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Re: softstep report #1
Each of the sensor sources are different and make for good utility
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
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
a sound will stay where you put it.
Rotation takes a minute or two to get comfy with. You literally are
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
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
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
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.
X Live, Y Live Averages the total pressure of the piezos per key.
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.
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
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.
If the total pressure (derived from pressure live) exceeds a designated
threshold, then Foot On goes true.
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
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
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
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
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
key number to it. If Nav Y = 10, and key 1 is hit, Nav Yx10 & Key
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
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
the pressure exceeds the threshold of key three, Key 3 Pressed outputs a
any key other than 3 are pressed, Key 3 Pressed outputs 0.
Isolation functions: Often the location of keys are near each other as
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
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
– without unintended key activity.
"Music For A New Reason"
----- Original Message ----
From: Erdem Helvacioglu <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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" <email@example.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
>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
>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
> 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
>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
>green light when you press?), to how you want to page through your
>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
>I'm in my program change scene, the navigation up and down arrows
>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
>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!!