New User: sysex send and some midi hand holding

The Pirate Kings

I'm trying to use my fcb1010 (firmware 2.5.1E) as a bass pedal trigger and I need a little technical help and possibly some advice about the whole signal chain.
The technical problem I'm having: I'm using the FCB1010 PC Manager software  (version 2.99-2) but when I send and reboot the fcb1010 none of the changes have been applied. I confirmed I can receive data properly (patch 0 pedal 1 plays note 128 when I attach it to a synth in reaper). I try to change it to play note 48 in the software but after I shut the power off and on again it's still playing note 128. I can make "riverdance" changes and they do persist so I don't think it's a hardware problem, but kind of lost on how to debug this.
The more general question I have is about the best way to handle changing vst's etc associated with each patch. The documentation for midi can be a bit overwhelming. I'm not using a hardware synth, in my dream I'd like to set up a Raspberry Pi to host vst's but I can use a laptop for now, I've been using reaper so far.  So I'd like to be able to say "ok patch 0 is a square wave bass synth in reasynth, patch 1 is strings in the obxd vst" etc etc. Is using a full DAW the best way to accomplish this, or is there some minimal VST host software that would be better for this? How does one trigger these changes? I realize this isn't strictly an fcb1010 question but I'd appreciate suggestions on components I need for a minimal workflow like this. Thanks!

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