The Kemper Foot Controller: What's important to you?

  • How many instant access switches do you want / need? 118

    1. Instant access switches for all FX on/off and some additional parameters is absolutely necessary (70) 59%
    2. Instant access switches for only a few parameters/FX is enough for me (46) 39%
    3. I don't care about instant access switches at all (6) 5%

    Yesterday at the Musikmesse I spoke with Christoph Kemper, Davide (guitarnet70) and Marcus (MarcPepper) about the Kemper Foot Controller and how it should be laid out.
    It was very clear from the beginning that CK wants a smart controller with a footprint as small as possible.
    When he asked me about how many instant access switches the controller I would want/need I said: "eight" (one for each FX slot). He laughed :P and stated that with inversion and such much less switches would be necessary.
    I strongly disagreed. 8)
    For example I hardly ever use compressor in conjunction with a distortion box, so I could imagine an inversion switch for compressor and distortion. BUT: What if I want to play my rig without compressor, without distortion? Not possible this way. So, while the inversion possibility is a smart thing it has too many inherent compromises for me.

    So he asked me to open up this thread where we, the users, can state what's important for us in the upcoming Kemper Foot Controller.
    CK can chime in as the discussion evolves and can tell us what's feasible or not and about alternatives we possibly haven't thought of yet.

    So I'll make a start here:
    1. For changing rigs I would want 4 switches in a row. 5 is not necessary IMO (CK initially talked about 5 rig switches). Here is why: I would want my amp at different settings of its possible gain structure, i.e. one for clean, crunch and overdrive, and one for a pre- programmed solo rig with higher volume. I could also live with 3 switches IF a second stomp on a switch brings me to an alternative rig.
    2. For changing FX I have to elaborate a bit: In my rigs I usually throw in a wah in slot one. I have Compressor in 2, Distortion in 3, Tremolo in 4, Vibrato in X, Mod, Delay and Reverb.
    I wouldn't need a switch for Slot 1 as the wah is switchable by the pedal. I also wouldn't need a switch for the delay IF delay mix is controllable by a pedal (controllability for more parameters as we have now will be another thread). Remain 6 switches that I need.
    3. Certain parameters that are controllable as of now should have an instant access as well: TAP, TUNER, ROTARY SPEAKER Slow/Fast.

    So in summary: 4 (at least 3) switches for rig change + 6 switches for FX on/off + 3 switches for other miscellaneous instant access. Plus 2 switches for bank up and down. Makes: 15 SWITCHES.

    Layout could be:
    - bottom row 4 rig switches + TAP (=5),
    - middle row 4 FX switches + BANK DOWN (=5),
    - top row 2 FX switches + Rotary Speaker (or miscellaneous instant access) + TUNER + BANK UP (=5 switches).

    Still a small footprint compared to the FAS MFC-101 which has 21 switches.

    That's my vote. Curious about yours. Keep the suggestions coming!

  • Couple of built in expression pedals would be cool.

    Working in tandem with the Performance mode you really wouldn't need a lot of switches I'd imagine. You'd program each patch/rig and could just cycle through them for a given song that had all the settings/switchs already baked..

  • I think that's the big issue here. In performance mode I doubt we will need anything like as many switches as we are used to.
    It would probably be a big help to know exactly how performance mode will work, but if it goes along the 5 presets per song method initially planned then will need 5 patch change switches.
    Probably wouldn't need many on /off switches on top of that.

  • An ideal midi foot controller for me should be something like this:

    [Blocked Image:

    Some observations:

    - small footprint ( the dimensions 33x22 are approximately to have enough space for all these buttons but
    keeping the controller small

    - Bi color small LCD display up of every switch, so there's no need to tag them,and I can see what is
    assigned in dark stages

    - A/B switch, so the first row of 4 rigs could be 8, when is pushed

    - fully assignable switches, to whatever the user likes. For example someone wants 2 rigs and 8 instant
    switches, another 10 rigs, another 4 rigs......

  • I don't understand what "inversion" is.

    I have a Ground Control Pro. I find this unit has the maximum dimensions I can stand. I would like it to be a bit smaller, but I feel the spacing on the switches is good. For example, the unit seems to be too large to fit into a utility drawer on my 4 space rack for my 11R. Not as much of an issue for the Kemper since it also doesn't fit into a rack.

    Under no circumstances should we end up with a button orgy like the Axe FX footy or an aircraft carrier like the Beringer thingy. :-)

    One this I wish the Ground Control Pro had was a much more flexible IA button. I think Instant Access buttons should be freely assignable to MIDI CC, MIDI Note, Sequencer Start/Stop, Program Change, Bank Change, whatever. My GCP only does a globally assigned CC per IA button - this means I really have to commit to changing my rig over to the Kemper from my 11R before I reprogram it. Oh well.

    I think have user define sequences would be nice too - like send Bank Change, then send Program Change.

    I think sending Multiple CCs would also be nice to program for an "IA" switch.

    If you define "inversion" as "take a distortion that is on, turn it off, and then turn a comp on" it seems like I could achieve that by sending two MIDI CC commands from a single button - "turn distortion off + turn comp on". But again, I don't understand the term inversion and I've not heard it in MIDI circles before.

    I know you didn't ask about expression pedals, but the footy should have 4 expression pedal inputs. This allows users of expression pedals with 2 outputs - one for sweep one for on/off - to have at least two expression pedals in their systems. The Ground Control Pro only has 2 inputs, so hooking up a mission pedal with sweep and on/off chews up all my expression inputs.

    I appreciate the query for feedback, but if they're honestly asking this deep into the game, there's a long way to go until we get a dedicated foot controller. :-(

    Having the layout depend upon the use of "inversion" and performance mode may perfectly interlink the foot controller to the Kemper, or it might limit the use model so dramatically that it's useless for most people. Not sure people want to buy use model shift.

  • Here are some notably compact foot controllers: (looks to be offline or out of business now)

    Here are some bad examples - IMHO:…-midi-foot-controller.php (button orgy insanity)…LLm5JbDgK8CFUio4AodDAsB3g (aircraft carrier)

    My favorite vaporware (they had a good idea and size compromize and never could execute)

    Two that I think are acceptable size wise, but could be smaller: (somewhat antiquated)…MHGweXDgK8CFYuK4Aod4hwD4Q (just past my width tolerance)

  • My dream is something like the Axe controller... yes, I know some people don't like too many buttons, but I'd hate to feel like something is missing, I'd rather want to feel like I still have room if I want more.

  • I figured out why I don't understand what "invert" or "inversion" means - it's not described in the reference manual. I guess I have to learn it by trial and error. :-)

  • My dream is something like the Axe controller..

    You can already purchase that one of those - why would we want Kemper to design another like it?

    Just have to make the Kemper stop crashing under the MIDI traffic load it sends out. (I haven't seen it first hand and that behavior may already be fixed in more up to date firmware, but I had read reports of bad behavior)

  • You can already purchase that one of those - why would we want Kemper to design another like it?

    Just have to make the Kemper stop crashing under the MIDI traffic load it sends out. (I haven't seen it first hand and that behavior may already be fixed in more up to date firmware, but I had read reports of bad behavior)

    Because it would be totally fit for the Kemper, not for the Axe, and I think the design itself is great.

  • Something like this? :D

    [Blocked Image:]

    I really like your version Grorig! :thumbsup:
    It's got everything I would ever need.
    A smart, small and portable footprint is important for me.

    What kind of switches and led lights are the best and most popular?
    Should it have colour coded lights for different functions/settings?
    Maybe different functions when holding a switch, like tuner, perhaps setup for a future looper function...

  • If you want to satisfy everyone, built something like the TC G-System with a wah/volume pedal, thats it! I've sold mine (for the KPA) after 300-400 Gigs as nearly new! :o) It's durable, has the size of a rack and it's fully programmable. So everyone could make his favorite switch layout ... :thumbsup:

    my current Gear: Custom Strat´s (Konstinger Ultimate Guitars), VoVox Cables, KPA, Custom Floor Board, Line6 G50 Wireless, Sennheiser IN Ear, Motu Ultralite mk3, Genelec 1030A, Neumann TLM 103, Apple Audio/Video Stuff