Beats for your Feet: BeatBuddy Puts a Drum Machine in a Guitar Pedal

Drum machines — those are those big, luggable rectangular things used by electronic music producers, right? What if one could fit in a guitar pedal? And what if you could use your feet to trigger patterns and fills, leaving your hands free to play guitar (or another instrument)? That’s the idea behind BeatBuddy. Now, the basic notion is that it’s friendly for things like practice – and it should be helpful motivation. But clearly live performance, songwriting, and even dance music could benefit, too. And now it’s a fully-funded project. If the content in the video isn’t appealing, the makers …

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The Linn Tools That Never Were: Roger Linn Shares Shelved Designs [Gallery]

Designer Roger Linn is beloved by producers for drum machines like the MPC, beloved by guitarists for AdrenaLinn, and now newly respected for the Tempest with Dave Smith. But for anyone who imagines design is a direct line from idea to product, it’s not. Whether Roger Linn or Apple, the process leaves the way littered with discarded creations. Of course, that doesn’t mean these are bad ideas. Now that we live in a world of DIY, some intrepid musical souls will make products for an audience of one. And where designs are discarded, ideas often survive. Roger Linn writes CDM …

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Sexy DIY Footswitch for Music, Using the Brain of a USB QWERTY Keyboard

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 …

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Nintendo Wii Fit: More Bizarre Music Controllers to Come?

Nintendo keeps cooking up innovative new control schemes for its Nintendo Wii console. And if the Wii controller was any indication, you can expect musicians, DJs, and artists will be taking up this latest controller shortly after it’s available. The Wii Fit controller is a force-sensing panel the player stands on; it’s used to measure weight and balance. “Ah, just what I need during a workout,” you say, “an always-on scale to demoralize me.” Amazingly, though, this simple controller is used for some pretty impressive controls, from balance for yoga to leaning weight in one direction or another. Foot-based controllers …

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