing the needed power to work through the standard MIDI out port. It is extremely flexible, since all the features can be modified through the software and activated even on stage by the rotary selector. Last but not least, it is VERY cheap, since it needs only 6 components (1 stereo passive expression pedal, 1 Arduino board, 2 resistors, 1 rotary selector and 1 MIDI out port). With a very simple modification it is possible also to handle the toe switch that is integrated into the pedal (if any). It is possible also to change the used MIDI channel according to the rotary selector position, so that the pedal can control also different VST set on different MIDI channels.

See MIDI Innovation In Action

Most Inspiring Use Cases

The main inspiring use of the pedal is during live gigs. During one live gigs it is possible to switch from controlling the volume of a string section added to a guitar to controlling the pitch bend (1 tone down) of a MIDI harmonica sound by simply rotating a selector. At any time, with the same pedal, one can control the volume of a guitar's analogue output connected to the analogue channel.

Expansion Plans

The wireless MIDI feature can be embedded into a new version of the pedal, using for example the WIDI Core by CME.


It would be nice to develop a multiplatform software able to input the right program into the Arduino according to simple choices done by the users. This product could be pushed on the live music market.