I was looking for a pedal block controller for the Korg Kronos, but to no avail. I finally bought a Behringer FCB1010 MIDI foot controller s/h (second hand, not sample & hold :), a device originally designed for guitar players. Fortunately there’s an unofficial firmware called UnO. One can either download the firmware (currently 1.0.3) and burn it to an EPROM or buy a ready to insert EPROM for just 16 €. The hardware arrived within a couple of days.
While removing the bottom panel of the device, pay attention to the length of the scews. The six on the shorter ends are a bit longer, so keep them separate and insert them correctly after replacing the EPROM.
The two expression pedals didn’t send any data to the MIDI out port after the modification. I thus recommend to initialize the device (the FCB_UnO_v1_0_3_UserGuide.pdf contains information how to do this) and to calibrate the pedals.
It took me a couple of hours to figure out how to program and to use the device as a keyboard controller. Programming it without a software editor is really hard, but you just need to do it once. I do not really care about the many patches – I just use the first one (foot switch 6) while I programmed switches 1 through 5 as “stompboxes”. Those serve me as switches to send MIDI continuous controller values, not to transmit program changes or note commands. The assignment I use to control the Korg Kronos is as follows:
- Switch 1: CC 80 (Kronos Panel Switch 1)
- Switch 2: CC 81 (Kronos Panel Switch 2)
- Switch 3: CC 82 (Foot Switch, e.g. to control the speed of the rotary speaker)
- Switch 4: CC 65 (Portamento)
- Switch 5: CC 66 (Sostenuto, an alternative was Soft Pedal CC 67)
- Pedal A: CC 04 (Foot Pedal)
- Pedal B: CC 11 (Expression)
My current configuration file is available in SysEx format.
A couple of editors, modifications and other resources exist for the pedal board:
- Ripwerx FCB1010 Editor
- FCB/UnO ControlCenter
- FCB1010 MIDI editor
- UnO Example Sysex Files
- Little Giant module
- Yahoo group
Maybe the best thing about the pedal board is the fact that the pedals don’t move around while using them. It was always annoying to search them with the feet while playing. The FCB1010’s weight makes it stay in place, which is a good thing. I’m really pleased with the build quality of the hardware and the capabilities of the UnO firmware.