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Keith McMillen Instruments 12 Step Chromatic Keyboard Foot Controller

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In a world that's gone digital, which is especially prevalent in today's recording environments, there's always room for innovations, and the 12 Step...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

Free up your hands on stage, and still play keys like a pro.

In a world that's gone digital, which is especially prevalent in today's recording environments, there's always room for innovations, and the 12 Step Controller from Keith McMillen is a prime example of just that. The 12 Step is a chromatic keyboard foot controller that uniquely sends MIDI via USB or MIDI interface to your computer allowing you to control your favorite soft synth, MIDI keyboards, and MIDI sound modules simply by using your feet. Each key is velocity and pressure sensitive and can store up to 5 notes for impressive chord designs that can be triggered quickly, and without ever laying a finger on the keys. Each 12 Step key can use the tilt control and pressure of your foot to control parameter such as pitch bend, polyphonic, aftertouch, or any MIDI CC value that can easily be assigned with the included software editor, which lets you create user defined presets for future performances. The 12 Step also incorporates visual cues via corresponding LEDs next to each key, that will help to keep track of the 59 factory, and up to 128 user-made presets that are available. Keith McMillen Instrument is no stranger to inventive pro audio designs, and the 12 Step Controller is proof of that.

FEATURES
  • 12 Velocity sensitive, touch response keys
  • Play up to 5 notes per key
  • Rugged and durable carbon fiber construction
  • Expressive poly aftertouch, and pitch bend
  • Small and lightweight design makes for easy transport

Look Mom, no hands! Order the 12 Step today, and add next level control to your show.

SPECIFICATIONS
  • System Requirements:
  • For Mac: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.3GHz or greater; Mac OS 10.5 or later; 50 MB free hard disk space.
  • For Windows: Windows XP or Windows 7; 1 GB of RAM; 50 MB free hard disk space.
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 17-1/5" x 3/4" x 4"
  • Weight: 1 lb
  • In the Box:
  • 12 Step Controller
  • 12 Step Protective Sleeve
  • USB A-to-B cable (15')
  • 1/8" To 1/4" expression pedal adapter
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Keith McMillen Instruments12 Step Chromatic Keyboard Foot Controller
 
3.5

(based on 14 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

50%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Functional (5)
  • Good quality (5)
  • Easy to use (3)

Cons

  • Difficult to use (4)
  • Not functional (3)

Best Uses

  • Practicing (4)
  • Concerts (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Professional musician (6), Experienced (3)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

A Step in the Right Direction.

Summing it all up

Love it, use it, highly recommend it.
This pedal Is incredibly easy to setup (just plug and play), come with dozens of very...Read complete review

Summing it all up

Love it, use it, highly recommend it.
This pedal Is incredibly easy to setup (just plug and play), come with dozens of very nice/useful presets, and, in a compact design, covers and expands upon pretty much everything one could possibly imagine for it's intended use.

The Software Is fine and fairly easy to use, with several helpful tutorial videos on the company's website.

In short. a VERY powerful pedal.

I'd have to say that despite the efficiency and portability of it's compact size, I'd love to see a version with a two - three octave range!
Being that this product was designed to be repeatedly stepped on, one would hope that it would be sufficiently rugged, and it is!

This thing can take a hit!

The buttons are spaced at a nice proportion that keeps things compact, yet still allows for ease of play and efficiency.

This thing has been through quite a few shows with me already, and there is very little to NO sign of wear and tear.

Buttons feel great when stepped on and pitchbend/aftertouch is perfectly responsive (And adjustible to your liking in the software).

A Solidly build thing!
Now this pedal may cost a bit more then other some similar things out there, but to be honest it has a pretty unique place in the world of gear.

There really Isn't another alternative for a COMPACT, MIDI, foot controller pedal, setup like a proper keyboard out there (Unless you get into the considerably more expensive realm of midi bass pedals)

The closest competitor seems to be the FCP1010 by Behringer (Whose dubious reputation preceends them)

Basically I'm saying you get what you pay for, which is A huge amount in a tiny package.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND THIS TO ANYONE...

I use Samplitude Pro DAW, which has endless MIDI options (12-Step wouldn't work). Also, I recently bought a used M-Audio controller, which worked 'plug and play' - After a few...Read complete review

I use Samplitude Pro DAW, which has endless MIDI options (12-Step wouldn't work). Also, I recently bought a used M-Audio controller, which worked 'plug and play' - After a few minutes I was controlling my DAW and playing synths. I really wanted to buy American too, but this Foot Controller, is extremely difficult to get working and other issues like changing presets, it's so inpractible, Also, the Software 'Editor' is poorly designed and can't even change presets thru that. It's not my computer, since all my other MIDI devices work flawlessly. I've been doing complex MIDI stuff for over 15 years, and build guitar amps, so I'm a 'tech' sort, for building and fixing things. This product should be in 'pre-beta' stage of development and removed from the market in my opinion untill they get the 'bugs' out of it. If I sound upset, Yes I am, after wasting over 40 hours to no avail. Very sorry Keith (McMillen) for the harsh words, but this item is not ready to be sold yet, you need to work out lots of incompatibility issues as well as improving 'patch' changes. I could go on about other problems. I'm debating doing a Pete Townshend smash-up, or return it to Mucisian's Friend. I've only given a poor rating on one other review (The Slash Cry Baby).

Sorry again Keith, it's a great idea, it's well built - just not ready for the stores.

Reviewed by 14 customers

Displaying reviews 1-14

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(8 of 14 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND THIS TO ANYONE...

By Pete Pell

from Austin, TX

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Pros

  • None

Cons

  • Difficult To Use
  • Frustratting
  • Incompatible
  • Not Functional
  • Poor instructions
  • Waste Of Time

Best Uses

  • Garbage Bin
  • Night Light

Comments about Keith McMillen Instruments 12 Step Chromatic Keyboard Foot Controller:

I use Samplitude Pro DAW, which has endless MIDI options (12-Step wouldn't work). Also, I recently bought a used M-Audio controller, which worked 'plug and play' - After a few minutes I was controlling my DAW and playing synths. I really wanted to buy American too, but this Foot Controller, is extremely difficult to get working and other issues like changing presets, it's so inpractible, Also, the Software 'Editor' is poorly designed and can't even change presets thru that. It's not my computer, since all my other MIDI devices work flawlessly. I've been doing complex MIDI stuff for over 15 years, and build guitar amps, so I'm a 'tech' sort, for building and fixing things. This product should be in 'pre-beta' stage of development and removed from the market in my opinion untill they get the 'bugs' out of it. If I sound upset, Yes I am, after wasting over 40 hours to no avail. Very sorry Keith (McMillen) for the harsh words, but this item is not ready to be sold yet, you need to work out lots of incompatibility issues as well as improving 'patch' changes. I could go on about other problems. I'm debating doing a Pete Townshend smash-up, or return it to Mucisian's Friend. I've only given a poor rating on one other review (The Slash Cry Baby).

Sorry again Keith, it's a great idea, it's well built - just not ready for the stores.

(8 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great Fun!

By Mike The Teach

from The Beach!

Comments about Keith McMillen Instruments 12 Step Chromatic Keyboard Foot Controller:

I'm writing this review after looking for something more portable than the Moog Taurus that I used to play way back when. The 12 step delivers a ton of expressive capabilities and comes loaded with presets that make it fun out of the box. I love getting lazy and switching it to pentatonic and jamming away. The best is getting is throwing it in my backpack with my Ipad and use it to control the AniMoog app. Good stuff!
~ Mike.
The 12 Step comes loaded with presets and a ton of scales and chords. I really enjoy having the octave switching and pitchbending be so accessible.
Great build, been using it for a couple months and not a problem... and I'm a stomper
I like the size, I like the price!

(7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

A Step in the Right Direction.

By James McKillop

from NYC

Comments about Keith McMillen Instruments 12 Step Chromatic Keyboard Foot Controller:

Summing it all up

Love it, use it, highly recommend it.
This pedal Is incredibly easy to setup (just plug and play), come with dozens of very nice/useful presets, and, in a compact design, covers and expands upon pretty much everything one could possibly imagine for it's intended use.

The Software Is fine and fairly easy to use, with several helpful tutorial videos on the company's website.

In short. a VERY powerful pedal.

I'd have to say that despite the efficiency and portability of it's compact size, I'd love to see a version with a two - three octave range!
Being that this product was designed to be repeatedly stepped on, one would hope that it would be sufficiently rugged, and it is!

This thing can take a hit!

The buttons are spaced at a nice proportion that keeps things compact, yet still allows for ease of play and efficiency.

This thing has been through quite a few shows with me already, and there is very little to NO sign of wear and tear.

Buttons feel great when stepped on and pitchbend/aftertouch is perfectly responsive (And adjustible to your liking in the software).

A Solidly build thing!
Now this pedal may cost a bit more then other some similar things out there, but to be honest it has a pretty unique place in the world of gear.

There really Isn't another alternative for a COMPACT, MIDI, foot controller pedal, setup like a proper keyboard out there (Unless you get into the considerably more expensive realm of midi bass pedals)

The closest competitor seems to be the FCP1010 by Behringer (Whose dubious reputation preceends them)

Basically I'm saying you get what you pay for, which is A huge amount in a tiny package.

(6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Super Useful Studio Tool

By Paul Gaeta

from Asheville, NC

See all my reviews

Comments about Keith McMillen Instruments 12 Step Chromatic Keyboard Foot Controller:

Overall, I'd highly recommend the 12 Step to anyone looking to get more physicality and expression into their music When I first started using the product I thought to myself, "why haven't I been using my feet more all along?" This product also helps me compose. I simply set up all the chords I want to use for the entire key I'm playing in and can explore different progressions quickly. That to me makes it worth the money!
The 12 Step's main strengths lie in the ability to program up to 5 notes to each button, and the fact that each button, or pad, is has tilt as well (great for pitch bends). You can switch easily between all the different chord presets and octaves as well.
The build quality is fantastic. This thing has been all over the country with me and shows no signs of wear. Carbon fiber makes this thing damn near indestructible!
At less than 3 hundred bucks this is a great value. Especially for someone who wants to expand what is possible during a performance. A keyboard player will really get a lot out of being able to play chords with his feet while laying down melodies with his hands. Also super helpful for people looking to trigger clips in Ableton live.

(5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Serious Control

By Tosh Ridgeway

from West Coast

Comments about Keith McMillen Instruments 12 Step Chromatic Keyboard Foot Controller:

The 12 step is a very advanced MIDI controller and should not be taken lightly. I see that it can be confusing and intimidating for novice users of MIDI. Like anything deep and advanced, it will take some time to get used to and some functions may be over your head, but anything worth waiting for takes time. Its a one of a kind small,
The ability to completely control what messages the device sends out is where it really shines. The 12 step is also surprisingly responsive and sensitive to your input. Each key can send accurate pitch bend and aftertouch data, which can be very expressive.

Also the ability to store presets and work without a computer is a huge "step" in the right direction.
This thing is built like a tank! If someone broke into my house, I would feel comfortable knowing my 12 step is right there and strong enough to bash someone over the head with! I have become very confident stepping all over this thing and it takes it like a champ.

The body is made of carbon fiber, which I'm pretty sure is one of the strongest elements in the known universe, so that helps. I bet that if you ran it over with a car, it would still work!
Considering all the functionality of the 12 step, if feel its definitely worth the price. There are few MIDI foot controllers on the market anyway, let alone something this advanced and portable.

Its small, lightweight, durable, expressive, and extremely customisable, 'nuff said.

(2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

not compatible for pc and roland sp404sx

By hambone

from Dover, New Jersey

Pros

    Cons

    • 4 Ableton Only
    • 4 Mac Users Only
    • Midi Nightmare So Far
    • Not Functional
    • Not Pc Friendly

    Best Uses

    • Door Stop

    Comments about Keith McMillen Instruments 12 Step Chromatic Keyboard Foot Controller:

    I bought this unit to play midi soft synths in my PC based Daw and am not having much success.
    I have tried to use it as a trigger for an Roland sp404sx but it doesn't work with that either.
    The downloaded software note editor for my pc failed to function.
    You can not get anyone from Kieth Mcmillen instruments to actually help me make this unit work well with anything. I can see that it works well for Macintosh and Ableton musicians. My advice would be that if you are using Cakewalk, Roland and PC/Windows oriented Daws is to avoid the headaches and use Roland pedals like the Roland pk-6. Now I am out of money and still can't get a one man band going!

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Amazingly easy to setup & use!

    By Darknut

    from Arkansas

    About Me Professional Musician

    Pros

    • Easy To Use
    • Functional
    • Good Quality

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Concerts
      • Practicing

      Comments about Keith McMillen Instruments 12 Step Chromatic Keyboard Foot Controller:

      I use the 12step primarily to control a Roland GR-30 guitar synth .... it works perfectly!

      I also used it with a PC to control a soft-synth in Sonar X2 & X3 ... worked perfect as well.

      I use it in a live setting mostly & have no trouble with it being small ... one of the best thing about the 12step is the small size. ( I have size 11 feet )

       
      1.0

      Don't buy this

      By John

      from Europe

      About Me Professional Musician

      Pros

      • Functional

      Cons

      • Poor Quality

      Best Uses

        Comments about Keith McMillen Instruments 12 Step Chromatic Keyboard Foot Controller:

        I had it for year and a half,used it regularly for playing bass with my feet. The graphite under the rubber board wiped off. I asked the contact center CHAT for rubber board replacement and they said that I will have to buy e new one. I wrote 5 times to their contact email and noone responded,they have just the CHAT option and there is a guy who says: " Someone will contact you shortly" and that NEVER HAPPEN.
        Beware!

         
        2.0

        Verdict still out

        By Walrus

        from Bristol, TN

        About Me Experienced

        See all my reviews

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Good Quality

        Cons

        • Difficult To Use

        Best Uses

        • Concerts
        • Practicing

        Comments about Keith McMillen Instruments 12 Step Chromatic Keyboard Foot Controller:

        Works ok with computer programs such as Garage Band to do bass lines. That said, it's difficult to use by feel without looking at your feet for me. So far it is complicated to use with my Roland VR 09's and the Roland manual doesn't give much help. The online tech support folks refer you back to Roland, and the circle is unbroken. Works as advertised, but not as useful as I had hoped for. Would not recommend to a friend as a bass pedal for keyboard, but more uses may be realized with work and research.

         
        4.0

        Dynamite in a Small Package, but a Bit Too Small

        By Jokerville

        from Austin, TX

        About Me Professional Musician

        See all my reviews

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Functional
        • Improves Sound

        Cons

        • Layout too cramped.

        Best Uses

        • Concerts

        Comments about Keith McMillen Instruments 12 Step Chromatic Keyboard Foot Controller:

        I currently play bass guitar and use the Taurus 3 pedals. When I read about the 12-Step and the ability to do chords, I had to check it out. I already have a Roland Juno DS-61 synth on stage, so, a MIDI cable, and walla, chords. After three gigs here are my thoughts.
        Good value for the money.
        Pretty easy to program. I downloaded the software to my laptop, and it is pretty user friendly. I love how you can just click notes from the virtual keyboard at the bottom to create your chords. And you can assign any chord to any button. Or single notes. If you want to have 12 different C chords on one preset, no problem. I do presets by song. You can also leave buttons blank so they have no sound. This comes in handy as explained later.
        The MIDI Expander needed to run to a keyboard is a bit of a pain. Easy to set up, but three cables needed. Power, one to the pedal (both of those are included), and then the MIDI cable to your synth (not included). The cables are a bit sketchy - not very durable. The AC adapter has a wall wart and uses a USB-type plug in cable. Eh. The power to pedal is a small plug in like a Smart Phone. Kinda scary. Wouldn't take much of a wrong step to mess that up. Think putting your cell phone on the floor and stepping around it. Everyone has had those phone charger cables go bad - a bit worried about that. The pedal is solid, but connections seem more studio than built for live.
        But it works great. Very cool. And fun. Just as if I played the chords on the keyboard.
        HOWEVER, geez those buttons are close together. My 9.5 sneakers.... The Taurus of course is like an organ bass pedal, and I even sometimes step on the wrong one, especially while singing. What I've done is use one preset per song. I usually only need a few chords, so I spread them out among the 12 buttons, with some blank ones in between. Still challenging. They are lit up EXTREMELY well. I find the top taller row easier to navigate.
        3.5 stars. Make larger, easier to connect, better cables.

         
        5.0

        Don't let the small size put you off

        By RBM

        from Rockyface, GA

        About Me Experienced

        See all my reviews

        Pros

        • Easy To Use
        • Functional
        • Good Quality

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about Keith McMillen Instruments 12 Step Chromatic Keyboard Foot Controller:

            My family purchased this for my 51st birthday for me. My son knew I had been looking for new bass pedals and did the research. I was put off at first by the small "key" size. I had always used full sized bass pedals in the past. I was very impressed with the build quality right out of the box. What really sets this unit apart from the rest is the software. You can really customize the heck out of this thing. I am looking forward to buying another to put under my main mic setup and having my other under my keyboard station.

             
            3.0

            great potential but too small

            By mundo

            from el paso, tx

            About Me Professional Musician

            Pros

            • Good Quality
            • opens many doors

            Cons

            • buttons too small
            • Difficult To Use
            • Not Functional

            Best Uses

            • Practicing

            Comments about Keith McMillen Instruments 12 Step Chromatic Keyboard Foot Controller:

            The 12 step has great potential to experiment and open your world to new sound possibilities in the live setting, but ultimately the size is a big limiting factor. The buttons are too small for an adult male's feet in shoes, which makes it difficult to use the tilt and velocity function accurately, you have to play with your tip toes which isn't practical live. If you use an iPad or similar device as the sound source, expect some set up problems, you need to make sure your device is putting out enough power to the 12 step so that your apps detect it. More than likely you'll need the 12 steps aux input to be plugged into a power source as well.

            I think the 12 step is a great idea and alternative to the usual foot keyboard routes but not perfect. This device needs to be bigger in order to accommodate foot size with shoes and boots, and the buttons can use better threshold settings or more resistance to prevent wrong notes played do to imbalance playing with your toes. That said, I would buy an improved model that addresses these problems with buttons at least three times bigger

            (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            2.0

            Way Way to small

            By Guitarfretfingers

            from Appleton, WI

            About Me Professional Musician

            Pros

            • Legato
            • Rugge
            • Rugged

            Cons

            • Difficult To Use
            • Hard To Use
            • Small
            • To Sensitive

            Best Uses

            • Practicing

            Comments about Keith McMillen Instruments 12 Step Chromatic Keyboard Foot Controller:

            If you have normal size feet, like larger than a size 7, don't bother buying. Keith Mcmillen must have very small feet to think that this would be easy to use on stage, LOL. When I use it I need to use my toes. Also the select button is way to sensitive. If they made it another 6" longer it would be better. Also very expensive for the stuff it can do. Will be modifying a midi keyboard now...

            (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Great Product!

            By Darknut

            from Arkansas

            About Me Professional Musician

            See all my reviews

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy To Use
            • Functional
            • Good Quality

            Cons

              Best Uses

                Comments about Keith McMillen Instruments 12 Step Chromatic Keyboard Foot Controller:

                I use this to control a Roland GR-30 (with midi expander) while I play Bass guitar & remain wireless ... works perfect

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