Matthews Effects has launched the Futurist, a compact MIDI controller designed to easily fit on a pedalboard. The unit was first teased at NAMM 2020 and, thanks to its sleek design and featureset, caught the attention of a lot of guitarists as a way to make MIDI more accessible.
The unit bears four footswitches, an LCD screen and 3.5mm, traditional five-pin and USB connections for sending MIDI. The five-pin jack can also be configured to work as either an input or an output by using an internal dipswitch.
Each footswitch on the device activates one of the current bank’s four patches. Banks can be scrolled through by holding down the first switch. The footswitches also function as navigational buttons when inside menus.
If the four stock footswitches aren’t enough, the Futurist is also designed to be expandable: an expression pedal can be connected in order to send MIDI expression, or three extra footswitches can be added for a total of seven.
The onboard software allows you to send 16 MIDI messages per patch, as well as store patch-specific Expression, Utility Jack and MIDI Clock settings. There’s a total of 210 patch slots available on the device.
The accompanying software for the Futurist allows you to create, edit and organise patches, as well as create presets for MIDI control messages. Alongside this, the software boasts a ‘Smart Editor Wizard,’ which allows you to select the brand and product you want to control, as well as the action you need the MIDI controller to perform. The Wizard will then set the patch to use the required MIDI message automatically.
The pedal can also integrate itself into analogue setups, with a utility jack that’s able to send analogue tap-tempo or latching/momentary switch signals.
The pedal lists for $229.99, and is available today. Find out more at matthewseffects.com.