MIDI Guitar 2 and expression pedals

Ok MIDI Guitar and expression pedals. I am sure there are a thousand brands, makes, and functions out there. Which do you use? Why? Are there any we should avoid? I did this little introduction to the subject, but it is quite general and does only cover the pedals I use.

It might be of great use to the community as a whole to get to know if you have some specific setup or function to add to this discussion.

Myself, I am not 100 % happy with the way the toe switching on the bluetooth pedal limits my option to always send a 0 or a 127 value for the MIDI stream I am not currently controlling. I wold perhaps like another way of switching beteween CH ON/OFF here. But that is just me. What do you guys have?

@LoFiLeiF Congratulations for this very instructive and complete tuto on the possibilities of connection and use of midi controllers :wink:

To answer the question and expand on the topic, here’s my personal setup that I use live to manage the entirety of my performance while keeping my hands on the guitar at all times.

I only use wired devices mainly for reasons of signal stability in all environments and secondarily for budgetary reasons.

As I have collected a number of analog pedals and footswitches over the years, I decided to use what I call a MIDI controller station: an analog-to-usb converter called MIDI Expression iO.


This is a 4 input box into which I connect 5 controllers: 3 expression pedals and 1 dual footswitch.
It also contains 2 Midi DIN (in/out) ports to connect a chain of Midi devices.
It also has a 9 volt power supply allowing it to be used in standalone mode without a computer.

As I use it with the Midi Guitar plug-in integrated in a plug-in host (Gig Performer), I don’t need to use the dedicated application to set up the pedals, this is done directly in Gig Performer, each configuration being saved with the rest.


1 Like

Hi Thorleif . I have used a bunch of them over the years. The best one I have found, and what I have been using for a while now is the Boss EV 30 dual Expression pedal. It is all metal construction for the most part, but the travel on the pedal itself is very smooth and even from heel to toe for what I have used it for. Always had issues with the travel from heel to toe position on the other ones to some degree but not this on. I also have several Boss EV 5’s but the EV 30 is still compact and works much better I feel.

1 Like

Excellent video by the way.

1 Like

What do you mean by"works much better" ?

Like I mentioned earlier in my post, the full travel of the pedal from heel to toe goes through the full range of the parameter and not just a limited range. I also like that it is a dual expression pedal.

For my part, the Boss EV-30 is too heavy as I use 3 pedals on my pedalboard (plus the rest).
I’ve been using EV-5s for about 20 years and they work perfectly and have never given me any problems despite all the concerts I’ve done with them. And they are not too expensive.

If needed, you just have to recalibrate the pedal in the application, it takes a few seconds.

Yes, they are much heavier. In that respect I prefer the EV 5 and have used it at least as long as you have. Recalibration does not resolve the issue of it jumping up too fast from lower to higher values skipping. over the middle range. Just not as even throughout in its travel I have found than the EV 30, and I can use it to control two parameters at once.


I will explain how I use controllers because we are in the right topic, it is my passion and I like to share it :grinning:

Firstly, I totally agree with @jrm : the EV-30 is very reassuring because it is reliable and robust, the double output and the additional settings make it a “universal” pedal for use particularly with hardware.
And above all, as you say, it is very pleasant under the foot, nothing to do with the EV-5 which only has the flexibility of plastic :grimacing:
But I can not have everything: as I want to travel light (I sometimes have to take the train, the bus) I chose lightness at the expense of comfort.

As I only use the controllers in a plug-in host (see above), I don’t miss hardware connections and functions since each of my controllers can have the same possibilities and all the configurations can be saved and reloaded automatically.

I reshape the curve according to the desired rendering, as in these examples:


Another example of use that deals with the range of the pedal: I use a EV-5 in a song to control the speeds + on/off of a rotary fx.
I set the pedal range curve so that the pedal at heel triggers the slow speed of the rotary, at toe for the fast speed and anywhere in between to stop the rotary.


I also use a ‘staircase’ curve to recall specific synth presets depending on the values set by the pitch of each step


One EV-5 can also trig as many devices as I want by assigning it to a group of different devices parameters, i.e. flanger depht + guitar amp drive + delay time + etc (a very very weird effect used in a narrative talking about descent into hell :wink:)

The possibilities of the controllers are ultimately limited by the lack of imagination I may have :thinking:

1 Like