Bluetooth Music Pedal for Hands-Free Page Turning
A company that produces music gear and products that improve musicians’ performance using wireless devices came up with an idea for a Bluetooth-equipped guitar pedal. The idea of this pedal is to let a guitar player scroll through pages on their digital devices using their feet. This is a great solution for solo artists, music bands, orchestras, or church worship teams. It lets musicians turn pages and control hundreds of music apps hands-free.
The client was looking for a partner that could provide a turnkey solution for the Bluetooth-equipped guitar pedal. He needed to implement firmware development and PCB design for the device. Because our client was looking to fund the project on Kickstarter, he needed to dramatically decrease the cost of the end product so it could be competitive.
Integra Sources helped our client develop a Bluetooth guitar pedal from a concept to an off-the-shelf product that supports iOS, Android, Mac, and PC platforms. We developed firmware and provided bug-free PCB design services and CAD models to visualize the physical enclosure. We also connected our client with expert manufacturers.
Scope of work
- Schematics Design
- PCB Design
- Case Design
- Generation files for the manufacturer
- Ordering the components and PCB manufacturing
- Prototyping assembly
- Hardware testing
- We used nRF51822 with BLE 4.0 support and Cortex-M0 core as MCU in this project.
- The device has an internal 9V battery and external input with reverse polarity protection for external 9V wall adapter.
- USB-A connector can be used as 5V power source for the tablet.
- FreeRTOS is used for firmware development.
- The device has several buttons, switches, and LEDs.
- KiCad IDE was used for Schematics and PCB design.
- Microsoft Visual Studio with Visual GDB plugin was used for firmware implementation.
- The firmware was implemented using C/C++.
The music pedal is a Bluetooth 4.0 equipped device. It has a solid aluminum case and an elegant design. The device can be powered by 9V battery or external 9V power supply. It also has USB 5V output and can charge tablets or phones when powered from an external power supply. We used nRF51822 BLE SoC to provide high working range and low power consumption.
Our customer received a full-fledged prototype with all the required unique features. He ran a successful campaign on Kickstarter and got positive feedback from influencers who tested the product. The device is currently in mass production and we're discussing a new version of the device with our client.
The music pedal can connect to any Bluetooth device (from 4.0 to 5.0) and offers a number of useful features described below.
How it works
- A musician puts all their chord charts, setlists, and sheet music in PDFs on their tablet using a sheet music, chord chart, or presentation app.
- A musician connects the music pedal to this tablet.
- To flip a page of sheet music while playing, the only thing a musician needs to do is tap the music pedal.
Hardware key features
- Durable road-ready metal body
- 9V battery that allows the device to work for up to 150 hours
- Jacks to plug in external foot pedals
- USB charging port for tablet or smartphone
- Tactile foot switches
Firmware key features
- Compatible with all Bluetooth 4.0 devices
- Support for iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows
- Can be used with more than 100 apps on iPhone and Android
- Note-taking mode to bring up a virtual keyboard on a tablet
- Press and hold to scroll through many pages at once
- Challenges solved
- Designed a cheap and reliable housing to protect the PCB from physical impact.
- Solved the antenna range problem related to metal housing.
- Designed the antenna to be nice-looking and rock-solid.
Raised on Kickstarter
Integra Sources provided a bug-free design and connections to expert manufacturers. Though slow in the warmup period, they codified their process and provided a strong product.
Founder of the music company
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