rrrabuyvsvsveytfazersurdwarubawvev0% Interest for 24 Months! Learn more »
(800) 222-4700
  • Español: (800) 222-4701
June 2017 Giveaway

Keith McMillen Instruments 12 Step Reviews

4.0 stars based on 10 customer reviews
Questions about the Keith McMillen Instruments 12 Step?

Questions about the Keith McMillen Instruments 12 Step?

Or call us at (800) 222-4700

  • Paul Wisner
    from Arlington, MA February 15, 2014Music Background:
    Live Performer

    Fantastic MIDI controller for a guitar player

    This is a fantastic MIDI controller for a guitar player. I needed a way to trigger samples with my feet while playing guitar. This device is perfect for that. The companion application lets you create scenes, in each scene you can assign a MIDI channel and multiple MIDI notes to each button. I've got it connected via a McMillen MIDI Expander to an AKAI MPX8 Sampler Player. The 12 Step can also send a program change when you switch scenes; unfortunately the MPX8 handle program change messages.

    I can imagine that in the future I will use more of the 12 Step's capabilities.

    The unit is sturdy and lightweight. The big chunky foot buttons are rubberized plastic and are back lit to make them highly visible on the stage.

    The only improvement I would want is a proper MIDI out so that I would not need the MIDI Expander.

  • Dan Walker
    from Orlando, FL USA April 6, 2013Music Background:
    Bass Guitarist

    The 12 Step Is Amazing!!!

    Plugged this into my Windows 7 laptop (HP dv7) rig running Cantabile 2.0 with immediate success! I'm amazed at the amount of flexibility provided by the 12 Step. The presets are great and, with the 12 Step Editor (downloadable from keithmcmillen.com), you can tweak and configure all you want! I was pleasantly surprised at how well it's lit up too! There'll be no problem seeing it on stage!!!

    BTW, there's a review online where someone talks about having problems hitting the correct note with their feet. I'm a size 10 and, even wearing clumsy flip-flops I'm having no problem with that PLUS the device has a configurable key safety mode that helps to prevent this.

    from Craig, CO November 30, 2015Music Background:
    Voice, Uke (left-handed, tho' I'm a "righty"), E-Drums (right foot), 12 Step Synth-Strings (left foot)

    Mostly Excellent/I LOVE My KMI 12 Step!

    Of $20,000 in electronic equipment I've purchased in the last 5 years, most from Sweetwater, this is simply one of the best conceived and constructed devices I've bought! I love it!! It only loses 0.5 stars as it tends to slip around a bit on the floor and because the MIDI Expander wasn't included "in the box". (If I sat upright in a chair all the time, kept my foot directly over the 12 Step, this wouldn't be a problem. I do, however, have to wear "small" shoes to help me push one key at a time. But--again--that is more a facet of my physique/playing-style than a fault of KMI. The 12 Step can "assist" with that "problem" by our using a setting that precludes inadvertently pressing and sounding two keys at once.). Keith McMillen Instruments' support is fast, friendly, and excellent. Right now, I wish for two items, (1) more $ with which to purchase some more KMI product (I WILL be getting a KMI MIDI Expander, as my--and most others'--usage(s) will require it), and (2) a valid reason for buying more KMI product. Sadly, neither will be forthcoming soon! ); Regardless, I LOVE my KMI 12 Step and look forward to seeing Sweetwater sell new and increasing innovative Keith McMillen Instruments products as KMI creates them. :D

  • Alex MacConnell
    from Des Moines, Iowa September 8, 2014Music Background:
    Live Playing, Home Recording

    A great inovative product!

    This is a really nice piece of gear. It was a little smaller than I expected, but makes for a very lightweight and portable pedal board for the gigging musician. Love the bright LED's and the ease of use. I plugged this into my Mac and was up and running in minutes.

  • Larry Ellingson
    from Spokane WA August 6, 2013Music Background:
    Retired composer, producer, recording engineer now playing with art and sound

    Solid Pedal Board Fits My Needs Perfectly

    I'm working up an art music solo show with sax, wind controller and Ableton Live with looping, voice processing and echo pedals. I want to perform nearly everything live with minimal prerecorded material. I needed a budget MIDI trigger and this is it! Combined with Steve Duda's Cthuhlu MIDI plugin, the 12 Step can trigger massive chords with one note. I played with the preset chord function and it works great but I want different harmony on every note. My only gripe (and the reason for 4 1/2 stars) is the need for the MIDI Expander. I'm sure that's because this thing is so thin (thinner than a MIDI jack...really!) that there's no room for it. Just slightly bigger bump next to the USB jack would've done it. Otherwise. an amazing, powerful, simple tool!

  • ken brewer
    from San Diego October 22, 2012Music Background:

    What I have been waiting for

    I have a behrninger and Roland pedal and they are difficult ot use and program. I also have a Waves USB pedal as well but it requires a power supply and is heavy. This is light and sturday - I would give a perfect five, but for the need for a seperate midi box and it is does not support merge/thru

  • Jeffrey P Anderson
    from Indiana October 10, 2016

    Good company to work with

    I bought one of these so I could add bass lines while playing guitar. With some practice this becomes fairly easy. If you are right handed, use your left foot; that way you can see both the guitar neck and the 12 step without turning your head. I practice 5 days/week for 2h at a time. After 6 months one key went dark and began triggering by itself. Sent the broken unit to Sweetwater, they sent it to Keith McMillen, and I received a replacement in about 2 weeks. No arguments. If you get one of these, you'll need a sound module; I used a midiengines midiplus and it produces acceptable electric bass tones. Also, get a stiff board or something like that to support the 12 step. It flexes alot when played on carpet and I think that's what damaged my first one . One issue is the "select button." I wish there was a way to disable this. If you hit it and stay on it for too long, it thinks you want to change the setting. I've thrown this thing into parts unknown this way in the middle of a song. Also wear a narrow shoe with a hard sole. Can't play this barefoot. I have size 11's and the button spacing is fine.

  • William
    from Michigan April 12, 2017Music Background:
    Professional Musician, Engineer, Producer, Performer


    For years this is the device I'd been searching for, a small and powerful midi controller, setup like a pedal controller but with a button like array. This is close to what I was hoping for but falls short of perfection. I have been using midi devices almost since it's inception and have owned 3 sets of midi controller pedals.
    If you're not highly experienced and patient these are not for you. #1. The buttons are stiff and take some getting used to. #2. The software is just ok, but I would guess that new versions will come through time. The software does have a mapper style layout. Which is good, but it seems to bog down the PC so the program has to be closed in order for the VST's to work smoothly. So buy a more powerful computer? No. #3. You need a midi/USB interface for it access non-USB devices. I have an M-Audio midiman which through configuring the VST output was able to access outboard midi gear. Very tedious. I will be purchasing the KMI midi expander to ease up the configuration. Because I have lived through the growing pains of midi I will keep these and use them for my intended purpose, out front with my pedal board, with my other controllers under my key rig.

  • Customer
    from June 21, 2015Music Background:
    30 years of live and studio performance

    Good concept, poor execution

    While I give kudos to the company for offering creative products in a world where most just copy what's popular, this particular item has some serious flaws and is not practical to use in my opinion.

    The big problem is that it's very difficult to use the buttons on the bottom row. The one I received had less than 1/8" of relief off of the floor of the board. This means you have to be crazy accurate and hold your foot sideways to make sure you don't trigger a neighboring button. I have small feet and still found it virtually impossible to use anything but the two outside buttons on the bottom row. The back row is raised pretty high and those are easy to hit.

    The whole idea for me was to trigger big sounds or chords with the 12 step and if you miss one it really fouls up the music. And it was just really easy to miss them so it was completely impractical.

    The second issue is that the midi connectors are in a separate box. This is a bigger deal than it first seems because you not only have to have somewhere to set the extra box it means that you have cables with proprietary info, midi info, and power going from the the various components to one another - floor board, midi box, and whatever you're triggering with it. This means you have a lot of cable spaghetti. If the midi were built into the foot board you'd eliminate half of these because it would just be straight midi to your sound module. Separate power and proprietary cables would be eliminated.

    I wish they'd redesign this. It would be a great piece of gear if these issue were fixed.

  • Nick
    from Albany, NY April 24, 2016Music Background:

    Difficult to touch pedal buttons

    The software and compatibility of this piece are great but I found the front buttons were hard to press down in a gig setting. They are very thin and doesn't offer a large protruding surface that you can really get your feet on.

Questions about the Keith McMillen Instruments 12 Step?

Sweetwater's Sales Engineers are regarded as the most experienced and knowledgeable professionals in the music industry, with extensive music backgrounds and intense training on the latest products and technologies. They are available to offer you personalized product advice any time you need it.

Type your question below or call us at (800) 222-4700

Thank You!

Thank you for your request. A Sweetwater Sales Engineer will get back to you shortly. You can also call us toll free at (800) 222-4700, Mon-Thu 9-9, Fri 9-8, and Sat 9-7 Eastern.

Enter the Giveaway