It is fascinating the snippets of information you pick up when dealing with a support request for Power Music. One such example was when David Castator contacted us about deactivating some old Power Music installations. This led on to a discussion about other music display software where he casually mentioned that he build his own Bluetooth page turner pedals – interesting I thought!
He then said that he had built a pedal that can control several tablets or PCs from one pedal – VERY interesting!
After further communication with David I asked him to write an article about the pedals he has built. So here it is, in David’s own words.
Any active musician that utilizes a Laptop, tablet, All-in-One and a digital (music) software package understands the need for a foot pedal to turn pages forward and backwards. I have used many of the wired and wireless models on the market. All of which turn sheet music pages forward or backwards on the computer to which they are attached.
My needs began to grow, ie. playing background music, turning to the last song of a play list or to the first song of a playlist etc., etc. As those needs began to increase, the foot pedals on the market did not. You needed to live with page forward or page backward – you could throw a switch manually on the pedal and maybe get it to do one or two more options, but your options were still very limited.
Because of that limitation I began to research possible alternatives. I thought I could take a current market pedal and modify it for my needs. That did not seem to work out very well.
So, I decided that I was going to build my own pedal to satisfy my needs. I was able to scratch and find parts that would allow me to build a wireless pedal that would give me varied options in a single pedal. The original pedal was not very pretty to look at, but it was functional. I can page forward, page backward, turn on/off my multimedia background files. I can go directly to the last song in a play list or to the first song. I can scroll down a song and then back to the top. All with the push of a button on the floor.
My first pedal had 3 buttons, my latest model has 5.
The interesting news is I can build this to allow as many as 12 functions on a single pedal. As I began to build newer models I realized that what I had was a small improvement of the pedals on the market. Except for the fact that I could send as many commands as 12 if I wanted.
A friend came to me who is also a fellow musician and when he saw my pedal he was impressed and asked me to build him one. As we were discussing what he wanted in a pedal he stated it had to be wireless, run with a battery or power supply…AND he wanted it to control more than one tablet or computer……do what? I asked……Through many trials and errors I finally put together a pedal for him that operated 2 tablets at the same time from one pedal. When he hits the button both tablets move at the same time…Through further testing I have found that I can effectively handle multiple computers from a single pedal. At this point I believe we are only limited to the physical size of the box to support the electronics inside.
More about David…
My wife and I provide a traveling Praise & Worship band called Rising Faith. Our ministry is to lead worship and music for churches that either do not have a musician or the music team simply wants a Sunday free. We also provide entire services from Prelude to Benediction for a church that is in the interim with pastors or the pastor just wants a Sunday away from the pulpit. We have also been used by several churches that want to introduce a new style of music to see how the congregation reacts without putting their own music team in the mix. This is a very rewarding ministry and one that I have been providing for nearly 40 years now.
I made the move to digital sheet music many years ago. I used a standard laptop and a word processing program before the new tablets and software came on the market. I have been a Power Music Professional user for 3 or 4 years now, however, this article really isn’t about the software!
To find out more…
David does not have a company to manufacture his pedals, but he is interested in building custom pedals for other musicians. To make contact with David drop an email to our Support Desk – email@example.com and we will pass on your enquiry to David.
Our thanks to David for contributing this article.