Switching up knobs and sliders on your MIDI controller can be tough while jamming out and recording tracks. With the best MIDI foot controller at your disposal, a simple step of your foot can easily change a variety of settings.
With a MIDI foot controller, you get full control over the special effects, channels, and other assigned functions. These devices are easy to use and will often easily sync with the software used for recording your beats.
During my years of experience, I have worked with numerous MIDI controllers and found that some tend to work better than others. I’m sharing my selection of the top MIDI foot controllers for every purpose.
The Best MIDI Foot Controllers Reviewed
When you are looking to buy your first MIDI foot controller, the options available to you can be overwhelming. Without knowing what to look for, you might end up with a controller that is not compatible with your studio setup – or one that simply does not suffice with your needs.
The MIDI foot controllers I share below are all the top options that you can find on the market right now. Take a look at what each one offers to see which controller is ideal for your setup.
1. Best Overall MIDI Foot Controller
- Built-in MIDI merge function
- Two expression pedals included
- Range of customizable options
- Compatible with various software options
- Compact design
The Behringer FCB1010 is the best option if you are looking for a professional experience from a trusted brand. The Behringer brand is one of the top options in the music industry – and its products are made from only the top materials.
One of the most important functions in this MIDI foot controller is the fact that there are built-in presets that can be configured. The configurable presets allow you to set up a range of automated functions – which can be triggered with the touch of a single button. A total of 10 preset buttons can be found on this foot controller.
There are also two large expression pedals. These can be assigned to a specific range, a MIDI channel, or to a specific controller number of the MIDI board that you are using. The larger size of the pedals makes it easier to reach on the ground. Up to five MIDI program commands can be configured in this controller at a time – with the ability to assign two controllers to each of the presets.
The professional quality of the Behringer FCB1010 makes it an appropriate option for studio recordings, as well as live performances. It is also fully compatible with tap-tempo applications and has multiple MIDI note trigger settings.
2. Best MIDI Foot Controller For Ableton Live
- Multiple footswitches that can be configured
- Comes with eight presets
- Expression pedals included
- LED screen built into the controller
- Compatible with guitar amps
When it comes to live performances, you need a controller that is able to provide faster processing of commands. Additionally, the controller you use should be able to meet the demands of the specific instruments that are played during the live event. The MeloAudio foot controller is an ideal option that is able to meet these requirements while still fitting into a smaller budget.
The MeloAudio MIDI foot controller is fully compatible with the Ableton Live software, helping you configure switches, settings, and channels with ease.
The MIDI foot controller comes with a total of 10 foot switches. It is a multi-effects system that can be connected directly to the computer used for controlling the effects of a live performance. The MeloAudio interface is primarily made for guitars. It also provides adequate connection options for guitar amps and other music equipment.
There are eight host presets that make the process of applying a specific range of effects faster and easier. In addition to serving as an extension to your existing controller, the MIDI foot controller also functions as a standalone option. Pedal jacks are included, which can also be configured through the software interface used to control the device.
A set of rechargeable batteries can be used in the MeloAudio MIDI foot controller. There is a built-in charging station that is used to keep batteries charged at all times. A USB interface is used, providing a more universal level of compatibility.
3. Best MIDI Foot Controller For Live Performances
- Connects to eight devices simultaneously
- Built-in guitar switches
- Volume pedals included
- Comes with multiple expression pedals
- Continuous controller messaging function
When fitting a professional studio with a MIDI foot controller, you need a device that is able to handle some of the more complex tasks. Quality also becomes a priority in these cases. The Voodoo Lab MIDI foot controller gives you quality and professional experience. While it comes at a higher price tag, this is an ideal addition to a full studio setup.
With the Voodoo Lab MIDI controller, you have the ability to connect as many as eight different MIDI devices with a single central point. The multiple connections can easily be controlled with the on-board switches that are installed. The alphanumeric display also makes it easier to know exactly which buttons are connected to each MIDI device.
Apart from the professional experience for larger studios, the Voodoo Lab MIDI foot controller is also an ideal option for live performances. It features faster processing speeds, allowing instant switching between different channels.
Apart from eight MIDI device connectors, you are also able to control four GCX Guitar switches with this foot controller. There are expression pedals that can be assigned to functions linked to your audio processing software.
4. Professional MIDI Foot Controller Pedal
- Professional controller design
- Can be used as a MIDI controller module
- Foot pedals are velocity-sensitive
- Four control functions
- Wooden tip design
The Studiologic MP-117 is designed for people who are serious about creating the perfect beats. The professional design of this MIDI foot controller offers the functions a larger studio setup requires while making live recordings. The controller is available in two models – including a 13-note and a 17-note option.
With the Studiologic MP-117, you have four full control options at your disposal. Easily connect and control the program and channel, as well as the transposition and bank of your full-size MIDI controller. The standalone function of the MIDI controller also allows for more portable use in cases where you are unable to take a full-sized interface with you.
The addition of note keys on this MIDI foot controller allows you to customize more channels when recording audio. The foot pedals feature a velocity-sensitive design, which ensures you are able to increase or decrease the intensity of each channel separately.
5. Basic MIDI Foot Looper Control
- Mini size for portable use
- Three knob controllers
- Does not require additional drivers
- USB interface
- Comes with input for expression pedal
Your budget may not always comply with the higher prices of professional MIDI foot controllers – but this doesn’t mean you should opt for a cheap and low-quality option. There are still a variety of high-performance controllers on the market that won’t break the bank. The Logidy UMI3 is an ideal option when your needs are not too complex, and your budget is on the lower side.
The Logidy UMI3 is a MIDI USB foot controller. The use of a standard USB interface means you get much greater compatibility with existing devices that you already have as part of your setup. An LED indicator light is built into the foot controller, which notifies you when the device has been successfully connected and synced with a USB interface – which could include a larger controller or a direct connection to your PC.
Steel is used to construct the casing of the Logidy UMI3. This material is durable, ensuring you get a foot controller that will last for years. This is a MIDI Class Compliant device, which means it meets the specific criteria set out for these devices. An additional driver download is not needed when connecting this controller to a computer.
There is a panel included that allows you to easily configure the system and connect it to various channels in your audio setup. An extra input is provided to connect an external expression pedal to the controller.
6. Portable MIDI Foot Controller
- Three-button controller design
- Various power options available
- 128 patches can be transmitted
- Compact design
- Compatible with a standard MIDI cable
The Tech 21 MIDI Mouse Pedal is a mini controller system that works as an extension for a compatible expression pedal system. If you travel with your music equipment and storage space is limited, then this MIDI pedal will be an ideal fit for your needs. Its small size also makes it easy to fit into a compact studio setup at home. While not the most ideal option for live performances, it complies with the needs of basic beat creation.
The Tech 21 MIDI Mouse Pedal easily connects to a variety of compatible expression pedal systems. The interface is highly customizable to ensure it meets the demands of your system. Three buttons are included in the design of the controller.
Easily power up the controller with the use of a 9V adapter or battery. A Phantom power system, connected through a MIDI cable, can also be used as an alternative.
7. Ultra Programmable
- Soft step design
- USB interface
- Compatible with Windows and MacOS
- 5-pin MIDI hardware compatibility
- Bear proof design
Durability is a key when buying a MIDI foot controller – which is exactly what the SoftStep 2 controller offers. It uses Graphite composites, along with an elastomeric design, to create a heavy-duty construction in its casing. Carbon fiber is also used for the backing of the foot controller.
There are 10 pressure-sensitive pads included in the SoftStep 2 controller. This MIDI foot controller is compatible with both Windows and MacOS operating systems. It can also be connected to iOS smart devices, including the popular iPad. A 5-pin MIDI hardware expander can be connected to the controller. The pressure pads are customizable and compatible with most beat production software suites.
A USB interface is used with the SoftStep 2 MIDI foot controller. This adds universal compatibility. The plug-and-play design also means no drivers to install before you can start using the controller.
Midi Foot Controllers Buying Guide
While sharing the top selection of MIDI foot controllers is useful, you may still want to continue your search. With this in mind, understand what factors to look for. This will ensure you know which controllers are able to meet the demands of your studio or live performance without buying a device that will turn out to be a major disappointment.
Start the process by knowing what your budget allows. If you have little money available to spend on a MIDI foot controller, look for options that are more budget-friendly. A more advanced option calls for a greater budget, but would also expand the capabilities you have.
Know what you will be using the MIDI foot controller for – then look for an option that falls within the criteria. Some foot controllers are excellent for live performances – but this is not the case with every option on the market.
Make sure the foot controller you buy supports the connections of any additional equipment that you own. USB connections are common with MIDI foot controllers, but some use alternative interfaces.
A foot controller for a MIDI interface is generally expected to be a portable device. Most people find that these are essential when they travel with their music equipment. Look for a foot controller that is small enough to travel with.
The MIDI controller should not cause an inconvenience when connecting it to a power source. Many come with a USB connection that also powers the device. This ensures you can easily use the controller on stage or when you are traveling.
Consider the software compatibility of the MIDI foot controller. You want an option that will work with the software you are using, as well as any other equipment that is part of your rig.
How to choose the best MIDI foot controller?
The best MIDI foot controller for one musician may not be as ideal for another professional. There are personal elements that need to be taken into the equation when deciding which option will be most suitable for you in particular.
Start by considering your experience. Beginners often need a more basic foot controller to satisfy their needs. Those with a more advanced level of experience will generally demand a foot controller with complex features.
Consider whether you are going to be using the controller on stage, in a studio, or while you are on-the-go. This helps you decide what functions to look for too.
How do you use a MIDI foot controller?
When setting up a MIDI foot controller, first consider its usage instructions. The specific instructions tend to differ between various controllers – but there are a few basics that apply to the majority of these devices.
You will need to connect the MIDI foot controller to an interface. This may include a full MIDI controller that is used at the top of your desktop. It may also consist of a connection to your computer – where the controller syncs with a software solution.
What are the advantages of a MIDI foot controller?
Controlling a large number of switches, knobs, and pads on a full-size MIDI controller can be tough – especially if your hands are busy with other functions. There are multiple controllers on a MIDI board that need to be controlled – with events like live performances or when you are recording in a studio; you need your hands free.
This is the main reason why many turn to a MIDI foot controller. These controllers are made for convenience – simply place them on the floor and provide appropriate configurations for its control system. Stepping on specific areas of the controller allows you to easily switch between plugins, effects, and more – without the need for free hands.
A MIDI controller is an essential centerpiece of your studio setup and even provides ideal functions for scenarios where you have a live performance. While a MIDI controller itself can offer the features required to switch between tracks, loops, and samples, as well as apply specific plugin effects to the audio that is being recorded, there are other functions that you may also need to be in control of.
In these cases, you need to get your hands on the best MIDI foot controller. These are compact devices that easily fit into your equipment bag. They are placed on the group and can usually be configured according to the specific music setup you have running.
An option like the Behringer FCB1010 foot controller gives you a flexible system with integrated pedals. Easily customize the pedals and buttons to respond to specific functions on your software. The device is compact and easily connects to any existing setup that you have.
- Professional and ultra-flexible MIDI foot controller
- 10 banks of presets, each with 10 fully user-editable presets
- 2 expression pedals with freely assignable MIDI channel, controller number and range
- Simultaneous transmission of 5 MIDI program change commands and 2 MIDI controllers per preset
- MIDI note commands for trigger and tap-tempo applications