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Best midi foot controller? Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 21st July 2009
Gear Addict

Thread Starter
Best midi foot controller?

Hello everyone,

I'm in the market for a midi foot controller with fully customizable foot switches & pedals. So far I've narrowed my search down to the Behringer FCB1010, the yamaha MFC10, and the Roland FC300, but I'm not sold on any of the 3, so other options would be greatly appreciated.

My main goal is to control my synths & FX in a live performance situation. So fully customizable foot switches and midi cc pedals is a must. For example, I would like the foot switches to be able to function as both key switches, and midi switches; e.g. switches 1-4 = switching the midi output from 1-4 while switches 5-8 are keyswitch notes C1, C#1, D1, D#1. The ability to assign the switches to midi CC's would also be handy. The ability to add a sustain pedal and/or program one of the switches to act as a sustain pedal is a must. All this should be programable via a computer editing program of some sort, either provided by the company and/or 3rd part provided.

Maybe I'm spoiled by Novation, but their graphic editors are AMAZING and allow me to see the layout of my keyboard and fully customize every knob and slider to anything I wish, dump it via usb as a preset in the keyboard and go. Extremely powerful, yet easy to use! If only they made a foot controller!

Thank you in advance for any advice/options you can provide!
Old 4th February 2010
Gear interested

Try the SoftStep

Old 19th March 2010
Gear Addict
tysonviolin's Avatar

I can't find it for sale.
Old 19th March 2010
Lives for gear
desotoslo's Avatar

I don't know how well it would suit you, but as an owner of the FC300, I can attest to its very high build quality, made in Japan. All steel chassis, the push buttons seem impenetrable, great pedals, etc.

I used to use it for max-msp, but most of my settings I would create via CC messages within the software. (Seems some users report it's somewhat of a challenge to get inside the machine menus / programming structure.)

I'm just saying, if it turns out the FC300 will do the job for you, it's a more expensive unit, but you get what you pay for, IMO.

I have no experience re: the Yamaha.
Old 4th September 2010
Gear interested

Fractal Audio MFC-101

I am now using the Fractal Audio MFC-101, which I betatested and actually suggested a few features for. This midi foot controller was clearly designed for the Axe-Fx but can also control any other midi products. My Axe-Fx is upstream from an AX-101 and Acess Virus TI2, which warrant some pretty deft messaging options, and I have hit no walls. In another test, I used it with some other synths and an H8000A in the studio and was able to operate a variety of extras while simultaneously controlling my Ultra rig. In short, this thing ROCKS. After working with lots of other midi foot controller products in very demanding situations (I assist with rig programming for Dweezil Zappa, John Petrucci and others) I am most impressed by the MFC's no-nonsense approach. It also works great with every external switch (including a piano type sustain pedal) and expression pedal I tested (6 different models in the latter case) Some have knocked it for not having USB, but seriously, there's nothing I can't do with a few button presses so this for me is a case of less being more-- especially when you find yourself on stage during a break with no laptop and want to change something (in one case, an IA had been set up to send two different values for master volume, to create a boost effect, and found a little less difference was needed between the two. Voila. 30 seconds tops to tweak it out.)

Here's a quick list of some of what I have come to like best about it:

1. Easy to program, even moreso for the Axe-Fx.
2. Very flexible with extra messages and no-holds barred custom midi on each preset or instant access (effect) switch.
3. Phantom power for single cable hookup.
4. Built like a tank, yet light enough and sufficiently compact to fit in a rack drawer.
5. Upgradeable firmware, which if the Axe-Fx is any indicator, will get a great workout over the years (while other midi pedalboards come and go, the MFC will evolve and grow.)
6. Perfect footswitch feel. Neither so squishy you can't feel the click through boots nor too stiff to do actually do barefoot.
7. Bi color LEDs if you use the Axe-Fx.
8. There's an expansion port, similar to that on the FX1, for adding more footswitches. (No details on what or when from Fractal.)
9. Deep options for MIDI nerds. For years, I held on to a Digitech PMC-10 for its ability to send custom hex code--not just SysEx like other foot controllers, but anything goes, up to 16 bytes per preset or IA ON/OFF state.
(This would work for your specific need of NOTE ON/NOTE OFF messages, which you would do with PRESETS in 4 different banks.)
10. A software editor is to follow.

I would check it out-- a bit pricier than some of the other options, but this is truly a platinum quality foot controller.

MFC-101 Midi Foot Controller
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