As we all know, the MOD Duo supports plugging in 3rd-party MIDI foot controllers, and then assigning switches to toggle effects (or effect parameters) on/off via MIDI learn. This is an awesome feature, and it works well However this is not the end of the story.
The problem with this is that it doesn’t work fully with more intelligent MIDI foot controllers such as the KMI Softstep 2, whose switches can be programmed as toggle switches which track the state of the toggle internally and have LEDs next to the switches which show the state of the toggle (i.e. the LED is on if the toggle is on).
For these types of devices (and I’m sure the Softstep and SoftStep 2 are not the only ones), there is currently no way to ensure that LEDs on such devices are correctly synchronised with the state of the on/off switch on the MOD Duo. This is because the state of an effect’s on/off switch in the MOD Duo depends not only on how many times any footswitch assigned to that was pressed, but also on what the initial value was when the pedalboard or effect was first loaded, and also potentially on any preset which might alter it.
The big problem with this is that it’s impossible to glance at the LEDs on the foot controller and reliably tell which effects are currently enabled. I’d like to suggest two steps towards fixing that.
The first is based on the fact that devices such as the Softstep can be programmed to send a different MIDI event when being toggled on (at which point the LED comes on) to the MIDI event they send when being toggled off.
Currently it is only possible to assign a single MIDI event to an on/off switch toggle via MIDI Learn. If the MOD Duo could support separate MIDI Learns for the on and off of a toggle, then it could guarantee that after a footswitch on the Softstep or similar device was pressed, the corresponding LED would always accurately reflect the state of the toggle on the MOD Duo. Until it can do that, it’s far too likely that the LED on the controller can get out of sync with the switch it’s controlling on the MOD Duo.
This is not a full solution, because for example switching preset could toggle the switch on the MOD Duo end without updating the LED on the Softstep. However the Softstep can also change its LED states according to the MIDI events it receives. So the second feature I would like to request is that effects on the MOD Duo could be configured to send specific MIDI events when they change state, or reach a certain state.
Before someone says “this is exactly the problem the MOD footswitch solves, so you should buy one of those!” - I already have bought one of those And yeah it’s great. But it has two major weaknesses:
- It only has 4 stomp switches, which is not quite enough.
- It only has stomp switches! So it can’t do anything other than toggle stuff on/off. In contrast my Softstep 2 can be configured to not only toggle stuff on/off, but alter parameters based on leaning left/right or up/down, or based on the weight applied to a key (so each key can actually be used as things like wah pedals).
And in general there are loads of MIDI controllers out there which can do way more than just toggle things on/off. So it would be great if the MOD Duo could support the full power of those devices. Thanks for reading!