I play bass in a five-piece cover band and we are looking to add the ability to trigger samples and backing tracks without having a keyboard player. I've seen some bands that have samples loaded and triggered by the drummer hitting a pad. I also know some bands that use a foot controller.

Anyone have any ideas or suggestions?
When i saw the foo fighters, both guitarists had floor pedals that they could play with their feet, but it was just a synth, not a MIDI controller. You might be able to do the drum pad thing buy buying the pads to trigger it could be expensive.
I was hoping to have a central 'brain' and have it controlled by both drum pads and/or foot pedal.

Our singer plays piano do I was hoping to use a 61-key synth/keyboard as the guts. The band is leary of the laptop solution because they think it'll be too much work and unreliable.