Korg NanoPad2 as midi foot controller

edited April 2016 in Equipment

Hey everyone. I've been playing with Loopy for over a year now and thought I'd share my controller mod with you. Let me start by saying that I only use this for practice, jamming, and experimentation so I can't say much about using it in a performance setting. Although you could space your active pads farther apart and probably squeeze a shoe in there, I prefer to use it with socks or bare feet for the several benefits it offers. If this sounds like it could work for you then read on.

So let's start with a picture.

This shows the finished mod (minus the third party USB cord).

I had to buy three inexpensive things to get here:

  1. Magic Sliders furniture accessories

  2. Scotch Restickable Tabs

  3. A longer USB cord with appropriate connections

I also had to cut out 4 squares of scrap plastic that I found lying around. X-acto knife with multiple passes worked for me. Then smoothed the edges and corners with sand paper. These were used to raise up the back pads so I don't accidentally step on the front row.


  1. Cut 4 restickable tabs to size with a pair of scissors and place them on the 4 pads you want as controls.

  2. Peel sticky backing off of 4 magic sliders and place on top of the 4 restickable tabs. Done!


  1. Cut 4 restickable tabs to size with a pair of scissors and place them on the 4 pads you want as controls.

  2. Place the 4 pieces of hard plastic on the 4 restickable tabs.

  3. Place 4 magic sliders on the hard plastic using the sliders' sticky backing. Done!

A couple of closing notes:

-The NanoPad2 is QUIET. This was very important to me since I use a lot of acoustic sound sources with mic input.

-The XY pad works with my toe, even through socks! This is a huge bonus to an already slick little controller. I have it set up to control the delay wet/dry knob in Magellan inserted into the Audiobus FX slot. The pads are of course controlling Loopy at the same time.

-The 90 degree elbow USB connector feels way more sturdy and less likely to get bent or busted by accidents than the straight stock one. The extra length is also super nice and probably essential for many setups.

-This mod can be taken off at any time without any damage or residue left on the NanoPad2. The restickable tabs are even washable if they collect too much lint, dust, etc.

-If you don't like it the NanoPad2 is still a very cool midi controller for other purposes.

-This won't be a good option if you don't think you can keep from stomping forcefully on the pads.

-Depending on the type of floor it's used on, it may benefit by something to to keep it from sliding around. Probably more of an issue if the XY pad is used.


  • yes, it will work just fine. But I read somewhere that it is very fragile and will stop working at any time.

    A good alternative I'm researching is the nano kontrol, but using resistant buttons to make the contacts.
    Watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKxVDZDxLak

  • Hey Ronaldo. I've seen that video and it looks like a very cool project. I didn't really want to have to get into rewiring things, etc. though. As to the durability of my mod, I've been using it for months without issue. I have heard of durability issues with Korg's first generation of Nano controllers.

  • Hi, how do you connect the USB-cable to an iPad? Do you use just an adapter from usb to iPad between it? Than you can't connect any other interface to the lightning (in my case) connector.
    I would like to use my iRig Pro which has midi connection possibility with a simple Din (5 pin)-plug. But with that I can't give the NanoPad or similar 5V-power.
    Do you have a workaround?

  • Hey there. It sounds like you'd have to go through a USB hub (probably a powered one) and Apple Camera Connection Kit (CCK). I know that the NanoPad2 can operate on the iPad battery power but that functionality may not carry through a USB hub. I'd go for a powered hub like one of the ones made by Plugable. So, in reverse order it would be iPad>CCK>powered USB hub>NanoPad2, iRig Pro, and whatever else you want to plug in that uses USB.

    Because of the power requirements, I don't think it would work to plug the NanoPad2 into the iRig Pro directly even if you got the right cable/adapter. If you don't want to bother with the USB hub, CCK, etc. you should look into a midi controller with the standard 5 pin connection. I found a used Boss FC-50 for $40 that does the job nicely (although a little workaround is required if you want to use banks A and B). Hope this helps.

  • Ah, ok. That's what I thought.
    I use a FCB1010 which works ok, but it's a little bit too big.
    Thanks anyway for your quick response

  • Hiya:) I think this is a great idea, so I got myself a NanoPad2 as well. I was just wondering have you been able to get it to work with the press & hold MIDI function in Loopy? Because when I assign one function to push and one to hold, I always get the hold function even if I just lightly tap. So I'm curious if you've gotten it to work properly, if so would you tell me how? Thanks a Bunch in advance:)

  • Nevermind:) Got it to work fine with just a simple switch from Note to Cc in the Korg Kontrol Editor:)

  • Glad you got it working, X4. I haven't tried the hold function myself. Now I know what to do. : )

    By the way, did you rig it up just like mine or do you have a different physical layout?

  • As of yet I'm just using the Pad as it came. The way you rigged it would surely be quite a bit easier, but I just can't get myself to lose half the pads haha:) So right now I'm just practicing with it learning how to hit just the pad I want. It's a bit tricky and a stray tap can lead to all kinds of messed up recordings, but I think it'll work well after some practice. The 16 pads will be well worth a little practice in my opinion:)

  • I see. It was tempting to me too but I guess I prefer easier usability over more commands. You might still try raising up the back row. That would at least help to prevent hitting front row pads and vice versa.

  • i did it not exactly like you, @Justajiva.
    i started the back row on the second button and the anterior on the 1st.
    then i added a longer button on top of the 7th backrow-button which can switch the 4 scenes.

  • Cool. Show us a picture when you get a chance.

  • I'm using the nano pad 2 as well. I just stuck the pads you stick on furniture to some of buttons I wanted to use. I like the feel as I am going barefoot. The furry pads give me an immediate tactile sensation of where I am on the board. I go into my apogee duet mini port then to the iPad for this. It's a good time. I tried the blue board as loop control but it is no good for launching the first loop due to slight delay. Works great if clock is started already though. Now I just use the blue board for amplitube. image

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  • at some time i´ll improve the scene button. but for now it works.

  • @owi said:
    at some time i´ll improve the scene button. but for now it works.

    Interesting idea. I never thought of extending a pad in a horizontal direction. Thanks for sharing. BTW, is it safe to assume you haven't implemented the XY pad yet? I really like using it with a delay mapped to the X axis (Fully left=dry signal, fully right=wet signal). That way I can keep my left heel planted in one place on the floor and I can just pivot my foot on it to bring in a delay at the end of a phrase or whatever.

  • Nice, Sebatian. Thanks for the photo.

  • @Justajiva said:
    is it safe to assume you haven't implemented the XY pad yet? .

    that´s true. for now i don´t need it that way. but next week there will be some time to try out what you suggested.

  • I just posted my Midi Pedalboard in "Show and Tell 2015" incase nobody has seen it :D

  • @Justajiva, any chance you could repost your pics? The links are broken.

  • @Ironlion said:
    @Justajiva, any chance you could repost your pics? The links are broken.

    see my post above, there are pics of the nanopad2 with 8 buttons.

  • @Ironlion said: Justajiva, any chance you could repost your pics? The links are broken.

    Here they are. I can't find a way to edit the original post. Anyone know if this is possible after nearly a year?

  • edited April 2016

    @Justajiva nice job on a very creative project! How is the controller holding up a year and a half later?

    ps. looks like your original post has been updated

  • Thanks for the fix! I haven't had any issues with the controller as a foot pedal except that the restickable tabs need occasional cleaning from lint they pick up. A little soap and water makes it pretty fast and easy. Of course that problem could easily be solved by just using the sticky backs of the furniture pads and making it permanent. But I like having the option to use the midi controller as originally designed or to change my setup at any time.

    Lately I've actually been using an old (but super durable) Boss FC-50 connected to a Native Instruments KA6. I'd probably switch back to the Nanpad2 if I were moving my setup frequently like I used to, but for studio (or bedroom) setup that stays put I'm liking the Boss FC-50 more. Maybe I'll start a "show and tell 2016" thread to see what everyone is up to.

  • @Justajiva Sweet, thanks!

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