Designing a MDI Foot Controller
For a Professional Musician
One of the things we find so interesting about our profession is that the expertise we have gained over the years to have a critical eye and an exceptional aptitude for attention to detail, can be applied to the “design” of many things outside of the architectural realm.
A couple of months ago my brother Jody Whitesides, approached me to help him realize a vision he developed for a much needed, compact, complete, and technology driven MDI foot controller. As a professional musician he recognized that the industry was missing a vital piece of integrated equipment that would make the show playing life of a musician much easier. He had a desire to create it.
When he first reached out to me he described his vision and the research he had completed for manufacturing, expenses, and his expectation for performance. Knowing very little about the music industry I could offer nothing about the effectiveness about his ideas, but I could lend my expertise to the process of material selection, design, and assembly as well as the development of the shop drawing information for the successful manufacturing of the equipment. Over the course of a couple of weeks he assembled the precise measurements and information that I requested from him, until finally we were at the point I could give life to his ideas. For hours we would screen share while he watched me draw his foot pedal. I completed the plan, sections, and elevations while he decided on a identity and a logo. The result of our collaboration: “HIVE”
HIVE is an all in one MDI foot controller now used by Jody at his live performances. It incorporates traditional foot pedals, device switches and buttons, and adds a USB hub and connections, as well as powers a high definition screen set to mirror his computer, to provide live visual feedback, allowing masterful control of the sound coming from his guitars. We are proud to present the video below of HIVE! Our first collaboration between Architecture and Music.