Okay, that’s my hand. But my feet are eager to stomp on this, too.
People looked at me funny when I told them the most promising gear I saw at the NAMM show was a foot controller.
Well, not just any foot controller. First off, the design and build quality are really exceptional, even in the pre-production model, as you’d hope from a premium-priced Moog box. But it’s brains, not beauty, that set it apart. The MP- 201 is a controller that finally gives your feet some intelligence.
Here’s Amos from Moog Music taking us through the MP-201 — including a peek at what’s coming between now and when the unit ships in the spring. And Amos is worth listening to, as he’s one of the folks working on presets for the unit.
My first impressions of why it’s cool:
It triggers anything: Simultaneous control voltage, MIDI, and MIDI over USB means you can easily control analog hardware, digital hardware, and computers.
It does a whole lot: Four momentary footswitches and a pedal may not seem like much, but the MP-201 can transmit four channels simultaneously, and perform tasks like tap tempo.
It has built-in LFO functions with user-programmed rate, amount, and different waveforms (triangle, square, sawtooth, ramp, and sample-and-hold)
It’s adjustable and programmable: calibrate the footswitch, edit the settings, do SysEx dumps, adjust the lights, etc.
There is more I want to know — sure, there’s a quad-channel mode, but does that mean the footswitches are relegated exclusively to turning channels off and on? And just how programmable is it in terms of MIDI? And it’s not cheap: US$500, its expected price, makes it more expensive than Roland and Yamaha foot controllers with more input.
On the other hand, think about this: the Moog foot pedal promises to be more compact, better built, better looking, more programmable, and more connected than any of its competitors. Even if you don’t have analog gear to take advantage of CV, that could make it appealing even as a laptop controller. And unlike most other foot controllers, it gives you lots of capability without having a giant piece of gear at your feet — the main problem with the stompbox-style competitors.
Moog hopes you will connect this to a row of Moogerfoogers, for a kind of pricey Moog Multi-Effects Suite — like an integrated software bundle, only, you know, in hardware. But I think it could appeal even to people with other analog gear.
I can’t wait for it to come out. It’s making me try to think of ways to acquire something with control voltage inputs. But even with just a laptop, if could be interesting.