Skip to main content

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. 

Recommended Articles

Adventure Club at Havana Nightclub in The Grand Oasis at Pollen Presents Electric Zoo Cancun

Adventure Club On New Album, NFTs and the Future of Melodic Dubstep

"It’s important to give the power back to musicians as opposed to having a middleman kind of control everything."

sherwood forest

Fascinating Roots of Electric Forest Revealed In New Documentary, "A Million Shining Lights"

The film features insightful commentary from Louis The Child, 12th Planet, GRiZ, and more.

steve aoki

Steve Aoki Announces Virtual Concert With Sonic the Hedgehog and SEGA

The virtual concert is set to take place on Aoki's birthday.

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


Midi Controller

3 Affordable Midi Controllers to Help Your Creative Workflow

Looking for an affordable controller to help your workflow? We have a few to tell you about.


You Can Make Beats By Bouncing This Innovative MIDI Ball

The ODD Ball is a feature-packed MIDI instrument that provides a unique beat-making experience.


Timbaland's New Music Contest Offers Ultra-Rare, Molten-Blue MIDI Controllers—And Only 150 Exist

The contest arrives ahead of the momentous launch of Timbaland's Beatclub platform.


Pioneer's DDJ-FLX6 Controller Boasts Impressive New Mixing and Scratching Functions

The new controller is built for energetic and intuitive performances.


Latest Splice Update Features Three Exciting New Plugins

A soft synth, drum machine, and bridge plugin make Splice more functional than ever before.

tml x north face

Tomorrowland Merch Brand TML Announces Collaboration with The North Face

Festivalgoers can keep warm and look sharp in the new gear.

ableton live 11

Ableton 11 is Coming—With a Slew of Amazing New Features

Ableton's latest incarnation looks to be the quintessential digital audio workstation.