Keith McMillen Softstep (OMGWTFROFLCOPTER)


I was about to buy a Behringer FCB1010 to map to Ableton in order to live loop and control a vocal manipulation instrument I’m building in Ableton…

And then I looked at this Softstep… My mind is being blown, if it’s anything as good as it sounds, I’m pulling the trigger…

I actually had been seeing images of it, but was put off by the look of it, ie. Not that I had a problem with the aesthetic, but I thought there would be no expression control due to no expression pedals like the FCB1010… But now I find out that EVERY BUTTON is an expression pedal??? Capable of being mapped to several functions via pressure, and tilt (these functions were available on the first iteration, (now version 2) of the pedal in 2011) … On top of that, it sounds as though it will be easier to program, like A LOT easier to program than the FCB1010, even with the UNO chip…

Anyways, I’m posting to share, and to see if anyone has used one and can speak into the goodness, and the ease of programming… I’m aware it’s deep, but I want to go deep… Just want it to be as smooth as possible… Anyone have anything to say about how close together the foot switches are? I use a boomerang 3, and it’s switches are quite close together, but I am comfortable with it, even with my docs on (after a fair bit of practise;]) so if it’s a similar distance apart, then I should be fine with it…

Interestingly, I had a similar moment when I started having a proper look at the OP-1 after having purchased the microSAMPLER and being very disappointed, (Now I’m at peace with the MS-1, but at the time, I wanted it to do more than it does, and mostly to do what it does better)… I had up until then ignored this funny looking little white keyboard called the OP-1… “No velocity sensitivity? No thanks, what a joke…” I thought… I think I’ve learned a pretty big lesson in brushing a product off based on it’s looks, especially if it doesn’t look like what I THINK I need…

PS. Before finding the Softstep, I spotted the Looptimus (running out of cool names with “loop” in them, much? ;))… Anyway, just mentioning, cause the ease of programming looked nice, but didn’t dig on the flat form factor (not tilted), mainly that it would make it hard for accurate loop stomps… and also no expression… But just mentioning incase anyone would recommend this pedal or another for the kind of functionality I’ve mentioned that I need above. ie. Live looping, and other control in Ableton.

Much love,

KMI is underrated.

They build very solid equipment, relatively minimalistic in looking but powerful and configurable.
Usually, once you’ve worked on the configuration, you don’t have to touch anything and it’s standalone.

I really dig my QuNeo :slight_smile:

Haven’t tried the Softstep, but a hefty -1 for the FCB1010. Usually I like learning new interfaces, and even enjoy programming them, but configuring the FCB1010 was extremely joyless. I sold it and got an iRig Blueboard instead. It’s a bit plasticky, but a lot easier to set up… Haven’t tried it yet in looper duty, but the poor feel of the buttons make me think it’s not ideal for that.

I have the original Softstep. I freaking love it. It’s fairly easy to program. The expression control takes a little practice to get comfortable with, but not crazy. The space between pedals is great! No problem there.

Over the years, I’ve used it in Ableton for:
Live looping on multiple instances of looper and/or SooperLooper
One hits (pads, sound effects, etc…) - think stomping on chord progressions.
Triggering effects on/off, expression
Firing scenes

I’m sure there are some misc uses that I don’t have listed… But it’s pretty brilliant!
I’d encourage you getting one.

I really like the look of all the KMI stuff.

Funny you mention the microsampler, I ummed and ahhed for ages between it and OP1 (didn’t think OP was worth the price. What an idiot!). Glad for the choice I made, as it’s seriously cranked up my creative output sooooo much more than any other piece of gear

I digress…

ive been using the fcb1010 for years. works with everything ive ever tried. usually as simple as press for midi control then press the right button in the right bank or just move the rockers. couldnt be any easier. I might have put the special firmware on it over sysex I cant remeber its been YEARRSSS>>>>>>>

Thanks guys, appreciate your wisdoms. So wise, it’s plural.

Wow, I didn’t realize that the SoftStep uses the same expression-type pads as the Qunexus. I have the Qunexus and it is great. Now you’re making me want a SoftStep for some Ableton live-looping type thing.

Wow, I didn't realize that the SoftStep uses the same expression-type pads as the Qunexus. I have the Qunexus and it is great. Now you're making me want a SoftStep for some Ableton live-looping type thing.

Haha, feel the GAS, FEEL ITTTTT