Footboard v2

April 8th, 2018
contra, footboard, music
After thinking about how to make my footboard more expressive for a while, I went ahead and built one. After playing around with it for a few weeks, I like it a lot better!

Top:

Bottom:

I made one for each foot. I typically put a kick drum on the left and some sort of high frequency sound (snare/rim/hihat/scratch/etc) on the right.

Changes from the previous version, mostly as planned:

  • Carved instead of flat. I made spaces for my heels to go, and the tactile feedback is really helpful for keeping centered on the board.

  • Grippy instead of smooth. I used a section of a non-slip rug pad.

  • Sorbothane instead of neoprene. The goal was to find a material that would absorb the impact from my foot instead of bouncing around.

  • Circles instead of triangles for the sorbothane. According to the manufacturer it dissipates energy better that way.

  • Flexible adhesive instread of epoxy. I used Loctite Ultra Gel Control, a flexible cyanoacrylate.

  • 3/4" instead of 1/4" for the top. I think it's better if the wood isn't especially flexible.

  • Integrated toe rest instead of separate. No reason to have toe rests that can slide around independently. Looking back I really don't know why I put up with toe rests that kept running off. [1] I made the toes be pads as well but haven't used this for anything yet.

Overall I'm very happy. These are more pleasant to play, and they're sensitive enough that I'm able to play them well while set to be velocity sensitive. I've been practicing a lot while reading to Anna, trying to get the foot patterns fully automatic.


[1] Well, I do know why. I have a very string satisficing instinct. If things are at all tolerable, why change? Overall I think this leads to me being pretty happy.

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