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My softstep arrived today, I have blogged my initial reactions to it at http://www.markfrancombe.com/wordpress/?p=892
I have also made a little film to celebrate its arrival, so you should go to the blog to view that, but the main text I will juts paste below, to get a thread going.. I have basically one main BEEF!!

Go see the film, then Read on!

Initial thoughts:

Its Extremely well made (tank etc)
Very small, but usable (and very light!!! Goodbye FCB)
Seems to have a good feel (haven't tried it with anything other than the software yet.)
One tiny con,
I don´t really believe that the pressure and 360degree movement is actually very usable, not for musical purposes anyway, Im sure it takes some practice, and sure I can SEE the sensors changing, but its not really possible to smoothly increase a value (like you would need for a pan or a volume or a wah. its a bit haphazard... I think you need tobe wearing soft light shoes, something with a flat surface, which is a bit aukward for us skandinavians who basically NEVER wear shoes indoors (not the done thing due to sand/grit ruining parquet floors) I have to get  some "soft-stepping shoes".


The midi box… Needed for US hardware users.
Hmmm… is this an afterthought? Doesnt seem to fit withe the wonderfully designed pedal, light breakable, connected by, get this.. A MICRO USB UGH!!! How is it powered when NOT using USB (which is the only way you WILL use it after all..) Well by another usb connection, into a USA USB conector… I cant use that!!! And probably cant find one here with a Euro plug… WHAT WRONG WITH A FUCKING WALL WART??? Well OK we KNOW what is wrong, but a USB cable??? into a MICRO USB socket.. This with fail, NO DOUBT ABOUT IT.. I have had a micro usb on my work cameras changes, oohhh maybe 7 times? TOTALLY USELESS for a rock and roll product.. Because I think Keith Mac is forgetting this a bit, due to the fact that is target group are profesional experimental violinists, and laptop loopers… what about heavy footed guitarists..?

SOLUTION: They SHOULD have come up with a midi module that clamped onto the pedal, had MIANS (110/240 switchable) input socket, with midi in/out. (and a mini usb for the convenience of programming from the computer at the same time as having the hardwre plugged in.)
The module could have clicked into place around the current USB input. OK the transformer would have added some weight, but this fiddlin solution now, is gonna break, Im sure of it…
Im going to try to mount the midi box IN my pedal board, and have a short jumper cable over to the Softstep, but Im gonna be nervous!

OK grumble over… LOVE the pedal… OK better launch the program…. BRB…


mark francombe
twitter @markfrancombe