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Given To Fly
Joined: May 23 2013
Posts: 127

Capacitive-sensing footswitches

May 08, 2019 - 08:32 am

The footswitches on the Line6 HX STOMP are described as “capacitive-sensing footswitches.” A quick Google search of that term gave results that all brought me back to the Line 6 HX STOMP which suggests they have another name. Basically, the footswitches only need to be tapped to be engaged or disengaged. In other words, they are silent.

After hearing a performance that required the guitarist to switch channels on his amp during silent sections of the music, the “clunk/clank” sound of the switch was not subtle at all. I realize Eventide does make amplifiers but you do make pedals with footswitches. This one performance made it clear that “silence” is preferable to “clunk/clank” when it comes to switch sounds. On the flip-side, fragile technology might be problematic, especially if it’s meant to be stepped on.

My question is what are the disadvantages to “capacitive-sensing footswitches (or whatever name you might know them by)?”

brock's picture
brock
Joined: Jan 3 2010
Posts: 900
May 08, 2019 - 01:01 pm

It's my understanding that 'capacitive-sensing' implies touch.  Skin connects the circuit, so no shoes allowed.  It's also my impression that the Line6 HX Stomp's capacitive touch triggers the assigned function in the display, not the on-off switching itself.  I could be way off base here, as I'm barely familiar with the details.  But just for the sake of further discussion ...

Given To Fly
Joined: May 23 2013
Posts: 127
May 08, 2019 - 10:19 pm

brock wrote:

It's my understanding that 'capacitive-sensing' implies touch.  Skin connects the circuit, so no shoes allowed.  It's also my impression that the Line6 HX Stomp's capacitive touch triggers the assigned function in the display, not the on-off switching itself.  I could be way off base here, as I'm barely familiar with the details.  But just for the sake of further discussion ...

I think you are right. In fact, "skin connects the circuit, so no shoes allowed" is a remarkably concise explanation, though, slightly counter-intuitive given these are footswitches. :) Don't most people edit their H9's with their toes?  

camn
Joined: Sep 19 2016
Posts: 289
May 14, 2019 - 10:13 am

If you just want switches that dont make sound... 'Soft Touch" switches are your bag. 

They are still mechanical, and you can wear shoes. But they dont 'Clunk"

https://lovemyswitches.com/spst-momentary-foot-switch-normally-open-soft-touch/

 

Some people still want physical clicks in the stomp-box world so they have that tactile response on a loud, dark, angry stage where they cant see lights flip or whatever. But they work the same. 

Given To Fly
Joined: May 23 2013
Posts: 127
May 18, 2019 - 03:21 am
camn wrote:

If you just want switches that dont make sound... 'Soft Touch" switches are your bag. 

They are still mechanical, and you can wear shoes. But they dont 'Clunk"

https://lovemyswitches.com/spst-momentary-foot-switch-normally-open-soft-touch/

 

Some people still want physical clicks in the stomp-box world so they have that tactile response on a loud, dark, angry stage where they cant see lights flip or whatever. But they work the same. 

Thank you for the link. “Mechanical without the clunk” is what the situation called for that I witnessed. I thought “soft-touch” referred to rubber buttons (remote control, H9000) because they are soft and they are made to be touched with fingers, not stepped on with shoes. Apparently I thought wrong.

I agree the tactile feedback from the click of a pedal is reassuring to know you engaged or disengaged the pedal. (Though I think switchless wahs are great!) Light seems to be the best way to communicate the state of your rig especially if any changes you make are preparatory rather than immediate.

Thank you for the continued education. :)

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Imerkat
Joined: Sep 10 2010
Posts: 208
(My Eventide Gear)
May 21, 2019 - 12:38 pm

I have a Helix Floor and the touch sensitivity is one function of the switches and work like any other soft touch footswitch. As i understand it, they work by runnig a small current through each switch, not unlike touching your guitar strings to get rid of the hum.This next Fimrware update it will be able to assign it to different parameters as needed

Given To Fly
Joined: May 23 2013
Posts: 127
May 25, 2019 - 02:38 am

Imerkat wrote:

I have a Helix Floor and the touch sensitivity is one function of the switches and work like any other soft touch footswitch. As i understand it, they work by runnig a small current through each switch, not unlike touching your guitar strings to get rid of the hum.This next Fimrware update it will be able to assign it to different parameters as needed

I use the Relay Bypass on my H9 and it clicks when I touch my iPad screen, which is not loud. Mechanical sounds are part of mechanical things. The guitarist changing amp channels had a really loud footswitch which may seem like a small problem but if it could be mitigated, it would be worth it. I thought I found a way to do that but actually misunderstood the technology behind it, a somewhat common occurance.