Is it possible to modify a MIDI sustain pedal to for example, a guitar pedal? If so, would this be practical at all? If not, what could be an alternative use of such pedal?

  • By "MIDI sustain pedal" do you mean a pedal with a MIDI connector (such as this? Or just a standard TRS connector connected to a MIDI keyboard/controller? Feb 2, 2021 at 11:16
  • Theoretically, you could use it as a switch for a guitar (which you would have to build yourself). However, it would be annoying to use it as a guitar pedal. You can't you use the piano pedal to gradually change the level of a guitar effects because the piano pedal only has a on and off state. Furthermore, a guitar pedal should turn on and off quickly but a piano pedal is damped and is slow to turn on/off.
    – James Kl
    Feb 2, 2021 at 15:40

1 Answer 1


Not sure what a MIDI sustain pedal is, in comparison to most other sustain pedals. But most are simple switches, working in a similar way to a doorbell push. Press the pedal, contact made, release, contact lost. There are many effects pedals that will use an extra pedal such as this, to do all sorts of different things to that effects pedal, but on its own, the only thing I can come up with is a sort of kill switch.

  • 1
    Still assuming the OP is talking about standard sustain pedals (those with trs connectors), using them as switches could be a problem anyway: most (barely decent) pedals have some levels of sensitivity, as they are potentiometers, fundamentally, and there's also the controversy of polarity: on some pedals the passage of current is when they are down, others when they're up, that's why on more recent keyboards you have to connect them before switching on, so that they can recognize the polarity and then adapt accordingly. Feb 2, 2021 at 11:14
  • Polarity is often switchable, unless it's a very cheap pedal. Yes, trs won't work as efficiently as a standar ts, which is a very simple on/off switch.
    – Tim
    Feb 2, 2021 at 11:16
  • I actually meant TS, what do you mean by "won't work as efficiently"? Btw, yes, they usually have a switch, unless when they're bundled with the keyboard. Feb 2, 2021 at 11:25

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