MIDI Controllers

Hello to the Mod Community.
I am a bass player and have been active with the Mod device family for a couple of years with both the Duo X and know the Dwarf,

As I continue to explore the absolute freedom of the platform, and look for the best way to integrate into live performance, I am asking myself the question as to what is the most versatile MIDI controller to provide additional control during live playing? (For a Bass player)

Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.



Depends on what you’re after, however I use the Evolution Uc33e to great effect.


Your question brings another question with it, namely: what exactly would you like to achieve.

As pointed by @Gordon_Strange above, your use scenario will dictate what kind of midi controller you may employ. The one he points you to is a good solution for on-the-fly mixing, for instance. You can map faders to one of the mixers on the Mod and slowly add/subtract effetcs, for instance.

Other units like this one from Akai will have rotary encoders, faders, transport buttons, and pads for beatmaking (plus a step sequencer). You have plenty of controls to assign within the Mod and also trigger beats or other sounds. Moreover, you can assign midi notes and convert them to CC messages. Other options like Novation Zero line (now discontinued but easy to find used) offer the same minus internal generators.

If instead you need to toggle effects and synths, then you have Launchpad-like units that you can use with your hands, or else floor boards for foot switching. The Behringer FCB1010 is possibly the most used one, but I recommend one of the alternative firmware. Roland FC 300 is another option, and if you’re lucky you may find a Yamaha MFC10.

Or else, for more advanced and fine control the Softstep 2 from Keith McMillen has the ability to do both switching and modulate without an expression pedal, thanks to its X Y controls on each switch. (I haven’t tested it with the MOD to check if xy assignments are possible, fyi.)

Therefore, first examine what use you will have for a control surface – that is, what aspects/functions you’d like to command – and the controller will come to you. It might be the case that you will need more than one, but you can combine a 5-pin and a USB one, or else more than one USB with a dongle.

Good luck.



You are the MVP of this forum.

Half the time I can’t respond to you because I am way out of my depth lol

Love you, big guy.


No, you da man!!

Synth Master, effects genius, and composer of the Dwarf official Anthem!

Love you too! :heart: Here’s to a lot of good music in 2022!

PS> I talk about it much more than I actually use my Mod… (shame emoji here)


I’m borrowing a Softstep 2 from a friend for use on my Dwarf with bass, and I friggin love it, haven’t gotten close to figuring out all the modes yet, but it seems endlessly customizable, and is really solidly constructed. I’m going to try to buy it off him for good next time I see him…


Thank you all for amazingly helpful feedback and direction.
Sounds like the Softstep2 is a decent solution.
I note that Steve Lawson (Bassist, Mod Duo protagonist) also uses this as part of his set up.
Happy Mod’ing guys, it’s an amazing tool.
I made a board this morning that has blown me away - the choices are limitless…

  • 1 for the SoftStep 2 here. Very sturdy, endlessly capable but also very complicated. For gear like this, I usually tend to go through the manual first (check the advanced editor section of the manual and the explanation of the options at the end). There are some decent factory presets to get you going though.
    Keep in mind that there is an issue with the SoftStep Editor on MacOS BigSur, acknowledged by them in July 2021 with no patch yet. I use it on a windows machine until it gets fixed, but frankly I do not know how good they are with software updates, support etc
    Having said that, I am actually going to try get a second one on ebay today, to be able to control different gear with then 20 controls :wink: