Midi foot controller and the er-301 either via FH-1 or Mutant Brain or something else for guitar?

Hello, hope opening up a new thread is ok for this.

So I’m currently just using a doepfer a-172-2 (this allows 2 footswitches and an expression pedal), however I’m thinking of using/borrowing a larger Behringer FCB1010 MIDI Foot Controller (plus a M-Audio Midisport 2x2 to covert it to usb if needed).

I’d be using the foot controller to trigger various things within the er301 allowing me to focus on playing guitar.

I read over the topic on the Expert Sleepers FH-1 Faderhost here but as I’m not really experienced in midi, I was thinking it might be more straight forward using the Hexinverter Electronique Mutant Brain to patch the footcontroller into the er301.

Primarily i’m needing just a bunch of on/off triggers (or gates( and the two expression controllers within the Behringer FCB1010, so nothing too complex. I therefore wouldn’t need anything too complex but can’t decide if the Hexinverter Mutant Brain or the Expert Sleepers FH-1 (there also is a FH-2 but think that’s probably more than I need).

Does anyone else use the 301 for processing a guitar, what foot controllers do you use and more importantly would anyone recommend either the Mutant Brain or the FH-1?

The Mutant Brain does appear to be a bit more straight forward to use plus as it has a 5 pin din connector I wouldn’t have to use the midisport to convert to USB (which would be needed for the fh-1).

I’m not a guitarist but I use a foot controler sometimes, a Softstep 2 by KMI. I only use it at 10% of its capabilities I guess, this thing is so powerful.

Regarding the midi to CV converters, you have several options. I also use a FH-1 and its expander. It’s really straightforward and I totally recommend it, really reliable.

You also have the possibility to use the I2C route if you want to keep some free CV Inputs on the ER-301 but it’s a little bit more complicated. That would mean Midi to a device like Norns And Crow or a Faderbank to 301 via i2C, or more recently Midi to Teletype and then to the 301, that’s still experimental but it works fine as long as the midi device is powered externally. There’s also a Midi to I2c project In development mentioned on this forum, it’s called Transit. If it features a midi input via jack (and I think it does, I can’t remember) that would become the most straightforward way to connect a midi device to the 301. And I think it’s only 2hp !

I don’t know the Mutant Brain, the FH-1 is probably the option I’d use right now (I can plug the Softstep directly to it via USB but yeah if you want Din5 you’ll have to use a MIO or Midisport. Other Midi to CV converter depending on how many different triggers you want to send → (Hermod, Yarns, Endorphines Shuttle Control etc).


I use an fh-2. It can be a little fiddly to get it set right, but you can save configurations and load them on startup if you use the same setup most of the time.

One thing I have almost done is make my own pedal box that has multiple switches and a gate output for each. I would primarily use it to trigger Loopers but you could trigger anything in the 301. Might be cheaper than a midi to CV if you don’t need the midi to CV for anything else, and could save space in your rack if that is something you value.

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i use an fh-1 with a dual usb footswitch (very cheap). works flawlessly. i asked OS from expert sleepers to modify the firmware to have it work with such devices, he introduced it first in the fh-2 code then gently implemented it into the fh-1 as well.
i then mapped them via script to outs 7 and 8 because originally they were on the outs of an expander which i don’t have.

Hi everyone - thanks for all the suggestions - i’ll have a look into these. That Softstep 2 by KMI controller looks amazing.

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This is very interesting! Is it branded? Would you mind sharing which one you have?

this one!


Hello - a rather late update to this, but I ended up getting the Expert Sleepers fh2 and the KMI softstep 2.
I’m also realising I need to get two expanders for the fh2 due to the amount of output variations the KMI can send.


Thanks again for the suggestions on this


Congrats, the Softstep 2 is awesome you won’t be disappointed :slight_smile:

First post after getting my hands on an ER-301, hello everyone! I’m excited to explore all its ins and outs.

I’ll just leave a link to a project I worked on to control my octatrack with my feet, it works nicely for that, and I assume it would as well with the mutant brain :slight_smile: in case anyone wants a DIY solution to this.