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So I bought a Behringer FCB1010, it’s a (cheap as hell) twelve switch, two expression MIDI foot pedal. I’m thinking I can control my laptop with it while I play guitar and sing. 

Anyway, the entire experience has been great but not because of the device itself. The manual is terrible, the factory settings don’t work with Ableton Live out of the box and programming it via the foot pedals is tedious.

One of the greatest things about buying gear for me as a total nerd is when there’s a thriving user community around whatever I just bought. And there’s a great one around the FCB1010. Here’s some of what I’ve found:

  • There’s a great Yahoo Group full of resources for it. Photos, utilities, tutorials, patches, sysex dumps, hardware mods and more.
  • Hackers have made $10 replacement firmware chip for the FCB1010 that adds a lot of great functionality such as tempo tap, stomp box mode, not needing to put the device into “sysex receive mode” to transmit patches to it and more.
  • There’s an excellent home-brew PC Editor for programming the device.
  • A great FAQ.
  • Plenty of tutorials for getting the FCB working with Live.

As I was describing this, particularly the replacement firmware, a friend of mine wondered why Behringer doesn’t open source their firmware. They make their money on the hardware (unlike video game consoles for instance) and are also widely criticized for ripping off other company’s designs, manufacturing them cheaply and selling them at a fraction the price.

Seems to me they’d have nothing to lose by open sourcing their firmware. Hackers could add all the functionality they want, people would buy their products with the intention of tricking them out, it’s free R&D that they can fold into future devices, and their nerd karma would go through the freaking roof.

Posted on - January 24, 2007 [at] 12:18 pm by Brad
Tagged in - , ,

16 Comments on this post

BG on Behringer FCB1010
January 24, 2007 at 3:19 pm

So are you going to be using the Live and the FCB1010 at your show Saturday?

Have you figured out how to setup/do live looping with the foot controller in Live? I’ve played around with Ableton but haven’t weened myself off my Jamman, yet.

Brad on Behringer FCB1010
January 24, 2007 at 4:59 pm

Won’t be ready for Saturday but hopefully soon.

As far as I can tell, the Live looping is done with a program like Bome Midi Translator to trigger keystrokes off of MIDI. So you can trigger anything in Ableton (or any other program) you can make a macro for.

craig on Behringer FCB1010
January 24, 2007 at 9:15 pm

you can do a lot with just the fcb and live (i have that footcontroller too)

Tony on Behringer FCB1010
February 7, 2007 at 1:16 am

If you want to loop with Live, try out Mobius http://www.zonemobius.com/ it’s a s/w version of the EDP. Most of the Mobius users use the FCB1010. I’m still contemplating getting it setup and running, but I haven’t explored all the stuff i have yet. :)

Enjoy.
T.

mikepointfive on Behringer FCB1010
March 12, 2007 at 5:20 am

hey.. got mobius and the fcb1010… could you recomend me some pointers?

rokomotibu on Behringer FCB1010
March 18, 2007 at 5:06 pm

yo
i have an oportunity to buy used roland fc 200 for about $150
and the price of new fcb1010 is somewhat $230 here in russia. also it’s very hard to find used one (rarely sold for ~$130).
i need a foot controller to use primarily with ableton live and i need a maximum functionality from it ((=
so the main target is to have the most powerful device..
what do you think? either i go for fc200 or try to find fcb1010?
i’m frustrated. serfing the web whole day and my oppinion constantly changes from one to another ((%

aspen00 on Behringer FCB1010
March 23, 2007 at 1:58 pm

Does anyone know if this can this be used with Guitar Rig 2.0?

zapz on Behringer FCB1010
January 7, 2008 at 6:43 pm

im looking for a used fbc1010 is there any one salling one?

zapz on Behringer FCB1010
January 7, 2008 at 6:44 pm

im looking for a used fbc1010 in the U.S.A is there any one salling one? this is my email ee zapz2101@yahoo.com

zapz on Behringer FCB1010
January 7, 2008 at 6:46 pm

im looking for a used fbc1010 in the U.S.A is there any one salling one? this is my email eezapz2101@yahoo.com

aka special on Behringer FCB1010
April 3, 2008 at 4:49 pm

check out xlr8 podcact by christopher willits (what you talkin’ ’bout willts ep. 2) he uses this fcb with ableton live in the creation of loops ect. he seems to be extremely successful creating guitar to midi wierdscapes. hope this was helpful

Peet on Behringer FCB1010
June 26, 2008 at 9:31 am

The hackers you are referring to

[quote: Hackers have made $10 replacement firmware chip for the FCB1010...]

is actually a single person who made the UnO chip. You can find him here : http://www.ossandust.be .

And it even gets better : he made a new midi foot pedal which you can find here : http://www.gordius.be

P.

pablo on Behringer FCB1010
May 18, 2009 at 2:35 pm

I’m thinking of getting the behringer pedalboard. For it’s price and features after the chip installation and almost endless posibilities.

I do want to know beforehand if anyone has succesfully got it to work (full compatilibity) with any of the following, on mac :

Amplitube 2
Guitar Rig 3
Waves

I also wanted to know if it’s easy to configure for particular instruments on mac and particularily logic 8.

Thanx,
Pablo

jet muller on Behringer FCB1010
August 25, 2013 at 6:46 pm

the yahoo-groups are crap.
they kick you out when you are inactive for some month and they don’t let you come back.

i need some sysex files from another source

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