Cheap usb midi pedal to change states in cantabile


Hi all,
My midi keyboard (Nektar T6) does not have a program up/down input jack so I would like to find a cheap usb midi pedal or may be a DIY kit to build it. I was not able to find this kind of very simple pedal on the net.
Sorry if this item has already been treated !
Any recommandations ?
Thanks by advance for your help.


Hi Troman,

There’s a few options if you want to buy e.g. or (I’ve not tried any of them).

If you’re happy with DIY then using a Teensy microcontroller is easy (there’s a few other references out there, including on this forum).

My DIY pedalboard is a teensy inside a hollowed-out m-audio expression pedal with jacks on the side for footswitches.



Hi @johncarter !
Thanks for your answer the audiofront pedal seems really what I am about !
But I am in Europe so it is a little bit tricky those days due to Covid for shipping over the ocean !
The DIY solution seems also a good candidate but will need some knowledge before starting !
I will dig a little bit and will let you know.

Thanks a lot for your help really appreciated .
Take care.



Your keyboard has switches that can be used to command anything in Cantabile. Did you check every chance?


As above - you can program any button to do anything. You don’t need a specific device for this job.


Considered this?



Yes I know I already use the keyboard like this but not as fluent as a state change that can shut a sound off and enable another one at the same time. Not easy to do when playing ! Also a foot switch is more convenient to switch from a sound to another during the rehersals/stage gigs.
I finally odered the tiny teensy module and I will try to do it myself.
I will keep you all updated.



During rehearsals I use buttons on my keyboard to change song states. I program my setlist with many states per song.
It is not perfect because I lose one finger while changing states. But it is enough for testing purposes.
When I play live I use a Behringer FCB 1010 that I programmed only with CC for every pushbutton. It is a simple pedalboard and I like it very much.
So with a simple modification on background rack I can use same setlist with song states.
Usually I do that just the day I go on stage, it is fast and simple.


@furio Thanks sharing your experience with me.
As I like building small “gadgets” I think the DIY solution will be fun.
Still not received yet anyway !


I use the Logidy, RackBrain mentioned above with my Nord and Cantabile. Very versatile. It can be programmed to send any MIDI commands you need. I have it set to send specific un-used MIDI CCs, and then in Cantabile each song can “route” those CCs to different functions. (i.e. Program Change, State change, Media player trigger, Song change, etc.)


I’m a guitarist/EWI saxophonist so I need foot pedals… For years I used the Logidy,and the Midi Expression Adaptor on an old Yahamha sustain pedal… in gigs… and never had a problem with either. But I’ve since moved to the FCB1010… more switches, 2 exp pedals, although it’s a much larger footprint. Don’t forget that C3 midi filters can change any incoming cc or pc command… or notes, too. That’s really handy… an expression pedal can be programmed to do a wah on one song, sax growl on another, or a filter sweep, or whatever you want.
Have fun with it,


The venerable Art X-11 is typically available on e-bay or and can generate 1-128 midi program change signals. That’s all it does: Send MIDI Program Changes. You’ll have to go from MIDI to usb with a converter of some type.

If you do go the DIY with a teensy or arduino, the sky is the limit as the hardware buttons can be easily reprogrammed as you see fit. If you’re like me, you’ll build it and then think of other ways to program the buttons. Plus, you can also feed volume/expression pedals (typically a foot pedal hooked to a 10k linear pot) into the teensy/aurduino platform and convert to any MIDI CC you like. Finally, once you get the MIDI program change and/or MIDI CC into Cantabile, all the MIDI filters allow that CC to be used for multiple controls for different songs/states. For instance, on one song it’s a volume pedal. Next song it changes the Leslie speed. Next the MOD wheel. I think the Nektar has an expression pedal jack, too.


Hi guys ! Thanks for your suggestions but as I already told I followed the DIY way and tested my small code with a regular switch pedal and it worked fine !
I received the material to put that in a box today and will build the whole stuff next week.

Take care.


Cool… Just to restate, if you’ve already got some working code, then adding more switches will allow all kinds of changes. Design big!


I know this is a bit after the fact but I use a Scythe USB double footswitch (~£40) to change states. It’s simple and robust


Hi guys thanks for the answers ! Anyway even late it is always good to know !
My little box is now built and working fine.
For those who like to have an example of code here it is (for the teensy LC):

#include <Bounce.h> // Bounce library makes button change detection easy
const int channel = 1;

Bounce button1 = Bounce(PIN_A1, 5); // 5 = 5 ms debounce time

void setup() {
// put your setup code here, to run once:

void loop() {
// put your main code here, to run repeatedly:

if (button1.fallingEdge()) {
usbMIDI.sendControlChange(4, 127, channel);
if (button1.risingEdge()) {
usbMIDI.sendControlChange(4, 0, channel);

This code Reads the A1 input of the teensy LC which is the switch pedal input and when the input is read to 0 (grounded) will send a control change #4 with value 127 to Cantabile through usbMidi.
When the pedal is relaxed a 1 (pullup in the teensy chip) will be read and then CC#4 value 0 is send to Cantabile though usbMidi.
I don’t need more to be able to switch from one state to the other in Cantabile performer.
It was fun.