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NILSON brand beat bars has been manufacturing some truly impressive MIDI software and hardware since 2015. Experts in 3D modeling, electronics, and computer engineering are the minds behind some of the brand's work, including MIDI pedals and footswitches that are perfect for musicians who wish they had four hands instead of two.

Pedals and footswitches are nothing new, but beat bars' quality products have consistently garnered positive reviews and have been an effective tool for music makers across the globe for years now.

beat bars recently took things a step further, crafting something that is new. The Cardboard Expression Pedal and Cardboard Footswitch are 100% environmentally friendly, using only cardboard and other biodegradable material. That's right—your new favorite MIDI pedals are made out of cardboard.

beat bars Cardboard Expression Pedal

beat bars Cardboard Expression Pedal

The first question that comes to mind, obviously, is "How will cardboard hold up with the weight of a human leg and foot pressing down on it?" Fear not. Intricate and well-engineered design ensures that the footswitch and pedal are structurally sound, and the pads on each switch and pedal are actually quite comfortable in socks or shoes. 

Another burning question: "How does cardboard interact with my computer?" The Cardboard Expression Pedal and Cardboard Footswitch operate using an iPhone application that communes with your digital audio workstation (DAW) of choice via USB adapters. Using heat-sensitive fabric, each press of the pedal strikes a button on the app when the iPhone is placed in an adaptable tray, and in turn allows the user complete control over changing or adding effects using only the foot. 

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These pedals free up hands for playing and recording instrumentation in real time, allowing for seamless transitioning between effects in the musician's DAW without the need for stopping to change effects. To program those effects, users will need to adjust the MIDI settings in their DAW of choice.


Much of the fun of using the beat bars Cardboard Expression Pedal and Cardboard Footswitch actually comes from the construction of each device. The products come flattened out, with punch-out holes and step-by-step instructions for assembling each pedal. Model and LEGO builders will enjoy the assembly of the pedals, and it only takes a few minutes to do. 

Those seeking an innovative, unique, and environmentally-friendly studio product that's not too hard on the wallet need look no further. If finances are a barrier, beat bars also offers a free template for the construction of the pedals for users to craft with their own cardboard, pen, and scissors. Only the free iPhone app and a DAW are needed to enjoy beat bars' latest offering.

The app is supported by all iPhones from the first generation SE model onward, and the Expression Pedal and Footswitch include a built-in tray that will fit any of those models' size. 

To learn more about beat bars' Cardboard Expression Pedal and Cardboard Footswitch or to order or download the free template, visit the official beat bars website


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