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More Expressive Footboard Thoughts

February 25th, 2018
footboard, ideas, music  [html]
Currently I don't use my footboard for quick touches or for light touches because I haven't been able to get either of these to trigger with the consistency I need. I have the velocity sensitivity turned way down at the controller so that they act almost like switches, and I have the controller set to 'debounce' taps in quick succession. I can think of two ways to make this better:
  • Build an electronic system with better control abilities.
  • Build a hybrid electronic / acoustic system and use the acoustic portion for quick or light touches.
My current version is made out of:

Looking over this I see several places where I think I could maybe get the improvements I want with a new version:

  • I currently have 1/4" rubber to separate the striking surface from the base, which is more resilient than I think is good. Ideally the dividing material would damp things more. I want to try using sorbothane instead.

  • I have the separators as right triangles for no real reason, but I think circles would do a better job of allowing the separator material the freedom to bulge out more.

  • The adhesive I used is a rigid epoxy, which also doesn't make sense. Something flexible would do a better job allowing the separator to do its work. I'm thinking a flexible cyanoacrylate would be good, probably this one.

  • The surface is completely flat, which means I don't have any tactile feedback letting me know if I'm in the center. I should carve the top out so my foot naturally falls in the center and can feel if it's drifted.

I'm hoping that this will allow me to be more expressive with my playing.

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