Still in search of the perfect yet compact midi foot controller, I recently revived the idea of using a standard non-programmable midi pedal (a Rolls midibuddy in this case) with midi-ox to put out data that Ableton will listen to. MO will translate anything to anything, but only midi notes actually work with Ableton, which ignores PC (they are sent as pitch bend!) and CC (since you cant send two alternate values at once). What you can do is send a note on followed by a note off, “cloned” in MO so they are sent together.
In order to route MO to Ableton, you need Loopmidi which installs seamlessly. You set it up with a single port (I called it “LoopMIDI out”). In MO’s midi devices, set this as the output port, then Ableton will offer that as a midi input (select both IN and OUT). You can then map it to buttons!
I hope this saves someone the time it’s taken me to figure out! I’m considering building an arduino-based unit to convert incoming messages and re-transmit them – this would mean I didn’t need to use MO & Loopmidi, which simply add an extra layer of complexity and hence causing problems.