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Re: softstep report #1

Hi All,

Each of the sensor sources are different and make for good utility 
depending on 
the target. 

The most direct is, of course, pressure - just how hard are you pressing a 
This is great for wah, ramping up distortion, bringing in a specific live 
that varies over time by pressure.

The X-Y increment are ideal for setting values. Say you have Reverb depth 
room size mapped to X-Y Increment, you can dial in the correct amount of 
simultaneously and leave them at a particular setting. When you return 
they can 
be taken from that setting and moved to a new setting.

X - Y live is an obvious choice for quad panning where you want a sound to 
return to the center. X-Y Latched captures the data when you remove your 
foot so 
a sound will stay where you put it.

Rotation takes a minute or two to get comfy with. You literally are 
turning a 
knob up and down by rotation the foot. If you have some levels you need to 
for loops this can be perfect.

Rotation - Relative - I wanted to do pitch bends on chords so this 
operates like 
this: When you hit the key it sets rotation to 63 (no bend, centered, etc) 
then goes pos or neg depending on your foot motion. This way you can hit 
it from 
any angle and start in tune and then take it up or down.

Since you can have six sources mapped to six destinations per key, you can 
combine and do things that have always been a problem before. Take wah for 
instance. Ever get your cable stuck under the front of your  pedal? You 
turn off the effect. Now you can program a key to be live pressure to wah 
foot on to turn effect on. Then when you take your foot off the key the 
effect is bypassed automatically. When you press the key the wah is turned 
and pressure adjust wah position.

Below is a details description of each of the sources. Don't let it scare 
you - 
think of it as walking into a big store with lots of choices. You will 
use most of these as you advance the control of your setup.


Pressure   Live
X Live, Y Live Averages   the total pressure of the piezos per key. 
Polar (circular)
 Plots   the relative location of pressure in the Cartesian plane. When no 
pressure is   applied to the key, coordinates are (64,64).

Convert   from Cartesian coordinates to polar where x is the real input 
and y is 
the   imaginary. Add 0.785398 to phase, and convert back to polar 
with   additional scaling.
Pressure   Latch, X Latch, Y Latch Same as   live parameters above, except 
the user removes foot from key, the value   remains. All live values are, 
addition, delayed in software to make   latching possible.
X   Increment
 If   pressure is weighted negatively or positively along the X-axis, 
add/subtract   to the current value in proportion to the weight’s 

Y   Increment Same as   X Increment but measured along the Y-axis. 
Rotation Assign   a target value to each piezo. When the pressure on one 
exceeds the   others, slew from the current value to the value assigned to 
particular corner. 

Rotation   Rel. Same as   Rotation above except that when the user 
applies significant   pressure to a key, rotation value initializes to 63, 
one navigates to a   new value from this starting point. 

Foot On 

If the   total pressure (derived from pressure live) exceeds a designated 
threshold,   then Foot On goes true. 

Foot   Off 

If the   total pressured falls below a designated threshold, the Foot Off 
Wait   Trig If a   Foot On is detected, and remains true for a specified 
Wait Trig   outputs the total pressure applied to that key at the moment 
duration   has elapsed. After the pressure value is ouput, Wait Trig 
returns to 
zero   after another specified duration. 

Fast   Trig Same as   Wait Trig, with minimal delay. 
Dbl   Trig Same as   Wait Trig, except Dbl Trig must detect a Foot On, and 
Off, and an   additional Foot On (two Foot On events) in a designated 
amount of 
time. Like   a double click on a mouse. 

Long Trig Same as   Wait Trig, with a longer duration. 
Off   Trig Same as   Foot Off, except that after a specified duration 
after a 
Foot Off event, Off   Trig returns to a value of 0. 

Delta   Trig If the   change in pressure exceeds a user-defined value in 
positive direction within   a given amount of time, output the total 
pressure at 
the moment the change in   pressure occurred. This allows multiple 
without requiring the   pressure to fall below the Foot Off threshold. 

Wait   Trig Latch, Fast Trig Latch, Dbl Trig Latch, Long Trig Latch Same 
Trig sources above, except that the output values do not return to zero. 

Nav Y If the   pressure exceeds a user-defined value on the North quadrant 
the Nav Pad,   then increase the current value of the Nav Y source by one. 
the pressure   exceeds a user-defined value on the South quadrant of the 
Pad, then   decrease the value of the Nav Y source by one. The source’s 
cannot be   increased or decreased by more than one until the pressure of 
activated   quadrant has fallen below the defined pressure threshold 

Nav   Yx10 & Key Multiplies   the Nav Y source by 10, and adds the value 
of the 
key number to it. If Nav Y   = 10, and key 1 is hit, Nav Yx10 & Key 
outputs 11. 

Key   Value If   total pressure of a key exceeds the user-defined pressure 
threshold (i.e.   Foot On), then output the value of the key pressed 

Prev   Key Value When a   new Key Value is received, Prev Key Value 
outputs the 
previous value. If the   user presses key 4, and then presses key 7, Prev 
Value outputs a value of   4. 

This   Key Value Same as   Key Value, except outputs the value of the key 
pressed, only if it is equal   to the value of the key in which the source 

Key #   Pressed Same   principle as Key Value. If Key 3 Pressed is 
selected, and 
the pressure   exceeds the threshold of key three, Key 3 Pressed outputs a 
1. If 
any key   other than 3 are pressed, Key 3 Pressed outputs 0. 

Isolation functions: Often the location of keys are near each other as 
this is 
desirable to make a smaller device.  In order to prevent accidental key 
operations from a large foot or shoe, several isolation functions are 
These are unique to a foot operated device as compared to a device 
operated by 
multiple fingers. 

The simplest mode operates by shutting off data input from keys that are 
pressed. If the pressure threshold is exceeded on key 1, then all data 
other keys’ sensors are deactivated until key 1 is relinquished.

A more advanced mode operates by shutting off data from keys adjacent to 
desired key after it is pressed. This allows two keys to operate – one 
per foot 
– without unintended key activity. 
 Keith McMillen 
"Music For A New Reason"

----- Original Message ----
From: Erdem Helvacioglu <erdemhel@tnn.net>
To: Loopers-Delight@loopers-delight.com
Sent: Thu, October 7, 2010 3:20:50 AM
Subject: Re: softstep report #1

dear zoe and keith,

could you  comment on the use of continuous controllers of the softstep? i 
really wonder how the pressure, x-y axis works and how it "feels" like 
to other hardware expression pedals?

5 degrees of continuous control for each pad:
X- and Y- axis, Clockwise Rotation, Counter-Clockwise Rotation and 
These control sources are mappable to any MIDI or OSC destination

thanks and best.


New duo album with Per Boysen out now.
----- Original Message ----- From: "Zoe Keating" <info@zoekeating.com>
To: <Loopers-Delight@loopers-delight.com>
Sent: Thursday, October 07, 2010 4:31 AM
Subject: softstep report #1

> think I'll report as I go, since otherwise I'll never get around to it!
> I downloaded the software, plugged in the pedal (comes with a nice  long 
>cable in case you need to be far away from your computer),  launched the 
>software and the pedal lit up with its friendly blue  leds. (reminds me 
>of the 
>dashboard of a mini cooper)It goes without  saying that the pedal is 
>lightweight and cute. Its not TOO  small though. The numbered buttons are 
>same size as the one on the  FCB1010. The navigation arrows are small and 
>I have 
>to look at my  toes, but I think I'll get the hang of it.
> I'm a bit impatient with manuals, so I decided to poke around the 
>interface first. I didn't get very far, and had to go and  read the 
>manual ;-)
> I was stumped at first by all the modes, figuring out what was  
>trying to read the tiny fonts, and understanding the naming  terminology. 
>However, after almost 2 hours of blundering around I  managed to grasp 
>rudiments of the interface and modify some of the  presets. Now I'm 
>these to run to the basics of my set. (I'm  told documentation of the 
>presets is 
>coming, so this will be a quicker  process).
> As I started to realize the depth of what the SoftStep does, all the 
>modes begin to make sense. Every single thing is  customizable, from what 
>of footwork the buttons respond to, to  how the lights behave (do you 
>want a 
>green light when you press?), to  how you want to page through your 
>banks. I'm 
>not even scratching the  surface of this pedal yet. So I'd rather have a 
>complex, nested  interface where I can control any and everything, to an 
>out-of-the-box  pedal that is not customizable at all.
> So far I've got one "scene" (or what I would call a bank) that sends 
>Changes on Channel3 to MIDIPipe and one that sends notes to Ableton on 
>Each scene is accessed by going left or right  with the navigation 
>arrows. When 
>I'm in my program change scene, the navigation up and down arrows 
>increase or 
>decrease in increments of  10, just like you'd expect.  Now I have to 
>another scene of notes  for Ableton, and two scenes for SooperLooper and 
>do some 
>more  experiments with how I want the pedals to respond to my edwardian  
>and how the red and green lights should behave.
> That's it for now.
> Happy times!!
> Zoe