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Viewing topic "“Migratory” Foot Pedals—A Custom Solution"

     
Posted on: April 05, 2009 @ 02:06 AM
maxvan
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Total Posts:  11
Joined  02-16-2004
status: Regular

I’m sure that all of you gigging road warriors out there have experienced the same frustration that I have with foot pedals:  they “migrate” all around the floor when you’re playing.  Even the best pedals with the best rubberized undersides still drift away, especially on dirty and dusty floors.

I have a custom solution that has worked wonders for me, and has kept my sustain pedal exactly where it belongs:  at my feet.

The first portion of the solution involves a trick I borrowed from watching drummers set up their kits:  get a rug or floor mat.  I chose one of those black 2’ by 3’ doorway mats like you see when you walk into a business, the ones with the rubber edges.  But any rug, carpet remnant, or floormat will do.  They come in various sizes, so choose one that will sit beneath your keyboard stand and yourself.  The idea is to have the weight of the stand keep the rug from moving.  The smallest rug you can get away with is probably best, since it’s easier to pack up.  Simply roll it up and throw it in the trunk.

The second portion of the solution involves a bit of modification work to the underside of your favorite foot pedal.  I first tried adhesive-backed Velcro attached to the underside of the foot pedal.  This will work, as the Velcro will stick to the carpet surface and keep the pedal from drifting.  But I’ve found that adhesive-backed Velcro does not hold up to the rigors of the road with regular use.  The constant detaching of the pedal from the rug will eventually wear out the Velcro, the rug, and the adhesive.  You’ll find yourself replacing the Velcro strips from time to time, and as you continue to gum up the underside of the foot pedal, the Velcro won’t effectively adhere to the pedal anymore with each successive swap.

The better alternative was to go to my local home improvement store, and purchase some of those clear plastic caster cups with the spikey underside, which are used beneath furniture legs on carpet.  The ones I found were manufactured by Waxman Consumer Group (http://www.waxmancpg.com/), but I’m sure any manufacturer’s caster cups will suffice.  Just head to the section of the store where you buy casters, rubber feet, and rubber doorstops, and you’re bound to stumble upon these caster cups (or whatever they’re called).

You will need to grind off or cut off the upper lip of these caster cups to allow them to sit nice and flush against the underside of the foot pedal.  If you trust adhesives, you could simply glue the caster cups to the underside of the foot pedal.  I’ve never had much luck with adhesives of any kind, so I chose instead to use screws to attach the caster cups to the bottom of the foot pedal.  You need to exercise caution and common sense when using screws, however, since you run the risk of drilling or screwing into the working innards of your foot pedal and ruining it.  Do this at your own risk.  But if you’re creative and careful, you should be able to find harmless places underneath the pedal where you can screw into the plastic.  I used three round-shaped caster cups to provide stability, but I later came across some square shaped ones that would have been a better choice.  Nevertheless, mine have worked fine.

With the spikey-bottomed caster cups attached, simply place your foot pedal onto the rug beneath you, and you’ll be hard pressed to get that pedal to move anywhere without lifting it straight up.  With no Velcro to wrestle with, you will find that adjusting the foot pedal to the perfect playing position is as easy as lifting it up and dropping it into place.

I’m sure there are other effective ways to anchor a pedal into place, but this has been an ideal solution for my stage rig, and I felt it was worth sharing with all of you other road warriors.  Best of all, it’s fairly cheap.

If anyone would like to see pictures of what this looks like, contact me and I’ll be happy to send ‘em over.

  [ Ignore ]  

Posted on: April 05, 2009 @ 10:29 AM
mo-z
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Total Posts:  724
Joined  11-18-2005
status: Guru

How about posting pics here?

  [ Ignore ]  

Posted on: April 05, 2009 @ 01:33 PM
maxvan
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Total Posts:  11
Joined  02-16-2004
status: Regular

Here you go!  I finally got some photos to attach properly.  It was a bit of a wrestling match.

Thanks,
Max

Image Attachments
Foot Pedal 005 - medium.jpgFoot Pedal 002 - medium.jpg
  [ Ignore ]  


 
     


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