Using a 3rd Party Footswitch

I’d like to add a cheap foot switch to my Duo X and as the Mod one is a probably more complex and costly than I need I wondered what other options there are?



The cheapest solution would probably be to DIY a USB-MIDI controller. Using a Teensy board that is something a beginner programmer could pull off in a day or so, because you can simply set the USB port on the Teensy up to function like a class compliant MIDI port.

You’d need something along these lines:

  1. The Teensy board (costs vary depending on your requirements, anywhere between 15 and 30 dollars)
  2. The footswitches
  3. The enclosure
  4. Some electric wire to hook the foots up

Perhaps there are also cheap off-the-shelf options, but I wouldn’t be able to name you one from the top of my head to be honest.



Interesting. So the connection to the Duo X has to be Midi? Where the Duo one use the custom Control Chain? I was wondering as most switches seem to have Jacks.

Actually, It would be good to be able to use the switch with otehr devices - eg laptop.

Thanks for the idea.

I have a line 6 FBV MkII which is a usb midi footswitch. It works pretty well with the mod duo, I’ve also used it with my laptop/desktop in the past.

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I also use this and it works for my needs.

The Duo and Duo X both support MIDI connections via either USB or 5-pin DIN ports. Most modern MIDI controllers will have a USB connection, so you could also easily connect one to a computer.

Control Chain is a custom protocol developed by the MOD team as an alternative to MIDI. It serves the same purpose but is meant to overcome or enhance some of the limitations of the MIDI protocol. Control Chain devices use the ethernet-style port and as far as I know the only consumer Control Chain devices on the market at this time are the MOD Footswitches.

Thanks and to @pjd. In the end I wnet for the custom Mod footswitch. if I need a usb one I’ll either get a cheap one or hack it via the modX (assuming latency is not a problem)

@jesse do you happen to know a good tutorial for that?


I did a quick google search, and this tutorial is recommended by PJRC (the manufacturer of the teensy boards):,the%20opposite%20type%20of%20message.

This is the page where PJRC mentions the tutorial:

Hope that helps! :slight_smile:


@jesse thank you very much! you would not have had to do a google search, i could have done that myself (i know let me google that for you :)) ). i thought maybe you know a good tutorial by heart.

thank you very much, again!

@pjd @unbracketed
Thanks for sharing your experience with the Line6 FBV Express MKII and sorry for reviving this old topic.
While I’m waiting for my Dwarf, I’m looking for an affordable expression pedal (a few switches are welcome) that’s not massive. This one looks like a good solution so I have a few questions.

Have you managed to use the 4 buttons with your MOD device ?
Did you have to use a Line6 proprietary software at some point like mapping ?
Is the USB connection from the Duo(X) enough to power the pedal ?
Any problem you’d like to mention ?

I haven’t seen any post from a Dwarf owner talking about this pedal so I have this question to the MOD team : does the fact that it has been tested with the Duo and the DuoX mean that it should work the same way with the Dwarf ?

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Yes, I used the buttons for changing snapshots and for stomp box style toggling of effects

Yes, I used the version for MacOS to remap the buttons to all send PC messages for changing snapshots. I don’t remember what the defaults are but you may need to edit them to be CC / PC messages (and for snapshots the values have to like 0, 1, 2…).

It is. I ran it through a USB hub and was also able to use a small USB keyboard controller simultaneously.

I can’t think of any big problems. I know I used the expression time several times for some novelty wah and envelope filter experimentation but I didn’t pay much attention to how accurate of feedback you can expect. It definitely works but might not match the experience some are used to with analog pedals. You’ll want to calibrate the expression pedal to ensure you get the full range of values of you sweep up and down. Mine happens to be sitting here in my office and I just tried the expression pedal with my foot - the pedal doesn’t have much resistance overall so it could be prone to wobbling or slight movements when you don’t want. Not surprising, given the overall price and capabilities of the unit that the construction of the pedal won’t be first-class. It worked well for my home jamming needs and was much more practical to use and transport than the FCB1010 that I have.


Thank you very much ! This is a really detailed answer.

Thank you for the tip. I hadn’t thought about this possibility and I was wondering if I should choose a pedal with another type of connection to let the USB port free for a keyboard.

This is really good news because several persons on the forum are looking for a cheap solution to connect an expression pedal on the Dwarf and this one looks good due to the size, the 4 additional switches and the fact it’s all in one part. Furthermore, you can find it second hand quite easily.

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I would say that yes. If it works as a USB MIDI class-compliant controller it should work with no issues. The power provided by the USB port should as well be enough if you are using the provided power supply or one with similar characteristics.

As far as I understand, the MIDI here is over USB. So you can connect a hub on the USB port A of the Dwarf and like this have multiple ports where you can connect all sorts of USB MIDI controllers.


Thank you, jon. This is helpful.

Good to have a confirmation of this, which is important information about the possibilities of the Dwarf.