I wanted to try out live looping, but I didn't want to spend $200+ on a piece of gear that might never make it to a gig. So I put together a fairly useable rig using a netbook, a USB audio interface, and this homemade pedal board. 

Live Looping:
It's a somewhat gimmicky but potentially amazing approach to musical performance: you make a noise into a magic box which records the noise and plays it back repeatedly, then you make another noise and another, and pretty soon you've piled up several noises and they are playing at the same time and you didn't have to grow extra arms or clone yourself.

Here are a couple of folks who have really made some cool noises using this technique:
Casey Driessen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9GyoUmhKU0 
Walk Off The Earth: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJ8nkJ1_Ee0

These folks use big piles of nifty gear, but I didn't want to invest in a piece of equipment until I had the chance to experiment with loopiness. Enter Mobius: http://www.circularlabs.com. Free (donations accepted), robust looping software. I got it running on my trusty little workhorse of a netbook (along with my USB audio interface), and quickly noted 2 things: 1. Mobius is awesome, and 2. there is no practical way to use it for live looping without foot pedals. So I decided to make them.

Step 1: The Plan, Materials

Exploiting the fact that Mobius accepts keyboard input, I decided to build a pedal board using a busted USB keyboard and some miscellaneous hardware.

This is far from a new idea, lots of folks have done it; here are a few 'ibles using similar principles, dealing with pedals and keyboards and whatnot:

Basically you are taking a keyboard and replacing a few of its little buttons with bigger buttons.  

Similar pedals have been made to trigger MIDI events, scroll through sheet music, and enable users to do any number of other swell things with their lower appendages. This design could be easily adapted to any of those uses. Have a laser cutter or CNC router? Then your pedals will look way cooler than mine!

-thick plywood (I used 3/4" but thinner would be fine).
-thin plywood, les than 1/4" (I repurposed a sliding panel from a defunct cabinet)
-other wood scraps
-PVC pipe, cut in half lengthwise
-momentary pushbutton switches
-logic board and USB cable from a USB keyboard (these usually die of mechanical problems, so the parts we need here are fine)
-insulated copper wire
-springy electrical contact thingamabobs, salvaged from an old learning-about-electronics kit (optional: you could just as easily solder all your connections together. I used these because at first I wanted to make a fully reconfigurable board. Gave up on that idea, but the springy things remained).

-saws: circular, jig
-hot glue gun
-Gorilla glue
-soldering stuff
-wire cutters, strippers
-paint & brushes
-volt meter (continuity tester)

Note: I will be providing no real measurements, because I didn't do much measuring: it was all eyeballing and trial and using one thing as a template to trace the next thing so that both things are the same size.
<p>thanks for wonderful post. ok, i have keyboard but i dont know how to make wirings to the momentary switches. Do you have a shcematic?</p>
<p>Hi zedonetx, <br>My switches had only two posts (see photo in step 4), so all I had to do was stick one on each wire: <br>Your key press is registered when you connect one specific solder point on the circuit board with another one. So a short wire soldered to those two points would always send that letter press, which is not very useful. So to get only one press, you cut that wire and stick one post of the switch to each cut end. That's all I've done here, except the wire is long enough to reach from the circuit board to the switch and back.<br>Hope that helps. Cheers!<br>Mike</p>
<p>Right on man, I was just looking into Mobius and thought if I were to use it I'd really need a foot switch. I googled diy usb footswitch and got here. This'll be an upcoming weekend project for sure. You should check out Josie Charlwood, she's got some pretty neat live looping videos and a great voice. Btw Use Me Up is an awesome tune! </p>
similar to multi tracking this.
Mine looks like this , does the same thing same concept:)
<p>Really hot man, congratulations! </p>
This is pretty nice, a much more complex and polished version of how I actually have my live looping rig set up. I use Mobius, plus a xbox controller via usb for foot control.

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