Simple "pushbutton" Mod

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Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 5:21 pm

Simple "pushbutton" Mod

Postby soundog » Fri May 13, 2011 7:54 pm

The SoftStep seems to use four FSRs per pad, one in each corner. If you press directly on a corner with a finger, it responds more "directly" and more sensitively than if you press in the center of the pad (between the FSRs). So, for some of my pads I tried sticking on some of those little rubber furniture "bumpers" you can get at most hardware stores. They look like little truncated pyramids, and usually come in black, clear, white, or brown. They have adhesive on one side. I tried the 1/2" size; they come in many sizes. I stuck one on a single corner of some of my SS pads, resulting in a very sensitive "button" that is easier to locate and hit with my foot. Its more like striking a guitar pedal footswitch. And, since the bumpers are small and placed in only one corner of a given pad, the little buttons are farther apart, especially if you put the bumpers on a lower corner in the bottom row of pads, and on upper corners on the top row of pads.

If you try this, you will find you need much less "striking" force, and will need to adjust your pad sensitivity in the sw. Also, play around with "maximum" vs "average" for the sensor response settings.

I am assuming this simple, noninvasive mod would not effect warranty or direct too much force onto an FSR, but if so .... moderator, please remove my post! I only want to do good in this world....
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Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2011 7:27 am

Re: Simple "pushbutton" Mod

Postby ronandc » Sat May 14, 2011 8:34 am

Sounds useful, thanks. I had of course noticed the absence of a sensor directly in the center of the pad and gotten into the habit of nudging the corners of pads instead of the middle.
An extra sensor in the center of each pad could have made a huge difference, I think. Some of the data sources (i.e. rotation, rot relative, X inc) seem to require an inhuman/Christy Brown level of foot balance and precision to actually be useable.

Pressure Live is doing the business so far though.
SoftStep, Windows 7, Ableton Live 8.2.1, LoopBe30, Rig Kontrol 3, iPhone app "Control" with RTPMIDI
Posts: 54
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 5:21 pm

Re: Simple "pushbutton" Mod

Postby soundog » Sat May 14, 2011 11:24 am

Attached is a photo of what a section of 4 of the bumpers look like; you get 6 for about $2.50. I suggest either the kind pictured, but they also make dome shaped ones that might work good. They are working really well for me, especially using the "maximum" rather than "average" sensor setting. The thing I like about it best is that it gives you a smaller, more defined targets to hit when you're in the heat of a a frenzied guitar solo, or need precise looping control.

This rubber bumper method may work best for a single button/footswitch/toggle switch application, but good for a single button pressure-sensitive parameter too. I haven't experimented with "up/down; wah/volume pedal" motions using two bumpers on a pad, or rotation using four bumpers (which already requires an unnatural ankle motion).[attachment=0]bumpers.jpg[/attachment]
Say "rubber baby buggy bumper" four times, fast.
bumpers.jpg (6.6 KiB) Viewed 5593 times
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Re: Simple "pushbutton" Mod

Postby polimorfos » Sun May 15, 2011 6:04 am

Nice tip!
Nick M
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Re: Simple "pushbutton" Mod

Postby Nick M » Sat Nov 19, 2011 7:06 pm

Interesting idea.
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Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 5:21 pm

Re: Simple "pushbutton" Mod

Postby soundog » Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:52 pm

This is a highly recommended and easy mod, especially for those that just need to use buttons like a guitar stompbox footswitch, or for looping where your control has to be precise. I can't use my Softstep without these little bumpers now.
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Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:10 am

Re: Simple "pushbutton" Mod

Postby DaveDraper » Sat Apr 28, 2012 6:26 am

Went down this route some months ago, since I wanted to use each of the four sensors individually; works pretty well with a bit of careful max-value-type detection in the (non-proprietory) software!
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Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:44 pm

Re: Simple "pushbutton" Mod

Postby rad3d » Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:19 pm

OK - great tip. I didn't realize this was posted at the time I bought my SoftStep and I've been struggling with missed triggers, etc since I bought it. These bumpers are a perfect solution. I use my Softstep to trigger samplers and play key parts, so the ability to accurately hit a pad is mandatory.

Now, what I want to know is what kind of pad you're buying. The ones I got look like the pics posted earlier (though clear) but have a pretty gooey adhesive, and thus shift around until they finally come off after about 10-15 mins of playing. I'd prefer not to be super-gluing these things on, so I'm interested in a specific type of pad with an adhesive that's strong, but not quite permanent (or just an adhesive I can use).
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Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:07 pm

Re: Simple "pushbutton" Mod

Postby Stevee00 » Sun Jan 13, 2013 4:37 pm

Great tip, yeah! Put those suckers on my pads and now I've gotten good at hitting them with the edge of my foot. Try it with socks!
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Location: san francisco

Re: Simple "pushbutton" Mod

Postby SLP » Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:42 pm

Any tips on ones that click?
I'd really like to feel a click when I press so I know that I've pressed the pad all the way. And not have to look for a light.

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