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TOPIC: Foot Controller for BK7M

Foot Controller for BK7M 16 Feb 2015 22:29 #1618

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Hi all, I am unable to source an FC7 foot controller in Australia and to import it makes the cost extremely steep.

I read of someone using a Korg EC5 (which I can source in Australia) for the same purpose and converting the cable to go from 5 to 7 pin.

I notice on Ebay you can buy 5 to 7 pin midi cables already made up and I was wondering whether they can work for this purpose?

If anyone has any experience in that respect or any other solutions I would appreciate to hear from you..

Alternatively a reasonably priced second hand unit would be welcome particularly if it was in OZ :-)

Thanks
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Foot Controller for BK7M 17 Feb 2015 09:02 #1621

  • Torbjoern
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Perhaps you can use this: A Behringer FCB1010 MIDI Foot Controller


www.allansbillyhyde.com.au/prod/BEFCB101...Foot_Controller.aspx
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Foot Controller for BK7M 17 Feb 2015 13:46 #1622

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Hi Marc, the cable you found on ebay is not what you need. First of all it has to be 6-pin to 8-pin, not 7 to 5. Korg pedal has 5 switches plus ground, 6 wires total, so on the Korg end you will need 6-pin connector. For the same reason on the Roland end you need 8-pin connector.
You can make a cable yourself. All you need is 6-pin connector, 8-pin connector and 6 conductor wire. First step is solder 6 wires to 6-pin connector. Take notice which wire goes to the central pin, this is important.
Now you can solder 6 wires on the other end to 8-pin connector. The wire from the central pin of 5-pin connector must go to the central pin of 8-pin connector. The other 5 wires you can solder in any order because you can reprogram pedal settings in the BK7 later. Just leave two pins empty.
If you don’t want to reprogram pedal setting then you need to figure out which pin of the pedal input does what. I did it using short piece of wire. Insert one end of the wire into the central pin of the pedal input on BK7, then start inserting the other end of the wire into different pins and just take a look at the BK’s front panel to see what’s going on.
Good luck!
I was angered, for I had no shoes. Then I met a man who had no feet.
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Foot Controller for BK7M 17 Feb 2015 18:12 #1624

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I made my own FC-7 for very cheap. Please refer to the file I posted in the files section, under misc. files.

It's not a MIDI unit at all, just 7 normally open push buttons connected as indicated in the file. You can still use a MIDI pedal connected to the MIDI in, it's up to you, the FC-7 is something else.

You need an 8 pins DIN connector with an 8 wires cable. I used an ethernet cable. A six wire allows you to only 5 functions, not 7.

If you could find a cable already with an 8 pins male DIN, good for you, because soldering these is very difficult. And making your own allows you to do more than one unit as long as they are hooked up in parrallel. I made that. It was fun to use.
BK-9 + home-made FC-7 for versatility, FP-80 for piano sounds and simplicity.
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Foot Controller for BK7M 17 Feb 2015 21:46 #1625

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Thanks very much to all for your suggestions . Much appreciated. I am definitely closer to getting a pedal sorted than I was a few days ago!

Cheers
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Foot Controller for BK7M 17 Feb 2015 22:42 #1628

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I believe that Korg use the opposite polarity switches to Roland, don't they? If so, I don't believe the EC-5, unless you replaced all the switches in it, would do the job.
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Foot Controller for BK7M 18 Feb 2015 00:12 #1629

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I use EC-5 without any problems. I made a cable myself exactly as described above.
I was angered, for I had no shoes. Then I met a man who had no feet.
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Foot Controller for BK7M 18 Feb 2015 20:51 #1631

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Did you change the polarity of the switches?

Try this... set one of the switches up to be sustain. Now see if it is backwards. For functions that are simply trigger switches (triggering Variations, stuff like that) the polarity of the switch isn't such a big issue (you tend to hit and release quickly, so the timing isn't an issue), but if it is a momentary switch (as sustain is... on when down, off when up) the polarity is much more important.

I am fairly sure that Korg sustain pedals are backwards if used in Roland's (though Yamaha are OK), so I would have expected the polarity of the EC-5 switches was the same...
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Foot Controller for BK7M 23 Feb 2015 22:52 #1645

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I have now tried the Korg EC5 route , with a cable made up by a technician as described..

I'm not sure what the issue is , only the centre switch on the pedal can trigger anything on the BK7M., which I can vary at the Pedal configuration level on the BK7M at entry 3 on the FC7 table. However none of the other pedals work and hence nothing else is configurable on the BK7M.


The wiring looks fine on the MidI connectors

Any other suggestions in that respect would be welcome.
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Foot Controller for BK7M 23 Feb 2015 23:46 #1646

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Look what I found ( my search was Korg EC5 schematic ):


image.jpg


I hope it could help you, if it's accurate. If so, switches type shown on the schematic ( normally open ) is proper, like on the FC-7. Every other Roland control pedals I know about have normally closed contacts.

To test your unit on the BK-7m, simply program functions you can visualize immediately on the module, like v1, v2, v3, v4, bass inversion. When everything works, program what you want to use. 5 functions are not as good as 7, but better than nothing. You can add one by using a separate normally closed control pedal connected to the footswitch jack ( you knew that ;) )
BK-9 + home-made FC-7 for versatility, FP-80 for piano sounds and simplicity.
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Foot Controller for BK7M 24 Feb 2015 00:10 #1647

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Thanks for the suggestion. :-)

Actually I had already connected the Korg EC5 and the BK7M. and have established that only "one" pedal/switch from the Korg is actually triggering the functions on the BK7M..The other 4 pedal/switches are not firing anything and I have tried multiple configuration options on the BK7M itself

My only thoughts are that either

-the pedal is faulty ( unlikely as it is brand new)
-the wiring is incorrect (given the simplicity of the instructions provided prior there seems that very little could be wrong after making sure the middle pins on the 6pin and 8pin plugs are connected)
- there is something I am missing that I may have to adjust in the BK7M itself.

Cheers
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Foot Controller for BK7M 24 Feb 2015 01:06 #1648

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It must be something very small that is wrong. Have you left unconnected two of the eight pins? If not, you would send a signal to more than one FC-7 inputs. Have you tested the pedal itself and the wiring with a multimeter? ( not easy because connector pins are very close together ) Don't assume any of the components is faultless, even the BK-7m! ( very unlikely, but who knows? )
BK-9 + home-made FC-7 for versatility, FP-80 for piano sounds and simplicity.
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Foot Controller for BK7M 24 Feb 2015 02:06 #1650

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Well, probably I gave wrong information about center pins... According to Rolyvon's schematics the common pin is number 3, not 6. If so, I'm very sorry for giving the wrong idea. I made my cable over 3 years ago and my memory failed. Unfortunately I don't have my EC5 at hand right now.
So, you can try to solder pin #3 on the Korg side to central pin on the Roland side.
I was angered, for I had no shoes. Then I met a man who had no feet.
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Foot Controller for BK7M 24 Feb 2015 07:21 #1651

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No worries !. I will get the lead re-soldered and report in on the results.

Thanks :)
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Foot Controller for BK7M 24 Feb 2015 20:37 #1654

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I believe the bigger issue is going to be that Korg use a different polarity for their switches. Switches can be of two types... normally open, and normally closed.

I'm not sure which is which, but I know that, if you take a Korg sustain, and put it into a Roland, when the pedal is up, the Roland thinks it is down. So the actual switches in Roland's work differently to Korg. This is why you can buy sustain and tablet switches from third party vendors with little switches on them that can reverse the polarity, so they can be used in either.

As I said earlier, you may not notice this on functions where you quickly hit and release the switch... if the switch's polarity is reversed, you'll simply get the function as your foot goes off it, rather than when it goes on. You might not notice that if it's a quick tap. But if you use the EC-5 for anything that needs holding (sostenuto, sustain, etc.) or have a tendency to hit switches slowly and deliberately, you may notice the function not working correctly (the switched function won't happen until you release the switch, not when you hit it) unless you took the extra step to change the EC-5's switches' polarity.

Now, I'm only assuming all this because the polarity of Korg sustain pedals is opposite to Roland's... it MIGHT be possible that Korg use normally open for sustain and normally closed for the EC-5 (or the other way round!) but that's a bit strange, and I tend to think, for programming consistency, they'd use the same. So, to check this out, if you have even ONE EC-5 switch working in the FC-7 jack, try setting it to sustain, and let us know if it is working properly, or whether it sustains all the time until depressed....
Last Edit: 24 Feb 2015 20:40 by Diki.
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Foot Controller for BK7M 24 Feb 2015 22:12 #1656

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According to the schematic from Rolyvon's post, EC5 switches are normally open. There is a simple way to check it with simple continuity tester (no need to use multimeter).
www.learningaboutelectronics.com/images/...ontinuity-tester.png
Just clamp a thin nail in the "crocodile" and stick the tester's probe and the nail into the cable output. If the bulb lights, switch is closed.
I was angered, for I had no shoes. Then I met a man who had no feet.
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Foot Controller for BK7M 25 Feb 2015 00:59 #1657

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Thanks to all...I had the wires switched as per the schematic for the centre pin and the Korg EC5 works as expected. I am able to program each of the on/off pedals of the EC5 through the BK7M FC7 interface to do what I want to do. I haven't exhaustively experimented with every function available however as I only needed to be able to switch variations and initiate endings it is exactly what I wanted.

I am very happy as the set up was about a 1/3 of the cost of an FC7 for me here in Australia.

Thanks again.

Cheers
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Foot Controller for BK7M 25 Feb 2015 01:56 #1658

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Congratulations! How do you program your pedal? Me, I assigned my EC5 so that switch A triggers Ending and switches B - E trigger var. 1 -4. The reason for such arrangement is that I often need to go to simple ending after var4. The only way to do it is to press Ending button on beat 4 and than Var1 button on beat 1 of the next measure. So I put Ending and Var1 close to each other on switches A and B.

By the way, don't forget that there is also a single switch, programmable as well, so you can have 6 pedal switches in total!
I was angered, for I had no shoes. Then I met a man who had no feet.
Last Edit: 25 Feb 2015 02:29 by dilletant.
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Foot Controller for BK7M 25 Feb 2015 06:28 #1659

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I will also be using the pedal like you said as I typically want the Variation 1 ending for the song.

I have another pedal for the other jack, not sure what I will use that for yet. I'm sure it will become obvious pretty quickly !
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Foot Controller for BK7M 25 Feb 2015 19:30 #1660

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So has anyone tested the sustain function?

While it may not be a deal breaker for switch functions, the wrong polarity may still upset your timing if you use it for things like Breaks, or Start/Stop etc. where you expect the function to happen as soon as you hit the switch, rather than when you release the switch...

Would someone with even ONE working EC-5 switch test this please, so we know for sure...

We might as well update the instructions for rewiring the EC-5 to correct the polarity issue (if one exists) before anyone goes too far down that path.
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Foot Controller for BK7M 25 Feb 2015 21:12 #1661

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Hi, I programmed the EC5 pedal with the Hold function and worked as follows ..foot depressed... hold on,,,, foot off...hold off.

I use my sustain pedal through my digital piano so it wouldn't have been an issue for me but in any case it seems to work fine.
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Foot Controller for BK7M 25 Feb 2015 21:19 #1662

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I promise to check my EC5 as soon as I get it back from my friend's home, i.e this weekend.

Let's suppose it has normally closed contacts. What gonna happen if we plug a cable with all contacts closed into BK7? Will this confuse the module so it does not know what to do? From my and chadsolo's experience nothig like this happens. So... it's likely that EC5 has normally opened contacts.
I was angered, for I had no shoes. Then I met a man who had no feet.
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Foot Controller for BK7M 26 Feb 2015 18:54 #1665

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This is good news. Would have been a pain to have to rewire for opposite polarity....

BTW, has anyone noticed that you can't get the BK to 'Sustain' a LWR Tone (when split) independently of the UPR? I play a lot with bands and with SMF's, and there are times I want say piano on the LWR and something else on the UPR, so I would use TWO sustain pedals. I used (on the G/E series) to be able to set the LWR pedal to sustain and would be able to choose which side was sustaining, no problem. The 'geniuses' at Roland I guess forgot about this! :unsure:

The way the LWR split does 'hold' now is a completely 'arranger' type of LWR Hold, which 'holds' the chord you play until you play another chord, NOT a 'proper' piano 'sustain'. Idiots! :dry:

How could Roland have got the G/E series so RIGHT, and then turn around and get the BK series so wrong? :woohoo: :whistle:

As to the EC-5, I know that the FC-7 is a bit more money than the EC-5, but those extra 2 switches can make a huge impact. I usually use the 1st 4 SW's to trigger Var's 1-4 (with auto-fill on) so I can play and not have to take my hands off the keyboard for division duties. It really helps to not have to compromise your playing to hit buttons..! But with an EC-5, doing that only leaves you ONE other SW. The FC-7 leaves you 3....

I'm happy the EC-5 is working out, but I have a feeling, once you get used to using your feet to help out your hands, you are going to want more! :evil:
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Foot Controller for BK7M 06 Mar 2015 01:05 #1688

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OK, it's time to keep the promise... ;)
Here is a video of me testing EC5 polarity. At the end of the video you can see the cable I use to connect Korg pedal to BK-7m.

I was angered, for I had no shoes. Then I met a man who had no feet.
Last Edit: 06 Mar 2015 01:09 by dilletant.
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Foot Controller for BK7M 06 Mar 2015 17:48 #1694

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dilletant wrote:
I promise to check my EC5 as soon as I get it back from my friend's home, i.e this weekend.

Let's suppose it has normally closed contacts. What gonna happen if we plug a cable with all contacts closed into BK7? Will this confuse the module so it does not know what to do? From my and chadsolo's experience nothig like this happens. So... it's likely that EC5 has normally opened contacts.

Putting a switch of the wrong polarity into the BK will not 'confuse' the BK. it will merely be EXACTLY the same as when you put the wrong type of sustain pedal into the BK... It will work backwards!

In other words, the switch will work when you RELEASE the switch, not when you depress it. The switch function still works (as does the sustain pedal, only it sustains when up and stops sustain when down), the BK doesn't get confused as to what the switch function is, the only thing you would see is that the action doesn't happen on pressing the pedal, the action would come when you let it up.

Fortunately (for us) it appears as if the EC-5 is wired opposite to Korg sustain pedals (which you can't use in Roland keyboards). So all seems OK.
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Foot Controller for BK7M 18 May 2015 13:38 #2159

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Anybody willing to make one of these cables for me?
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Foot Controller for BK7M 18 May 2015 13:46 #2160

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I got mine made up by a guy at the Local TV repair shop. I bought the jacks and wire at the local electronic shop for about $5 AUD and the guy did it for me for $30 AUD. I just went in with the descriptions as above and he soldered it. I didn't have the patience or steady hands to solder it myself!
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Foot Controller for BK7M 18 May 2015 23:03 #2163

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I am looking for the 8 pin DIN connector. There appear to be two types - a 240 and a 262 pin configuration. It is not clear from the pictures which one I need. Do you happen to know? Or would you be willing to share where you purchased your connectors? Thank you.
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Foot Controller for BK7M 19 May 2015 01:19 #2164

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I don't remember where I bought mine but interestingly, when I was looking for connector, I did not even know that there are different types of connectors (in fact, I did not know that until I read your post...) So, I bought the first available and it fitted just fine.
Here is a picture of the actual connector of my FC-7.

image.jpg
I was angered, for I had no shoes. Then I met a man who had no feet.
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Foot Controller for BK7M 19 May 2015 05:02 #2165

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Here is a picture of the DIN connector of my home-made FC-7, showing the rear panel of my BK-9.
It worked perfectly in my former BK-7m, but I had to trim off some of that metal you see in the BK-9 socket to be able to insert the DIN connector; it's still hard, but it works.
There is no metal around the BK-7m socket.
My conclusion is there are different 8-pin DIN connectors, different thickness of the sleeve, but the pins configuration should be the same IMO ( DIN being a standard norm ).
So, if you look for a connector, try to find a thin one, in case you get a BK-9 someday.
I didn't have the chance to examine the original FC-7 connector yet, but expect to see a thinner sleeve on it.
I bought mine at Addison, in Montreal, Canada. They had two models, I bought the cheapest, didn't notice a different sleeve.

image_2015-05-19.jpg
BK-9 + home-made FC-7 for versatility, FP-80 for piano sounds and simplicity.
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Foot Controller for BK7M 13 Nov 2015 13:08 #3209

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Hello everyone

After looking at several blogs and notes about the FC7 I took the plung and made my own fully home made FC7.

The material I used:
1. PVC trunking stripped from an old Wickes extension, but any type could do. Cost me nothing
2. A piece of aluminium kitchen drawer divider. £0 cost.
3. A 2 metre length of an 8 core network wire; the one used to connect the PC to the modem. £1.20.
4. Seven push buttons from eBay. I bought the cheep ones for my prototype but you can get proper ones for about £15. I got the latching type but took them apart and snapped the latch off. £2.50
5. An 8 pin connector, 2 for 1.80
6. a few screws

My tools were simple; a hack saw, drill with conical metal bits, soldering iron and solder, an electric multimeter and a screw driver.

As you see in the pictures one wire works as earth and connects all the 7 earth pins on the buttons to the central pin in the plug. All other 7 connect the other pins on the buttons to the remaining 7 pins on the connector.

I tested connectivity and function before soldering so I get the order of the buttons right.

I hope this helps
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Foot Controller for BK7M 13 Nov 2015 13:10 #3210

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20140622_004049145_iOS.jpg


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Foot Controller for BK7M 13 Nov 2015 15:03 #3212

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Cool!
Markus
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Foot Controller for BK7M 13 Nov 2015 15:15 #3213

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very similar to the foot pedal :-)
Roland GA-FC Foot Controller for GA-112 and GA-212

s-l500.jpg
Roland E-80 v.2.01 (SRX-01, 02, 10), Roland M-GS64, Roland XV-5050, Ketron SD-2, Edirol PCR-500, Edirol M-16-DX, Kawai MAV-8
Last Edit: 13 Nov 2015 15:19 by loshk.
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Foot Controller for BK7M 13 Nov 2015 18:05 #3215

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Good job, jux61! Looks sturdy and lightweight, just go easy on these small push-buttons!

I post a picture of my set-up in order to encourage others to make their own FC-7 equivalent. I consider that as a prototype, so I was not too fussy about the look, I plan to redo it better looking, and rethink the ergonomy. It's ugly but it works fine for the moment.

I wanted to use the control pedal board I made over 20 years before for my E-70, so there was no room for 7 switches in a row, so I decided to put switches 5 to 7 higher, for functions I use less ( start/stop, change UP2/1 and fade out ), and switches 1-4 for variations 1-4. My choice of functions is a continuous process... Really, I wish there was a second FC-7 connector! I use the other control pedal for rotary fast/slow.

image.jpeg
BK-9 + home-made FC-7 for versatility, FP-80 for piano sounds and simplicity.
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Foot Controller for BK7M 16 Nov 2015 18:16 #3233

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Whatever works for you Rolyvon, you have a functional setting there. No matter what, it's about experimenting and saving money; best of both.
I got the proper buttons now and will change the plastic ones in the spring when I move my studio out of the house. Mind you the plastic ones are doing very well. I used the same material to make a 4 button FC for a yamaha Tyros3 that works instead of 4 bulky foot pedals.. I am loving the challenge.

Cheers

Jux
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Foot Controller for BK7M 16 Nov 2015 19:23 #3239

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Rolyvon wrote:
Really, I wish there was a second FC-7 connector!

I simply wish that FC-7 assignments could be per Performance, not Global...

I have been begging this for years from Roland... What you need switches to do in Style Mode is utterly different to SMF/MP3 play. And then now you can use them for Key Audio loops, that's even more difference!

It has always been frustrating to watch Roland waste incredibly good hardware with unnecessarily restricted software...

But kudos for the home built setups... Make the most of them :evil: If the E-A7 is anything to go on, it looks like Roland have abandoned the FC-7 altogether, and haven't even put the connector on. I hate to say it, but they are penny-pinching themselves out of a lot of sales. The connector and its circuitry probably cost them a couple of dollars per unit. But I, for one, will NEVER buy an arranger I cannot use my feet to control. :angry:
Last Edit: 16 Nov 2015 19:24 by Diki.
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Foot Controller for BK7M 22 Dec 2015 15:34 #3385

I purchased a custom cable from Roxy’s Music Store to use the Korg EC5 pedal unit with my BK-9.
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