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Hello, Any simple & inexpensive ideas on how to add MIDI control to a set of Hammond bass pedals so as to trigger sounds from a MIDI sound module? I have a raw set of pedals from a Hammond M1 organ, and I wanted to transform them into a no-frills set of bass pedals capable of producing tones similiar to Taurus pedals-but without all the bells and whistles. Thanks! Eric

MIDI Encoders

Not that this is particularly useful, but the obvious requirement is to find or build some sort of circuit to convert switch closures to MIDI messages.

I've heard of people using cheapie (Casio) keyboards for this. Rip out most of the guts, rewire the key-contact connections...

There's a variety of circuits available at which look like they'll do the trick. (But I have no experience with the, so can't vouch for them.) There must be other sources for this sort of thing...

If you want a DIY solution to MIDI keyboard encoding take a look at Thorsten Klose's MidiBox system. Thorsten has developed the hardware and software for a very flexible MIDI controller that is completely customizable.

Hammond Spinet Pedalboards

The arrangement of the contacts in M/M-2/M-3/M-100 pedalboards is rather non-standard. (The reason for this is to support the pedal sustain feature built in to these organs.) There's a set of latching NC contacts, one per pedal, wired all in series, and one more mometary NO contact which closes when any pedal is depressed.

I've never had these pedalboards apart enough to determine whether it would be easy to rewire the contacts in a more useful (for MIDIing) way or not. If not, then one needs either to fit additional contacts into the pedal assembly, or use a custom-programmed microcontroller of some sort to do the MIDI encoding.

There's a guy in Maine who makes MIDI pedalboards from Hammond spinets. He sells them on eBay. His e-mail is Here's a list of his recent auctions on eBay.

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