For those who follow Guitar Chalk, you might have noticed we've written some content focusing on MIDI foot controllers and how they can improve our guitar rigs.
As we've been writing about and researching this topic, we though, "Hmm, wouldn't it be handy to have a list of all the guitar pedals that support a MIDI connection." In most cases you have to find them by reading each spec sheet, as there's usually no option on retail websites to sort by MIDI ports.
In response, this list is simply meant to be that sorting mechanism.
It's not a review, recommendation or ranking.
It's just a place where you can find all the guitar pedals with MIDI ports in one place, for browsing and comparison.
What this list assumes
This list assumes that you already know the purpose of (or perhaps own already) a MIDI foot controller.
It also assumes you're aware of how they work and interface with your pedals or processors.
For more information on how to set up a MIDI foot control, I'll refer you to the following articles:
- Using a MIDI Connection to Control your Strymon Pedals
- Reverb Pedals with MIDI Compatibility
- Pairing a MIDI Foot Controller with your Stompboxes
Where can I get MIDI cables?
MIDI cables are easy to find at pretty much any music retailer or even anyplace that sells electronics.
Amazon has plenty of different lengths to choose from, so here are a few options you might want to consider.
- Hosa 5-Pin MIDI cable (variable length)
- Hosa 505 DIN 5-Pin Serviceable MIDI Cable (variable length)
- Planet Waves MIDI Cable (20 feet)
Multi-Effects Guitar Pedals and Controllers with MIDI Ports
Image via Line 6
MIDI guitar pedals will most often come in the form of a multi effects stompbox. This is because the MIDI technology is more applicable to pedals with a wide range of functionality.
In fact, it's highly recommended that you use a MIDI foot controller with pedals like these, simply because they're too complex to work without an external control system.
As a consequence, we're not crazy about multi effects pedals that don't provide MIDI ports.
Line 6, DigiTech and Boss are some of the most popular manufacturers that make it happen.
5. Rocktron Utopia G200
10. Boss GT-100
14. Yamaha DG Stomp (discontinued, available used)
15. Rocktron Cyborg Series (discontinued, available used)
16. Chase Bliss Audio (boutique builders)
Ambient Pedals with MIDI Ports
Image via Roland (Boss US)
Ambient effects typically include delay, echo and reverb.
Delay, in particular, is often multi-faceted and complex in that you can have multiple types of delay and a variety of parameters to control those different modes.
TC Electronic, Pigtronix and Eventide have built some of the most intense and feature-rich MIDI-controllable delay pedals on the market. In fact, Bobby did a full Pigtronix Echolution 2 Ultra Pro review providing a clear picture of what a MIDI-compatible delay pedal can do.
Modulation Pedals with MIDI Ports
Image via Eventide Audio
The reason you don't see quite as many modulation-focused MIDI pedals is that modulation effects (chorus, phaser, flanger, tremolo, etc.) are largely handled as multi-effects units, like the Line 6 M series.
However, Eventide and Strymon both make solid modulation boxes, where Strymon is probably the most complete of the two.
1. Source Audio SA242 Gemini Chorus (via USB)
2. Source Audio SA240 Mercury Flanger (via USB)
Distortion Pedals with MIDI Ports
Image via TC Electronic
The TC Electronics NOVA system is primarily an analog overdrive modeler, which is why we put it in the distortion section, despite the fact it has other effects included.
While you'll find the odd "boutique" MIDI controllable distortion pedal, the market is mostly isolated to the TC Electronic lineup and the multiwave distortion from Source Audio.
3. L.A. Lady Overdrive (via USB)
Octavers and Pitch Shifting
Image via Effects Database
Like delay, octave and pitch-shifting pedals are often complex and have a lot of different parameters which makes external MIDI control extremely helpful.
The familiar players are here, with a few extras from ZVEX, EHX and Hologram Electronics.
The DigiTech whammy pedals would all go here as well, including the newer models.
Anything to add?
I'm sure there are plenty of boutique pedal makers and manufacturers who make MIDI compatible guitar pedals that we just haven't heard of.
There may even be some mainline offerings we've missed.
However, this is a running list that we intend to update as time goes on.
In that regard, we could use some help. So, if you know of a MIDI-controllable pedal, drop us a line in the comments, along with a link to the pedal's manufacturer or sales page and we'll include it in the writeup.
Banner Image Courtesy of Strymon