What are people looking for in a foot controller?

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  • This topic has 5 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated 1 year ago by camn.
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    • #114474
      polyexpressive
      Member

      I’m making a MIDI foot controller (Poly Expressive, currently on Kickstarter) and I’m wondering what people think is missing with existing controllers and what features you’d want in a MIDI controller. Our big difference is it’s position and pressure sensitive so you can control multiple parameters at once.

    • #147722
      gkellum
      Member

      That's a neat project. It's an interesting idea.

      The only thing I'd note is that few of our users are using that many expression pedals. If they're using MIDI, the vast majority of our users are commonly using MIDI footswitches to step up and down in a set list to send out program change messages to change all of their pedals to the same patch. Or they're using CC messages (or program change messages) to activate or bypass something, to launch special modes like the tuner, or to tap in the tempo.  

      • #147725
        polyexpressive
        Member
        gkellum wrote:

        That’s a neat project. It’s an interesting idea.

        The only thing I’d note is that few of our users are using that many expression pedals. If they’re using MIDI, the vast majority of our users are commonly using MIDI footswitches to step up and down in a set list to send out program change messages to change all of their pedals to the same patch. Or they’re using CC messages (or program change messages) to activate or bypass something, to launch special modes like the tuner, or to tap in the tempo.  

         

        Poly does all that stuff too if you want more traditional control. Over Bluetooth and WiFi too, which can  be handy for having controllers at different parts of the stage. You can setup the board to be as many square as you want, so if you want 20 squares to easily jump between songs that’s fine, or bigger buttons for up and own.

    • #147723
      brock
      Participant
      polyexpressive wrote:

      I’m making a MIDI foot controller (Poly Expressive, currently on Kickstarter) …

      What a killer concept.  Not unlike a ROLI, or LinnStrument, for your feet.  Maintaining all of those templates is going to be a challenge.  There will a route for creating from a generic programming template, I’m guessing.

      polyexpressive wrote:
      … and I’m wondering what people think is missing with existing controllers and what features you’d want in a MIDI controller. Our big difference is it’s position and pressure sensitive so you can control multiple parameters at once.

      Triggered events.  A momentary tap, that will trigger a macro series of control values.  Extending the taper / curve features.  Here & there, you’ll find LFOs, step sequencers, or ramping control featured in a device; usually with limited options.  They’re all really the same thing:  variable amounts of smoothing, waveform shape, plus the length & number of cycles.  A universal triggered event series, with variable curvature, and a “repeat” count, 0 – INF.  I think it’d be a unique & useful addition, and not as esoteric as it might seem to be.

    • #160889
      Klais
      Participant

      It’s just a desire to constantly improve things.

    • #161058
      camn
      Participant

      I have made a number of custom controllers for the H9-  And sadly, I don’t think you will find that one size fits all here.

      However given the routing options ON THE H9- you really just need some buttons and some expressions, and they can get assigned per taste.

       

      I think the key, most common /elegant use case is this:

      Bypass and Tempo – use the H9s own button for this. That way the tempo light works.

      External buttons- I think 3 at minimum:

      HOTSWITCH– an absolute must. Also must be programmed correctly for proper function.

      Preset up / Preset down Obviously needed.

       

      So for your controller- in addition to whatever you are up to with the exp pedals- minimum 3 switches for the above would be essential imo. Maybe a couple more if you have the space for favorite presets or the tuner? But three minimum.

       

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