Pedal Board from Aeolus discussion

That’s a lovelly pedalboard…!!

What’s on the right hand screen?

I built a really nice bass patch using helm engine playing the epic Vangellis patch and a fluidsynth engine acoustic bass combined using MIDI clone…

Very nice!

On the right is midi controller that trigger notes, chords or midi commands. I developed it using arduino framework and lvgl ui library running on esp s3 platform that can be purchased cheaply on AliExpress with 4.3 capacitive display. I have designed additional pcb hardware so that it can connect easily to Doepfer fatar pd/3 pedal platform to read 13 note matrix. Zynthian pi4 is connected to custom pcb that provides midi and audio based on clamsy midi schematics and cheap i2c audio card and provides connectors to encoders that are connected directly to spare digital pins on raspberry pi. Case is designed with openscad and 3d printed. All will be shared opensourced on GitHub once I finished details docs for diy. Here is the photo of zynthian internals.

I believe that this minimalistic zynthian hardware can be a good starting point for people that have soldering skills and would like to get introduced to zynthian before buying professional device from here. Once I finish this project it would be a next thing to publish including the easy to print 3d case.


Got to, surely, be worthy of . . . . .

Have you though about how to use a pedalboard to control Sooperlouper?

Yes I am planning to also trigger super looper. I assume it will be triggered by assigning different midi commands to different pedals and using zynthian midi learn function to assign midi command to super looper start and stop tracks.

Another use case is to trigger backing tracks. This I have tested. I simple upload backing track through zynthian web interface and load it as audio track. For practising I create a snapshot with many backing tracks on a separate channel. Then I trigger what I want to practise simple by changing the channel on midi player and starting the backing track by pressing a c note. It would be good if zynthian player can also slow down backing track. That I did not investigate yet if possible. This would be good for practising fast solos.

Indeed it can select the MIDI note in the Audioplayer and surrounding MIDI notes will pitch shift the playback accurately…

It’s not covered in the wiki as yet but it definitely does it.

Yes it will slow down or speed up. However it will at the same time and pitch shift down or up. It would be better for practising to stay in the same pitch while slowing down or speeding up. That I did not figure out if possible.

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I’ve definitely done it, I just don’t remember how . . . @riban…?

@wyleu can you send me this bass patch. I would like to try it.

I’ll have a scratch around I will have it somewhere or I’ll build it again it wont take long…

It might be on the cajon…
002-wyleu bass.zss (30.4 KB)

Adjust the balance between the synth voice and the acoustic bass on the zynth mixer
I’m not precious about names or stuff like that…

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This is cool. How did you configure fluidsynth on channel 2 to also respond on notes from channel 1? In most of my bass pads patches I miss attack that can be easily added with your way by adding a real bass sound font configured on a different chain.

Ah, I think that I figured it out. On channel 1 you configured to clone midi to channel 2.

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I used the clone function…

You clone Chain 1 to tranfser it’s MIDI data to chain 2.

Select chain 1 in the mixer and bold press on it giving…

Then go into Clone MIDI to…

and select MIDI 2 you can add other control CC in this screen as well…

This is all up for rewriting under the chain_manager function but it will only get better.

Now how are we going to allocate sooperloppper functionality to the pedalboard…?

This is mine…

Very nice. You are taking midi pedal seriously too.

I need first to get chord playing to work perfectly. Here is my current midi pedal chord UI. Probably You can get idea what it can do from the screen shot.

If you are interested to work with me I can send you spare pcbs and electronics that I have left when I was building this for you to build the same midi player hardware. Maybe I can design and print case for your pedal hardware. I really need more people to be involved. Send me your GitHub id so that I can open current docs and code for you to see.

This is not currently implemented. The newer version of audio player does pitch shift without speed change. You want the opposite. Maybe we could add a varispeed option. You could submit a feature request in the GitHub issue tracker.

Requested. Thanks.

AAh yes ! we used it to pitch shift tracks for finding the best range for a vocal… Apologies.

I’m up on github as wyleu, some incomplete chunks of stuff . . .

A couple of observations on the excellent pedal board design. Mostly about generic construction.

The Duo Piano broke down into octave chunks of keys, can you easily add 5 note blocks or 7 note blocks and relocate the end key or provide one at each end, to make pedal boards of any length…?

Luv the coloured presentation even down to the port and starboard signage!!

How is the menu driven for your control environment? How much of this functionality do you think could be performed by the zynthian? Would this be beneficial?

Are you left or right footed? Can your modules work on either side…?
Do you find bending down to operate it a pain…?

How complicated would your chord structures need to be…?

So it’s bass pedal show and tell day ? (I thought it would never come :pray: :face_holding_back_tears:)

I made this about 20 years ago…

I used it mostly in my bar - top 40 days as a bassist : I would use it to start sequences, bass drones, various sound effect for animation, etc.

The circuit is a extremely basic GPIO to MIDI (DIN5) interface.

As the dust suggests, I haven’t used it in a while.

Show me yours and I’ll show you mine kind of a vibe here am-I right boys ‽ :scream:


Right device is purely midi player that sends midi commands to zynthian so that any zynthian out of box can be used. When zynthian is installed on the board then midi out coming from midi player is connected to midi in of zynthian inside the case . That is the reason why you don’t see it on photo above. However the whole pedal can be without zynthian in which case a standalone zynthian can be connected using standard midi cable. Finally totaly different synths can be convected using midi through from zynthian or if zynthian is not installed at all from midi out. The goal is to fully decouple midi player functionalities from zynthian.

This is fully modular and can be installed on any side. Case is designed in openscad that can be easily customised.

All configurations can be done using touch screen or foot switches so you don’t need to bend. I have used always big enough fonts so that even my 50 years old eyes can see what is on the screen without bending. Esp32 s3 chip has also Wi-Fi and Bluetooth so midi player configuration can be further enhanced to be done through these interfaces.

Chord setting is done simple by selecting root note and one of seven harmonies. This will set major, minor and diminished chords to each pedal for that harmony. If pedal does not have chord in the harmony single note is set. There is advanced chord settings where you can further customised each chord assigned to pedal. In this case you can select more chord variations such as 7, 9 11 suspended dominant augmented etc.

At the moment it is designed with up to 10 notes in chord simple because there are only 10 fingers to play with. This limitation can be easily changed. I still have not developed screen for setting the inverted chords etc but I am planning that too.

There are three set of harmonies that can be played. Chord sets only share channel. This can be easily changed too if needed. Single mode playing can have a different channel.

I am almost done with chord configuration and testing. The only outstanding bit is saving and loading configuration snapshots to esp32 flash.

I will record a quick video for chord configuration share soon.

I forgot to say that this is based on available to buy pedal hardware doepher fatar pd/3. This can be extended from 13 to 25 notes. Also people are doing mods to enable touch sensitive velocity. I have not done any of these mods on mine but if done simple code change would be required to read additional pedals or to read two switches on each and times to set velocity. My velocity is constant for all notes.