Fingers crossed - Is this thing reliable?

  • I bought a little Tech 21 Mongoose midi controller as I wanted a small footprint (not much fits in the back of a Vette). It's built like a tank and is excellent quality in all respects. However, to keep it small, the way you change banks is by stomping two side by side buttons at once. In the studio I'm typically barefoot, so that's awkward. On a gig, I'm a rather excitable creature, so that's just trouble waiting to happen. So, I decided to bite the bullet and just ordered the remote. I hope I did the right thing.


    Having read stuff about lockups, etc. on this section of the forum, I'm more than a little nervous about reliability. From what I've gathered, there are two things that can help avoid that. One is making sure the cable is a) good quality and b) tied down for stability. The other is that apparently running the remote and rig manager at the same time is a Bad Idea. That's fine as I wouldn't be running RM on a gig anyway.


    The remote will probably land mid week, and I'm getting together with some guys (shopping for a new band) next weekend, so that'll be a low pressure test drive. Still, given the fact that the remote is so expensive compared to normal midi controllers, I'm not sure if I made a wise decision or not.


    Would love to hear from you guys on how reliable this thing's been for you on gigs. Probably should have asked that before purchase. First pillage, then burn. Order is important. Oh, well. :)

  • Chris Duncan

    Changed the title of the thread from “Fingers crossed” to “Fingers crossed - Is this thing reliable?”.
  • I've had several issues live, mostly human error that can be avoided. 1- The Remote disconnected behind the KPA. 2- The machine rebooted when I had my laptop connected to RM at the same time. 3- I accidently pressed bank up and something else and my patches randomly went up to #128. 4- Once in England, the 3 prong adapter fell off the power strip and the KPA had to reboot (it's long reboot and I missed my song entrance.)


    The KPA is super reliable when it's used properly but now I'm aware of those issues: make sure that the remote is properly secured behind the KPA (I use tape when it's very critical) and that the machine is not simultaneously connected to a laptop. Be precise when changing patches not to click something else to accidentally trigger this random scroll up.

  • @paults, @dmatthews - thanks, guys. Exactly what I was hoping to hear. And yeah, spare cables for everything!

    I've had several issues live, mostly human error that can be avoided. 1- The Remote disconnected behind the KPA. 2- The machine rebooted when I had my laptop connected to RM at the same time. 3- I accidently pressed bank up and something else and my patches randomly went up to #128. 4- Once in England, the 3 prong adapter fell off the power strip and the KPA had to reboot (it's long reboot and I missed my song entrance.)


    The KPA is super reliable when it's used properly but now I'm aware of those issues: make sure that the remote is properly secured behind the KPA (I use tape when it's very critical) and that the machine is not simultaneously connected to a laptop. Be precise when changing patches not to click something else to accidentally trigger this random scroll up.

    This is also the sort of stuff I was fishing for. It seems like most of the problems I'm seeing have to do with avoidable issues, so I'm trying to learn as much as I can to avoid any self inflicted powder burns on my feet.


    I'm not planning on having a laptop with me at gigs, but I did buy a UPS so that a random power blip doesn't cause a reboot at an inconvenient moment.


    The other thing I see comments on is accidentally stepping on the looper. I never use loopers so if it can't be disabled I may try to rig some sort of cover to keep it from being accidentally stepped on.

  • I haven’t had any issues with the remote yet. The LEDs do a kind of random flash (more of a flicker really) every now and then but it doesn’t seem to affect anything. I still have Looper assigned to the Remote but I think I’m going to swap that to Rotary Fast/Slow soon.


    The buttons on the remote are oretty close together so it is easy to hit the wrong one if you’re “excitable “ though.


    All things considered though it really is a work of genius. It just works straight out the box and is so easy to “program” that ngs like assigning buttons I - IV to turn on/off any effects you want on the fly.


    Having only one cable running to the front og stage is fabulous too.

  • All things considered though it really is a work of genius. It just works straight out the box and is so easy to “program” that ngs like assigning buttons I - IV to turn on/off any effects you want on the fly.


    Having only one cable running to the front og stage is fabulous too.

    I really like the tight integration, as well as the concept of one performance per song with 5 options. 125 performances is more than plenty as I come from the 4 sets / 40 songs school of rock. Using the remote allows me to access them all, which is really 125 x 5 profiles. With a regular midi controller, I'm limited to 128 PCs. That's still plenty for a gig, but I really like the layout of having a song, five options, plus stomps all in front of you at once. And yeah, one cable is excellent.

    The buttons on the remote are oretty close together so it is easy to hit the wrong one if you’re “excitable “ though.

    I've been dealing with the "excitable" thing all my life, although it does have its moments when you're the front man. :)

  • Yes, I've noticed that random flicker too. Always makes me worry that something has gone wrong somewhere, but it doesn't seem to have any effect. Strange!

    That's reassuring that it's not just mine. I've had it for about 6 months and it's on for several hours every day but nothing has ever come of it so I presume it's OK.

  • My toaster fell off the bass player's speaker cabinet at our last pub gig and then had a pint glass full of water and ice dropped onto it. Glass and water everywhere. But no problem with the kemper. It's been rock solid for me all year in pub gigs and festivals. Seems to be really well built.

    Always good to hear stories with happy endings!


    By the way, checked the YouTube link. Love the bunny ears. :)

  • No problems with mine, either, and it’s seen it’s fair share of warfare. Been dropped twice from such a decent height that it has dents in it, had a pint of beer spilled over it... it still works flawlessly. I did replace the cable with one that’s as flexible as a regular mic cable, as that stiff one that comes with it was hard to coil. However, for my giant feet, the switches are slightly too close together, making fast changes in the heat of battle uncomfortable. Luckily, most of the bands I play with don’t require such fast changes. The one that does is a fly gig, so I’ve found another solution for that one.

  • These help fix the issue of buttons close together


    https://www.amazon.com/Mooer-C…r+candy+footswitch+topper

    Apologies for being dense, but wouldn't this make the problem worse rather than better? Seems like bigger buttons mean less space between them and a larger target for accidental stomping.


    I'm sure I must be missing something or you wouldn't recommend them, but I'm not getting it.